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Unconquerable and Legendary

Moscow, 26.04.2012—30.05.2012

exhibition is over

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Some 200 photographs from the collection of the Moscow House of Photography Museum, Fotosoyuz agency and RIA Novosti dating from the 1910s to 2012, and also the work of contemporary photographers have contributed to a photo chronicle of Russian arms spanning almost a century.

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Some 200 photographs from the collection of the Moscow House of Photography Museum, Fotosoyuz agency and RIA Novosti dating from the 1910s to 2012, and also the work of contemporary photographers have contributed to a photo chronicle of Russian arms spanning almost a century.

Photographs from the early 20th century have become priceless documents charting the history of the Russian defence industry, which has preserved the reputation of Russian damask steel, and the mastery of Tula gunsmiths. If the Soviet tank of the 1920s, dubbed ‘Freedom Fighter Comrade Lenin’ was analogous to the French Renault, industrialisation of the ‘30s marked the onset of Russian AFVs, including the legendary Pobyeda Т-34 tank. It took the best German specialists years to work out the secret of the colossal firing power generated by self-propelled BM-13 artillery, fondly nicknamed ‘Katyusha’ by our soldiers. Even post-war they still referred to the new self-propelled salvo firing systems as ‘Katyushas’.

Rich material on the development of military technology that strengthened the country’s defence potential in times of peace and protected it in the years of the Great Patriotic War has been included in the exhibition’s historical section. This section is based on images by the celebrated photographers Dmitry Baltermants, Ivan Shagin, Alexander Ustinov, Mark Markov-Grinberg and Mikhail Trakhman, original agit-posters from the 1940s and dynamic footage of military training and real-life combat operations.

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Opening day photos

© Anton Galetskiy © Anton Galetskiy © George Malets © Anton Galetskiy © Anton Galetskiy © George Malets © George Malets © George Malets © George Malets © Anton Galetskiy © Anton Galetskiy © Anton Galetskiy © George Malets

For mass-media

Behind the feats of tank crews, pilots and gunners there was also heroism displayed by thousands of anonymous workers, the factory hands issuing weapons and missiles. In the 1940s hundreds of defensive-weapon plants worked on the home front to produce the ‘Weapons of Victory’: the legendary Т-34 tanks and ‘Katyushas’ — the BM-13 self-propelled artillery. Photographs by Yuri Rybchinsky, Alexander Ustinov, Ivan Shagin and Vsevolod Tarasevich show military technology and the achievements of ordinary people: researchers and labourers who spent days without a break in factory machine shops.

The section entitled ‘Parade’ is a presentation of Russian arms, displaying military technology as a symbol of pride for both state and people, from images by unknown photographers of the 1920s and the celebrated ‘Sports Parade on Red Square’ by Alexander Rodchenko (1936) to the ‘Steel Host’ trundling below the feet of Minin and Pozharsky, in a shot by Vladimir Vyatkin (1984). This photo chronicle of the Russian Army and arms is continued by well-known professional photographers, and amateurs. Frames by popular bloggers Sergei Mukhamedov (ottenki-serogo) and Sergei Martirosyan (Aviator) from the ‘Technology and Machine Engineering 2010’ forum, works by Olga Balashova, Leonid Faerberg, Marina Lystseva, Olga Krasinskaya, Alexei Petrov, Vadim Savitsky and Vladimir Yazynin are striking evidence of the power of the Russian army and defence industry — invincible and legendary, continuing the traditions of past generations.

The ‘Invincible and Legendary’ exhibition is one of the events included in the historical and patriotic programme of the ‘Technology and Machine Engineering 2012’ forum, held this year for the second time to show the paramount importance for the Russian economy of developing the defence industry complex. The ‘TME 2012’ (Russian acronym ‘TVM’) forum runs from 27 June to 1 July in the town of Zhukovsky, on the territory of the Rossiya transport-exhibition complex — the traditional venue of the MAKS aviation salon. Further details at: www.forumtvm.ru.

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