Future military Dmitry Ustinov was born in Samara in an ordinary working family. Despite the fact that he was born in 1908 (just before the start of the Revolution), he managed to take part in the Civil War - at its very end. The teenager did not even finish his studies.
Service in the Red Army
In 1922 he voluntarily joined the ranks of the Red Army. He was assigned to the so-called special-purpose units (PZOs). They were created in the first years of the Soviet state. These were "military-party" detachments, appearing under Party leaders and regional committees in order to combat counter-revolution.
Young Dmitry Ustinov was sent to Central Asia. In Turkestan, he had to fight with the Basmachi, who were one of the last strongholds of resistance to the new communist government.
The following year, the volunteer is demobilized and sent to Kostroma province. There he studies in the city of Makariev in a vocational school. In the last year, Dmitry Ustinov joined the CPSU (b). After graduation, he works as a mechanic. First in Balakhna at the paper mill, then at the Ivanovo-Voznesensk factory.
In the new year 1929 the young man entered the local polytechnic institute. There he quickly makes his way along the Komsomol ladder and becomes one of the members of the party bureau. The makings of the leader allowed him to go to Leningrad, where at that time the manning of the Military Mechanical Institute was going on.
It existed back in tsarist times and after the revolution many times changed, including in the secondary educational establishment. Now the artillery and ammunition departments were opened there. In 1934, Dmitry Fedorovich Ustinov is graduated from there with a specialty of an engineer. Today the university bears his name.
Immediately talented engineer came to the Leningrad Artillery Research Marine Institute. Here worked as a professor of many years of hardening and titanic experience. The head of Ustinov was the famous Alexei Nikolaevich Krylov - a mechanic, mathematician and shipbuilder. He was known for numerous theoretical works, for which he received awards from both the tsarist and the Soviet state. According to Ustinov himself, this was his chief teacher, who instilled in him an organization and inquisitiveness in his own research.
In those years, mass riots were taking place in the ranks of the nomenclature and the technical elite of the Soviet Union. Old cadres died in the Gulag, they were replaced by new names. Dmitry Fedorovich Ustinov was from this very "young" call.
He falls on the "Bolshevik", where very quickly (in 1938) becomes director. This enterprise was the assignee of the famous Obukhov plant and an important strategic object. Here the first Soviet tractors and tanks appeared a little earlier.
Dmitry Ustinov came here on the patronage of the first secretary of the Leningrad Oblast Committee and the city committee of Andrei Zhdanov. He demanded the maximum from the subordinate. The planned economy worked with might and main, each required the implementation of norms. Ustinov took the enterprise in a sad state. But he was not afraid to take risky measures: he changed equipment to imported samples, retrained workers, etc. As a result, the plant began to supply high-quality tools. Gosplan was overfulfilled, and the young director received the Order of Lenin.
Ustinov, like many of his pleiades, remained a solid Stalinist for the rest of his life. When the repressions affected his surroundings, including Nikolai Voznesensky, he attributed these events to the intrigues of the leader's entourage.
People's Commissar of Armament
Two weeks before the outbreak of the war, a young and promising director was appointed People's Commissar of Arms of the USSR. Stalin believed that a direct conflict with the Reich was inevitable, but it would not happen until a year or two later. During this time, he expected to rearm the country, relying on the ability and devotion of the Ustinov generation.
It is believed that the appointment of the director of the Bolshevik to the post of People's Commissar was patronized by Lavrenti Beria. At that time he was Stalin's chief approximate, and his voice was decisive in personnel matters.
The appointed person did not have time to delve into the affairs of the entrusted department, as on June 22, the chairman of the State Planning Committee of the USSR, Nikolai Voznesensky, awakened him with a bell and said that the war had begun. It's time for laborious daily work to evacuate the entire military-industrial complex to the east of the country, away from the approaching front.
Hardly Stalin had "untouchables", so the mere fact that the future marshal of the Soviet Union remained alive and in his post already speaks volumes. However, his success was obvious even without such comparisons. The well-established work of enterprises in the rear helped in many ways to defeat Germany in the war of attrition. Later, already in the Brezhnev era, the marshal of the Soviet Union was particularly respected precisely for the successful evacuation of production.
In the work there were also amusing incidents. For example, Ustinov broke his leg, riding a motorcycle (he generally loved motorcycles). Afraid of the punishment of his superiors, he arrived in the Kremlin. But Stalin, according to his peculiar sense of humor, ordered to give the people's commissar a new car so that he would not break any more limbs.
After the war, Ustinov remained in office. In 1946 there was a reform of the People's Commissariats. They were renamed ministries (the department of Dmitry Fedorovich became the Ministry of Armaments of the USSR). In 1953, he replaced the chair and began to lead the defense industry of the state.
For six years (from 1957 to 1963) he worked in the Council of Ministers, where he headed the commission according to his profile. As one of those involved in Gagarin's flight into space, he was awarded the title of Hero of Socialist Labor.
Minister of Defense
Ustinov was opposed to Khrushchev and joined the ranks of the conspirators who displaced him. When Brezhnev came to power, Dmitry Fedorovich naturally retained his place in the state elite. Since 1976, he is the Minister of Defense of the USSR and a member of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee. These posts he will save until his death.
In the Brezhnev years he was one of the few who took part in the discussion of key issues of Soviet politics. This small group also included Leonid Ilyich himself, Suslov, Andropov, Gromyko and Chernenko.
As Minister of Defense, Ustinov is primarily known for his doctrine. According to it, the Soviet troops rearmed and received new equipment. This concerned nuclear (RSD-10) and non-nuclear weapons (armored forces).
Ustinov was one of the initiators of the war in Afghanistan, including the very first landing operations. In many ways it was his activity that led to this decision of the Politburo. So Ustinov confronted the chief of the General Staff, Ogarkov, who, on the contrary, did not want the troops to enter.
Under the guidance of Ustinov, one of the largest military exercises for the Soviet history was held. They received the code name "West-81". Then in the Soviet army for the first time automated control systems and several types of precision weapons were tested.
The Minister's decisions were largely dictated by the country's participation in the Cold War, when the relations between the USSR and the US were then restored, then cooled again.
The last person whose remains were buried in an urn in the Kremlin wall was Dmitri Ustinov. The family received a reputable pension. He died at the end of 1984 after he had caught a cold at the next review of military equipment. At that time Andropov had already died and Chernenko had lived his last days. The generation of Soviet leaders of the period of stagnation slipped unnoticed by old age. In the people this series of deaths was called a "race in the carriage". Ustinov was 76 years old.
In honor of the marshal briefly renamed Izhevsk - the city of gunsmiths. However, citizens reacted to the change disapprovingly, and through three cities the historical name was returned.
Ustinov's biography includes receiving many awards, including the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, Hero of Socialist Labor (twice), as well as 11 orders of Lenin and another order of Suvorov and Kutuzov (both first degree).
In addition, it was noted several times by the governments of the Warsaw Pact countries and the entire communist axis: Mongolia, Czechoslovakia, Vietnam, Bulgaria, etc.