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T-60 in the Kubinka Tank Museum, Russia

T-60 in the Kubinka Tank Museum , Russia

General properties
crew 2 men
length 4.11 m
width 2.39 m
height 1.75 m
Dimensions 5.8-6.5 t
Armor and armament
Armor 10 to max. 35 mm
Main armament 20 mm MK TNSch (SchWAK-T) L / 82
Secondary armament 1 × 7.62 mm MG Degtjarjow DT
drive a 6-cylinder
gasoline engine GAS-202 51 kW (70 PS)
suspension Torsion bar suspension
Top speed 42 km / h (road), 20-25 km / h (off-road)
Power / weight 7.9–8.9 kW / t (10.7–12.0 hp / t)
Range 410–450 km (road)

The T-60 was a light tank of the time of the Second World War from Soviet production. The design office of Plant No. 37 in Moscow developed the T-60 in August 1941 on the basis of the later versions of the small T-40 tank . The chief designer was Nikolai Alexandrovich Astrov , one of the leading specialists in the development of light tanks at the time. The Red Army took over the tank in September 1941. Series production of the model continued until February 1943.

The Red Army used the T-60 mainly in the first half of the war against Germany . Most of these tanks were used in the period from November 1941 to spring 1943. From the outset, the T-60's armament and firepower were considered too weak. Almost all tanks were lost, so that the guy had already disappeared from the tank troops in the summer of 1943. T-60s played an important role in the “Iskra” operation in the relief of Leningrad in January 1943. The army used some of the remaining vehicles for aid and training purposes until the end of the war.

Despite all the flaws in the design, under the catastrophic conditions following the German raid in 1941 , the T-60 was a temporary solution to the problem of how to equip the troops with the urgently needed tanks in the shortest possible time at minimal cost after the huge losses . Its construction also had potential for further developments. The T-70 appeared as early as December 1941 . It was to be the direct successor to the T-60 and the most-built Soviet light tank of World War II.



At the end of June 1941, a few days after the start of the German-Soviet War , the State Defense Committee issued a resolution instructing the organization of the serial production of the T-50 light tank at Moscow Plant No. 37 . Before the war, this company was the manufacturer of the small floating tank T-40, and as such, at the beginning of 1941 it had considerable difficulties in fulfilling the delivery plans for the Red Army . Only a short time before that, Plant No. 37 completed the upgrade of its capacities for the construction of T-40 tanks in the quality and number required for military acceptance. The T-50, a very advanced light tank for its time, was very demanding to manufacture even on the improved facilities of this company. In particular, the armor of the T-50 was 37 mm thick, but neither Plant No. 37 nor its suppliers had suitable facilities for rolling and welding such steel plates. The management was shocked by the order, but began some work to prepare for series production of the T-50.

As expected, the efforts were unsuccessful and only consumed valuable time and resources under wartime conditions. Under pressure from the leadership and in view of possible criminal prosecution, the administration of Plant No. 37 found itself in a difficult situation and remained undecided. At this time, at the end of July 1941, on the initiative of two important people in the company, the chief designer NA Astrow and the head of the military inspection, WP Okunew, a land variant of the T-40 was developed: By omitting all the equipment for water travel, the design became easier and cheaper, the armor protection in the front area could be increased slightly due to the now lower mass. Your letter describing this new version and the situation in the factory was addressed to Stalin personally and delivered to him via a special mailbox on Red Square. The following day, the People's Commissar of the Tank Industry, VA Malyshev, inspected the plant. He examined the new draft and reported the great value of Astrow and Okunev's proposal to the State Defense Committee.

The main reason for this evaluation was the possibility of large-scale mass production of such vehicles in non-specialized factories as an emergency replacement for the catastrophic losses of the Red Army. Even these tanks, with their meager capabilities, hardly suitable for the infantry support they were intended to be used for, were able to significantly improve the combat effectiveness of the defending Soviet units. They also allowed certain offensive actions against infantry and lightly armored vehicles in the absence of anti-tank weapons such as 37 mm cannons .

As a result, with Stalin's approval, the switch to production of the T-50 was revoked, but a new order set the task of building 10,000 simplified T-40s in a short time. The original designation for this version was T-60, as a logical continuation of the T-40 and T-50 series, but in Red Army practice they continued to be called T-40. The more precise index T-40S was seldom used in documents of Plant No. 37 and only found wider use in post-war publications.

During the visit to Plant No. 37, WA Malyshev suggested arming the simplified T-40 with a 20-mm aircraft cannon instead of the super- heavy DSchK machine gun. He organized a meeting between Astrow and the aircraft weapons developer BG Schpitalny . As a result, a combat vehicle variant of the automatic 20 mm SchWAK cannon, the SchWAK-T , was developed in cooperation . During this time, the armored hull of the T-40S was further simplified by removing the remaining, useless propeller niche, and the frontal armor was reinforced to a thickness of 20 mm. The prototype of the execution was called "Object 030", so the series vehicles were given the name T-30. But, like the designation T-40S, the index T-30 was rarely used in army documents and also found wider use in publications after the war. The first SchWAK T cannons were mounted on T-30s from September 1941, so Plant No. 37 had developed the last version of the T-40 vehicle series. This was later called the T-30Sch. But despite all the efforts, the land variants of the T-40 retained a boat-like armored hull, which remained relatively complicated to manufacture the parts and to assemble.


Light tank T-60 in the Kubinka tank museum

The last remnant of the amphibious vehicle, the boat-like armored hull , was finally abolished in August 1941 in the course of the next stage of development. Engineer AW Bogachev designed a new variant with simple external shapes, reinforced armor and low height. The frontal part had a great inclination of the armor plates. The presses for making the towers for the T-40 in the shape of a truncated cone were too weak to bend reinforced plates for them. Therefore the punched tower was replaced by a new welded, eight-sided construction in the shape of a truncated pyramid . Engineer Ju. P. Judowitsch was the developer of the tower. The built prototype had the factory designation 0-60 and the Red Army accepted it as the T-60 for their own service. All the measures taken enabled the design to be further simplified and made cheaper. Plant No. 37 began to build the first T-60 series vehicles in August. The documents and sketches required for production were also prepared for other companies. But the deep German advance into Soviet territory led to the evacuation of the supplier of the armored hulls from the city of Podolsk , which was now located near the front lines. Another supplier, the Ishorsky Sawod in Leningrad , was cut off by a blockade. With this, the plant had lost access to cemented armor steel. The remaining smelters only supplied tubs made of homogeneous steel plates . As a result, the lower frontal plate of the T-60 was reinforced to a thickness of 25 mm in order to compensate for the lower protective effect of this armor. The end of October 1941 was a time of further successes for the Wehrmacht , which allowed intensive air raids on Moscow . There was also the threat of conquering the city. In November 1941, the war-related evacuation of Plant No. 37 to Sverdlovsk began . After this measure, the company lost its status as a leading developer of light tanks.

At the end of August 1941, Astrow himself transported the T-60 prototype from Moscow to Gorky . This 400 km drive was counted as a mobility test by the government. The tank was brought to the Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod (GAS) to organize its serial production. With a group of highly qualified engineers and technologists there (AM Krieger, A. Ja. Freidlin, SA Batanow, KM Tschiwkunow), NA Astrow adapted the draft for the conditions of the GAS. It has been further simplified (e.g. the guide wheel with the rollers has been standardized) and at the same time improved through the introduction of an engine preheater . On October 1, 1941, the first series-produced T-60s at GAS were delivered to the Red Army. These vehicles received an engine of the type "GAS-11 Model 202" that was throttled from 85 to 70 HP to increase reliability.

The first combat experience with the T-60 showed that the frontal armor protection was too weak even against light infantry anti-tank weapons such as the Panzerbüchse 38 or 39 . Therefore the tanks were equipped with additional armor . The additional 10 mm thick armor plates were installed in front of the actual 25 mm armor with a lower incline at the bow. This resulted in an empty space between the two armor layers (the Panzerkampfwagen III of the later versions had a similar arrangement of the frontal armor) in order to achieve better protection against hits. The thin front armor plate caused the detonation and early dismantling of the tank shell when hit , as well as the destruction of its armor-piercing cap. The main armor was more able to withstand splinters or deformed uncovered projectiles. With this improvement, the protection against hits from anti-tank rifles and 20 mm or 37 mm tank shells has been significantly increased.

The chassis borrowed from the T-40 had some negative characteristics. As a result of the torsion bar suspension without shock absorbers , the short armored hull vibrated heavily when driving off-road. When the T-40 was designed, these were alleviated by using torsion bars with different spring strengths. But the installation of the TNSch automatic cannon with its considerable recoil , as well as the heavier armored hull of the T-60 made this problem topical again. For the T-60, targeted shooting with this weapon was only possible when stationary with short bursts of two to three shots. Movement or sustained fire caused the tank hull to swing out and an enormous loss of precision. The penetration capability of the TNSch machine gun with standard ammunition was on the same level as that of the DSchK machine gun and the effect of the projectiles after penetrating the armor left a lot to be desired. As a result, various designs with 37 mm automatic cannons or 45 mm chariot guns were examined. Some of them were realized as test vehicles.

