For that shot the constructor Taubina


За что расстреляли конструктора Таубина

In this article, one can roughly imagine in what conditions, under what circumstances worked designers in particular military equipment at the time. It seemed to me this information is not known to a wide circle of readers and is quite interesting, let’s read …

In the history of the domestic arms industry by J. G. Taubin known as people in many decades ahead of her time: under his leadership was created the world’s first infantry automatic grenade launcher. And this designer became the sole head of weapons KB, who was shot in the standard charges of sabotage.

The first design Bureau under the leadership of J. G. Taubina (KBT, later OKB-16 in Moscow) was of 40.8-mm automatic grenade launcher Taubina-Baburin AG-TB.

Of 40.8-mm automatic grenade launcher Taubina was a formidable weapon. The rate of fire was 440-460 rounds per minute. Another issue is that when you store food the practical originally the rate did not exceed 50-60 rounds per minute.


За что расстреляли конструктора Таубина

Of 40.8-mm automatic grenade launcher Taubina-Baburin AG-TB

But Taurinum was developed and the option of tape supply. The practical rate of fire was equal to the rate of fire. Given the small charge of a unitary cartridge heating barrel and wear when firing was small. Thus, the length of the tape depended on the weight. Practical firing range of a grenade was 1,200 m.

The grenade had a rifled barrel. In most — 18 rifling. Automatic grenade launcher was originally worked through the gas outlet bore. But to increase the reliability of the grenade launcher in 1936 introduced a new scheme of automation, which worked due to the energy of the back trunk with its long stroke.

To of 40.8-mm grenade launcher was originally passed derrick the machine, and then a light wheeled machine, similar in design to the machine 7.62-mm machine gun “Maxim”. Winter setup put on the ski. The grenade launcher is easily understood and tolerated by hand on the battlefield.

First the grenade was made with a weight of 73 kg, but after the modernization of the machine and its weight was reduced to 45.5 kg, and by 1939 the weight of the grenade was brought to 38 kg. And weight loss were conducted without compromising firepower.

Based on the results of military trials in late 1937, the grenade launcher should take for the red army. All these shortcomings were insignificant and disposable. Without the disadvantages of previously not accepted into service, no artillery system. How many disadvantages had 76-mm divisional gun f-22 (mod. 1936), and in fact it started in mass production. What happened?

The fact that Taubin crossed the road to the “mortar”. They found that the grenade Taubina questioned the continuation of the 50-mm company mortars, and 60-mm and 82-mm mortars.

Taubin wrote in the people’s Commissariat of defense: “some employees of Artkom Borovlev, mantis, Bulba, Ignatenko for 1937 with the help of the former Chairman of the Artillery Committee of AU Kirillov-of Hubackova created an atmosphere of blackmail around … of 40.8-mm grenade launcher”.


За что расстреляли конструктора Таубина

Shop at five grenades of 40.8-mm grenade launcher


The “mortar” was able to achieve a resolution of the Committee of defense № 137 of June 22, 1938, on the basis of which was adopted by the 50-mm mortar, which had many design flaws.

“Mortar” achieve from Autoprofile fantastic stupidity of the decision — experience of 40.8-mm grenade launcher with 50-mm mortar on the program firing the mortar. Naturally, the mortar could not conduct grazing fire. It is not included in the program. The grenade launcher could effectively lead as grazing and hinged shooting. But at maximum elevation accuracy 50-mm mortar was slightly better. In addition, the mortar was much easier and cheaper grenade.

The cost of the grenade launcher was relatively large because it is made artisanal method in OKB-16. After launching a grenade into mass production its cost would be significantly reduced. Naturally, with “childhood diseases” grenade-type weakness springs, barrel, extractor and ejector during serial production would be done. So, incidentally, was with other weapons systems.

But, alas, the “mortar” won. 50-mm mortar was launched into mass production. Since the beginning of the great Patriotic war 50-mm mortar proved to not effective weapons and were taken out of production and out of service.

The grenade launcher weapons are not adopted, but continued the test. In January 1940, a few grenade Taubina took part in the battles on the Karelian isthmus. Even in 40-degree cold automatic grenade launchers worked flawlessly.

Have Taubina dropped his hands to fight with such a powerful enemy.

The project was closed, but the authorities noticed a talented gunsmith. Therefore, when early in 1938, has developed a new 23 mm cartridge with high muzzle velocity 900 m/s, the development of aircraft automatic gun at him instructed the OKB-16. In parallel, the same problem was posed in Tula CDB-14.

