Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tula Arms Plant

Tula Arms Plant is a Russian weapons manufacturer founded by Tsar Peter I of Russia in 1721 in Tula, Russia as Tula Arsenal. Throughout history, it has produced weapons for whoever controlled the Russian state. Its name changed from Tula Arsenal to Tula Arms Plant during the Soviet era. Tula was strategically important to the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Significant ore deposits were situated relatively close to it and it had access to ample transportation routes like the Upa River and many rail lines coming into and out of the city. During World War II, the German army invaded Russia as part of Operation Barbarossa. By December 5, 1941 the German 2nd Panzer Division had advanced to within a few kilometers of Tula, forcing the Soviets to abandon Tula Arms Plant. As a result, far fewer weapons were produced there than at other Soviet factories such as Izhevsk Mechanical Works. Consequently, Tula weapons of World War II are considered more valuable by collectors. During the Soviet era, Tula Arms Plant produced other military rifles, including Mosin-Nagant Rifle, Nagant M1895 Revolver, assault automatic rifle AK-47, and semi-automatic carbine SKS (see foto)