|Konstantin Fyodorovich Chelpan|
27 May 1899|
Cherdakly, Yekaterinoslav Governorate, Russia
|Died||10 March 1938
|Education||Kharkiv Technological Institute|
|Children||Lenimir Konstantinovich Chelpan|
|Parents||Fyodor Myhailovich Chelpan, Elizaveta Khalangot|
|Engineering discipline||Diesel engines|
|Institution memberships||Kharkiv Locomotive Factory|
|Significant design||V-2 engine|
|Significant awards||Order of Lenin|
Konstantin Fyodorovich Chelpan (Russian: Челпан, Константин Фёдорович) (27 May 1899 – 10 March 1938) was a prominent Ukrainian-Soviet engineer of Greek background. Head of the Engineering Design Bureau of the Kharkiv Locomotive Factory, chief designer of the T-34 tank engine. Awarded the Order of Lenin. Politically repressed and executed under a mass persecution ordered by Joseph Stalin. Politically rehabilitated after death.
Early Life and Education
Born on May 27, 1899 in Cherdakly, Yekaterinoslav Governorate, Russian Empire (now Kremenivka, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine), to Fyodor Myhailovich Chelpan and Elizaveta Khalangot. Both parents were Ukrainian Greeks.
After graduating from Mariupol Realschule in 1919, took part in the Russian Civil War. In 1924 graduated with honors from Kharkiv Technological Institute with a Major in Internal Combustion Engines.
From 1924 to 1937 worked at the Kharkiv Locomotive Factory as a Designer, Head of the Diesel Department, Lead Designer, and Head of the Engineering Design Bureau. In 1928-1929 had practical training in Germany, Switzerland, and the UK.
Konstantin Chelpan was the head designer of the famous T-34 tank diesel engine V-2, for which he was awarded the Order of Lenin. The engine consisted of lightweight aluminum alloy, and was the first case of a diesel engine being used in a tank, which made it a groundbreaking weapon.
Arrest and Death
Konstantin Chelpan was arrested on December 15, 1937 during the first days of Greek Operation of NKVD. He was charged with leading a Greek nationalist contra-revolutionary organization, as well as consipring to sabotage the Kharkiv Locomotive Factory. After being interrogated and tortured he confessed to being a spy. On February 4, 1938 he was sentenced to execution by shooting. The sentence was carried out in Kharkiv prison on March 10, 1938 and covered up. In a few years his wife received a death certificate, indicating that Konstantin Chelpan died on May 16, 1942 from congestive heart failure.
- In 1994 one of the streets in the village of Cherdakly was named after Konstantin Chelpan.
- In 2000 a book entitled Life story of famous Ukrainian Greeks. The case of Konstantin Chelpan by G. Zakharova was published.
- In 2001 a commemorative plaque was placed on the house, where Konstantin Chelpan had spent his last years.
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- Комитет по делам архивов. Министерство печати и информации (2001). Отечественные архивы, Выпуск 1 (in Russian). Отечественные архивы. p. 63. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
- Ziemke, Earl (2002). Stalingrad to Berlin: The German Defeat in the East (Paper). Government Printing Office. p. 27. ISBN 0-16-001962-1. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
- "Сталинский "греческий заговор"". ГРЕКИ В РОССИИ (in Russian). ГРЕЧЕСКАЯ ГАЗЕТА. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
- Павлова, Г. В. "Челпан Константин Федорович". История Харьковского технологического института в лицах 1885-1930 (in Russian). Retrieved 19 February 2012.