— An out whether you have the data, how many aircraft is on the ground, presented by the plants, but not adopted by the military representatives? — Asked Stalin.
Reply to this I could not have asked for permission and specify the necessary information for an answer.
— Excellent. Refine and call — said Stalin.
I immediately got in touch with IV Markov, the main engineer of ADD. He told me that the charges against aircraft factories, and missed on industrial airfields there. I immediately reported by telephone to Stalin. 
— You will be able to come? — Stalin asked.
— I can, Comrade Stalin.
— Please come.
Entering the room, I saw a Commander of the Air Force General PF Zhigareva something hot proves Stalin. Listen to the conversation, I realized that the question about the number of aircraft bolshennom standing on the industrial ground. These aircraft were brought Tipo military acceptance, but not accepted, as it states "on Fire", in other words, were incapable of fighting, had different technical shortcomings.
Gen. ended his speech with the words:
— A Shakhurin (People's Commissar of the aviation industry. — AG) is lying to you, Comrade Stalin.
— Well, after all, call Shakhurin — said Stalin. He pressed the button — Poskrebyshev entered. — Ask to come Shakhurin — ordered Stalin.
Approaching me, Stalin asked, as if I know that the plants do not demand but missed planes for ADD. I reported that the chief engineer of ADD has assured me there is no such aircraft.
— Maybe — I said, — he has the data of the current day or not, but we carefully look for the release of each aircraft, we have, as you know, are new formation. Maybe one or two aircraft somewhere and stand.
— Here we are not talking about an amount — said Stalin. A few minutes later came AI Shakhurin, greeted me and braked, looking questioningly at Stalin.
— Here we are told, — said Stalin — that those seven aircraft, of which I read as you, stand on the ground of plants are not because there is no pilot, and since they are not ready for combat, because military officials will not be accepted, and that the pilots in anticipation of materiel live there for months.
— That's not true, Comrade Stalin — Shakhurin said.
— You see, as is: Shakhurin states that there are planes, but no pilots, and Zhigarev states that there are pilots, but no aircraft. Do you realize both that the seven planes — it's not seven planes? You understand that the front is in need of them, and here the whole army. What did we do, who of you believe? — Stalin asked.
There was silence. I curiously looked astonished and talk for a while: neuzh-it's true that as many as seven planes are on the ground of plants, even if not ready for battle, or the lack of pilots? Oh so many aircraft are on the ground of plants, I have not heard. I looked from Shakhurin, then Zhigareva. Which of them is right? 
Involuntarily recalled the autumn of 1941, when Stalin had promised to allocate Zhigarev fighter regiment to cover unloads on one of the fronts Infantry Division, and it turned out that he had no fighters. Paul F. then went out very much, I would have said, a ticklish situation? Do not disappoint him and now anyone with these planes? Alexei Ivanovich Shakhurin I already knew as a person, which could not do either of those other statements, and even more of these, which at the moment it is, without checking for earlier, but more than once, the accuracy of the data reported to the Headquarters.
And here came the confident voice Zhigareva:
— I am anxious, Comrade Stalin, I report that the plants are on combat aircraft are not ready.
— What do you say? — Asked Stalin to Shakhurin.
— After this, Stalin, just check — he replied. — You've got direct wire. Give the job, so personally for you every plant manager reported the amount of ready for combat aircraft. We add up the numbers and get the total number.
— Probably true. And create — agreed to Stalin. In the dialogue broke Zhigarev:
— You must certainly, that the telegram together with the directors of factories and military representatives signed.
— This is also true — said Stalin.
He called Poskrebysheva and gave him the appropriate instructions. Zhigarev asked Stalin to call General NP Selezneva which was in charge of orders at factories. Seleznev soon arrived, and he was given the task to count how many aircraft is on the ground plants. Nikolai Pavlovich sat down and began to count.
Necessary say, that the organization of communication, Stalin was good. It took quite a little time, and were put on the table with a telegram signed by the directors of factories and military representatives. He graduated from the calculation and the general Seleznev, who was not aware of the discussions that took place before it.
— How many planes in the factories? — Asked Stalin to Poskrebyshev.
— Seven hundred and one, — he said.
— Do you? — Stalin asked, referring to the Seleznev.
— I have left seven hundred and two — Seleznev said.
— Why they are not distilled? — Again, referring to Seleznev, Stalin asked.
— Since there is no crew — Seleznev said. 
Response, and most importantly, his tone can be no doubt that the lack of crews in the factories — the question has long been recognized.
I'm not a writer, in general, it seems to me that a writer, even a very professional, failed to pass a memory that made a general answer Selezneva, all the emotions that were reflected in the faces of those present, I can not find a match for even the eminent stage Gogol's comedy after saying: "We were traveling auditor" — is incomparable with what I then beheld in Stalin's office. Incomparable since it first here was alive, but the sad reality. All those present, including Stalin froze and stood motionless, with only one Seleznev quietly looked at all of us, not knowing what it was … It lasted quite a long time.
No one, not even Shakhurin, turned right, did not dare to continue the conversation. He was, as they say, ready for battle, and he himself seems to have been surprised by the simplicity and truthfulness of the answer.
The case was apparently unprecedented. Something at the moment is? I looked at Stalin. He was pale and looked extensively at Zhigareva eyes open, with evident difficulty comprehending what happened. It was felt, it stunned not why such a huge number of aircraft is so far not yet at the front, that it was clear there were only prerequisites are unmounted, and that the conviction and the confidence with which the general read the truth.
Finally, the face Stalin flushed, it was obvious that he had taken himself. Turning to AI Shakhurin and NP Seleznev, he thanked them and said goodbye. I wanted to follow their example, but Stalin gesture put me on hold. He slowly walked up to the general. His hand began to rise. "Are knock?" — Flashed me an idea.
Bastard! — With an expression of profound contempt said Stalin and lowered his hand. — Get out!
The speed with which the retired Paul F. apparently corresponded to his state. We were left alone.
Stalin was a long time in silence, walking around the office. Looking at it, I thought. What will, you need to have self-control, as was able to control myself this remarkable man, who every day or I learned more and more.
Why is he called me and forced to be at just happened? He gave me an object lesson? Maybe! These things are remembered for a lifetime. As it goes at the moment with the General?
— That'll fight and work with such a person. Do not even know what's going on in his own diocese! — Finally spoke Stalin, interrupting my thoughts.
Here's to you and the corresponding example with whom and how Stalin had to work.