‘It’s understandable that we had to give these worthy men a punch in the teeth and politely escort them out of the NKPS adminstration’ was Stalin’s picturesque euphemism for a process which was rather more dire than a mere punch in the teeth.1 As in Soviet society as a whole, on the railways shrift became progressively shorter as the 1930s approached the 1940s. Stalin was referring to the so-called ‘limiteers’ in the NKPS who, he said, were ejected because they insisted that there was a fixed technical limit to what the railways could carry at a given level of equipment.
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- Steam’s Indian Summer, 1931–1952
J. N. Westwood
- Palgrave Macmillan UK