1941 - 2015

Museum of the Great Patriotic War

Museum of the Great Patriotic War

Introduction.
The Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945 was unveiled in Moscow at Poklonnaya Gora to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War on 9 May 1995. The museum became the centerpiece of the unique Victory Memorial Architectural and Park Complex. The project was designed by the architects N. Tomsky and A. Polyansky, and the artist Z. Tsereteli.
Documents.
Logbook of the pilot Vasily Mikhailovich Obukhov, a Hero of the Soviet Union (13.03.1944), who on 19.05-12.06.1942 performed a flight to the United Kingdom and then to the United States as the second pilot of the TB-7 crew (commander major E. K. Pusep, navigators captain A. P. Shtepenko and captain S. M. Romanov) that delivered a Soviet delegation led by V. M. Molotov to negotiations over the opening of the second front. 1940–1942

Nina Alekseyevna Lobkovskaya’s personal sniper’s book with her sniper’s account records. With a photograph. The Kalinin Front. 10.08.1943 - 27.11.1944

Certificate of the Legion of Merit, a U.S. military order, issued to Colonel M. G. Machin, head of the military representative office of the Air Force of the Red Army in Alaska, English, USA. 14 July 1944, 1 page

Excerpt from the order to award the Legion of Merit (degree of Officer) to Colonel of the Air Force M. G. Machin for “excellent service in the delivery of airplanes and supplies to the USSR.” Approved by Franklin D. Roosevelt. In English, translated into Russia. 1944

Intelligence mission for the command of the 3rd Ukrainian Frontwith autographs by representatives of the Supreme High Command General Headquarters Marshal of the Soviet Union S. K. Timoshenko. It belonged to Colonel P. G. Tyukhov, officer for special missions with Marshal of the Soviet Union S. K. Timoshenko. 1945

Radio intelligence report No.152 (a copy) at 11:00 on 14.02.1943 to the Commander of the Voronezh Front Colonel General F. I. Golikov from the intelligence division of the Voronezh Front Staff with the text of an intercepted message from the Alpine Corps of the Italian Army. Labels “Very urgent”, “Confidential.” 03.09.1943

An express telegram to Marshal of the Soviet Union K. K. Rokossovsky from the staff of kindergarten No.74 evacuated from Minsk with gratitude for the liberation of Minsk. July 1944

Certificate No.400324 to the medal “For Valiant Labor in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945” awarded to the designer of Soviet mortars B. I. Shavyrin. 01.12.1945. 2 pages

Weapons of the World War II
A 7.62-mm 1933 TT pistol, USSR. The Soviet Union was faced with the challenge of developing its own self-loading pistol in the middle of the 1920s, when the Red Army started to lag behind many foreign countries in terms of small arms. The pistol developed by one of the oldest Russian weapons designers F. V. Tokarev was named the winner of a 1930 nationwide competition.

In 1931, it was adopted for service in the Red Army under the designation “7.62-mm Tokarev pistol model 1930” (TT stands for Tula, Tokarev).

When putting the pistol into production in 1933, design changes were made to simplify manufacturing. The upgraded TT pistol was adopted for service in 1933.

By accepting the pistol, the Red Army for the first time received a state-of-the-art powerful and reliable personal hand weapon. Tokarev pistols were widely spread across the frontline and were in service in virtually all of the Soviet combat arms.

In 1933–1945, Soviet manufacturers built more than 1.6 million 1933 TT pistols for the Red Army.

A 7.62-mm 1895 Nagant revolver, USSR.

The 7.62-mm 1895 Nagant revolver was one of the most widespread hand arms in the Red Army during the Great Patriotic War — that weapon proved itself during decades of reliable service. Created by the Belgian weapon designer Léon Nagant back in the late 1880s, it had excellent combat and operational characteristics, as well as high reliability.

Up until 1917, Tula Arms Plant had produced the Nagant revolver in both single-action and double-action models, for soldiers and officers, respectively. Only the double-action version was adopted for service in the Red Army. The revolver was modernized in 1930, and its sighting system was modified, while the manufacturing method was simplified.

