2 Today is the 120th anniversary of the birth of Vasily Degtyarev (1880-1949), Russian firearms designer, major general in the Engineers Army, Hero of Socialist Labor and Ph.D. Born into the family of a worker, Degtyarev began working at the age of 11 at Tula’s famous Armory. In 1914, he moved to the Setroretsk-based armory and began developing an automatic rifle later named after him. In 1918-1920, on assignment from Soviet Marshal Mikhail Frunze, Degtyarev developed a portable machine-gun. Later he would design a large caliber machine-gun, as well as machine-guns installed on aircraft, tanks and finally, an anti-tank rifle. In the history of the Russian army, the name of Degtyarev is on a par with Mikhail Kalashnikov. Degtyarev received three Stalin Prizes, as well as seven Soviet awards and numerous medals.
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