In the OKB-16 work on the 23-mm automatic cannon was headed by chief designer M. N. Baburin, his group consisted of A. E. Nudelman, A. S. Suranov, V. L. Taubkin, P. I. Fungi etc. the Total was supervised by J. G. Taubin. The basis for the gun was based on the design of an automatic grenade launcher that was designed with the help of her fast enough.

Motor gun, i.e., designed for installation in the collapse of the cylinders of the engine cooling water has received factory designation of MP-3. She worked on the principle of recoil barrel with his long course, nutrition ammunition was carried out from the mechanized store with a capacity of 81 cartridge. The cartridges were filled with 9 clips with 9 bullets in each, which, as spending was replaced with a new one by using the special drive. Feature of the system was a low rate of fire — about 300 RDS./min.


За что расстреляли конструктора Таубина

Mikhail Nikitich Baburin, Deputy chief designer of OKB-16 J. G. Taubina


But the air force demanded a rate of 600 RDS./min, and an improved gun, which had the desired rate of fire, received the designation of MP-6. She had a small weight (about 70 kg) and compact was what attracted designers who intend to equip their new machine is powerful and light guns Taubina.

Meanwhile, in early 1940 at the TSKB-14 was prepared 23-mm cannon construction LLC and Galkin (SG) and Volkov and Yartsev (VYA). These guns were automatics with the exhaust gases and belt feeding, the rate of fire of about 550-650 shots/min.
За что расстреляли конструктора Таубина

Aircraft gun MP-6


In October 1940 gun MP-6 entered the field testing in scientific research Institute AV VVS (Noginsk), where it was installed on German aircraft “Messerschmitt-110”. MP-6 was tested in parallel with the vapor gun VYA. The advantage of the store food gun MP-6 the landfill was considered not obvious for many reasons. What is very important — installation MP-6 wing demanded the cover of its special fairing, worsening the aerodynamics. And if weight and size characteristics of MP-6 and load cell were comparable, the reliability and survivability advantage was on the side of the load cell (0.05% delay and 0.1% of failures, compared to 0,21%/0.62 percent of the MP-6), and most importantly — the nutrition stores MP-6 did not fit, required its alteration under the tape.


За что расстреляли конструктора Таубина

Aircraft gun VYA


The test cycle of the MP-6 was still not complete (it did not pass the fire on survivability in the amount of 10 000 RDS.), their results on a number of points were alarming, when decree No. 423сс defence Committee of November 16, 1940 she was accepted by the air force of the red army. And on November 20, for the development of cannon J. G. Taubin and his Deputy M. N. Baburin was awarded the order of Lenin — the highest award of the USSR.

But the landfill was considered appropriate to prevent gun VYA flight test after flight test the MP-6. That is, the product of Tula putting the fate of their products in dependence on MP-6. It did not suit Volkov and Yartseva, and they 30 Nov 1940 wrote a letter to I. Stalin outlining his vision of the progress and results of the tests. From letters Volkov and Yartseva, the government learned that the Soviet air force, just in case, you already have a spare gun!


За что расстреляли конструктора Таубина

But on 4 October 1940 a Decree of the SNK and the CPSU(b) from g. “About the manufacture of prototypes of weapons for the NCO” OKB-16 was tasked to develop a machine gun up to 12.7. Term development of the machine gun was mounted hard — not later than December 25, he must enroll in field tests. Requirements for the gun was under a time — fighting characteristics, it should not give a 12.7 mm Berezin machine gun, but weigh twice less, and the vitality to have twice! The observance of such terms and level of development even now seems extremely difficult, then features was significantly less.

Almost in the same period Taubin is taken for the design of aircraft 37-mm automatic guns. But two located in the development of cannons Y. G. Taubin was not enough. Since 1939 he has insisted GAU to develop a 23-mm anti-aircraft guns with guns of MP-3. And succeeded, the work was authorized. However, for anti-aircraft guns need a land carriages, and the experience of their creation from OKB-16 were not. Work on an anti-aircraft gun was sluggish and gradually Taubin abandoned anti-aircraft guns.

From that moment began the difficulties which led Y. G. Taubina to the sad finale.



За что расстреляли конструктора Таубина

From November 1940 began the process of serial production of cannons MP-6. The gun was accepted into service with store-bought food, but it was clear early on that required its transfer to the belt feeding. Was a strange situation: the plants are starting to master the production of guns with the store, and in parallel, from mid-December 1940 OKB-16 in an emergency order modifies the gun under the belt. In this work, Taubina on the one hand “customized” the people’s Commissar of armaments B. L. Vannikov, on the other — designer attack aircraft BSH-2 (TSKB-55) Ilyushin need to finalize locations for guns in the wing.

