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Finnish T-20 artillery tractor
|Place of origin||Soviet Union|
|Used by||Soviet Union|
Kingdom of Romania
Kingdom of Hungary
|Wars||World War II|
|7.62mm DT machine gun|
50 hp (37 kW)
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.
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.
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.
Romania had captured 36 T-20 tractors by 1st 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.
The Germans also modified some captured examples by mounting a 3.7 cm Pak 36 anti-tank gun on top.
- 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
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