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When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, the largely obsolete Soviet tank force was reduced to a fraction of its original size. As one of the desperate stop-gap measures to counter the German tank forces, T-20 "Komsomolets" tracked artillery tractors were converted to tank destroyers.

Straining the chassis to the maximum, the resulting vehicle, the ZiS-30 was armed with the 57 mm ZiS-2. The conversion was made at the Joseph Stalin Factory no. 92 (ZiS), and about 100 were build in total.

The 57 mm ZiS-2 was an excellent anti-tank gun. Its standard APCBC shot (BR-271) was almost equal to the German 7,5 cm Pak 39 L/48, and its APCR shot (BR-271P) was superior to the APCR shot of the Pak 39 up to 1000 metres. Its main weakness was its poor HE capability. A variant of the ZiS-2 was also used on the T-34-57 prototype. The ZiS-30 was marred by very thin armour, however. Few were in service by 1942, and none survived the war.

Technical Details

  • Commanger
  • Gunner
  • Loader
  • Driver
Physical Characteristics
Weight 3.46 t
Length 3.45 m
Width 1.86 m
Height 1.58 m
Armour (range) 7-10 mm
Speed (max) 40 km/h
Engine GAZ-M
Net h.p. 50
Cylinders 4
Primary weapon 57 mm ZiS-2 (1)
Secondary weapon 7.62 mm DT (1)


Right side of a ZiS-30
Same ZiS-30 as above, from the front
In the field

Further Reading


  1. Engines of the Red Army in WW2 [online]. <>
  2. ZiS-2 [Available online]. <>
  3. Armoure penetration table [Available online]. <>