Komsomolets armored tractor

T-20 armored tractor Komsomolets (Bronirovannyy gusenichnyy tyagach Komsomolets T-20), an armored continuous track tractor, the T-20 was a prime mover vehicle used by the Soviet Union during the Winter War and World War II.

T-20 Komsomolets
Komsomolets armored tractor helsinki 2.jpg
Finnish T-20 artillery tractor
TypeArtillery tractor
Place of originSoviet Union
Service history
Used bySoviet Union
Nazi Germany
Kingdom of Romania
Kingdom of Hungary[1]
WarsWorld War II
Production history
Mass3.5 tonnes
Length3.45 m
Width1.86 m
Height1.58 m

Armor7–10 mm
7.62mm DT machine gun
Engine4-cylinder GAZ-M
50 hp (37 kW)
Power/weight14 hp/tonne
250 km
Maximum speed 50 km/h


The T-20 was designed in 1936 at the Ordzhonikidze Moscow Plant no.37. They were manufactured during 1937-1941 at Factory no. 37, as well as at STZ and GAZ.

The tractor was designed to tow light artillery pieces such as the 45mm anti-tank gun and the 120mm heavy mortar. The tractor could tow the weapons themselves plus a small quantity of ammunition, usually towed in a limber, along with up to six crewmen. Occasionally, two limbers were towed to increase the ammunition supply.

The forward compartment provided space for the driver and vehicle commander. It was fully armored and had a ball-mounted DT machinegun. The rear compartment held the gun crews, seated back-to-back in outward-facing bench seats. A canvas top could be erected for protection in poor weather.

Approximately 4401 T-20 tractors were built between 1937 and 1941.[2]

Combat useEdit

Although the Komsomolets T-20 armored tractor was designed as a prime mover, some vehicles were used in combat during 1941. The tractor was employed as a tankette.[2]


The T-20 tractor was used by the Red Army during the Winter War and during World War II. During Operation Barbarossa, some T-20 tractors were used as armored fighting vehicles, though after 1941 they were used only as artillery tractors.

Both Finland and Nazi Germany used captured vehicles.

Romania had captured 36 T-20 tractors by 1 November 1941. During the spring and summer of 1943, all but two of these were refurbished by the Romanians. Because these vehicles were based on an agricultural tractor of which very large numbers had been captured in Transnistria, and because their Ford-type engines were familiar to the Romanians and spares were available, the tractors' overhaul and maintenance were simple tasks. In early 1944 they were fitted with hooks which enabled them to tow the 50 mm Pak 38 anti-tank gun. The 34 tractors (known officially as the Senileta Ford Rusesc de Captura) were subsequently issued to the 5th and 14th Infantry Divisions (twelve each), the 2nd Armoured Regiment (six) and the 5th Cavalry Division (four). All were apparently lost during the subsequent battles or confiscated by the Soviets after the 23 August coup.[3]


An expedient variant was built in 1941, the ZiS-30, mounting the ZIS-2 57mm anti-tank gun.

The Germans also modified some captured examples by mounting a 3.7 cm Pak 36 anti-tank gun on top.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 March 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b Zaloga, p.103
  3. ^ Mark Axworthy, London: Arms and Armour, 1995, Third Axis, Fourth Ally: Romanian Armed Forces in the European War, 1941–1945, pp. 219-221
  • Бронеколлекция" no. 3, (2002)
  • Mark Axworthy, Cornel Scafeș, Cristian Crãciunoiu,Third Axis. Fourth Ally. Romanian Armed Forces in the European War, 1941-1945, Arms and Armour, London, 1995. ISBN 1-85409-267-7
  • Scafes, Cornel I; Scafes, Ioan I; Serbanescu, Horia Vl (2005). Trupele Blindate din Armata Romana 1919-1947. Bucuresti: Editura Oscar Print.
  • 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