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T-60 scout tank
T60 parola 1
T-60 at the Parola Tank Museum
Type Light tank
Place of origin Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1941–45
Used by Soviet Union
Wars World War II
Production history
Designer Nicholas Astrov
Designed 1938–41
Manufacturer Factory 37, Moscow, GAZ, Gorkiy, Factory 38, Kirov
Produced 1941–42
Number built 6,292
Specifications ([1])
Weight 5.8 tonnes
Length 4.10 m
Width 2.30 m
Height 1.75 m
Crew 2

Armor 7–20 mm
Primary
armament
20 mm TNSh cannon (750 rds.)
Secondary
armament
7.62 mm coax DT machine gun
Engine GAZ-202
70 hp (52 kW)
Power/weight 12 hp/tonne
Suspension torsion bar
Fuel capacity 320 l
Operational
range
450 km
Speed 44 km/h

The T-60 scout tank was a light tank produced by the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1942. In this time over 6,292 were built. The tank was designed to replace the obsolete T-38 amphibious scout tank.

DesignEdit

Nicholas Astrov's design team at Moscow Factory No. 37 was assigned the task of designing amphibious and non-amphibious scout tanks in 1938. They produced the T-30A and T-30B prototypes. The former was to be manufactured as the T-40 amphibious tank starting in 1940. It also led to the T-40S (sukhoputniy, "dry-land" version), a heavier tank prototype which was considered too complex to manufacture. The T-30B prototype, sharing the T-40's chassis but simpler in construction and with heavier armour, was accepted as the T-60 scout tank, and began production in July 1941, just after the German invasion.

Although at first intended to carry a 12.7 mm machine gun like the T-40, the armament was later upgraded to the 20 mm TNSh cannon, a tank version of the ShVAK, on the advisement of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, V.A. Malyshev. This weapon could penetrate 15 mm of perpendicular armour at 500 m range which proved inadequate against the newer uparmored German tank designs thus attempts were made in 1942 to re-arm the T-60 with the 37 mm ZIS-19 cannon but were abandoned due to the Soviet Union's shortage of 37 mm ammunition.

The T-60 was also used in the design of the experimental T-90 antiaircraft tank. This project switched to the T-70 light tank, and was finally cancelled without any production.

Gliding tankEdit

One T-60 was converted into a glider in 1942 and was designed to be towed by a Petlyakov Pe-8 or Tupolev TB-3 bomber and was to be used to provide partisan forces with light armour. The tank was lightened for air use by removing armament, ammunition, headlights and leaving a very limited amount of fuel. Even with the modifications the TB-3 bomber had to ditch the glider due to the T-60's poor aerodynamics during its only flight to avoid crashing. The T-60 landed on a field near the airdrome and after dropping the glider wings and tail returned to its base. Due to lack of sufficiently powerful aircraft to tow it the project was canceled and never resumed.

Romanian TACAM T-60Edit

The Romanians modified 34 captured T-60s into TACAM T-60 tank destroyers in 1943. Most, if not all, of these were confiscated by the Soviets after Romania defected to the Allies in August 1944.

File:T60 30.jpg

ReferencesEdit

  1. Zaloga 1984, p 116.
  • Miller, Steven (2000). Tanks of the World: From World War I to the Present Day. Osceola, WI: MBI Publishing. ISBN 0-7603-0892-6. 
  • Zaloga, Steven J.; James Grandsen (1984). Soviet Tanks and Combat Vehicles of World War Two. London: Arms and Armour Press. ISBN 0-85368-606-8. 

External linksEdit

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