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The T-60 Scout Tank was a light tank that was used by the Soviet Union during World War II.

Description

The T-60 had a crew of two men and a GAZ-203 engine that was capable of propelling it at speeds of up to 45 km/h enabling it to perform reconnaissance duties with a good degree of effectiveness. The T-60 also had an armament that consisted of a single 20 mm ShVAK cannon and a coaxial DT machine gun.

This light armament allowed the T-60 to engage light armored vehicles but without a main cannon, the T-60 had a hard time dealing with enemy tanks. Still, the T-60 had up to 25 mm of slanted armor giving it more protection than its German counterparts.[1] The T-60 had a total combat weight of 6,400 kg and a total length of about four meters. It also had a 4 speed forward, 1 speed reverse transmission system and maximum range of around 500 kilometers. [2] In the field, the T-60 was fairly reliable, especially considering the terrible conditions found in the Eastern Front, though did suffer through intensive use.

Variants

The first variant of the T-60 was the T-60-1 model which had a new ZiS-60 engine for added horsepower. Next came the T-60A model which had additional armor protection for further survivability and also larger tracks and wheels for dealing with bad weather conditions.[N 1] However, even with the increased armor, the T-60 was still a light tank and it was not meant for real tank versus tank combat, though in the end, that was sometimes what the T-60 was used for.

History

T-60 20

Soviet troops tending to their T-60

The T-60 scout tank was first developed in 1940 and entered full production in 1941. That was after the Main Defense Committee of the Soviet Union argued that the production of models like the T-50 Light Tank to be halted mainly due to their overcomplication and the inability for Soviet factories to produce them at the quantities needed for total war.[3] Subsequently, lighter and simpler tanks were developed such as the T-60. In total, around 6,200 examples were made and they were used all over the Eastern Front as support vehicles even though production had ended in 1942. 

Notes

  1. Technically, the T-60 was also used in the creation of the Antonov A-40 flying tank as well as in the creation of Romanian variants of captures like the T-60 TACAM

References

  1. http://www.militaryfactory.com/armor/detail.asp?armor_id=343
  2. http://www.wwiivehicles.com/ussr/tanks-light/t-60.asp
  3. http://english.battlefield.ru/t-60.html


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