Nov 10, 2016

November 10: A Life Filled With Guns And Poetry But The Heartache Is Still Unbearable

On November 10th, 1919, Lieutenant-General Mikhail Kalashnikov was born in Russia.
The military general and inventor is most famous for developing the AK-47 assault rifle.
The AK-47, known in Russia as the Kalashnikov or simply the Kalash) is a selective-fire (semi-automatic or automatic) gas-operated assault rifle, was designed by Kalashnikov at 27 years old while conscripted in the military for service in WWII.

After completing the 7th grade Kalashnikov hitchhiked 1000 kilometers from home and began working for machine repair shops. With a natural talent for engineering, Kalashnikov worked as an engineer for the military during WWII.

Kalashnikov received a Doctorate (of Technical Sciences) in 1971 and designed over 150 successful weapons although the AK-47 was his most famous invention.

In later life Kalashnikov became an avid writer of books and poetry, but the weight of designing weapons hung deeply on him. Shortly before his death he wrote "My heartache unbearable same insoluble question: if my rifle deprive people of life, and therefore I, Mikhail Kalashnikov, ninety-three years old, the son of a peasant, and Orthodox Christian according to his faith, responsible for the death of people, let even an enemy?"

In an interview with the Guardian Kalashnikov said "I'm proud of my invention, but I'm sad that it is used by terrorists ... I would prefer to have invented a machine that people could use and that would help farmers with their work — for example a lawn mower."

More than 100 million AK-47 assault rifles had been produced by his death in 2013.

The Kalashnikov (AK-47) Rifle