Lt. Gen. Mikhail T. Kalashnikov passed away this Monday. General Kalashnikov was the creator of the AK-47, the first in a series of rifles and machine guns. His tremendous influence on the weapons reflected in modern wars, resulting in the most abundant firearms ever made.
Before he had made his claim on the development of one of the most powerful weapons, he was born a peasant on the southern Siberian steppe. There, he had little education and had claimed to be self-taught. He especially took pride of his lack of formal education claiming he combined his mechanical skills with his study of weapons to generate such a rifle as the AK-47.
Because of the attention he had gained from his creative developments, his army ranks changed. He went from conscription in the Red Army to senior positions with the Soviet arms-manufacturing bureaucracy.
The weapon, he said, was designed to protect his motherland, not to be used by terrorists or thugs. “This is a weapon of defense,” he said. “It is not a weapon for offense.”
He served six terms on the Supreme Soviet. He passed away in the capital of the Udmurtia republic where he lived. He was 94-years-old.
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