The AK-47 known as the Avtomat Kalashnikova, is a gas-operated, 7.62×39mm assault rifle, developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It is the originating firearm of the Kalashnikov rifle family. 47 refers to the year. Design work on the AK-47 began in 1945. In 1946, the AK-47 was presented for official military trials, in 1948, the fixed-stock version was introduced into active service with selected units of the Soviet Army. An early development of the design was the AKS, equipped with an underfolding metal shoulder stock. In early 1949, the AK-47 was accepted by the Soviet Armed Forces and used by the majority of the member states of the Warsaw Pact. After seven decades, the model and its variants remain the most popular and used assault rifles in the world because of its reliability under harsh conditions, low production costs compared to contemporary Western weapons, availability in every geographic region, ease of use; the AK-47 has been manufactured in many countries and has seen service with armed forces as well as irregular forces and insurgencies worldwide, was the basis for developing many other types of individual, crew-served and specialised firearms.
As of 2004, "Of the estimated 500 million firearms worldwide 100 million belong to the Kalashnikov family, three-quarters of which are AK-47s". During World War II, the Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifle used by German forces made a deep impression on their Soviet counterparts; the select-fire rifle was chambered for a new intermediate cartridge, the 7.92×33mm Kurz, combined the firepower of a submachine gun with the range and accuracy of a rifle. On 15 July 1943, an earlier model of the Sturmgewehr was demonstrated before the People's Commissariat of Arms of the USSR; the Soviets were impressed with the weapon and set about developing an intermediate caliber automatic rifle of their own, to replace the PPSh-41 submachine guns and outdated Mosin–Nagant bolt-action rifles that armed most of the Soviet Army. The Soviets soon developed the 7.62×39mm M43 cartridge, the semi-automatic SKS carbine and the RPD light machine gun. Shortly after World War II, the Soviets developed the AK-47 assault rifle, which would replace the SKS in Soviet service.
Introduced in 1959, the AKM is a lighter stamped steel version and the most ubiquitous variant of the entire AK series of firearms. In the 1960s, the Soviets introduced the RPK light machine gun, an AK type weapon with a stronger receiver, a longer heavy barrel, a bipod, that would replace the RPD light machine gun. Mikhail Kalashnikov began his career as a weapon designer in 1941, while recuperating from a shoulder wound which he received during the Battle of Bryansk. Kalashnikov himself stated..."I was in the hospital, a soldier in the bed beside me asked:'Why do our soldiers have only one rifle for two or three of our men, when the Germans have automatics?' So I designed one. I was a soldier, I created a machine gun for a soldier, it was called an Avtomat Kalashnikova, the automatic weapon of Kalashnikov—AK—and it carried the year of its first manufacture, 1947."The AK-47 is best described as a hybrid of previous rifle technology innovations. "Kalashnikov decided to design an automatic rifle combining the best features of the American M1 and the German StG 44."
Kalashnikov's team had access to these weapons and had no need to "reinvent the wheel". Kalashnikov himself observed: "A lot of Russian Army soldiers ask me how one can become a constructor, how new weaponry is designed; these are difficult questions. Each designer seems to have his own successes and failures, but one thing is clear: before attempting to create something new, it is vital to have a good appreciation of everything that exists in this field. I myself have had many experiences confirming this to be so."There are claims about Kalashnikov copying other designs, like Bulkin's TKB-415 or Simonov's AVS-31. Kalashnikov started work on a submachine gun design in 1942 and with a light machine gun in 1943. "Early in 1944, Kalashnikov was given some 7.62×39mm M43 cartridges and informed that there were several designers working on weapons for this new Soviet small-arms cartridge. It was suggested to him that this new weapon might well lead to greater things, he undertook work on the new rifle."
In 1944, he entered a design competition with this new 7.62×39mm, semi-automatic, gas-operated, long stroke piston, carbine influenced by the American M1 Garand. "The rifle that Kalashnikov designed was in the same class as the familiar SKS-45 Simonov with fixed magazine and gas tube above the barrel." However, this new Kalashnikov design lost out to a Simonov design. In 1946, a new design competition was initiated to develop a new assault rifle. Kalashnikov submitted an entry, it was gas-operated rifle with a short-stroke gas piston above the barrel, a breech-block mechanism similar to his 1944 carbine, a curved 30-round magazine. Kalashnikov's rifles AK-1 and AK-2 proved to be reliable weapons and were accepted to a second round of competition along with other designs; these prototypes had a rotary bolt, a two-part receiver with separate trigger unit housing, dual controls and a non-reciprocating charging handle located on the left side of the weapon. This design had many similarities to the StG 44.