In mid-October 1940 Ilyushin asked Taubina force value impact gun to take it into account when designing attack aircraft BSH-2. Taubin said that the MP-6 is out of 2200 kgs. But conducted in TSAGI studies have shown that its value is more than 2 times more than Taurinum. 10 on January 22 comparative tests and VYA cannons MP-6 tape power on two SB-2 and both guns have passed them successfully. And although I had a recoil value of about 4000 kgs, Ilyushin chose for his attack it as more waste. A temporary solution was found quickly — on 17 January there was an order NKAP No. 147 “About the armament of the Il-2”, to determine: the serial stormtroopers should be set less powerful, but reliable 20-mm cannon ShVAK.


За что расстреляли конструктора Таубина

Attack aircraft TSKB-55 designed by S. V. Ilyushin, the progenitor of the Il-2


The story of the impact of MP-6, it became known in high places looked like Taubin deceived aircraft and put in jeopardy the launch of a series of new combat aircraft and even the safety of their operation. That alone was enough for the severe trial with unpredictable consequences. But this intentionally or unintentionally “puncture” J. G. Taubina was not the last.

Gun MP-6 should have been installed on the fighter LaGG-3. In the spring of 1941 it became clear that due to the significant recoil of the MP-6 in place of its connection with the engine M-105P cracks, and the gun can only be used under the condition of strengthening his case. There was a breakdown of the task of arming the guns and modern fighters. At that time it was assessed as a clear sabotage.


За что расстреляли конструктора Таубина

Fighter LAGG-3 (the designers of the S. A. Lavochkin, V. P. Gorbunov and M. I. Gudkov)


Then the people’s Commissar of aviation industry A. I. Shakhurin, saving the situation, went to arbitrariness — allowed the production of engines M-105P with a reinforced crankcase, without coordinating this step with the Government, the people’s Commissars and the Central Committee of the CPSU(b). When the information on the arbitrariness Shakhurin reached Stalin, intolerant attitude to violations of the rules, was followed by an immediate punishment. Decision of the CPC and the CPSU(b) on March 4, 1941 A. I. Shakhurin was accused of inconsistent weighting of the motor M-105 in order to adapt to the gun Taubina and warned that such actions will be followed by a more severe penalty. But “sacrifice” brought Shakhurin, were in vain — April 12 during regular tests of LaGG-3 with a reinforced crankcase of the engine and MP-6 — mount the gun again was disrupted by the recoil.

За что расстреляли конструктора Таубина

Aleksei Ivanovich Shakhurin


In these tests the MP-6 of the first serial batch of the plant №66 have proved to be extremely unreliable — there were delays on average, one in 15 shots (the gun ShVAK — one delay of 220 RDS.), often had breakdowns. Used simultaneously with the MP-6 on the same fighter VYA cannon and SG too, behaved “not Ah” there have been many delays, breakdowns and even a few cases of shot when unlocked the barrel, but the position of these guns, compared to tubinskiy, did not cause particular alarm. After all, they were experienced, and MP-6 was SERIAL!

Although by March 1941, the designers of OKB-16 “licked” gun MP-6, the leadership of the IEC, it became clear that the development of production of the MP-6 is bad. In factory tests in the Tula and Kovrov often had a breakdown and that the critical mass in case of gunfire when unlocked the barrel. Whatever the reason, to produce a series suitable for delivery to the aircraft factories of guns did not work. And in this situation Taubin is preparing a new version of the MP-6 with belt feed, which means for plants in the short term, breaking with difficulty organize production guns with magazine-fed! In the end, the MP-6 was removed from the production and it was discontinued. This failure in the work of the OKB-16, and personally, J. G. Taubina could not lead him to tragic consequences — such precedents bad move developments of weapons were.

За что расстреляли конструктора Таубина

Modification of aircraft machine gun UB (Universal Berezin)


The greatest resonance was caused by the work Taubina on 12.7-mm aircraft machine gun up to 12.7. By 4 November 1940 due to an emergency voltage KB, and stopping work on the prototype guns up to 12.7 in turret version was ready. He had the automatic functioning due to the short stroke of the barrel, store the power and weight of just 12.5 kg. Having sufficient time to test Taubin started processing a machine gun under the belt of the ANC (later turns out to be a failure of choice tape — the aircraft insisted on loose feed machine gun UB). Machine gun up to 12.7 showed the representative the air force divinitie I. Secrieru (he was subsequently executed along with Taurinum). Without conducting field tests Sacrier reported on the readiness of the weapons Department of the air force, where this information is left to the leadership of the country. In fact, the gun was designed to fail after 150-200 shots.

