Stalin's Aviation Gulag. A Memoir Of Andrei Tupolev And The Purge Era
ISBN : 9781560986409
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Stalin's Aviation Gulag. A Memoir of Andrei Tupolev and the Purge Era
Credit for much of Stalin's aviation program lay with Andrei N. Tupolev (1888-1972), one of Russia's most talented aviation designers, whose fortunes plummeted with those of his profession. In the latter half of the decade, the entire aeronautical establishment fell victim to the massive wave of arrests and killings known as the Great Purge. Arrested in 1937, Tupolev was sent not to the notorious labor camps, but to a sharaga, or special prison, established in Moscow specifically for aviation designers and engineers.Stalin's Aviation Gulag is a sympathetic memoir of Tupolev's life and work by engineer L.L. Kerber, whose collaboration with Tupolev spanned most of their careers. At the heart of Kerber's chronicle is a description of the sharaga's daily life, which verged on the surreal. Well-fed and well-clothed but supervised by Party and police functionaries with little knowledge of aviation, Tupolev and his team of 150 specialists worked under the threat of harsh reprisal for the least setback. Dependent on Stalin's whims, permitted only infrequent, heavily guarded inspections of the aircraft they created, they nevertheless managed to circumvent both political dangers and technical constraints to develop the two major Soviet aircraft of World War II: the fast, twin-engined Pe-2 and the Tu-2, a medium bomber. Kerber also documents the postprison achievements of his mentor, who, after his release in 1941, went on to design the Soviet replica of the B-29 Superfortress as well as many of the giant passenger jets of the cold war era.
Specification of Stalin's Aviation Gulag. A Memoir of Andrei Tupolev and the Purge Era
|Author||L. L. Kerber|
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