In late 1946, as the rifles were being tested, one of Kalashnikov's assistants, Aleksandr Zaitsev, suggested a major redesign to improve reliability. A
Janusz Aleksander Sanguszko was a magnate in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. He held Court Marshal of Lithuania, he was not interested in politics, spent most of his life using the fortunes previous members of the Sanguszko family gathered, spending it on his lavish lifestyle. Indebted, in 1753 he agreed to divide the ordynacja ostrogoska he inherited from his mother, Marianna Lubomirska, among the members and allies of the familia; this decision, known as the transakcja kolbuszowska, was opposed by the enemy of familia, hetman Jan Klemens Branicki, was accepted by the decision of Sejm in 1766. He separated after the wedding. Interia Encyklopedia
Bridge of Spies is a 2015 historical drama film directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg, written by Matt Charman and the Coen brothers, starring Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan, Alan Alda. Set during the Cold War, the film tells the story of lawyer James B. Donovan, entrusted with negotiating the release of Francis Gary Powers—a U. S. Air Force pilot whose U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960—in exchange for Rudolf Abel, a convicted Soviet KGB spy held under the custody of the United States, whom he represented at trial; the name of the film refers to the Glienicke Bridge, which connects Potsdam with Berlin, where the prisoner exchange took place. The film was an international co-production of the United States and Germany. Bridge of Spies was shot under the working title of St. James Place. Principal photography began on September 8, 2014, in Brooklyn, New York City, the production proceeded at Babelsberg Studios in Potsdam; the film was released by Touchstone Pictures on October 16, 2015, in the United States and distributed by 20th Century Fox in other countries.
It was a box office success, grossing $165 million worldwide, was praised for its screenplay and Rylance's performances, Spielberg's direction, musical score, production values. The film received six Academy Award nominations including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, won Best Supporting Actor for Rylance. In 1957 New York City, Rudolf Abel is charged with spying for the Soviet Union. Insurance lawyer James B. Donovan is appointed to defend Abel, so that Abel's trial will be seen as fair. Committed to the principle that the accused deserves a vigorous defense, he mounts the best defense of Abel he can, declining along the way to cooperate in the CIA's attempts to induce him to violate the confidentiality of his communications with his client. Abel is convicted, but Donovan convinces the judge to spare Abel the death penalty because Abel had been serving his country honorably, he might prove useful for a future prisoner exchange. Donovan appeals the conviction to the Supreme Court based on the lack of a search warrant for the seizure of Abel's ciphers and photography equipment.
For his principled stand Donovan and his family are harassed, including shots being fired at their home. The conviction is upheld. In 1960, Gary Powers, a pilot in the CIA's top secret U-2 spy plane program, is shot down over the USSR, he is captured and sentenced in a show trial to ten years confinement, including three years in prison. Donovan receives a letter from East Germany, purportedly sent by Abel's wife, thanking him and urging him to get in contact with their lawyer, whose name is Vogel; the CIA think this is a back-channel message hinting that the USSR is willing to swap Powers for Abel. They unofficially ask Donovan to go to Berlin to negotiate the exchange. Crossing in to East Berlin, he meets with a KGB officer in the Soviet Embassy and is directed to Vogel, who represents the Attorney General of the German Democratic Republic; the Attorney General seeks to swap Abel for an American graduate student named Frederic Pryor, arrested in East Germany. The CIA wants Donovan to disregard Pryor but he insists that both Pryor and Powers be swapped for Abel.
In a message to the Attorney General he bluffs that they will either release Pryor with Powers or there will be no deal. The exchange of Powers and Abel takes place at the Glienicke Bridge, with Pryor to be released at Checkpoint Charlie. Tension builds; the CIA, still concerned with Powers, tell Abel he can go, but he refuses to move. It is confirmed that Pryor has been released, the exchange takes place; the next day, back in the United States, the government publicly acknowledges Donovan for negotiating the deal that rehabilitates his public image. Bridge of Spies is an American-German co-production based on a script written by the Coen brothers and Matt Charman. Studio Babelsberg oversaw production services for the film. James Donovan wrote an account of the incident in 1964 under the title Strangers on a Bridge: The Case of Colonel Abel and Francis Gary Powers; the historical background to the U-2 incident and the story of former West Berlin CIA chief William King Harvey and Operation Gold was published in Rory MacLean's Berlin: Portrait of a City Through the Centuries.
Soviet intelligence officer Rudolf Abel, who lived and operated in Brooklyn Heights, did dead drops of stolen documents in Prospect Park. His arrest and history were discussed by Truman Capote, another Heights resident at the time, in his book A House on the Heights. Charman became interested in Donovan's story after reading a footnote about him in An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917–1963. After meeting with Donovan's son in New York City, Charman pitched the story to several studios and DreamWorks bought it. Studio co-founder Steven Spielberg decided to direct. Marc Platt and Kristie Macosko Krieger attached themselves as producers along with Spielberg. Joel and Ethan Coen revised Charman's original script. According to Charman, the brothers "were able to punch up the negotiations on the back end of the movie they handed the baton back to me to do a pass after they did their pass, to make the movie just sit in a place we all wanted it to; the flavor they brought is so enjoyable. It needed to be entertaining but truthful."In May 2014, it was announced that Tom Hanks would star as James Donovan, with Mark Rylance co-starring as Abel.