The Red Army is often criticized for its vehicle fleet. On one hand, there is plenty to criticize. On the other hand, if one examines the situation carefully, it is often much better than claimed. This is especially true for tracked tractors. Even when you include civilian tractors, not everything was hopeless. Sure, the S-65 was not exceptionally quick, but in most armies of the world the only alternative would be a horse. If you count that as an alternative for the Red Army, the situation becomes different. Keep in mind that the S-65, STZ-3, and other slow moving tractors were only a temporary measure. The Red Army was not sitting idle and work on specialized vehicles was underway.
|Komsomolets tractor during a demonstration at the War Motors festival.
|Only two vehicles in this condition exist today.
|The driver had good visibility, especially for a vehicle of this type.
|Komsomolets tractors from the third series and later had this kind of rear.
|The vehicle was quite popular with visitors.
|The tractor looked like this in March of 2012.
|The restored Komsomolets was first shown in March of 2020 in Sokolniki. Puzzlingly, it was shoved to the very corner of the Old Timer Gallery.
|The vehicle can now be seen at the War Motors exhibition alongside the STZ-5 and Comintern tractors that were also restored by Shamansky's workshop.
|DT machine gun blister.
|Rear view mirrors could be installed in the open hatches.
|The driver's compartment could comfortably house even a tall man.
|The vehicle had dual controls, a high tech feature for the time.
|Engineer Shitikov took part in development of the running gear. It had to be improved before production.
It is enough to look at the driver's compartment to understand how high tech the Komsomolets was. The tractor was full of various devices and instruments that you would not expect in a humble tractor. Even the Germans would be jealous. Yevgeny Shamansky's vehicle even has the rear view mirrors that could be installed in the open side hatches.
|If necessary, the engine access hatch could be locked open. This improved cooling.
|The seats could transport up to 6 crewmen.
|The seats could transform into a truck bed.
|The gun crew could communicate with the commander through this opening.