After the heavy losses of tanks after the invasion of Russia by Germany there was a great need for producing large numbers of tanks. N. A. Astrov, of Zavod Nr 37, lead a design bureau in Moscow that altered the T-40. The basic design was done in 15 days.
An increase in armor and armament was needed at the expense of keeping its amphibious capability.
Initially it was designed for a 45 mm gun, but this proved to powerful for the turret. B. Shpital'n / Spitalny and Komaritzky had come up with the fully automatic 20 mm SchWak aircraft gun. The turret had eight sides.
|20 mm SchWak
The driver was placed in the center in the front of the hull.
The first models had riveted armor but later T-60s had welded armor. The hull was modified to have larger armor plates at sharper angles for better protection.
The T-60 was so underpowered it couldn't keep up with the T-34s going cross country.
In the front of the T-60's hull contained the engine, power train, and controls for the driver. The fuel tanks were located in the rear of the hull.
The turret was offset to the left with the engine offset to the right.
Not Well Liked
When talking to Josef Stalin on September 17, 1942, General M. J. Katukov said:
"I can't find much good about the T-60. Of course it has automatic weapons, but only a 20 mm gun. It would not be up to a serious fight against tanks. Besides, it has too little ground clearance and is completely useless in mud or snow. In the fighting around Moscow we had to tow these tanks."