During the Great Patriotic War, Nagant revolvers were mostly used by officers and non-commissioned officers, mainly in infantry and artillery.

In 1932–1945, the Red Army received over 1.07 million 1895 Nagant revolvers from Soviet manufacturing enterprises.

A 7.62-mm Degtyaryov machine gun (DP), USSR. The 7.62-mm Degtyaryov DP (Degtyaryov's infantry) machine gun, created in 1927, was the chief automatic fire support weapon in the Red Army’s infantry platoon. Its main advantage was its simple design, benefitting from the original construction of the breech block and firing mechanism. The gas chamber adjuster enabled the user to alter the amount of combustion gases for the mobile automatic system, which was an important factor for using the weapon in adverse conditions, allowing it to withstand dirt, dust, and extreme temperatures.

In 1943-1944, the design of the Degtyaryov machine gun was substantially improved, and the modernized version entered service in the Red Army’s infantry units under the designation of DMP. Owing to its simplicity, reliability, high firing accuracy and maneuverability, DMPs passed the harsh tests of the Great Patriotic War with flying colors.

Soviet weapon makers produced a bit more than 700,000 DP/DMP machine guns for the army during the four years of the war.

A 7.62-mm PPSh-41, USSR.

The deployment of new mechanized and tank units in the Red Army in 1940, all of which were designed to be armed with ample quantities of submachine guns became a reason for serious concern at the People's Commissariat of Defense, because the domestic manufacturing complex was unable to produce the required number of weapons in a very short time.

In December 1940, the Red Army adopted for service the simple and cheap submachine gun designed by G. S. Shpagin of Kovrovo, who used what was back then the most advanced technology of pressed and welded structures.

The exceptionally simple design of the PPSh enabled many USSR factories — including those that had never produced weapons — to start manufacturing the submachine gun during the first few months of the war. In the course of the war, the design of the gun was modified based upon battle and manufacturing experience.

Due to its high combat characteristics, the PPSh-41 successfully withstood the severe tests of the Great Patriotic War and won acclaim as one of the most popular Soviet small arms.

During the four years of the war, the Soviet defense industry supplied to the army 5.4 million PPSh-41 guns.

A 50-mm grenade launcher, USSR.

The grenade launcher was developed on the basis of the 7.62-mm 1891/30 rifle on commission of the NKVD for guerilla units in Belarus.

Children and war
The Second World War became a six-year-long bloody streak in the history of humankind and scourged the nations of 61 countries—80% of the population of the planet—killing more than 50 million people. War showed mercy to no one, but children—the least protected and the most vulnerable portion of the human population—suffered the most. War made children forget about childhood. It threw them all the way into the abyss of adult war life—in fields, at factory machines, with weapons in their hands, often without homes, food, clothes, protection and help from adults.

Nazism, the fundamental theory adopted by Fascist Germany as its state ideology, deprived many children of their right to life just because of their background. They were eliminated in the territories occupied by Nazi Germany together with adults in extermination camps, used as guinea pigs for medical experiments, and forced to work to death.

Children’s fates during the Second World War became one of the most serious accusations against the aggressors, one of the main lessons that mankind had to learn. The mission of the exhibition is to remember young victims of the war and make sure that the tragedy will never happen again. War cannot be buried in oblivion.

The exhibition Children and War is a collection of facts and evidence based upon documents borrowed from museums and private collections in Russia, Belarus, Germany, the Czech Republic, and China. The display centers on the tragedy of the child in wartime, whatever the nation and side in the conflict. Many of the materials are displayed for the first time.

Epilogue.
The museum hosts multiple cultural and academic events, including performances for children and festivals of creative work, film lectures and research and practice conferences that bring together the most reputable historians of the Second World War and the Great Patriotic War.

Visitors to the museum who are genuinely interested in the history of the Great Patriotic War will see many unique exhibits and discover new insights not only about the war of 1941–1945, but also about the descendants of the victorious generation, who fulfilled their international duty abroad, including in Afghanistan.

The Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War is looking forward to meeting new visitors. Welcome to the museum!

Museum of the Great Patriotic War
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