Georgii Semenovich Shpagin
Shpagin, Georgii Semenovich
Born Apr. 17 (29), 1897, in the village of Kliushnikovo, in what is now Kovrov Raion, Vladimir Oblast; died Feb. 6, 1952, in Moscow. Soviet small-arms designer. Hero of Socialist Labor (1945). Member of the CPSU from 1944.
The son of a peasant, Shpagin entered the army in 1916 and worked in a regimental ordnance repair shop. After World War I he served as a gunsmith in a rifle regiment of the Red Army. Upon being discharged in 1920, Shpagin became a fitter at a machine-gun plant where V. G. Fedorov and V. A. Degtiarev were employed.
Shpagin became involved in new-weapons design in 1922. In 1938, he and Degtiarev designed the large-caliber 12.7-mm DShK machine gun. Shpagin designed the PPSh automatic submachine gun in 1940 and developed the OPSh flare pistol in 1943. His weapons were widely used in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45.
Shpagin was a deputy to the second convocation of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. He received the State Prize of the USSR in 1941 and was awarded three Orders of Lenin, two other orders, and various medals.