Mobility was another problem. After the addition of armor, the weight of the T-60 increased to 6.5 tons and the maneuverability with the throttled engine was considered to be on the verge of bearable. The collective of engineers of the Moscow plant SIS developed a new engine for the T-60 with 85 hp, but it took too much time and effort to organize a series production. As a result, this project was discontinued. Various designers tried to combine the chassis of the T-60 with better engines or weapons, but all of the resulting vehicles showed no reserves for the future reinforcement of armor protection and the installation of a two-man turret. NA Astrow and the GAS engineering office took a different route to improve its combat characteristics. They renounced all attempts to install more powerful armament in the underpowered chassis of the T-60. Their efforts focused on developing a new drive based on existing designs. This work ended with success - they designed the twin engine GAS-203, two GAS-202 engines arranged in series, connected by a common shaft and a special coupling. This power plant developed about 140 hp, but was very long. The armored hull of the T-60 was extended accordingly to accommodate the new engine. The chassis has been supplemented with a fifth roller on each side for better distribution of the load on the suspension and lower ground pressure . The remaining space in the armored hull allowed the installation of a one-man turret with a 45-mm chariot gun. The armor remained unchanged compared to the T-60. This prototype, called GAS-70 , did not meet with approval from the Red Army leadership. Its shortcomings were obvious - the turret for a single man, the weak armor, and the two engines for a single tank. But unlike other competitor designs based on the T-60, the GAS-70 had plenty of room for improvement. The revised version of the GAS-70 with reinforced armor was officially adopted as the T-70 light tank for service in the Red Army. After the start of series production in April 1942, NA Astrow and his colleagues immediately began developing the two-man turret for the T-70. The Commander in Chief of the Red Army Armored Forces, yes. N. Fedorenko , gave the order to replace the T-60 in all manufacturing plants with the new T-70. But due to some circumstances, the T-60 remained in series production until February 1943.

Serial production

The government gave five companies the task of organizing series production of the T-60: Plant No. 37 in Moscow as a developer, the Charkov tractor plant , the Kolomenski Parowosostroitelny Sawod imeni Kujbyschewa (KPS, Kolomna Steam Locomotive Plant "Valerian Kujbyshev"), the Krasnoarmejskaja Werft (plant no. 264) in the Stalingrad suburb of Sarepta (today Krasnoarmejski Rajon, Volgograd municipality) and the GAS. But reality corrected these plans considerably. The rapid advance of the Wehrmacht led to the evacuation of the Kharkov tractor plant in October 1941, and plant No. 37 was also to be relocated to Sverdlovsk the next month . Taking into account the condition of the other tank construction companies threatened an enormous shortage of tanks in the Red Army in late October and November 1941. But the Soviet "industrial giant" GAS was able to get the series production of the T-60 going and the demand for it to cover armored vehicles at a critical moment. In December 1941, Plant No. 264 also built its first T-60s, but in much smaller numbers than GAS.

After arriving in Sverdlovsk and completing the difficult work to adapt to the new location, plant No. 37 was able to start series production again. The supplier of the armored hulls before the evacuation, the KPS, was also evacuated to Kirov and transferred to the area of ​​the local railway repair plant “1. May “spent. These two companies were given the new designation "Plant No. 38" and were supposed to organize the production of the T-60. Many parts, assemblies, and equipment, including engines, were supplied to all of these manufacturers, including Plant No. 264, through the GAS. The quality of the parts was initially low, because even the great manufacturing possibilities of the GAS could not immediately compensate for the losses of many suppliers of raw materials, semi-finished products and accessories for tank construction. Some consumables and parts for the machine tools were also missing . As a result, many untested substitutes have been used. This led to frequent mechanical failures and the unreliability of the vehicle as a whole. But the industrial area with its center in Gorky was not affected by evacuations. There were no heavy air raids by the Luftwaffe in 1941 . The city itself had many training and research institutions that could support the military operations with engineers and technologists. The loan-and-lease law supplies from the United States in the form of raw materials such as rubber and aluminum, high-quality machine tools, spare parts and consumables, and food for the workers allowed the quality and quantity of GAS production to be increased much faster.

Since March 1942, all four manufacturers of the T-60 had generally stable production output. The most satisfactory situation arose at the GAS, which not only built these vehicles, but was also in the final stages of preparation for the production changeover to the more powerful T-70. Other manufacturers had difficulties, usually due to the lack of or poor quality of the spare parts. As the Soviet economy rebuilt with the support of lend lease supplies, these problems were gradually resolved by the summer of 1942. The ironworks in Vyksa and in the Ural region acted as suppliers of the armored hulls. The plants No. 2 in Kovrov , No. 535 in Tula , No. 314 in Mednogorsk and No. 525 in Kuybyshev manufactured the armament for the T-60. Other factories in various cities manufactured the optical, electrical and radio equipment that were installed on many Soviet tank models, including the T-60.

But since the T-70 appeared, the leadership of the armored forces of the Red Army wanted (and later demanded) the conversion of series production to this type. The GAS was ready to comply with this directive. But it still had a not inconsiderable number of unfinished T-60 armored hulls in stock. Therefore, these hulls were refurbished at the same time as the series production of the T-70, which began in April 1942, by the end of this month.

The situation of the other manufacturers was more difficult insofar as they did not have their own engine production. The T-70 required two GAS-202 drives, whereas the T-60 only required one. The GAS already took a considerable portion of the total production for its own needs. As a result, doubts arose as to whether the delivery of a sufficient number of engines for the other manufacturers was guaranteed. There was a threat of a considerable reduction in production output, which was unacceptable for the respective management. The historian Mikhail Swirin assumes, on the basis of his conversations with some former Soviet tank designers, that this situation was used by Isaak Moissejewitsch Salzmann , director of the Kirov plant in Chelyabinsk , for an intrigue against the People's Commissar of the tank industry Vyacheslav Alexandrovich Malyshev . Malyshev suspected in 1942 that without further supplementary support with finances, personnel and machine tools, the Soviet tank industry would have no way of increasing its production output. In contrast, Salzmann assumed that some reserves were still available in the system. Accordingly, he promised to achieve the goals only with organizational measures and was given a chance by Stalin . As People's Commissar of the tank industry, Malyschew was replaced by Salzmann on July 14, 1942. Salzmann's opponents accused him of betting on the continuation of series production of the T-60 in order to fulfill his promise, against the will of the representatives of the Red Army. In the end, the intrigue was later settled by Stalin himself when he reinstated Malyshev as People's Commissar of the tank industry on June 28, 1943.

Nevertheless, various circumstances led to the series production of the T-60 running longer than planned. Plant No. 38 in Kirov was able to completely switch over to production of the T-70 in June 1942. At the same time, Plant No. 37 in Sverdlovsk had many problems with the construction of the pilot series of ten T-70s, which is why it was reorganized for the production of parts for the T-34 after the stored T-60 armored hulls were used up. Here the company lost its own number. A more critical situation arose for Plant No. 264. In May and June 1942, the originally successful Soviet offensive around Barvenkowo near Kharkov turned into a real catastrophe for the Red Army. The core troops of the south-western front were completely surrounded and destroyed by the German 6th Army , led by Friedrich Paulus . The German army also inflicted heavy losses on the southern front ; As a result, the road to the Caucasus and the Volga was open - the Soviet armed forces had no strength to defend the areas between Voronezh and Rostov-on-Don . Plant No. 264 was in the vicinity of these combat operations. Under these conditions there was no way to switch to the production of the T-70. Only the T-60 in final production were completed in a hurry. The remaining vehicles, components, valuable machine tools and the staff were evacuated to Gorky by barges. The advance of the Wehrmacht to Stalingrad ended the existence of Plant No. 264; After the liberation of Stalingrad and the rebuilding of the factory, it was given a different name and did not return to tank construction.

In August 1942, the two remaining producers of light tanks - the GAS and Plant No. 38 - only built the T-70. But that wasn't the last chapter in the history of serial production of the T-60. After the evacuation to Sverdlovsk, the former production capacities of Plant No. 37 in Moscow continued to serve as a repair shop for armored vehicles. It was designated as a branch of Plant No. 37, and after its reorganization in the summer of 1942 again as the full Moscow Plant No. 37, as it existed in October 1941. In Sverdlovsk, however, some reserves of armored hulls and components remained, which were not used up until the summer of 1942. From this, now former, Sverdlovsk plant No. 37, the last batch of 80 T-60s was delivered from December 1942 to February 1943. Soon after this point in time, Plant No. 37 in Moscow was dissolved as an organizational unit with its own number. Its production facilities and staff were subordinated to other operations.