But at the end of November-beginning of December 1940, the IEC has initiated the preparation of up to 12.7 to launch a series, designers are obliged to include the gun in the weapon systems future aircraft. “Wake-up call” for up to 12.7 rang at the end of December 1940, when he enrolled for field trials. Meanwhile, on 10 January, the plants have nearly completed the development of manufacturing technology of the machine gun, and the factory No. 74 even released a few test samples.


За что расстреляли конструктора Таубина

Aircraft machine gun up to 12.7 design OKB-16


The situation with the readiness of machine guns up to 12.7 for mass production at factory No. 74 described by its former Director, then — Deputy NKV VN.Novikov. “… Designer Taubin was able to attend the reception at Malenkov, then Stalin and a lot of them promise. Like, designer Berezin, Shpitalnaya, wolves and Jartsevym trying to create a new gun. But I like this gun will do 2 times more rate of fire and twice as light as they make. […] Malenkov and Stalin believed Tubino. It took 7-8 months. I Vannikov was dragged to the factory and forced to make a gun that Taubina. Our machine gun was completely raw. Only then I admitted Nudelman — Vice Taubina that he did not even the wooden mock-up. Just got the blueprints drawn up and stuck to the plant. I wondered why not go designer, what’s the matter? Arrived at the factory Vannikov […], the Deputy head of the Department of the air force General Sacrier. With them I had to shoot this gun Taubina. I of 5 machine guns had shot 5 pieces, all of them worked. […] At the second stage all these guns fell apart. Everything. One shutter, the other latch, etc. […]”.

Started a friend on MP-6 history — OKB-16 became to finalize the gun in the process of organization of its production, making significant changes in the design of many parts and components. In the end, within the prescribed period the production of up to 12.7’t started. And the start of production gun MP-6, which also should have been held in January-February 1941, was also disrupted. Information about this is now the second failure Taubina, brought to the leadership of the country. The designer went to meet him. The deadline for submitting guns for testing have changed. In addition, the people’s Commissar of armaments B. L. Vannikov to bring 18 guns requested 1.7 million rubles — the sum on those times huge!

Despite this, the simultaneous AP-12,7 has not been developed, it failed to translate on loose tape and, most importantly, to eliminate the low survivability of the design. By this time the gunners brought the machine guns Berezina to the required standards of reliability and at the end of February 1941 they successfully conducted the flight tests. Therefore, on 22 April 1941 Berezin machine gun was adopted by the air force, and on March 1 the resolution of the Government and of the Central Committee of the CPSU(b) prescribing the gun Taubina on arms not to put, and its production is not organized.


За что расстреляли конструктора Таубина

Boris Lvovich Vannikov


But these failures were not for Taubina last. Was 37-mm aircraft gun, which he began in 1938. By year-end prototype of the cannon was ready. Despite the incompleteness of the design, the gun had little power for its weight (about 150 kg) and compact size, which caused the interest on the part of the air force. In the next two years OKB-16 led revision 37-mm cannon in the engine, but officially its development has instructed Y. G. Taubin only October 4, 1940, the SNK and the CPSU(b) “On the production of prototypes of weapons for NGOs”, which indicated the basic requirements for the instrument. The deadline gun on terrestrial field tests were established no later than 25 December 1940. But the deadline gun to the test is not received. Work on it was suspended Taurinum to complete the failover machine gun up to 12.7, the situation in which at this time had entered a state of “clinch”. Thus, once again, the execution of the Government resolution Taurinum was thwarted. But it was not the last blow to his reputation. In mid-April, 37-mm gun Taubina tried to establish on the fighter LaGG-3, but then it turned out that she does not fit in the engine compartment of the aircraft.

That was already a disaster.

All products design by J. G. Taubina (he is not alone, of course, designed, but was responsible for each) — 23-mm cannon, 12.7 mm machine gun and 37-mm gun, which was a bet to equip new combat aircraft, for one reason or another failed. Their development was spent a lot of money and lost precious time because the industry was distracted by the preparation of the release of the unchanged samples.

