From The Farm to THE FRONT

James Kinnear examines the role the Russian STZ-5 artillery tractor played during World War Two

An early STZ-5 prototype with a trailer mounted test load during NATI institute trials in 1936 Note the open cab arrangement on this prototype
A series production STZ-5 during a Red Square parade in 1940
A wartime-era Soviet illustration of the STZ-3 on which the STZ-5 was based
The early STZ-5 cab-over-engine artillery tractor prototype, with new road wheels and track
The STZ-5 as illustrated in the official maintenance manual

During the 1930s, the rapidly industrialising Soviet Union increased production of all manner of armoured vehicles, and also transport vehicle types, from GAZ and ZiS light vehicles and trucks to artillery tractors. The implementation of mass production techniques in the Soviet motor industry, courtesy in no small part to US companies such as Ford, Autocar and Caterpillar, was accompanied by rapid mechanisation of the Red Army during the 1930s to a level comparable with the armies of the United States and Europe - and in particular Germany.

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