During the Great Patriotic War, the specialists of the Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Combine (MMK) had to literally "on wheels" master the technology of producing armored and other military steel grades. On the recommendation of scientists who arrived from Leningrad, the plant from the first days of the war began smelting armored steel by the duplex process. The process was innovative: it used large-capacity open-hearth furnaces, while before the war, armor steel was obtained only in low-capacity "acid" furnaces. The first armor steel was smelted at the plant on July 23, 1941.
In the summer of 1941, while the plant did not have a plate mill for rolling tank armor, MMK engineers mastered rolling the armor plate on a blooming machine, a unit previously used only for crimping steel ingots. The risk was enormous - the world ferrous metallurgy did not know such a practice. But on July 28, the first armor plate was successfully rolled on blooming, and the tank-building plants received the metal from Magnitogorsk one and a half months ahead of the deadline set by the State Defense Committee. The first tanks made of Magnitogorsk steel received their baptism of fire already in the battles near Moscow.
In the fall of 1941, MMK again made a revolution in the metallurgy of high-quality steel, having mastered a fundamentally new technology for the whole world - the smelting of armor steel in heavy-duty furnaces with “basic »Pod (without using a duplex process). This made it possible to significantly increase the speed of its production. And after the equipment of the factories evacuated from the west of the USSR arrived in Magnitogorsk, MMK also accelerated the production of the armor plate: in October its production increased three times compared to August, in December - 7 times.
The plant produced not only armor for tanks - in the same 1941 MMK introduced and mastered the technology of smelting automatic, axial steel, chromium grades of metal. The range of manufactured products was constantly expanding: the casting of armored steel towers for tanks and armored caps for pillboxes was organized. The new-lathe and new-mechanical shops began producing shells for shells and aerial bombs. During the very first military half of the year, Magnitogorsk became an industrial giant, vital for the defense of the USSR: 38 evacuated enterprises of the People's Commissariat for Chermetry were sent to the city. 34 of them were located directly on the territory of MMK.
Having withstood the enormous stress of the first months of the war, from 1941 to 1945 MMK maintained the highest level of production, combining a stable overfulfillment of the plan with the modernization of the plant. During the war, MMK built two sintering tapes, four coke oven batteries, two blast furnaces, 5 open-hearth furnaces, an armored mill, a 2350 medium sheet mill, a steam-blowing station, a group of special workshops, and doubled the capacity of refractory production. The Magnetostroy Trust was building at a record pace and in ways unimaginable before: for example, the installation of blast furnace structures was carried out with enlarged elements. The furnace casing was assembled in whole belts weighing up to 14-19 tons. Before Magnitogorsk, this method had not been used anywhere before. It accelerated the installation by 5 times.
In 1941-1945, the plant smelted more than 1.2 million tons of armor steel, shipped 750,000 tons of armor plate to the tank industry enterprises. Half of the T-34 tanks manufactured in the USSR during this time were built from MMK metal, and armor for heavy tanks and powerful self-propelled units was manufactured during the Great Patriotic War exclusively by the Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Plant. Every third round for the army in the field was cast from the metal of "Magnitka".
Metallurgists, starting with MMK director Grigory Nosov and ending with ordinary employees, worked to the limit. In war conditions, a large number of women worked at the plant (for example, at the beginning of 1943 they accounted for 38.5% of the workforce) and adolescents (during the war, FZO schools trained about 27,000 qualified workers for MMK and the Magnitostroy trust). "For the exemplary fulfillment of the tasks of the State Defense Committee to provide the military industry with high-quality metal", the staff of the enterprise was awarded the Order of Lenin (1943) and the Order of the Red Banner of Labor (1945).
Pavel Shilyaev, General Director of PJSC Magnitogorsk metallurgical plant ":
- Such educational projects as" Engineers of Victory "are very important for preserving the history of our country, and we are in Magnitogorsk -