Russian Statue of Mikhail Kalishnikov- Oops
Mikhail Kalishnikov was a hero of sorts for Russians, since he invented the AK-47, one of the world’s most popular rifles. It was accepted as the standard issue Russian military weapon in 1946. When a statue to honor him was placed in a public place in Russia, Yuri Pasholok a Russian historian, noticed a serious error- a small part of the monument had the wrong gun on it.
While the image of Kalishnikov is correctly holding the AK47, the bronze addition nearby showed blueprints of the German StG-44 instead of AK-47. The historian notified the authorities, and the blueprint was scrubbed off the monument. With a grinder.
Avtomat Kalashnikova 47 or- AK-47
The problem is that the mistake revisited an age old claim that Kalishnikov didn’t really invent the rifle that bears his name. The mistake simply appears to be the hazards of using the internet.
According to Popular Mechanics,
“The Soviet Union interned a number of German engineers at the end of the war and forced them to assist the Soviets with everything from V-2 ballistic rockets to small arms. One of those interned was German small arms engineer Hugo Schmeisser, who was responsible for the Sturmgewehr 44, or StG 44 rifle.
The StG 44 rifle, with its hooded sight post, pistol grip, and thirty round “banana” magazine bears a strong resemblance to the AK-47. Both utilize a gas piston system, which uses hot gunpowder gases to cycle the rifle, ejecting the spent casing and loading a fresh round. Despite external similarities, there are sufficient doubts about the StG 44 story. The AK-47 uses a rotating bolt design, not a tilting bolt like the StG 44. Internally, the AK-47 shares key design features with the American M-1 Garand, of which the Russians likely had sample copies.
Allegations that Kalashnikov copied the StG 44 have dogged the AK-47 and its inventor for years, which makes the sculptor’s mistake even more embarrassing. It seems likely that the sculptor simply did a Google search and accidentally used a StG 44 diagram instead. A search on Google.ru for for “AK-47 diagram” turns up an exploded diagram for the StG 44 identical to the one used on the Kalashnikov statue.”
Wonder what will happen to this sculptor? It’s Russia, after all.
Featured photo- screenshot via forgodandcountry.