Stalinets-65 (C-65) Soviet Heavy Artillery Tractor

Stalinets 65jpg
Stalinets-65 (C-65) Soviet Heavy Tractor

Stalinets 65 Tractor


Stalinets 65b

C65 Towing a Heavy Howitzer


“Stalinets-65” (C-65)  is a model of a tractor produced at the Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant from 1937 to 1941. The numbers in the name indicate the horsepower of the new M-17 diesel engine.

On October 15, 1930, the Central Committee issues a decree on the introduction of diesel engines into the country’s automotive fleet. In 1934, the People’s Commissariat of Heavy Industry organized an international competition – diesel testing, in which 17 diesels from six countries took part: England, Hungary, Germany, USSR, USA and Sweden… The tests under the chairmanship of the Soviet engine engineer Professor N. Brilling took place from July 10 to September 20, 60 km from Rostov. As a result, they chose an American model from Caterpillar. The experience gained by Soviet specialists made it possible to outline specific dates for the start of industrial production of diesel engines in the country.


In January 1935, G. Ordzhonikidze, speaking at the VII All-Union Congress of Soviets, points out the need to transfer ChTZ tractors to diesel engines as soon as possible. The advantages of a diesel engine over naphtha engines were obvious – cheap fuel, higher efficiency, and a number of others. A technical meeting was held at the plant in April. It was decided to start preparing the plant for reconstruction. The design of the diesel engine was started back in February.

On July 15, an M-17 diesel engine with a power of 47.8 kW was assembled, on August 1 it was tested, and on August 14 a prototype of a C-65 diesel tractor made a 15-kilometer run. The new M-17 engine, which was a “descendant” of the M-13 and M-75 engines, in addition to diesel fuel, could also run on a mixture of an autol with kerosene, and was started from a starting 20-horsepower gasoline engine. The designers did not make big changes to the tractor itself, because one of the requirements for the new M-17 was to ensure the installation of a diesel engine on the S-60 without major alterations. Changed: gearbox – since the new engine provided a higher number of revolutions per minute (850 versus 650), the gear ratio was increased, the tracks – for better weight distribution, the radiator, which became slightly wider. The fuel tank was now located behind the engine, which was covered with a hood on top. In general, the test results did not reveal defects that could serve as a reason for delaying the ongoing preparation of mass production, but a number of improvements were needed.

It took several months to eliminate the weak points of the diesel engine, and in January 1937 the M-17 was submitted for approval. In March, the plant produced the last C-60s, the conveyor was inactive for more than two months, and, after re-equipment, on June 20, at 3:15 pm, the first C-65 diesel tractor came off it. In February 1938, the first batch of 60 S-65s was exported.

The S-65 was destined to become the first Soviet serial diesel tractor. Allegations that it became the first serial diesel tractor in the world do not correspond to reality – the German Benz-Sendling S6 (produced over a thousand copies) went into series as early as 1923.


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The S-65 was designed to work with trailed agricultural machines, as well as to drive stationary machines. However, with the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, due to the losses of the first period, most of the tractors were withdrawn from agriculture. They were used to tow high-powered guns. I must say that during the war, a large number of tractors went to the Germans as trophies, who also used them to tow medium and large caliber guns.

Interesting Facts

  • In 1939, the ChTZ S-65 tractor became one of the main characters of the feature film “Tractor Drivers”
  • In May 1937, the international exhibition “Art and Technology of Modern Life” opened in Paris. Among the exhibits of the Soviet section was the S-65 assembled at the pilot plant. He received the highest award of the exhibition – “Grand Prix”.
  • The Samara branch of RGANTD has documents on the design of tractors: “Stalinets-2”, “Stalinets-60”, “Stalinets-65”, “Stalinets SG-65”, “Stalinets-80”, “S-80-N”, ” S-100 “,” S-100-BGS-1 “,” S-100-Gp “(“Projects of tractors developed by the Chelyabinsk Order of Kutuzov 1st degree, the Order of the Red Star Tractor Plant (ChTZ) “. Fund R-684, ed. chr. 165, 1933-1963)


Stalinets-65 (C-65) Soviet Heavy Tractor

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