The following table shows the production output of the T-60 per manufacturer and year:

Series production of the T-60
Manufacturer 1941 1942 1943 total
Plant No. 37, Moscow 20th - - 20th
Plant No. 37, Sverdlovsk - 1158 55 1213
GAS, Gorky 1323 1639 - 2962
Plant No. 38, Kirov - 539 - 539
Plant No. 264, Sarepta 45 1141 - 1186
All in all 1388 4477 55 5920


T-60 tanks were envisaged in the hierarchy of armored forces of the Red Army as armament for various units, from battalion to corps . The following table shows the development of the layout plans for these units:

Layout plans of the tank units armed with T-60s
unit number Date of acceptance Total number of tanks in the unit Total number of T-60s in the unit
Armored Division 010 / 44-1001 / 52 July 1941 215 10
independent tank brigade 010/75 August 2, 1941 93 64
independent tank battalion 010/85 August 23, 1941 29 20th
Motorcycle regiment ? September 1941 10 10
independent tank brigade 010/87 September 13, 1941 67 32
independent tank battalion 010/302 November 28, 1941 36 20th
independent tank brigade 010 / 303-010 / 310 December 9, 1941 46 20th
independent tank brigade 010 / 345-010 / 352 February 15, 1942 46 16
independent tank battalion 010/361 April 1942 41 16
heavy tank brigade in the armored corps 010/393 May 29, 1942 52 28
T-34 brigade as part of the Panzer Corps 010/394 May 29, 1942 63 21st
Tank corps overall 010/393, 010/394 May 29, 1942 178 70

During 1942 the losses of the T-60 tanks were replaced by new T-70 vehicles and the leadership of the armored forces revised the layout plans several times so that the light tanks of both types accounted for 33 to 53% (average 40 %) of the planned number of all tanks in the brigades. In the second half of the war, the remaining individual T-60s were available in various branches of service, not just for armored forces (reconnaissance, self-propelled artillery and even rifle units).

The T-60s were also used in teaching units:

Layout plans of the teaching units with T-60
unit number Date of acceptance Permanent staff student
independent reserve regiment of small tanks 010/60 July 1941 936 3400
Panzer training regiment of light tanks 010/338 March 1, 1942 733 2663


Red Army

The first appearance of the T-60 in the Red Army, confirmed by film, was participation in a parade in Moscow's Red Square on November 7, 1941. Some sources date the first combat missions to October 1941, but in all likelihood these vehicles were not "Real" T-60, but the late, simplified version of the T-40 reconnaissance tank, which originally had the same index and is now referred to as the T-30. 48 T-60s, manufactured by Plant No. 37 and in reserve until then, went straight to the front after the parade march. In mid-November, tank units equipped with T-60s built in Gorky were ready for action. Therefore, they were used for the first time in the battles in the Battle of Moscow.

In the campaigns of 1942, the T-60 tank saw more intensive use. He was deployed on all fronts, from the besieged Leningrad to the Crimea . In most cases, the vehicles were not popular with their crews because of their poor armor and armament. The T-60's nicknames often had negative meanings, e.g. B. the abbreviation BM-2 - "Bratskaja Mogila" ( Russian братская могила , common grave for two comrades). At the same time, this abbreviation served in a neutral sense ("Bojewaja Maschina", Russian боевая машина , combat vehicle with two crew members) as a camouflage. The soldier language often adopted many nicknames from the taboo Mat . The reason was simple: the low chances of staying alive in battle. But the good driving characteristics were also recognized, some teams called it “ bed bug ”, “ louse ” or “ flea ” out of their positive relationship , in reference to their small size, high mobility and painful “stings”. The diminution of the numeral "sixty" - "schesstidessjatka" ( Russian шестидесятка ) was also common. Despite the heavy losses, the T-60 tanks allowed them to hold out until the time when the more powerful light tank T-70 and high numbers of the medium T-34 and heavy KW-1 were available.

A special chapter in the operational history of the T-60 is its use on the Leningrad Front. It was the only type of tank that could be delivered to the troops in the besieged city. The small vehicles were camouflaged as coal cargo and brought across Lake Ladoga on barges . The Luftwaffe aircraft , which at the time had air sovereignty in the area, showed little or no interest in these ships. This enabled the entire 61st light tank brigade to be relocated to the Leningrad Front in mid-1942 . At the beginning of 1943, when the T-60s were already being used for auxiliary purposes on other fronts, this tank model was celebrated. The "Iskra" operation with the primary goal of relief of Leningrad began on January 12, 1943. The 61 light armored brigade opened along with the 86th and the 118th independent tank battalion attack. Their light tanks were the main thrusting force on the first day of the offensive. Thanks to their low ground pressure, they had a decisive advantage at this time: the ability to negotiate the icy Neva river without preparation. The Soviet tank and rifle units captured a small bridgehead about two to three kilometers deep on the other bank and established themselves there. So engineers and engineers succeeded in building a wooden cover to reinforce the ice for the safe passage of medium and heavy tanks by the next day. Despite some losses, the brigade progressed successfully over the next few days and on January 18, 1943, their T-60s were among the first tanks to join forces on the Volkhov Front ; so they broke the Leningrad blockade. The small dimensions, the light weight and the good mobility of the T-60, together with the adequate preparation of the crews, played an important role during the entire operation under the difficult terrain conditions.

Despite the success of Operation Iskra, the access to Leningrad remained very narrow and the Soviet military leadership wanted to end the siege for good. The wider area around the city became a bloody battlefield for both sides. One of them was the Moore of Sinyavino in which T-60 active were used. Before the final phase of the relief in January 1944, the 1st Tank Brigade on the Leningrad Front still had 21 T-60s, out of a total of 88 tanks. In smaller numbers, the T-60s were also used on other fronts. For example, the 86th Tank Brigade of the 38th Army on the Voronezh Front owned 15 vehicles of this type before the battle of the Kursk Arc . But their value as a battle tank was low. Therefore, the remaining T-60s were used for reconnaissance, the protection of the infantry during the march, the fight against bandits, enemy saboteurs and partisans, the communication link and for teaching purposes in the hinterland. With the turret removed, some vehicles were towing 57 mm anti-tank guns of the SiS-2 type and 76-mm division guns of the SiS-3 type . After the end of World War II, the Red Army very soon retired and scrapped the T-60.

Among the prominent Soviet soldiers who fought on T-60 tanks is the crew of one of the first tanks to break through the Leningrad blockade: Commander Lieutenant Dmitri Ivanovich Ossatyuk and driver Starschina (Soviet rank roughly Company Sergeant) Ivan Michailowitsch Makarenkow had distinguished himself in a battle on January 18, 1943 near Soviet troops on the Volkhov Front. For these actions they were given the honorary title Hero of the Soviet Union on February 10, 1943 . Both men were later seriously injured during the final phase of Operation Iskra - after a long recovery they were no longer fit for front duty. Another famous person is also the only female tank soldier to receive the Hero of the Soviet Union award: Irina Nikolayevna Levchenko , a former nurse who wanted to join the combat forces after recovering from serious injuries sustained while rescuing the crew of a failed tank . After training in a tank training unit, Levchenko became the commander of a T-60 and later commander of a small intelligence unit in the 41st Guards Armored Brigade of the 7th Mechanized Corps, armed with vehicles of this type. The chief designer of the T-60, NA Astrow, held her in high regard as a tank specialist.

Axis powers

A T-60 tank captured in the Battle of Cholm (May 4, 1942)

Captured T-60s were used in the Wehrmacht and the Romanian Army . On the German side, they were only used as battle tanks in special situations. One example is the Battle of Cholm , in which German units were surrounded by the Red Army. The reason for the infrequent use was the same as that of the Soviet troops - the weak armament and armor. The Wehrmacht designated the type as the T60 743 (r) armored vehicle . Some companies of the Ordnungspolizei had individual T-60s for use against partisans in the occupied territories of the Soviet Union. The tanks of this type (some with the turret removed) were also used as armored tugs and ammunition carriers for 5 cm or 7.5 cm anti-tank guns and light infantry guns. The Romanian army had about 30 captured T-60s. Due to their low combat value, they were converted into the TACAM T-60 and Mareşal tank destroyers in 1943 .

technical description

The T-60s were similar in structure to the other Soviet light tanks that went into series production during the war (with the exception of the T-50s, which were produced in small numbers ). The vehicle structure can be divided into five sections (from front to back):

  • Gear room,
  • Driver's compartment,
  • Engine compartment on the right side of the tub with air inlet on the top of the tub,
  • Combat area in the left part of the tub and in the tower,
  • Rear compartment with the fuel tanks and the radiator.

This design determined the advantages and disadvantages of the T-60 and the other vehicles in its class. In particular, the location of the gearbox and chain drive wheel on the front made the design vulnerable, as the front is most exposed to enemy fire. On the other hand, the position of the tank in the stern space behind a special firewall was an advantage, unlike in medium and heavy Soviet tanks (the T-34 and the tanks of the IS and KW series each had tanks directly in the combat compartment). It reduced the risk of fire in the event of a hit - a problem particularly with vehicles with gasoline engines - and thus increased the crew's chance of survival. The latter consisted of two men: a driver and the commander, who simultaneously took over the work of the gunner and the loader.

