Lieutenant General Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov (Russian: Михаи́л Тимофе́евич Кала́шников, Mihail Timofeevič Kalašnikov) (born November 10, 1919 in Russia's southern Altai region) is a famous Russian small arms designer, most famous for designing the AK-47 assault rifle.
Kalashnikov was conscripted into the Red Army in 1938, and became a tank driver-mechanic, achieving the rank of senior sergeant (tank commander) serving on the T-34s of the 24th Tank Regiment, 12th Tank Division stationed in Stryi before the regiment retreated after the failed counterattack at Brody, June 1941. He was wounded in combat during the defence of Bryansk, October 1941, and released for six months recuperation due to illness. While in the hospital, he overheard some soldiers complaining about the Soviet rifles of the time.
He also had bad experiences with the standard infantry weapons at the time, so he was inspired to start constructing a new rifle for the Soviet military. During this time Kalashnikov began designing a submachine gun while in the hospital after being wounded . Although his first submachine gun design was not accepted to service, his talents as a designer were noticed. From 1942 onwards Kalashnikov was assigned to the Central Scientific-developmental Firing Range for Rifle Firearms of the Chief Artillery Directorate of RKKA.