The once-closed town of Cheliabinsk in the Urals was nicknamed 'Tankograd' during World War Two. The dozens of new machine-building, metal and tractor factories established in the 1930s were swiftly prepared for conversion to arms production and Cheliabinsk became a major production site of the Soviet KV, IS and T-34 tanks. This book outlines a vast social, economic and political panorama that describes everyday life in a typical Soviet company town during the Stalin era. The socialist visions of the founders of the new cityscape in the early 1930s is contrasted with the dire conditions in the shanty townships on the outskirts of the city. The repression waves during the Great Terror 1937-8 are analyzed in their regional dimension, as well as the transformation of the historical memory after 1991.