Armored hull and turret

The armored hull of the original variant of the T-60 developed by the designer AW Bogachev was welded together from various rolled armor plates with thicknesses of 10, 13, 15, and 25 mm . Homogeneous steel of the 2P type was used as the material for the armored hull and the turret. The vehicles with additional armor had additional 10-mm plates in front of the bow, in the most popular version of the T-60, both armor layers were replaced by a single plate with a thickness of 35 mm. The armor protected against fire from heavy machine guns and anti-tank rifles , the front armor withstood small-caliber shells (mainly those with a caliber of 20 mm and only in favorable cases 37 mm calibers). Front and rear armor were clearly inclined, the sides were vertical. The sides were welded from two plates, the weld seam was reinforced by a riveted steel beam. The two armor plates above the fighting compartment (i.e. above the engine and below the turret), as well as in the upper stern section, were removable to allow access for maintenance purposes. The driver's seat was offset slightly to the left in the front of the tub and in the small protruding structure. The entry and exit of the driver was in the ceiling of this structure. It also had a special small hatch in the front armor plate of the superstructure for observation in quiet situations. A large bolted cover on the right side of the upper front armor plate gave access to the main bevel gear. Various smaller hatches, ventilator and maintenance openings (tank or drain openings for fuel, water, oil) were distributed over the armored hull. Some of them were provided with armored covers or plugged. In particular, an opening in the lower front armor plate served as a passage for the hand crank for starting the engine. Although the tank was not buoyant, some were made waterproof, especially in the lower part of the tank hull, with rubber inlays or by wrapping the bolts with hemp. An emergency exit hatch was cut into the floor of the tub behind the driver's seat.

The one from the designer Ju. P. Judowitsch developed a welded octagonal tower with a height of 375 mm and had the shape of a truncated pyramid . The 25 mm thick armor (35 mm at the front in the later variant) was clearly inclined (25 °) to improve armor protection . Due to the arrangement of the engine on the right side of the vehicle, it was mounted 285 mm to the left of the longitudinal plane. A rectangular mount for the weapons and the straightening mechanism was welded to the front part of the tower, protected by an armored screen 20 mm thick. The aperture had three openings, one each for the SchWAK-T cannon, the DT machine gun and the sighting telescope. The tower ceiling had a large hatch for the commander to get in and out of. This in turn had a smaller opening to hold out signal flags . In the side surfaces of the tower there were two slots for sighting devices and two firing openings with armored plugs for the crew's handguns. Special locks on the turntable of the tower prevented the tower from moving when the vehicle was tilted.


The turret of the T-60 with the 20 mm TNSch cannon and with the DT machine gun

The main weapon of the T-60 was an automatic combat vehicle cannon TNSch (other names SchWAK-T, TNSch-1, TNSch-20) with a caliber of 20 mm. The TNSch had a barrel length of 82.4 caliber lengths (L / 82). The line of fire was at a height of 1480 mm. The core range was about 2 kilometers. The secondary armament was a Degtjarjow DT-7.62-mm machine gun mounted axially parallel to the TNSch . The DT-MG could easily be removed and the tank soldiers could use it dismounted. The TNSch chariot gun could also be removed by the crew, but this was quite difficult and time-consuming. Both weapons had an elevation range of −7 ° to + 25 ° and, by rotating the turret, a lateral range of 360 °. For easier use by the commander, the cannon was offset from the center of the tower to the right and the DT was attached to the left of the center of the tower. The weapon system was mounted with stub axles in the frontal niche of the tower, which was protected by an armored cover at the front and an armored jacket on the sides. The toothed gear to the side of the tower and the leveling mechanism with helical gear were attached to the left and right of the commander's workplace. The two straightening works were hand-operated. For a quick turn of the turret, the commander could disengage the straightening gear and move the turret directly. Each of the weapons had a trigger triggered by a pedal mechanism as well as normal, manually operated triggers (for dismounted use). The straightening units and the triggers were borrowed from the T-60's direct predecessor, the small T-40 tank, with almost no changes .

The combat set for the TNSch cannon was thirteen cartridge boxes, each with a belt with 58 shells, a total of 754 rounds. The muzzle velocity was 815 m / s, the theoretical rate of fire was 200 rounds per minute. In practice, the TNSch's bursts of fire were much shorter to avoid overheating, wear and tear and loss of accuracy. Various types of projectiles weighing around 96 g were available for the TNSch:

Ammunition nomenclature
Type Name ( Transl.  / Russian) Penetration capacity in mm Firing range in m Impact angle in degrees
Incendiary and armor-piercing grenade with tracer BST-20 / БЗТ-20 28
Incendiary and armor-piercing grenade with a tungsten carbide core no 35 500 30th
Frag grenade with tracer OT-20 / ОТ-20 -
Incendiary and fragmentation grenade OS-20 / ОЗ-20 -
These data were determined using the Soviet method (Jakob-de-Marres formula, cement armor of high hardness (1.1 to 1.3 strength of the RHA ) as the target). It must be noted that the penetration ability significantly depended on the production batch of ammunition and the technology of manufacture. A direct comparison with similar data from other artillery pieces or machine guns is not possible.

945 rounds of ammunition (15 plate magazines ) were carried for the coaxial DT-MG . The crew was also equipped with ten F-1 hand grenades. Sometimes a signal pistol with ammunition added to the inventory.


The T-60 by a 6- cylinder - four cycle - rows - Otto engine type GAS-202 is driven. The water-cooled engine developed around 51.5 kW (70 hp) at 3400 revolutions per minute. The engine was equipped with a carburetor equipped type MKS-6G or K 43rd Some vehicles received other power systems instead of the planned and temporarily missing GAS-202. These replacement engines of various types were manufactured by GAS or the Ford Motor Company , their output was between 50 and 90 hp, depending on the model.

The air inlet of the engine on the right top of the pan was protected by an armored hood (15 mm thick).

Some of the tanks, in particular almost all T-60s manufactured by GAS, were equipped with a preheater for use in cold weather conditions. There was a boiler between the tub and the engine, and heated water was transported to the engine by a blowtorch , based on the principle of a thermosiphon system. This blowtorch ran on gasoline as fuel . The thermosiphon is a passive construction that does without a conventional pump and uses the different specific gravity of the water at different temperatures to drive the water cycle. This device was designed by IG Alperowitsch and B. Ja. Ginsburg developed.

The engine was started by an SL-40 starter with a switch-on relay (total output about 0.6 kW or 0.8 PS). The starter was only allowed to be used when the engine had warmed up or in combat. In other cases, starting was done with a hand crank. In an emergency the engine could be started by being towed by another tank.

The T-60 had two fuel tanks in the rear, which were separated from the fighting compartment by an armored bulkhead. They held a total of 320 liters. The driving range for tanks of the earlier series was 450 kilometers on the road. This parameter decreased to 410 kilometers for the heavier vehicles with additional armor. The aviation fuel B-70 or KB-70 ( octane number 70) was used.

Power transmission

The T-60 was equipped with a fully mechanical power transmission . The individual assemblies were:

  • the main single-plate dry clutch with friction linings made of Ferodo composite material (material named after the British manufacturer Ferodo );
  • the four-speed transmission (four forward gears, a reverse gear), in many parts identical with the transmission of the GAS-51 - trucks (at that time a test vehicle);
  • the cardan shaft ;
  • the main bevel gear ;
  • two side single-disc clutches with dry friction steel on steel and steel brake band with Ferodo pads;
  • two simple side gears ;
  • two mechanical control levers and pedals.


The track drive of the T-60

The track drive of the T-60 was also taken over from the small T-40 tank with almost no changes. The roller drive consisted of four rollers with three support rollers and a front drive wheel with rack teeth . The guide wheel at the rear was identical to the rollers. It was also part of the chain tensioning mechanism. The one-piece rollers with a diameter of 550 mm were individually torsion-bar sprung without additional shock absorbers . Some of the T-60s that were built received stamped rollers with rubber bandages, the remaining tanks were equipped with coarser, but cheaper cast spoke rollers. The deflection of the first and fourth swing arm (counting from the front) was limited by limiters welded close to the armored hull with rubber buffers. The support rollers of the first T-60 also had rubber bands to make the run quieter, but very soon after the start of series production these were phased out due to the lack of rubber. In addition, special limiters were attached to the armored hull, which were supposed to prevent the crawler from slipping if the chain lay at an angle. The crawler belt consisted of 87 short chain links, cast from abrasion-resistant Hartfield steel, with two rows of teeth, 98 mm long and 260 mm wide. Many parts of the chain drive of the T-60 were taken over in the further developed successor T-70 without changes.

Fire protection equipment

The T-60 was equipped with two portable carbon tetrachloride - fire extinguishers equipped. They were to the left and right of the driver on the sides of the tub. The crews were instructed to put out a fire under gas masks because the carbon tetrachloride on the glowing metal surface reacted with atmospheric oxygen to form phosgene (carbon oxide dichloride) .

Electrical equipment

The on-board network consisted of a wire to all consumers. The armored hull as the ground potential took over the return line.

