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Tank Destroyer (TD)

Romania | 1943

"The Romanian TACAM T-60 Tank Destroyer of World War 2 combined the Soviet 76mm M1936 gun with captured T-60 light tank hulls."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 10/04/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
When World War 2 broke out in September of 1939, the nation of Romania maintained a neutral stance. In time, internal issues moved it in the direction of the Axis to which the country joined resources with on November 23rd, 1940. In June of 1941, the Axis powers began their invasion of the Soviet Union through "Operation Barbarossa" and the Romanian government committed considerable manpower and war goods to the venture.

While initial results were excellent, the Axis initiative ultimately bogged down outside of Moscow and this allowed the Soviets much needed time to regroup and recommit its forces to the East Front from elsewhere. Additionally, there was a tremendous manufacturing undertaking in which all manner of tanks, artillery, small arms and aircraft were built at speed and shipped to where needed. The result was vast Soviet operations involving thousands of tanks and tens of thousands of troops to regain lost ground. Heavy tank systems like the IS-2 (Josef Stalin) and the classic T-34 Medium Tank both played major roles in the ensuring actions.

This left the ill-equipped Romanian Army at a crossroads for it lacked the local industry to forge all-new combat tanks all their own. The Germans, while consistently fielding more capable tank systems to match Soviet armor pound-for-pound, could not be relied upon to provide the Romanians with anything of value in the near future. As the Romanians maintained a stock of captured Soviet T-60 light tanks from previous fighting, it was decided to replace their turrets with a three-sided, open-air fighting compartment mounting the capable Soviet 76.2mm M1936 (F-22) Anti-Tank (AT) gun to produce a locally-designed tank destroyer.

Design work spanned from 1942 to 1943 and the vehicles were assembled in Bucharest, Romania by Atelierele Leonida with production beginning in 1943. Logistically the initiative was sound considering the Romanian situation - the tanks and guns were readily available and the Army held experience in their maintenance, repair and function. The GAZ 202 engine in use was nothing more than a copy of the FH.2 from Dodge-Derotto-Fargo and already in circulation around the country. All that was required was a reinforcement of the existing vehicle's torsion bar suspension system (including all-new road wheels) to take on the added weight. All other facets of its construction and assembly were acceptable under the stresses of wartime.

The 9-tonne vehicle was crewed by three and ammunition stores aboard the small design amounted to 44 projectiles. The Soviet 76.2mm was a proven tank-killer while the T-60 Light Tank held merits all its own. Road speeds reached 25 miles per hour with operational ranges out to 120 miles. The GAZ 202 6-cylinder engine provided 80 horsepower. Local self-defense was handled through a 7.92mm ZB-53 series machine gun.

The Army was able to secure 34 of the vehicles which came to be designated as the TACAM T-60 and these were available before the end of 1943. The series fought on until about the fall of 1944 for Romania ultimately bounced to the side of the Allies in August. An Armistice was signed with the conquering Soviets on September 12th, 1944 - with terms favoring the victors at which point the history of the TACAM T-60 appears to abruptly end - no doubt scrapped by Soviet overseers.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the TACAM T-60 Tank Destroyer (TD).
1 x GAZ 202 6-cylinder, water-cooled gasoline engine developing 80 horsepower.
Installed Power
25 mph
40 kph
Road Speed
124 miles
200 km
The physical qualities of the TACAM T-60 Tank Destroyer (TD).
13.9 ft
4.24 meters
O/A Length
7.7 ft
2.35 meters
O/A Width
5.7 ft
1.75 meters
O/A Height
19,842 lb
9,000 kg | 9.9 tons
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the TACAM T-60 Tank Destroyer (TD).
1 x 76.2mm M1936 F-22 main gun
1 x 7.92mm ZB-53 machine gun
44 x 76.2mm projectiles
Nightvision - NONE.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - NONE.
Notable series variants as part of the TACAM T-60 family line.
T-60 - Base Series Designation
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the TACAM T-60. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 34 Units

Contractor(s): Atelierele Leonida - Romania
National flag of Romania

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Image of the TACAM T-60
Image from the Public Domain.

Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to battlefield requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The TACAM T-60 Tank Destroyer (TD) appears in the following collections:
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