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Soviet Union's T-60 light tank
Nickname: BM-2 (Brtskaya Mogila na Dovoikh) "a brother's grave for two"

Photos

T-60 light tank:
Soviet Union's T-60 Light Tank
Aberdeen Tank Museum

Design

After the heavy losses of tanks after the invasion of Russia by Germany there was a great need for producing large numbers of tanks. N. A. Astrov, of Zavod Nr 37, lead a design bureau in Moscow that altered the T-40. The basic design was done in 15 days.

An increase in armor and armament was needed at the expense of keeping its amphibious capability.

Main Armament

Initially it was designed for a 45 mm gun, but this proved to powerful for the turret. B. Shpital'n / Spitalny and Komaritzky had come up with the fully automatic 20 mm SchWak aircraft gun. The turret had eight sides.

  Type Weight Penetration
1,000 m
20 mm SchWak Incendiary 0.096 kg 24 mm

Crew

The driver was placed in the center in the front of the hull.

Armor

The first models had riveted armor but later T-60s had welded armor. The hull was modified to have larger armor plates at sharper angles for better protection.

Engine

The T-60 was so underpowered it couldn't keep up with the T-34s going cross country.

Fighting Compartments

In the front of the T-60's hull contained the engine, power train, and controls for the driver. The fuel tanks were located in the rear of the hull.

The turret was offset to the left with the engine offset to the right.

Not Well Liked

When talking to Josef Stalin on September 17, 1942, General M. J. Katukov said:

"I can't find much good about the T-60. Of course it has automatic weapons, but only a 20 mm gun. It would not be up to a serious fight against tanks. Besides, it has too little ground clearance and is completely useless in mud or snow. In the fighting around Moscow we had to tow these tanks."

Variants

  • T-60 (Model 1941): Issued to reconnaissance units and infantry formations for support in combat. Some chassis were converted to carry Katyushka rocket launchers or tow 57 mm antitank guns. Had solid disc wheels.
  • T-60A (Model 1942): Increased armor. Had spoked/solid wheels. Started to appear in early 1942.
  • KT, A-T, or A-40: In 1942 a vehicle chassis was fitted with wings, a double tail, and was towed by a TB-3 bomber as a glider.
  • OSU-76: At Factory No. 38 a design bureau was told to design a light self-propelled tank based on the T-60 chassis. The were fitted with the 76.2 mm ZIS-3 (1942) divisional cannon. Prototypes were built but when production of the T-60 was halted the T-70 was converted into the SU-76.
  • BM-8-36: It had 36 launching rails installed. It fired 82 mm rockets up to 5,500 meters.
  • T-60 Anti-Aircraft:

Usage

The T-60 was primarily assigned to reconnaissance units and infantry units. Some were formed into independent tank battalions which had:

  • 1 heavy company (KV tanks)
  • 1 medium company (T-34 tanks)
  • 2 light companies (T-60 tanks)

Some vehicles were used at towing tractors for 76.2 mm divisional cannons in the artillery regiments of some rifle divisions.

Specifications

  T-60
Crew 2
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 12,700 lb, 11,354 lb
5.5 tons, 5.75 tons, 6 tons, 6.3 tons, 6.4 tons
6,400 kg
Length 12' 5", 13.1', 13' 5.9", 13' 6", 14' 1"
4 m, 4.11 m
Height 5' 8", 5' 8.5", 5' 9", 6' 2.5", 6.65'
1.74 m, 1.8 m
Width 7' 6", 7' 8", 8' 0.75"
2.3 m, 2.35 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 1'
0.3 m
Ground contact length 7' 6"
Ground pressure 6.55 psi, 6.83 psi
0.48 (kg/cm2)
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 20 mm ShVAK
20 mm
20 mm Shvak aircraft automatic gun
Secondary  
MG MG
7.62 mm MG
7.62 mm DT MG
MG - coaxial 7.62 mm DT MG
7.62 mm MG
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 780
Secondary  
MG 780, 945
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 7 - 25
20
Hull Front, Upper 0.75"@0°, 14 - 20
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 15
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear 0.4"@0°, 10-13
Hull Top 7 - 10, 10
Hull Bottom 7 - 10
Turret Front 0.75"@0°, 7 - 15, 15
Turret Sides 0.75"@0°, 15
Turret Rear 15
Turret Top 7
Engine (Make / Model) GAZ-202, GAZ 203
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water
Cylinders 6
Capacity  
Net HP 85@3,600 rpm
70, 85
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 4 forward, 1 reverse
Steering Clutch brake
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Octane  
Quantity 84.5 gallons
320 liters
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°
Manual
Speed - Road 27 mph, 27.3 mph, 27.5 mph, 27.9 mph, 28 mph
44 kph, 45 kph
Speed - Cross Country 18.6 mph
Range - Road 270 miles, 280 miles, 382 miles, 384 miles
450 km, 615 km
Range - Cross Country 197 miles
315 km
Turning radius 20' 6"
6.2 m
Elevation limits +40°
Fording depth 2' 10"
0.8 m
Trench crossing 6' 1"
1.85 m
Vertical obstacle 1' 9.3"
0.54 m
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Torsion Bars
Christie type coil spring torsion arm
Wheels each side 4
Return rollers each side 3
Tracks (Type) Steel, skeleton, dry pin
Length  
Width 7", 1' 5.5"
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tires  
Track centers/tread 260 mm
  T-60 1941
Crew 2
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 5.5-5.8 tons
Length 4.1 m
Height 1.75 m
Width 2.35 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 0.3 m
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure 0.48 (kg/cm2)
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main