The power source was a G-41 generator with a RRA-364 regulator switch (200 W power) and 3-STE-112 batteries with a capacity of 112 ampere-hours each . The vehicles were equipped with two accumulators, but the line tanks without a radio system only use one of them. The second served as a reserve and remained disconnected from the electrical system. In the T-60 command tanks, the second accumulator was switched on in the on-board network to ensure the radio system worked. The working voltage was 6 volts. The pantographs were:

  • the exterior and interior lighting, the illuminating device for the sight scale;
  • the horn ;
  • the communication means: radio equipment and light signaling device;
  • the engine electrics: SL-40- starter , KS-11- ignition coil , R-10- ignition distributor , SE-01- spark plugs etc.

Sighting devices and sighting devices

The 20 mm TNSch chariot cannon and the coaxially mounted 7.62 mm MG DT of the T-60 were equipped with a TMFP-1 telescopic sight and an illumination device for its sighting scale. If the sighting telescope was damaged, the commander could remove it and use the reserve sight. The front sight of this open sight was set up by means of a mechanism. The equipment of each operator station (driver and commander) included some viewing devices. The driver had a single corner mirror in the observation hatch in the superstructure. In addition to the sighting telescope, the commander had two corner mirrors in the sides of the tower.

News media

The T-60 line tanks had no radio or anti-tank intercom. The commander could give the driver orders with a light signal device. The different combinations of the three colored lightbulbs in the light panel indicated simple commands such as “stop”, “to the left”, “to the right”, “forward” etc. The only possible means of communication between the line tanks was a signal flag.

The T-60 command tank was equipped with a 71-TK-3 radio system in the tank hull and a TPU-2 anti-tank intercom system for two participants.

The 71-TK-3 system consisted of the radio transmitter , receiver and converter for connection to the 6 V on-board power supply. From a technical point of view, the 71-TK-3 was a duplex , amplitude modulation , tube and shortwave radio system with a heterodyne receiver . The transmission power was 20 watts. The transmitter and receiver had a frequency range from 4 to 5.625 MHz. When stationary, the range in voice mode without radio interference was 16 km. The range decreased while driving. The greatest range was achieved through the pure use of code systems (e.g. Morse code ) without voice transmission.

The TPU-2 intercom enabled communication inside the noisy tank and, thanks to the connection to the radio system, also with the outside world.

Technical specifications

Technical data: T-60 light tank
Characteristic value T-60 (until November 1941) T-60 (from November 1941)
General properties
classification Reconnaissance and light battle tanks
Chief designer Nikolai Alexandrovich Astrov
Prototype designation 060 or 0-60
Manufacturer Sawod No. 37 ( Plant No. 37 ) in Moscow , Zavod No. 37 in Sverdlovsk , Zavod No. 38 in Kirov , Zavod No. 264 in Sarepta , GAS
Weight 5.8 tons 6.5 tons
Length over all 4100 mm
Width over everything 2392 mm
height 1750 mm
Ground clearance 300 mm
crew 2 men (driver, commander / gunner)
Years of construction 1941-1943
number of pieces 5920
Main armament 1 × 20 mm machine gun TNSch
Secondary armament 1 × 7.62 mm MG Degtjarjow DT
ammunition 754 20 mm grenades for SchWAK-T, 945 rounds of DT-MG ammunition, 10 hand grenades F-1
Armor, hull
Bow above 15 mm / inclination 20 °
Bow below 10 mm / 14 °
Driver front 25 mm / 62 ° 25 + 10 or 35 mm / 62 °
Driver superstructure 25 mm / 74 ° 25 + 10 or 35 mm / 74 °
Tub side 15 mm / 90 °
Rear up 10 mm / 14 °
Stern down 25 mm / 76 °
ceiling 13 mm / 0 °
ground 10 mm / 0 °
Armor, turret
Weapon bezel 20 mm / 90 °
Tower front 25 mm / 55 ° 25 + 10 or 35 mm / 55 °
Tower side 25 mm / 55 °
Rear 25 mm / 55 °
ceiling 10 mm / 0 °
engine 6-cylinder gasoline engine GAS-202 with 51 kW (70 hp) at 3400 rpm
Power to weight ratio 12.0 hp / ton 10.8 hp / ton
Top speed: (road / terrain) 42 km / h / 20-25 km / h
Fuel supply 320 liters
Fuel consumption per 100 km (road) 71 liters 78 liters
Driving area (road) 450 km 410 km
Drive position front
suspension Torsion bar
Chain width 260 mm
Ground pressure 0.53 kgf / cm² 0.63 kgf / cm²
Wading ability 0.9 m
Trench crossing ability: 1.6 m
Climbing ability: 0.6 m
Gradeability: 30 °
Bank slope: 35 °


Series vehicles

Although no official differentiation was made between the T-60 tanks produced in series, they can be divided into different variants. These varieties vary in many properties, including appearance and weight. As a result, ground pressure , power-to-weight ratio , driving range etc. vary between the vehicles of the different years of construction and manufacturers:

  • T-60 of the early production of Plant No. 37 in Moscow . The first had a rolled homogeneous armor 15 to 20 mm thick in the frontal part; they did not have an engine heater . The weight of this variant of the T-60 was 5.8 tons.
  • T-60 in the transition variant with additional armor, built by Plant No. 38 and GAS . Some vehicles were fitted with the frustoconical turrets and cast castors of the later variants of the T-40 . The weight increased to 6.5 tons.
  • T-60 in the most popular version, manufactured by Plant No. 37 in Sverdlovsk , Plant No. 38 in Kirov , Plant No. 264 in Sarepta and GAS. The frontal part was made of rolled homogeneous armor plates with a thickness of 35 mm, all vehicles had standard towers in the shape of a truncated pyramid . Some of them, mainly built by GAS, were fitted with engine preheaters and stamped rollers. The technologists at Plant No. 264 experimented with surface hardening of the armor plates for the T-60. The experiment produced good results, but required an additional production step and took time. It is unclear how many armored hulls were built with surface hardening, essentially this work was intended for the construction of the T-34 .

As a result of the introduction of new construction elements at different times and not by all manufacturers at the same time, as well as the use of different spare parts in the repair, unusual combinations of the above-mentioned variants were found in some T-60 tanks in the Red Army.

Test vehicles

The weak effect of the 20 mm projectiles against enemy tanks, fortifications, unprotected infantry and operating teams prompted the designers to make efforts in the area of ​​armament with the aim of improving the fire performance. Work was also carried out on a variant of the vehicle in which parts and devices from the SiS factory were used instead of those manufactured by GAS. Some T-60 test models were built:

  • The T-60-1 was developed in late autumn 1941 by the design office of the Moscow motor vehicle plant "Josef Stalin" (Sawod imeni Stalina, SiS) under the direction of BM Fittermann and AM Awenarius. With the same basic structure as the T-60, its dimensions were much larger in order to be able to install the more powerful, but heavier and bulky bus engine of the type SiS-16 with 88 HP (65 kW). The armament remained unchanged, but the new power system allowed reinforcement of the armor without negative consequences for maneuverability. The main problem with the design turned out to be the new engine itself, it was just an experimental model and had many parts made of aluminum . There was neither enough time nor a sufficient amount of this metal to organize its series production. As a result, the T-60-1 was not accepted for service in the Red Army and was not produced in series.
  • The T-60 with 37-mm gun SiS-19 was developed in early 1942 by the design office of Plant No. 37 under the direction of NA Popov. The Gorkier armaments factory No. 92 "Josef Stalin" (also "Sawod imeni Stalina", not to be confused with the Moscow automaker) designed the SiS-19 cannon, the main designer of which was the well-known Soviet technician WG Grabin . This weapon was installed on a standard T-60 chassis in a completely new turret with a commander's cupola. The SiS-19 cannon had the same ballistic properties as the 37 mm automatic anti-aircraft gun M1939 (61-K) and almost the same armor-piercing properties as the 45 mm M1938 (20-K) combat vehicle gun. It was also of simple construction and cheaper to mass-produce compared to the 20-K. But the new and heavier tower resulted in a reduced driving range on the road of 390 km. In addition, there was the rapid wear and tear of the barrel from the fire and, as a result, a severe loss of performance of the gun. The ammunition turned out to be another problem. The series production of projectiles for the 37-mm anti-tank gun M1930 (1-K) ended a long time ago, other compatible projectiles for the 37-mm Flak 61-K were even available in insufficient quantities in anti-aircraft units. As a result, the T-60 with the 37-mm SiS-19 cannon was not accepted for service in the Red Army and did not go into production.
  • The T-60-2 was developed by the design office of Plant No. 37 under the direction of NA Popov in the spring of 1942. Some special features of the design were borrowed from the T-45 prototype tank. This tank was a combination of the standard T-60 chassis and a completely new turret, in which the 45mm SiS-19BM chariot gun was installed. The armaments factory No. 92 designed this weapon, WG Grabin was again the leading designer. The new cannon showed positive performance in terms of penetration capacity and cadence, but the driving range fell again to 330 km due to the increased weight. The well-known Soviet tank designer SA Ginsburg , who was responsible for the overall development of Soviet tank models at the time, wanted the T-60-2 to go into series production instead of the T-70 . His arguments were, on the one hand, the use of only one GAS-202 engine in the T-60-2, whereas the T-70 required two of these units, and the better characteristics of the SiS-19BM cannon compared to the standard 20-K weapon of the T- 70. But the twin engine of the T-70 allowed an immediate reinforcement of the armor protection and in the future the installation of a two-man turret. Such reserves were lacking in the design of the T-60-2. Therefore, the T-60-2 was defeated in the competition against the T-70, which was even produced in significant numbers, and all work on the design was accordingly stopped. The Red Army never put the T-60-2 into service, there was no series production.
  • The T-60-S ( Russian Т-60-З , the Cyrillic letter З is an abbreviation for the adjective зенитный - " Air defense -"), in some publications also T-60-3 ( T-60-Drei ) was im Developed in the second half of 1942 by the design bureau of Plant No. 37 under the direction of NA Popov. It was a standard T-60 with a slightly modified turret without a roof, in which two super- heavy DSchK machine guns were installed. The large elevation range and the equipment with a KT-8 collimator sight allowed the use against air targets. But the sight was installed incorrectly, and the gunner's workplace was found to be very uncomfortable by the examination board. As a result, the T-60-S was not even approved for tests.

