Mr. F.F. Petrov: the first Chief Designer of Artillery Plant No.9
Mr. Fyodor F. Petrov ranks specially in the history of development of Design Office No.9 . He is an outstanding Soviet designer of artillery arms awarded with seven orders and many medals, Engineer-Lieutenant-General, Doctor of Science.
Fyodor F. Petrov was born in 1902 in village Doktorovo of the Venyovskiy area in Tula region. When he was 15 years old he started working on the railway. In 1926 he started studies in the Bauman Technical University in Moscow and in 1930 he moved to the artillery department of the Leningrad Engineering Institute. His teachers in the institute were teachers of the Military Technical Academy: D. Kozlovskiy, I. Ivanov, professor B. Okunev.
In 1931 after graduation from the institute he was sent to Perm to work at the Motovilikha Plant, where he started working as a head of the shop technical bureau at the production site, and then as a head of the assembly process and as a head of the shop machining section, and in 1934 he was appointed a senior design engineer. Since then he started his designer activity and worked in that field till the end of his life.
From the very beginning of working at the production site, which he was very proud of, Fyodor F. Petrov showed his worth being a purposeful and persistent man. His prodigious industry and good theoretical training were those features which let him succeed in designing the most perfect artillery arms at the time.
In Perm he actively participated in developing 152 mm howitzer-gun ML-20 1937, 122 mm gun A-19 1937, 107 mm gun M-60. In March 1937 (Fyodor F. Petrov was a senior design engineer then) he took part in the meeting of Labour and Defence Council that Iosif Stalin, Klim Voroshilov, directors and chief designers of a number of leading artillery plants participated in. That meeting turned out a crucial one in his life. F. Petrov addressed a meeting with proposals for developing a new bulk 122-mm divisional gun. His proposals were supported by the senior management, in 1938 F. Petrov was appointed a Head of the Development Design Office and the result of hard and self-denying work of a small group of designers was 122 mm divisional gun M-30 (M1938) that is world-famous today.
Fyodor F. Petrov wrote in his memoirs: "Awareness of the fact that howitzer M-30 by means of its service to our Fatherland has justified all our hopes comforts and makes forget all the unpleasant facts that were connected with its becoming as threatening weapon for enemies". And there were a lot of difficulties connected with developing and mastering a new howitzer at three plants simultaneously – at the Motovilikha Plant, Uralmash Plant and Plant No.92 at which the M-30 gun was subjected to sharp but not always reasonable criticism by V.G. Grabin. Situation at the Uralmash Plant was especially adverse. To rectify the situation and to provide help a commission of the Communist Party Central Committee together with leaders from the Main Artillery Board and Defence Commissariat came to the plant. According to the results achieved in the process of working the leaders of the plant were substituted for new ones. As far as the old and not numerous artillery design office had practically broken up because of a set of failed projects it was decided to transfer designers like F.F. Petrov, A.N. Bulashev, N.G. Kostrulin to the Uralmash Plant (in 1940) in order to reinforce it with skilled personnel and as a result to solve questions operatively and efficiently when putting the M-30 gun into a series production.
Since then and till 1974 Fyodor F. Petrov's life was entirely connected with Plant No.9 and with Design Office No.9. Despite it was small in number its designers lead by F.F. Petrov developed eight artillery systems that entered service during World War II; they are 152 mm howitzer D-1, 85 mm, 100 mm and 122 mm cannons for SP guns, 122 mm and 152 mm SP howitzers, 85 mm gun D-5T for tanks T-34 and IS-1 and 122 mm gun D-25T for tanks IS-2 and IS-3.
Broad unification and high processibility of main assemblies (those were characteristic features of the guns developed by F. F. Petrov) let organize gun series production in the shortest possible time and thus, provide the troops with the Victory weapon, which greatly exceeded similar weapon types of all the countries being at war.
After World War II and till 1974 Design Office No.9 headed by Fyodor F. Petrov developed towed guns of different classes, i.e. D-44, D-48, SD-44, sd-57, D-74, gun-howitzer D-20, howitzer D-30 (2A18) as well as guns 2A31 and 2A33 for SP howitzers 2S1 and 2S3 respectively. Most of home tanks, which entered service that time, were armed with 76 mm, 100 mm and 125 mm guns developed by Design Office No.9. The guns met all demands of the time in technical data, reliability, survivability, simplicity of design and serviceability and exceeded all the foreign counterparts.
