Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The Soviet Stalinetz Tractors Which Helped Defeat The Nazis

During World War II the Soviets relied on heavily on tractors. “Stalinets” tractors were produced in 1937-1941 in Chelyabinsk Traktornyy Zavod (ChTZ for short) for industrial and construction works, but they were also often used by the Red Army as a prime mover, pulling heavy artillery and mortars across battlefields.

During this time seven other industrial entities (including most of Leningrad’s Kirov Plant, and 15,000 of its workers.) were either wholly or partially relocated to Chelyabinsk, the resulting enterprise, commonly known as “Танкоград” (‘Tankograd’, or ‘Tank City’), The work force increased to 60,000 workers by 1944, from 25,000 during non-military production; during the conflict the works produced 18,000 tanks, and 48,500 tank diesel engines as well as over 17 million units of ammunition.
The Stalinetz S-65 was the most numerous of the Soviet tracked tractors of WWII with 37,656 being produced at the ChelyabinskiyChTZ and Zavod plants between 1937 and 1941 before ChTZ switched to tank production.
With a combat weight of 11.2t the Stalinetz S-65 was used to tow heavy artillery.

Production included the KV tank from 1941,T-34 tank from 1942, KV-85 tank and JS tanks from 1943, and T-34/85 tank and SU-85 self-propelled field gun from 1944 By 1945 the plant had been awarded the Order of Kutuzov, 1st Class, the Order of Lenin, the Order of the Red Star, and other honours for its efforts in helping to defeat Nazi Germany.

Here you can see a  “Stalinets” tractor which sank in the winter of 1942 in the Usoditsa lake of the Zapadnodvinsky district of the Tver region, Russia.
The tractor has now gone for restoration. It was in quite good condition with no rust, the mechanics were faultless, and the tanks had oil and fuel inside. This is a unique machine as there are now only a handful of tractors like this in the museums of the world.

Trumpeter have produced a 1:35 scale model kit of the Russian ChTZ S-65 Artillery Tractor without cab which makes an interesting modelling project. 

The following pictures show a model of the Russian ChTZ S-65 Artillery Tractor as completed by John Tolcher, "The kit is made by Trumpeter, with an engine from LZ Models. The canopy was scratchbuilt as a field modification. The model was painted with Tamiya acrylics and weathered using mostly oil paints and pigments."

See even more photos of Johns project here

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