Main menu / 2021, vol.6, no.1 / Repinetskiy A.I.

Bezymyanka – the core of the aviation complex in the Middle Volga Region during the Great Patriotic War

Repinetskiy A.I.

15–29 p. 10.22378/he.2021-6-1.15-29

During the Great Patriotic War, the Middle Volga Region became one of the centers for military-industrial complex enterprises evacuation from the western regions of the country. The city of Kuybyshev (now Samara) accepted 40 largest enterprises. The factories of the People’s Commissariat of the Aviation Industry functioned as their basis. This decision was associated with the ongoing construction of three aircraft factories in the city. By the beginning of the war, the construction had not been completed and the completion degree of the plants buildings varied. The decision to evacuate aviation production to the city was also influenced by the presence of the metalworking industry, energy capacities and labor concentrated in one of the largest camps of the GULAG system – Bezymyanlag. The equipment of the evacuated enterprises was arriving at the Bezymyanka station of the Kuibyshev railway where aviation factories were being constructed. Unloading and placing the equipment caused considerable difficulties. The machines were installed in unfinished facilities or even simply on the ground. A large industrial center developed near the city where the enterprises of the aviation complex were located. A closed production cycle was created for the first time in the country here; it produced the Ilyushin IL-2 and the Ilyushin IL-10 Shturmoviks. The Ilyushin IL-2 attack aircraft was recognized as the best one in World War II. The production establishment faced great difficulties: placement on unsuitable production manufacturing sites, extremely tight timeline for manufacturing production, and the need for its constant modernization. The personnel issue was especially urgent. It was decided to mobilize women, youth and adolescents to work for manufacturing enterprises. However, their low qualifications caused production problems. It was self-sacrifice and labor heroism that helped to tackle these tasks. The work of the Bezymyanka aviation complex supplied the country’s armed forces with combat aircraft. The presence of a large aviation complex predetermined the development of the industrial cluster of the Samara Region.

Keywords: Great Patriotic War, evacuation, military-industrial complex, Bezymyanka, aviation industry

For citation: Repinetskiy A.I. Bezymyanka – yadro aviatsionnogo kompleksa Srednego Povolzh'ya v gody Velikoy Otechestvennoy voyny [Bezymyanka – the core of the aviation complex in the Middle Volga Region during the Great Patriotic War]. Istoricheskaya etnologiya, 2021, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 15–29.


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About the author: Aleksander I. Repinetskiy, Doctor Sc. (History), Professor, Vice-Rector for Research of Samara State University of Social Sciences and Education (65/67 M. Gorky St., Samara 443099, Russian Federation); а

Received January 29, 2021   Accepted for publication March 22, 2021

Published Online April 21, 2021