In 1974 Fyodor F. Petrov moved to Moscow and continued working in the Ministry of Defence Industry. He died on the 19th of August in 1978 and was buried in a Novodyevich'ye cemetery in Moscow.
Mr. Vadimir A. Golubev
Mr. Vladimir A. Golubev was born on the 20th of December in 1933. In 1957 he graduated from the Leningrad Military Mechanical Institute and in the same year started his work in Design Office No.9 . Ha worked there till 1992 and grew from a design engineer into the chief designer (since 1974). Mr. V.A. Golubev got a degree of Candidate of Science (in 1973) and a degree of Doctor of Science (in 1995). He was a member of the Russian Rocket and Artillery Academy, a laureate of the State Prize (got in 1981), and was awarded with orders and medals.
Mr. V.A. Golubev began his working in a rocket branch of artillery, which Design Office No.9 had started dealing with, when artillery was announced to be a "cave" means of weapon. He actively participated in developing submarine-to-submarine missiles D-90T and D-90S. When projects in a rocket branch were transferred to another plant V.A. Golubev became the First Deputy Chief Designer (since 1965). Under his direction Design Office No.9 developed a number of famous guns that lately entered service, i.e. 122 mm howitzer 2A18M (D-30A), 125 mm tank gun 2A46M for tank T-72, 125 mm gun 2A46M-1 for tanks T-64 and T-80, 125 mm towed antitank gun 2A45M with auxiliary propulsion, and 152-mm regimental howitzer 2A61. Besides, some other projects were carried out, and test pieces of artillery guns were manufactured and proved, i.e. triplex D-3: 122 mm howitzer, 100 mm rifled gun and 100 mm smoothbore gun mounted on the same carriage; 152 mm towed case-free obturation gun D-71; 152 mm gun for SP howitzer 2S18; 152 mm gun for SP howitzer 2S27; 125 mm gun for SP antitank gun 2S28; a test model of the 120 mm gun for SP howitzer-motar D-64 (Nona); 122 mm light towed gun D-354 Roza ("Rose").
From 1995 till 1998 Mr. Vladimir A. Golubev worked as a professor in the Baltic State Technical University. He died on the 24th of March in 1998 in St. Petersburg.
Mr.L.R. Gonor: the first Director of Artillery Plant No. 9
Mr. Leo R. Gonor, an outstanding production organizer, was the first director of Artillery Plant No.9 when it was established on the basis of special production of the Uralmashzavod Plant. He was a Stalin Prize Laureate, Major – General of engineering and artillery service, and was awarded with three Lenin orders, the Red Star order, the World War II order and the Kutuzov order.
Mr. Leo R. Gonor was born in 1906. After graduation from the Leningrad Mechanical Institute he worked at the Bolshevik Plant, he was its chief engineer since 1937, after that from 1939 till 1942 he worked as a director of Stalin Artillery Plant 'Barrikady'. When in 1942 the plant was evacuated to the Urals, in Sverdlovsk, he was appointed the director of just established Artillery Plant No.9 and managed it till 1946.
It was him to whose lot the most difficult period in the plant history fell: World War II. During that very period of time production of the 122 mm M-30 howitzers was growing at a fast rate, and there were other pieces of artillery developed by Design Office No.9, i.e. guns of SP artillery units SU-85, SU-122, ISU-152, SU-122 an SU-100; 152 mm howitzer D-1 (1943) and 85 mm divisional gun D-44 (1944); and guns of the best tanks of World War II: 85 mm gun D-5T for tanks Ò-34-85 and IS-1, and 122 mm gun D-25Ò for tanks IS-2 and IS-3.
From 1942 till 1945 the plant output of artillery pieces had grown half as much.
In August 1946 Mr. Leo R. Gonor was appointed a director of one of the Research Institutes and in 1950 - a director of Krasnoyarsk Artillery Plant., and till 1964 he worked at other executive positions. Mr. L.R. Gonor died in 1969.