For this someone had to answer, and the identity of the perpetrator was not required to search long. In the night from 15 to 16 may 1941 J. G. Taubina and his Deputy M. N. Baburin was arrested and charged with offences under the criminal code of the RSFSR, article 58-1A, 58-7, 58-8 and 58-11.7 on the same day — may 16, 1941 came a Decree of the Politburo “On cannon armed aircraft”, which was cancelled release program guns Taubina, and the air force accepted the gun Volkov and Yartseva. But to expand the mass production of VYA in time of peace, unfortunately, failed.

October 28, 1941, when the Germans were at the gates of Moscow in the village Barbysh Kuibyshev region Y. G. Taubin was shot. His Deputy, M. N. Baburin, who was convicted in the same case for 5 years of imprisonment, he died in the camp on 30 August 1944 After Stalin’s death, by Decree of the USSR Prosecutor’s office from December 20, 1955 the case of his charges J. G. Taubina was dismissed for lack of evidence.

Here’s what he wrote about it in his memoirs of B. L. Vannikov. “Especially those years when decisions on important technology issues sometimes produced them incompetent in court, and only on the basis of certain promises, contributed to the fact that some of the constructors of the guns from a desire to “move forward” has become the way that has caused damage to the case and were dangerous to themselves. It happened with the designer Taubina, who designed one of the structures 23-millimeter aircraft cannon. […] This gun was the best […] if Tobin did not wish prematurely to “Shine” not only achievements, but also such, which he was not. He did just that, announcing underestimated the weight, dimensions and the recoil force of the gun and thus the extension of their project to the fore. […] Themselves are the defects corrected quickly. Taubin was guided mainly so-called “design intuition”, not studied and not analyzed the reasons for his failure, and his attempts to fulfill the promise with no success”. Vannikov himself because of that hit (from 7 June to 20 July 1941 was under investigation).


За что расстреляли конструктора Таубина

Vladimir Novikov, Director of “Izhmash” in 1937-1941 gg.


But V. N. Novikov in his notes about Taubina spoke much tougher: “…But in General he is to blame fully, and I believe that because of it many pilots were killed. Because if he hadn’t interfered, Berezin, Volkov and Yartsev would have made a good gun much earlier. And we have been able much earlier to re-equip the aircraft with more powerful weapons. He delayed the case for at least six months. I personally believe that they put Taubina for project-mongering and deception — did the right thing. And that shot is probably wrong. Still, he was young — 30-something years. Well, what to shoot? But in the court sentenced to death…”.


Well, of course there are other versions of the arrest of the designer. Here is what Alexander Shirokorad:

Why was he arrested and executed Taubin? After all, his products were on the level of the best world samples. In some ways inferior, and in something and surpassed their competitors. Designer A. E. Nudelman lived in the same apartment block with me and we had several conversations about the history of the OKB-16. Alexander Emmanuilovich remembered the events of the 1930-1940-ies and willingly told me about these. According to the arrest Taubina he said briefly that it was the work of the Hospital and Co., and abruptly changed the subject.

Maybe he’s right — competitors did not stand on ceremony. But if it decided a denunciation of OKB-15, you probably would be followed by closure of all OKB-16. However, this did not happen. Along with Taurinum from OKB-16 were arrested only M. N. Baburin. The new head of the OBK-16 was assigned Nudelman. So it’s a much more reasonable version that the denunciation written by one of their own who care Taubina was on hand. To put all points over “i” we can, when it Taubina will be declassified.

The result of malice army lost an effective weapon.

The most annoying is that the automatic grenade launcher “Flame” has the same schema and have a lot in common with the last sample of James Taubina grenade launcher.

За что расстреляли конструктора Таубина

Here is another story:

Once at a public lecture about the history of the development of domestic automatic guns at chair to Rip the Tula GU famous arms designer Vasily Petrovich Gryazev, told how in 1970 during his work in TSNIITOCHMASH he perfected the link tape to his automatic gun. Modified link was successfully tested and launched into production. The trouble crept up from not waiting – not the thinking that makes something illegal, V. P. Gryazev not agreed changes Minaviaprom. And here’s one from the BBC came an alarm signal – a new link “does not climb” in guns already standing on the serial MiG-21. Began proceedings, and V. P. Gratefu had to go with explanations to the General designer of the MiG aircraft – Artem Ivanovich Mikoyan. Griazev explained to him the essence of the changes made to the link, said no incidents with them can not be – the pilots got it wrong (it turned out later that it was) and anything bad he did. Old aircraft silently listened, and then said, “Young man, if this were 1937, You would have been shot long ago…”


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