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Georgii Shpagin

    He was born in the village Klyushnikovo, Vladimir region (now the Kovrov region), into a peasant family. He graduated from a three year school. In 1916, Shpagin was called into the the army and arrived in the Polvokuyu armorer workshop, where, in detail, he became acquainted with different domestic and foreign types of weapons. After the Revolution, he worked as an armorer in one of the rifle regiments of the Red Army. In 1920, after demobilization from the army, Shpagin entered, as a metal craftsman, into the experimental workshop of the Kovrov machine-gun plant, where, at this time, V. G. Fedorov and V. A. Degtarev worked. Since 1922, he actively participated in the creation of the new prototypes of weapons. The most significant works of Shpagin were the modernization of the 12,7-mm heavy machine gun, which received the designation "DSHK", and the creation of the machine pistol 1941 (PPSh). On April 26th, 1940, the Soviet Army adopted the PPSh for service. The Government wanted to have it manufactured in the small town of Zagorsk, located within a few hours of drive from Moscow. When the hostilities between Germany and Russia began in the summer of 1941, it was evident, that Zagorsk was located in territory that might be overrun by the advancing German troops. The Russian Government decided to move the arsenal farther to the east, into the Western Urals, where another large Russian armory was located: the Izhevsk Arms Plant at Izhevsk. It was considered, that the Izhevsk gun builders might provide assistance, in case of necessity. Vjatskiye Poljany- a town in the Kirov region- hosted a new Russian arsenal in October 1941. In the early period of the war, Russian troops experienced a dramatic shortage of automatic small arms in contrast to the German Wehrmacht. Stalin kept control over the progress in developing and manufacture of similar weapons by the Soviets. Only a month after the equipment started to arrive from Zagorsk, the first PPSh submachine guns were made and delivered to the fighting Soviet troops. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Vjatskiye Poljany was a home for Georgii Shpagin, like Tula was Tokarev's and Simonov's place, Kovrov was Degtjarjov's and Izhevsk is Kalashnikov's home town. Shpagin, a versatile arms designer, developed and successfully manufactured a family of small arms at Vjatskiye Poljany: OPSh- a light pistol and a SPSh- a signal flare gun. During the period between October 1941 to May 1945, the plant manufactured 2.5 million PPSh submachine guns, 350,000 OPSh and SPSh pistols. For the creation of the new types of weapons, Shpagin was awarded the title of Hero of Socialist Labor, given the state prize TO THE USSR, rewarded with three Orders of Lenin, Order of Suvorov II and the Order of the Red Star.

  The building, where during WW2,
legendary PPSh SMGs were made.

   The memorial board reads: “In this building, a famed designer, Georgii Semjonovich Shpagin worked - creator of PPSh, Hero of the Socialist Labor, Laureate of the State Prize and a Deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR”.