The possibility of replacing the 20 mm combat vehicle cannon TNSch with the modified variant TNSch-2 of the same caliber was also considered. But the latter turned out to be unreliable and was not put into service.

Vehicles on T-60 chassis

Series-built and test vehicles on the chassis of the T-60 were not only developed in the Soviet Union , but also emerged as German and Romanian conversions of captured tanks.

  • The BM-8-24 was a Soviet armored self-propelled missile launcher on the chassis of the T-60. Originally the small T-40 tank formed the basis for this combat vehicle, but after the discontinuation of series production, the rocket launcher system as a whole was transferred to the new T-60 chassis. Instead of the turret , the armored hull, which is otherwise identical to that of the T-60, was fitted with a structure made up of twelve girders with side and elevation units. Each carrier held two 82 mm unguided M-8 missiles on the top and bottom; as a result, a full salvo consisted of 24 missiles. The designation BM-8-24 (Russian БМ-8-24) is made up of BM, the abbreviation for Boewaja Maschina (Russian Боевая машина , combat vehicle ), the number 8 denotes the caliber of the missile in centimeters and the number 24 the total number the rockets of a volley. The fire control device of the BM-8-24 could fire all rockets in one volley or one after the other with a predetermined volley rate. The manufacture of the armored self-propelled rocket launcher on T-60 chassis continued as long as this tank was in production, between October 1941 and August 1942. Later, the manufacture of the BM-8-24 was carried out with American trucks delivered under the lending and leasing laws continued. These had no armor protection, so the rocket launcher on a T-60 chassis was the last Soviet type of armored tracked combat vehicle with rocket armament in the war.
  • The OSA-76 or OSU-76 was a light self-propelled artillery vehicle on the chassis of the T-60. It was developed as a self-propelled gun for the 76-mm division cannons of the type SiS-3 or 57-mm anti-tank guns of the type SiS-2 for the rifle and artillery units of the Red Army as part of a discussed motorization program. The name of the vehicle is derived from this as an abbreviation of Obchevoyskovaya Samochodnaja Artillerija ( Russian общевойсковая самоходная артиллерия , for example "General self-propelled artillery"). An important factor in the development of the OSA-76 were the high losses of trucks, up to 24-52% of the entire fleet, in the offensive operations of the second half of 1943. Even the light armor could greatly increase the survivability of the gun and its operating team under rifle fire , the track drive promised good mobility off-road. Another reason for the development of the vehicle was the lack of armored self-propelled artillery under the command of the rifle divisions, artillery regiments and brigades. In a short time they were all subordinated to the armored forces of the Red Army, other branches of the Soviet army were left without armored support. Early in 1943, this measure was justifiable, because only tank units had the necessary funds for the use, maintenance, recovery and repair of tracked combat vehicles. But by 1944, their level of training and equipment increased so much that the reintroduction of their own self-propelled artillery vehicles, albeit limited, was possible. Designer MN Tschschukin from Plant No. 38 in Kirov designed a very light self-propelled gun (3.5 tons) based on the T-60 for the widely used SiS-3 division cannon, which was quickly built and tested in spring, summer and autumn 1944 . The vehicle showed good properties as a support and steep-angle weapon with excellent mobility with sufficient driving range and could also be refueled with low-quality petrol. Not only the representatives of the rifle and artillery branches were interested in the OSA-76, but also the leadership of the parachute and armored troops . The latter were particularly outraged that the OSA -76 was cheaper in terms of the aforementioned properties compared to the series-built and eleven-ton SU-76 . As a result, the tank generals took the development into their own hands, which even led to the name being changed to the more common OSU-76. But the motorization of the artillery and rifle units was not implemented, so this promising project came to an end.
  • The TACAM T-60 was a Romanian tank destroyer on the chassis of the T-60. Originally, captured tanks of this type were used in the Romanian armed forces as training vehicles in the hinterland due to their low combat value. But the worsening situation at the front and the inadequate supply of more powerful tank models gave Lieutenant Colonel K. Giulai the idea of converting the available T-60s into self-propelled guns for anti-tank guns . At the end of 1942 the design was completed and was handed over to the company "Leonida & Co" for implementation. This company built a prototype, called Tun Anticar per Afet Mobil T-60 , or TACAM T-60 for short. On January 12, 1943, the first vehicle was ready for testing. It consisted of a T-60 undercarriage with an open-top structure at the stern instead of the turret . Captured Soviet 76mm M1936 (F-22) divisional cannons were used as the main armament of the TACAM T-60. Their penetration capability was sufficient to successfully fight against T-34 medium tanks ; Their HE shells and fragmentation grenades were also effective against enemy infantry and field fortifications. But it resulted in a heavily overloaded chassis with all the resulting defects. In spite of this, the new tank destroyer was accepted for service in the Romanian Army and the company "Leonida & Co" converted 34 T-60s in this way until December 1943. They were rarely used in battles on the Axis side , and little information is known about their use after Romania's conversion to the Allies . TACAM T-60 took part in the Transylvania offensive of the 4th Romanian Army together with the Soviet armed forces in October – November 1944. After the war ended, they were quickly retired and scrapped.
  • The Mareşal ( Romanian Marshal ) was a Romanian prototype of a tank destroyer on the chassis of the T-60. Development began in December 1943 and the first model was built in July 1944. The external shape of this vehicle was reminiscent of the later German tank destroyer 38 (t) "Hetzer". A cannon of the type "Resita" M1943 served as armament. This gun was an unusual "hybrid" of the Soviet 76 mm division cannon M1942 (SiS-3) with the German 7.5 cm anti-tank cannon 40 . The attempt to organize a series production of the Mareşal failed.
  • T-60 booty tanks, referred to as Panzerkampfwagen 743 (r) T60 in German service , were converted into armored artillery tugs and ammunition carriers for anti-tank guns and light infantry guns in the Wehrmacht field repair works . These vehicles did not have an official designation. Essentially, they were T-60 chassis with the turret removed. The turntable opening was welded to an armor plate. A hatch in the roof was provided for access to the inside. Ammunition holders and accessories for the maintenance and repair of the gun were housed in the former combat room.

"Wing of the tank"

One of the most unusual projects to use the T-60 was a proposal from prominent Soviet aircraft designer Oleg Konstantinovich Antonov to air transport the tank. By attaching wings and tail unit to the armored hull , a non-reusable cargo glider should be created. With this, the T-60 should be used in parachute operations and for the qualitative reinforcement of partisan units . The obsolete heavy four-engine bombers of the type TB-3 or the modern long-range bombers of the type Il-4 were to be used as towing equipment. After being detached from the tow plane, the “winged tank” should land on a small free strip of ground so that it can go into action immediately after the attachments have been dropped.

In the summer of 1942 such a sailor was manufactured in a military plant in Tyumen . It was given the designation AT-1 or KT ( Russian « К рылья т анка» - "wing of the tank") and was designed as a double-decker with a double ladder rack. This construction was attached to the armored hull of the T-60. The length was about 12 meters, the wingspan was 18 meters, the total wing area was 86 square meters and the take-off mass without tanks reached almost 2 tons. The weight of the T-60 for use with the KT was calculated to be 5.8 tons and the assumed wing loading was 90 kiloponds per square meter.

In August – September 1942 the KT glider was tested by the Ljotno Issledowatelski Institute (LII, Aviation Research Institute) in the city of Zhukovsky . To save weight, the turret, headlights, upper chain covers and most of the fuel have been removed from the T-60. Sergei Nikolayevich Anochin , prominent Soviet test pilot and glider pilot , was the only member of the KT crew. The tow plane was a TB-3 bomber with an AN-34RN engine that was forced up to 970 hp. The tow tractor started successfully and reached a speed and altitude of 130 km / h and 40 meters respectively. Later, however, the cooling water temperature of the engines of the TB-3 machine rose sharply, so that the train began to slide. To further protect against engine overheating, the commander PA Jeremejew decided to disconnect the KT. Thanks to his experience, Anochin was able to land safely near the airfield in the then Moscow suburb of Bykowo . After landing, it drove with its own engine power to the airfield buildings with the wings and tail unit still attached. Not informed about the test of the unusual prototype, the airfield commander put the anti-aircraft battery in readiness for action and arrested Anochin. After the arrival of representatives of the LII, he was released and the tank was transported back to the examination center under its own power.

