Light Artillery Tractor T-20 »Komsomolez«
In the Mid-30s, the Russian Institute for Tractor Technology (»NATI«) initiated the developmentof a small artillery tractor for towing the 45mm AT and 76 mm Regimental gun.
While the first attempt, the ill-fated Pioneer, failed, the T-20 Komsomolez was accepted for production at the Mocow factory No. 37 in 1936.
Equipped with a GAZ-M 50hp engine the T-20 run on the T-38 amphibious tank suspension and was protected by 10mm armour and a 7.62mm DT front machine gun in a ball mount.
The crew consisted of two providing additional space for 6 on two side benches optionally protected by an attachable canvas.
Three main production versions existed differing from each other mainly thru the shape of the gun mount and the rear plate.
Despite of several drawbacks, mainly the narrow tracks and the weak engine, 7780 T-20 left the factory until 1941, of which 6700 were in service by the time of the German attack decreasing to 1662 in September 1942.
Many however were captured by German, Finnish and Rumanian forces who used them for towing their own artillery pieces and - in case of the German army - as 37mm SPG..
Special thanks to Mr. Jochen Vollert, Germany, for providing precious informations.