The World’s Deadliest Inventor: Mikhail Kalashnikov and His Creation Ak-47

The World’s Deadliest Inventor: Mikhail Kalashnikov and His Creation Ak-47

Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind is the atomic bomb which is estimated to have killed 200,000 people when the United States (US) dropped two bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan in 1945.

But there is one other weapon that has killed many more people – numbering in the millions, namely the Kalshnikov assault rifle, or better known as the AK-47.

This weapon was originally developed in secret for the Soviet Union’s military; To date, an estimated 100 million AK-47s and their variants have been produced. These weapons can now be found all over the world, including in the hands of US civilians – in 2012, they bought as many AK-47s as the Russian police and military. As a doctor, I have witnessed the devastation these weapons can wreak on the human body.

Kalashnikov’s Invention

Russian weapons designer Mikhail Kalashnikov invented this weapon in the mid-20th century. Born November 10, 1919, Kalashnikov was a tank mechanic in the Soviet military during World War II. He was wounded in the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.

After witnessing firsthand the combat superiority of the German army’s firearms, Kalashnikov decided to develop a better weapon. While still in the military, he produced several designs that lost to competitors’ designs before finally producing the first AK-47.

AK-47, Kalashnikov’s best invention, is an extension of the 1947 Kalshnikova Automat, the year the weapon was first produced.

In 1949, the AK-47 became the Soviet Army’s assault rifle. This weapon was then adopted by other countries in the Warsaw Pact, quickly spread throughout the world and became a symbol of revolution in remote parts of the world such as Vietnam, Afghanistan, Colombia and Mozambique – the AK-47 was even on the Mozambican flag.

Advantages and abundance of AK-47

Why is the AK-47 such a revolutionary rifle?

This rifle is relatively easy to produce, short and light, easy to use, and has little recoil (the recoil caused by a firearm when fired). The rifle is also legendary for its reliability in harsh conditions from wet wilderness to Middle Eastern sandstorms, in extreme cold and heat.

The maintenance process is also easy. The large gas piston and the freedom of distance between the mechanical parts mean that this rifle does not jam easily.

Nuclear weapons have been prepared, will the Nagasaki Hiroshima tragedy be repeated?

In the following months, many people died from the effects of burns, radiation sickness, and other injuries combined with illness and malnutrition. In these two cities, most of the victims killed were civilians.

The human tragedy in Hiroshima and Nagasaki cannot be separated from the figure of Julius Robert Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer was a scientist who led the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb during World War II. The nickname as the father of the atomic bomb was also given to Oppenheimer.

In the book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J Robert Oppenheimer, by Kai Bird and Martin J Sherwin, it is stated that after the events of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Oppenheimer felt guilty and burdened by the impact caused by the use of atomic bombs to end the war against Nazi Germany

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