20 mm SchWak 1941

Secondary  
MG  
MG - coaxial 7.62 mm DT MG
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 750 - 780
Secondary  
MG 945-1,000
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper 14 - 20
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 15
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear 10 - 13
Hull Top 7 - 10
Hull Bottom 7 - 10
Turret Front 15
Turret Sides 15
Turret Rear 15
Turret Top 7
Engine (Make / Model) GAZ 202
Bore / stroke 4 stroke
Cooling  
Cylinders 6
Capacity  
Net HP 70@3,400 rpm
Power to weight ratio 12 HP/ton
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 4 forward, 1 reverse
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Quantity 320 liters
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°
Speed - Road 44 kph
Speed - Cross Country 18.6 mph
Range - Road 315-614 km
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 0.87 m
Trench crossing 1.7 m
Vertical obstacle 0.6 m
Climbing ability 28 - 29°
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tires  
Track centers/tread  
  T-60A , T-60 1942
Crew 2
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 6.4 tons
5,150 kg
5.07 tons
Length 13.65', 14' 1"
4.1 m, 4.29 m
Height 5.85' , 6' 2"
1.78 m, 1.89 m
Width 7.66', 8' 1"
2.35 m, 2.46 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 0.3 m
Ground contact length 7' 6"
Ground pressure 0.46 (kg/cm2)
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main

20 mm
20 mm SchWak 1941
20 mm ShVAK

Secondary  
MG MG
1: 7.62 mm MG
MG - coaxial 7.62 mm DT MG
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 780
Secondary  
MG 945
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 0.78"
20
Hull Front, Upper 35
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 25
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear 25
Hull Top 13
Hull Bottom 13
Turret Front 25
Turret Sides 25, 15
Turret Rear 25, 15
Turret Top 7
Engine (Make / Model) GAZ-202, GAZ 203
Bore / stroke 4 stroke
Cooling  
Cylinders 6
Capacity  
Net HP 85, 85@3,400 rpm
Power to weight ratio 10.9 HP/ton
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 4 forward, 1 reverse
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°
Speed - Road 25 mph, 38 mph
42 kph, 45 kph
Speed - Cross Country 18.6 mph
Range - Road 280 miles, 375 miles, 380 miles
315-614 km, 450 km, 615 km
Range - Cross Country 155 miles, 188 miles
250 km
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 0.87 m
Trench crossing 1.7 m
Vertical obstacle 0.6 m
Climbing ability 28 - 29°
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width 7"
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tires  
Track centers/tread  

Sources:

  1. Russian Tanks of World War II Stalin's Armored Might, by Tim Bean & Will Fowler, 2002
  2. Russian Tanks and Armored Vehicles 1917-1945, by Wolfgang Fleischer, 1999
  3. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  4. Panzer Truppen The Complete Guide to the Creation and Combat Employment of Germany's Tank Force 1933-1942, Thomas L. Jentz, 1996
  5. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  6. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  7. Airfix Magazine Guide 22 Russian Tanks of World War 2, John Milsom and Steve Zaloga, 1977
  8. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  9. Tank Data 2, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, E. J. Hoffschmidt and W. H. Tantum IV, 1969
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site