Monday, April 24, 2017

Rostselmash Plant, Rostov-on-Don, Russia, 1965

Nikolai Mikhailov.  Discovering the Soviet Union.  Moscow:  Progress Publishers, 1965.
Founded in 1929, the company specializes in combine harvesters and is still going strong.  (You can even request a tour!)

According to the company's history page:

In summer 1931, in the research workshop of the harvester workshop being constructed, the assembly of two harvesters of more perfect design was completed, and these harvesters were named “Stalinets”. The new machines were tested together with American harvesters. The Rostselmash machines operated better and, unlike of foreign harvesters, were able to harvest not only wheat, but also sunflower seeds, corn and millet.

During World War II, the entire plant was moved east.  Then:

On February 14, 1943, the South Front troops freed Rostov. The city was in ruins. Almost all enterprises, including Rostselmash and its towns, were demolished. Germans regularly were exploding and firing the plant within eight days before retreat. All workshops, living houses, culture center, agricultural machine-building institute, etc. turned into piles of ruins. The plant material damage comprised more than 180 million Stalin rubles. 
On February 23, on the 10th day of Germans’ retreat, the first 33 Rostselmash machines started to operate in demolished Rostov. At the same time, preparation of military purpose equipment production was started, and the repair of battle tanks, tractors and vehicles was organized. In order to refurbish the plant, it had to clean 150000 m3 of obstructions, lay 21 million of bricks and 37000m3 of concrete, install 8000 tons of metal structures, and lay 185000 m3 of roof panels. 145000 m3 of production facilities were put into operation within a short time.


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