Russian city marks 70 yrs since trial by fire of Katyusha rocket launchers.

14/7 Tass 298

PENZA, July 14 (Itar-Tass) — Russian city of Penza located some 700 kilometers to the east of Moscow has marked the 70th anniversary since the baptism by fire of the world-famous superweapon of World War II — the Katyusha multiple rocket launchers.

Factories located in Penza manufactured critical component parts of the Katyushas during the war years.

It was precisely 70 years ago, July 14, 1941 that the novel artillery launchers made the first salvos during combat operations near the east-Belarussian city of Orsha.

A rally was held Thursday near the Katyusha monument located opposite the Penzmash machine-engineering factory.

The Katyushas were built by the entire country, Penza region governor Sergei Zlatogorsky said in his speech.

A total of 214 were engaged in the construction of these vital artillery systems as early as in July 1941, less than a month after the start of Nazi Germany’s aggression against the USSR.

In Penza alone, the manufacturing process of separate units involved four enterprises, including a cooperative society Put K Kommunizmu /The Pathway to Communism/, but Penzmash was the head factory.

World War II veterans, the guides of the local lore and and history museum and students of the Artillery Institute, which trains artillery experts for the Armed Forces of many countries, helped the participants in the rally and guests to get a more vivid visioning of this chapter of the city’s history.

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