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Post Soviet Reverse-Engineering in WWII
Created by John Eipper on 06/15/19 2:35 PM

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Soviet Reverse-Engineering in WWII (Tor Guimaraes, USA, 06/15/19 2:35 pm)

I pretty much agree with Cameron Sawyer's conclusions of June 14th, and just wish to add an interesting point which I recently learned regarding USSR and US "cooperation" during WWII.

We all know how important Lend Lease was to the Brits and the USSR, how Stalin was adamant about his allies opening a second front across the Channel rather than just in Africa and the soft belly of Europe. Much to my surprise I learned that the Russian did not have long-range bombers to do what the Brits and Americans were doing to Germany.

Yet they surprised everyone when they showed bombers which looked remarkably like ours. Having nothing to do with Lend Lease. It happened because Stalin was willing to accept US bombers damaged while attacking Japan but being neutral on Japan he had to manage the process carefully. One of Stalin's directives was for Russian designers to copy the US bombers exactly, the highest form of admiration.

JE comments:  The plane is the Tupolev Tu-4, but it didn't arrive until 1947.  Nothing is more terrifying than a huge bomber, but hear one in action and yes, it's very cool.  I witnessed a British Lancaster fire up at an air show a few years back, and it puts the fear of God in you.  (Only three Tupolev Tu-4s survive, two of them in China.)

The Russians were busy with reverse-engineering during WWII.  Another famous example, the ZiS 110 limousine, copied from a Packard Super Eight:


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