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T-20 "Komsomolets"


The T-20 "Komsomolets" was a fully-tracked light artillery tractor. It was designed in 1936 at the Moscow Factory no. 37, based on the chassis of the T-38 amphibious tank. During its production from 1937 to 1941, 7780 T-20's were built at Moscow Factory No 37, Gorky Automobile Factory (GAZ) and Stalingrad Tractor Factory (STZ).

The T-20 carried the gun crew in an unprotected position at the rear of the vehicle (which would be covered by a tarp). The driver and commander were seated in a lightly armoured cabin, which also housed a machine gun.

While primarily used to tow light artillery pieces, it was also pressed into service as a tankette when Russia was attacked by Germany in 1941. To increase Soviet tank numbers, about 100 T-20's were converted into tank destroyers, and designated ZiS-30. A year after the beginning of Barbarossa, less than half of either vehicle remained, and only a few T-20's survive today.

Both Finland, Romania and Germany used captured T-20's. Finland had 184 T-20's in service in 1943, some of which remained in service until 1961. A total of 34 T-20's served in the Romanian army under the designation Ford rusesc de captura, and were used to tow the German 5 cm Pak 38. Germany used the T-20 both as an artillery tractor (with the designation leichter Artillerieschlepper STZ 3 630(r)) and to mount the 3,7 cm Pak 35/36.

Technical Details

T-20 "Komsomolets"
  • Commander/gunner
  • Driver
  • 6 passengers
Physical Characteristics
Weight 3.46 t
Length 3.45 m
Width 1.86 m
Height 1.58 m
Armour (range) 7-10 mm
Speed (max) 50 km/h
Engine GAZ-M
Net h.p. 50
Cylinders 4
Primary weapon 7.62 mm DT (1)


T-20 "Komsomolets" in German service
T-20 "Komsomolets" in Finnish service

Further Reading


  1. Soviet artillery prime movers of WWII [online]. Available from Internet: <>
  2. Engines of the Red Army in WW2 [online]. <>
  3. Ford rusesc de captura [online]. <>