The tests clearly showed that the developer of the glider had not taken into account the aerodynamic resistance of the chains and tension wires of the structure in his calculations. As a result, the necessary engine power of the tow plane was underestimated. In practice, therefore, such a cargo glider could only be towed by the modern four-engine strategic bomber of the Pe-8 type . These aircraft, built only in small series (around 80 pieces), were used as long-range bombers against the Third Reich and its allies, so that it was not possible to use them for towing purposes. As a logical consequence, work on the KT and the overall project were discontinued.

Design analysis

The T-60 light tank can be seen as a step backwards in Soviet tank construction. Viewed in its entirety, it is to be classified between the then modern small buoyant reconnaissance tank T- 40 and the obsolete light infantry support tank T-26 ; the T-60 had neither of the advantages of both vehicles. The lack of amphibious capabilities and radio equipment in line tanks, as well as the low speed made the T-60 unsuitable for reconnaissance purposes. Despite the stronger armor protection and better mobility compared to the T-26, the T-60 lacked its 45 mm cannon, which was at least necessary for fighting enemy tanks and gun emplacements. The 20 mm TNSch cannon therefore enormously limited the value of the T-60 as an infantry support tank. That is why the leadership of the Red Army had no further need for T-60 tanks as early as March 1942, when the successor T-70 was ready for series production.

Nonetheless, the T-60 was important to the Red Army. Under the catastrophic conditions in the army and Soviet military industry in 1941, it was a real solution to the problem of how, after the huge losses, the troops could be equipped with the urgently needed tanks in the shortest possible time and with minimal costs. In November 1941, only one tank factory in the Soviet Union was producing on a regular basis, the Stalingrad tractor plant , which produced the medium T-34 tanks . The developer and main manufacturer of these combat vehicles, the Kharkov plant No. 183 , was evacuated to Nizhny Tagil due to the war; other heavy mechanical engineering or shipbuilding companies ( USTM plant in Sverdlovsk and plant No. 112 “Krasnoye Sormowo” in Gorky ) were still in preparation for series production of the T-34. The Leningrad Kirov plant , the main producer of the heavy KW tanks , was partially evacuated to Chelyabinsk and was later cut off by a blockade. At the end of October 1941, tank production ended in this factory. The Kirov plant in Chelyabinsk still organized the serial production of the KW-1, the production output was very low at that time. The manufacturer of the modern light tank T-50 , the Leningrad plant No. 174 was in the same situation, parts of the plant were evacuated to Orenburg and on to Omsk . So the start of tank construction with the T-60 in unspecialized companies in the automotive industry and in railroad and ship repair works greatly increased the country's military potential. Later, many of them successfully switched to the production of more powerful armored models.

For all its drawbacks, the T-60 was a viable vehicle in combat. Although almost useless against enemy tanks or fortified positions, it was effective against infantry; the small dimensions and the low ground pressure also allowed operations in forest and moorland areas. This played an important role during the battles to relieve Leningrad . The vehicle was sufficiently reliable, easy to manufacture, maintain and repair, and easy to drive. In this regard, the T-60s were superior to the T-34 or KW-1 tanks built from January to November 1942, which suffered from many shortcomings. What was particularly serious about them was the low manufacturing quality, which led to frequent mechanical defects, and the difficult gear shifting made them uncomfortable to drive.

But these positive characteristics of the T-60 could not outweigh its weak armament and armor. On the other hand, reserves in the design made further upgrading and improvement possible. The successor model, the T-70 light tank, took over the basic structure and many parts and devices from the T-60. The latter thus represents an important step in the history of Soviet tank construction. Today it is viewed by military historians as a step towards the “perfect” replacement for full-fledged tanks under the difficult war conditions.

Comparable vehicles

Technical specifications T-60 Pz. II Ausf. F L6 / 40
Country Soviet Union 1923Soviet Union Soviet Union German Reich NSGerman Reich (Nazi era) German Empire Italy 1861Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946) Italy
Weight, tons: 6.5 9.5 6.8
Length over all, m 4.1 4.8 3.8
Width over everything, m 2.4 2.3 1.9
Height, m 1.75 2.2 2.2
crew 2 3 2
Year of construction (s) 1941-1943 1941-1942 1940-1944
Main armament: 20 mm, L82 20 mm, L55 20 mm, L65
Secondary armament: 1 × 7.62mm machine gun 1 × 7.92 mm machine gun 1 × 8 mm machine gun
Grenades, piece: 750 330 312
Gun ammunition shot: 945 2 700 1 560
Front armor, mm 15-35 35 30th
Side armor, mm 15th 15th 15th
Turret armor, mm 25-35 15-30 40
Engine type Gasoline engine GAS-202 Gasoline engine HL 62 TR SPA 18D petrol engine
Horsepower 70 145 70
Power to weight ratio, hp / ton: 10.7 15.3 10.3
Top speed, km / h: 42 40 42
Driving range (road), km: 410 200 200

There are some tank designs comparable to the T-60 in other countries. In terms of armament and armor, the German Panzerkampfwagen II Ausf. F and the Italian Carro Armato L6 / 40 had similar characteristics. The former had a long history of development; the F version with a 20 mm Kampfwagenkanone 38 and 35 mm front armor looked like the T-60 on paper. But in contrast to the Soviet tank, the crew of the Panzer II numbered three men, which significantly increased the combat value of the German vehicle. The Maybach engine HL 62 TRM with 145 HP of the Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. F with a weight of about 9.5 tons resulted in a clear advantage in mobility compared to the T-60 with its 70-hp engine GAS-202 at 6.5 tons. In addition, the 2 cm KwK 38 was derived from an anti-aircraft gun of the same caliber and had a higher rate of fire, more favorable ballistic properties and a higher penetration rate compared to the Soviet TNSch, which was a revised version of an aircraft gun. But similar to the history of the T-60, the Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. F 1941/1942 manufactured as a replacement for the more powerful Panzerkampfwagen 38 (t) and Panzerkampfwagen III available in only an insufficient number .

The Italian L6 / 40 with a maximum frontal armor of about 40 mm (without inclination) was originally intended as a reconnaissance tank. But the use was not limited to the Cavalleggeri or Reparti Esplorante Corazzati (light cavalry or tank reconnaissance) provided for this purpose . The Italian army often used the L6 / 40 as a replacement for missing more powerful tanks. With a weight of 6.8 tons, a two-man crew, 70 HP engine and 20 mm cannon, suitable for use against only lightly armored targets, it was the closest equivalent of the T-60. The other combatants, Great Britain , the USA and Japan did not build any series of light tanks weighing up to 10 tons, armed with an automatic 20 mm cannon and protected with 30-40 mm thick frontal armor.

Received vehicles

Captured T-60 tank in the Finnish Parola Tank Museum

The first exhibition of a T-60 for museum purposes occurred in March 1947 with the establishment of the Museum of the Leningrad Blockade. Vehicle No. 164 of Lieutenant DI Ossatjuks, one of the first tanks to break through the blockade, was an exhibit at this museum. But in the early 1950s the museum was closed for politically motivated reasons, this historic tank disappeared along with many other valuable exhibits. This means that the two static T-60s in the Russian Kubinka Tank Museum and in the Finnish Parola Tank Museum remained the only known surviving vehicles of this type until the 21st century . The exhibit in Kubinka was produced by Plant No. 37 in September 1941 in the pilot series. The Finnish captured tank only carries a rough imitation of the main weapon. Three more T-60s have been found and restored in Russia since the early 2000s to date. The private car museum in the Archangelskoje settlement near Moscow owns a tank that sank in 1943 near Leningrad in the Sinyavinsky moor, this vehicle was recovered and made roadworthy again. The memorials in Verkhnyaya Pyschma in Sverdlovsk Oblast and in the Glubokoje settlement in Rostov Oblast each show a salvaged and restored, non-roadworthy T-60 in their exhibitions.

