(translation from Russian)
12th January, 1943. 549th Tank Battalion had just crossed Neva river. Company commander lieutenant Dmitriy Osatyuk looks for a suitable position to take until planned morning offensive. At that time Germans decide to mount a counter-attack.
Lieutenant sees 3 large tanks of unknown type (which he at first considered Soviet, until he noticed crosses on turret sides), supported by approx. a battalion force of infantry. He sends his company to deal with infantry while he’ll be distracting the tanks. He knows a shell from tanks this large will probably leave a pile of wreckage from his T-60, so he orders his driver to “dance” to the forest. T-60 moves left and right, commander fires the autocannon at enemy tanks. The damage is minimal ofc, but that draws their attention. All of that time T-60 moves closer and closer to a forest (while zig-zagging to evade enemy aim).
When at about 100m distance from the forest, T-60 turns and accelerates along the forest edge. Tigers (those 3 tanks were them) also turn and chase it. But Dmitriy Osatyuk knows something they don’t: there is a battery of 76mm guns hidden in the forest. And now all 3 Tigers are within 100m range of it and had shown it their sides - a perfect ambush. Soon 2 enemy tanks are knocked out (one with factory number 250005 is burning, the other with number 250006 is abandoned by the crew because of transmission damage) and the third withdraws.
Osatyuk moves to his company and finds out they had chased enemy infantry into some sort of large ditch. They can’t move too close to it because infantry had dug in and throws grenades from the ditch. So Osatyuk orders his driver to go to ditch edge and “jump” inside. There the tank starts to circle, Osatyuk jams DT fire control so that machinegun is firing constantly while tank commander operates the TNSh gun. When the tank stops, there are still about 30 German soldiers alive, but they decide to surrender.
For this and other events the entire crew of the tank (all 2 people - commander and driver) were awarded Hero of the USSR status.
At Jan. 21 the tanks was heavily damaged, driver was wounded and lost a leg as a result (commander rescued him from the disabled tank and carried him into cover). Feb. 13th Osatyuk’s tank is again damaged, this time the commander is wounded. He only recovered fully by 1946, so the war was over for him.
Osatyuk’s T-60 â„–164 was shown in the Museum of the defense of Leningrad from 1947 to 1952, but then when the museum was closed the tank got missing.