Additional information

See also


  • Коломиец М. В .: Танки- "смертники" Великой Отечественной войны Т-30, Т-60, Т-70 . Эксмо и др., Москва 2010, ISBN 978-5-699-42437-5 .
    (Russian and in Cyrillic script; German roughly: Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 . Eksmo and others, Moscow 2010).
  • Мощанский И. Б .: Лёгкие танки семейства Т-40. «Красные» разведчики . Вече, Москва 2009, ISBN 978-5-9533-4330-5 .
    (Russian and in Cyrillic script; German roughly: Ilja B. Moschtschanski: The light tanks of the T-40 vehicle family. The “red” reconnaissance aircraft . Wetsche, Moscow 2009).
  • Прочко Е. И .: Лёгкие танки Т-40 и Т-60. [Бронеколлекция] . 1997, No. 4
    (Russian and in Cyrillic script; German roughly: EI Protschko: The light tanks T-40 and T-60. [Tank collection] . 1997, No. 4).
  • Свирин М. Н .: Самоходки Сталина. История советской САУ 1919-1945 . Эксмо и др., Москва 2008, ISBN 978-5-699-20527-1 .
    (Russian and in Cyrillic script; German roughly: Michail N. Swirin: The self-propelled artillery vehicles of Stalin. The history of the Soviet self-propelled artillery vehicles 1919–1945 . Eksmo et al., Moscow 2008).
  • Свирин М. Н .: Танковая мощь СССР . Эксмо и др., Москва 2008, ISBN 978-5-699-31700-4 .
    (Russian and in Cyrillic script; German roughly: Michail N. Swirin: Die Panzermacht der USSR . Eksmo et al., Moscow 2008).
  • Солянкин А. Г. и др .: Советские малые и лёгкие танки 1941–1945 . Москва, Цейхгауз, 2006, ISBN 5-94038-113-8 .
    (Russian and in Cyrillic script; German roughly: AG Soljankin et al .: The Soviet small and light tanks 1941–1945 . Moscow, Zeughaus, 2006.)
  • Шунков В. Н .: Оружие Красной Армии . Харвест, Минск 1999, ISBN 985-433-469-4 .
    (Russian and in Cyrillic script; German roughly: WN Schunkow: The weapons of the Red Army . Harvest, Minsk 1999).

Web links

Commons : T-60  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  • Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The «Kamikaze» tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70
  1. Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , page 7.
  2. Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , pages 45 and 46.
  3. Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , page 19.
  4. Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , page 48.
  5. Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , page 48.
  6. Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , page 31.
  7. a b Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , page 33.
  8. Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , page 35.
  9. Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , page 36.
  10. Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , pages 156 and 157.
  11. a b Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , page 156.
  12. Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , page 37.
  13. a b Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , pages 99, 101 and 102.
  14. Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , page 103.
  15. Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , page 105.
  16. Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , page 109.
  17. a b Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , page 2.
  18. Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , pages 120 and 125.
  19. Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , pages 121, 128 and 129.
  20. Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , pages 129-132.
  21. Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , page 143.
  22. Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , page 129.
  23. Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , page 151.
  24. a b c Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , page 38.
  25. a b Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , page 44.
  26. Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , page 41.
  27. Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , page 96.
  28. a b c Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , pages 151 and 152.
  29. Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , pages 5 and 45.
  30. Maxim W. Kolomijetz: The "Kamikaze" tanks of the Great Patriotic War T-30, T-60, T-70 , page without number with color photographs after page 112.
  • Mikhail N. Swirin: The tank power of the USSR .
  1. Michail N. Swirin: The tank power of the USSR , page 344.
  2. a b c Mikhail N. Swirin: The tank power of the USSR , page 345.
  3. a b c d e Mikhail N. Swirin: The tank power of the USSR , page 346.
  4. Michail N. Swirin: The tank power of the USSR , page 347.
  5. a b Michail N. Swirin: The tank power of the USSR , page 375.
  6. a b c Mikhail N. Swirin: The tank power of the USSR , page 376.
  7. a b Michail N. Swirin: The tank power of the USSR , page 379.
  8. a b Michail N. Swirin: The tank power of the USSR , page 380.
  9. a b c d e Mikhail N. Swirin: The tank power of the USSR , page 435.
  10. Mikhail N. Swirin: The tank power of the USSR , page 420.
  11. Michail N. Swirin: The tank power of the USSR , page 421.
  12. Michail N. Swirin: The tank power of the USSR , page 411.
  13. Michail N. Swirin: The tank power of the USSR , pages 347 and 376.
  14. Michail N. Swirin: The tank power of the USSR , page 371.
  15. Michail N. Swirin: The tank power of the USSR , page 353.
  16. Michail N. Swirin: The tank power of the USSR , page 357.
  17. Michail N. Swirin: The tank power of the USSR , page 414.
  18. Michail N. Swirin: The tank power of the USSR , page 434.
  19. Michail N. Swirin: The tank power of the USSR , page 374.
  • AG Soljankin u. a .: The Soviet small and light tanks 1941–1945 .
  1. a b c d e Soljankin AG et al .: The Soviet Small and Light Tanks 1941–1945 , page 18
  2. a b Soljankin AG et al .: The Soviet Small and Light Tanks 1941–1945 , page 19
  3. Soljankin AG et al .: The Soviet small and light armored 1941-1945 , page 23
  4. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Soljankin AG et al .: The Soviet small and light tanks 1941–1945 , pages 27–31
  5. Soljankin AG et al .: The Soviet small and light armored 1941-1945 , pages 38 and 39
  6. Soljankin AG et al .: The Soviet small and light tanks 1941–1945 , pages 39 and 40
  7. Soljankin AG et al .: The Soviet Small and Light Tanks 1941–1945 , page 40
  8. Soljankin AG et al .: The Soviet small and light tanks 1941–1945 , pages 40 and 41
  • Other sources
  1. a b c d e The recollections of chief designer NA Astrow about the T-60 tanks
  2. Ilja B. Moschtschanski: The light tanks of the T-40 vehicle family. The «red» scouts , page 21
  3. a b Коломиец М. В .: Трофейные танки Красной Армии. Эксмо и др., Москва 2010, ISBN 978-5-699-40230-4 . (Russian and in Cyrillic script; German roughly: Maxim W. Kolomijetz: Die Beutepanzer der Red Army. Eksmo et al., Moscow 2010), page 86
  4. Желтов И. Г. и др .: Неизвестный Т-34 . Экспринт, Москва 2001, ISBN 5-94038-013-1 . (Russian and in Cyrillic script; German roughly: IG Scheltow et al .: The unknown T-34. Exprint, Moscow 2001.), page 116.
  5. a b c d e f g E. I. Protschko: The light tanks T-40 and T-60 . [Tank collection]. 1997, No. 4
  6. page "The Heroes of the Country", Ossatjuks Biography (Russian)
  7. ^ Page "The Heroes of the Country", Makarenkov's biography (Russian)
  8. ^ Page "The Heroes of the Country", Levchenko's biography (Russian)
  9. Свирин М. Н .: Артиллерийское вооружение советских танков 1940–1945. [Армада-Вертикаль]. 1999, No. 4 (Russian and in Cyrillic script; German roughly: Michail N. Swirin: The Artillery Armament of Soviet Tanks 1940–1945. Armada-Wertikal, 1999, No. 4)
  10. G. Tschlijanz: The Soviet troops own transmitting and receiving technology (Russian), viewed on September 14, 2010
  11. Желтов И. Г. и др .: Неизвестный Т-34 . Экспринт, Москва 2001, ISBN 5-94038-013-1 . (Russian and in Cyrillic script; German roughly: IG Scheltow et al .: The unknown T-34.Exprint, Moscow 2001.), page 44.
  12. ^ Mikhail N. Swirin: The self-propelled artillery vehicles of Stalin. The history of the Soviet self-propelled artillery vehicles 1919–1945. , Page 181
  13. WN Schunkow: The weapons of the Red Army. , Pages 299 and 300
  14. ^ Mikhail N. Swirin: The self-propelled artillery vehicles of Stalin. The history of the Soviet self-propelled artillery vehicles 1919–1945. , Pages 291-295
  15. WN Schunkow: The weapons of the Red Army . Pp. 389 and 390.


  1. M. Kolomijetz gives other figures in his book - 1366 tanks in 1941 and 4304 in 1942, this makes the result 5725 T-60 compared to 5920 in the representation of Sheltov - the «Kamikaze» tanks of the Great Patriotic War T- 30, T-60, T-70 , page 156.
  2. Russian танковая дивизия . The T-60 or T-40 were part of the armored division's reconnaissance battalion.
  3. a b Russian отдельная танковая бригада . The T-60 could be replaced by T-26 or BT tanks.
  4. Russian отдельный танковый батальон
  5. Russian мотоциклетный полк . In May 1942 the T-60s were deleted from the installation plan.
  6. Russian тяжёлая танковая бригада в составе танкового корпуса
  7. Russian бригада Т-34 в составе танкового корпуса
  8. Russian танковый корпус . One tank corps consisted of one heavy and two T-34 tank brigades.
  9. Russian отдельный резервный полк малых танков . The 3rd, 15th, 16th, 23rd, 26th and 34th regiments were reorganized with this structure.
  10. Russian учебный танковый полк лёгких танков . The 2nd and 21st regiments were reorganized with this structure, the former independent reserve regiments No. 15th, 16th and 34th were reorganized according to this deployment plan in March 1942 and kept their numbers.
  11. The "Golden Star" medals had the number 559 for Ossatjuk and number 1229 for Makarenkow
  12. The 20mm tank shell with a tungsten carbide core was developed in late 1942 and was ready for production early in 1943, when the T-60 tanks were already becoming rare in the Red Army. As a result, this bullet was only produced in a small pre-series, was not given an official army designation and was only used in combat for very limited periods.
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on May 11, 2011 in this version .