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KV-3, KV-4, KV-5, KV-7, KV-9, KV-220

Written by Валерий Потапов
Published on Tuesday, 20 September 2005 19:53
Last Updated on
Read 61513 times

KV-3 and KV-220

KV-3 Heavy Tank and KV-220 Heavy Breakthrough Tank

Already in the summer of 1940, after the beginning of mass production of the KV tank, the issue arose concerning the strengthening of the tank's armor. On 17 June 1940, the SNK of the USSR and the TsK VKP (b) adopted resolution No. 1288-495ss, which said in part,

«By 1 November 1940, the Kirov Plant is to prepare two KV tanks with 90 mm armor. One of them will have the F-32 76 mm main gun, the other an 85 mm main gun. One hull will be delivered from the Izhorsk Plant at the end of October and the preparation of this tank is to be completed by 5 November. The second hull will be completed in November.

By 1 December 1940 the Kirov Plant is to prepare two KV tanks with 100mm armor. One will have the F-32 76mm main gun, the other the 85mm main gun. One hull will be delivered at the end of October, the other in November.»

However, the deadline was not met. The plant delivered one KV with 90mm armor and the F-32 Main Gun on 5 November (in documents it is referred to as «tank T-150» or «Object 150»), and one KV with 100mm armor and the 85mm main gun on 5 December (in documents referred to as «T-220» or «Object 220»).

The T-150 was constructed on the base of the production KV and differed from it only in the magnitude of thickness of the hull armor, which had been increased from 75 to 90 mm. Because the thickening of the armor plates was accomplished externally, all the internal dimensions of the vehicle remained unchanged. In addition, the T-150 had modified mounting brackets for the chassis components and a commander's cupola with periscope and three vision blocks. In connection with the increase in the tank's weight, which had reached 50 tons, a V-2 Engine whose output had been boosted to 700 h.p. was installed.

From 15 January to 14 February 1941 the vehicle underwent range testing (199 km total movement), which exposed a number of substantial deficiencies in the functioning of the engine. For example, during movement on a hard-surface road in 3d and 4th gear, at ambient air temperatures of −9° to −12° the lubricant in the engine became overheated. For this reason the tank was withdrawn from testing, and the Kirov Plant and Plant No. 75 in Kharkov were directed to improve the cooling system and increase the temperature drop of the lubricant that passed through the engine.

The KV-220 externally differed from ordinary KVs by the greater length of the hull, an increase of one support roller in the track, and a new turret with the 85 mm F-30 Main Gun. The weapon was specially designed for arming this tank in the design bureau of Plant No. 92, under the supervision of Grabin. It was tested successfully in the T-28 Medium Tank in the fall of 1940. Because of the steep growth in the weight of the tank, which now reached 62 tons, the V-5 engine with 700 h.p. was mounted. Testing of the KV-220 commenced on 30 January 1941 and was halted the very next day because of engine failure.

On 15 March 1941 the SNK and TsK VKP (b) by their resolution No. 548-232ss required the Kirov Plant to transition to mass production of the T-150 tank in June under the designation KV-3. The following technical specifications were established:

«Combat weight — 51–52 tons, length — 6.76 metres, width — 3.33 metres, height — 3.0 metres, ground clearance — 0.4 metres, armor — 90 mm, armament — one F-34 76 mm main gun, three DT machine-guns, one PPSh submachine-gun, 114 main gun rounds, 2900 machine-gun cartridges, maximum road speed — 35 km/h, cross-country speed — 15–20 km/h, maximum slope gradient — 40 degrees, range — 250 km (10 hours), V-5 engine with 700 h.p., turret with commander's cupola, KRSTB radio set (with mounting of 71-TK-3 possible), and a guaranteed vehicle life of 2,000 km.»

In contrast to artillerymen, tankers were falling far behind in the development of a new heavy tank. Therefore they decided to employ the KV-220 (the more so that they were much alike they were much alike they were much alike in construction) to accelerate the work of testing the new assemblies and aggregates of the KV-3. On 20 April 1941 a new engine was finally mounted in the KV-220 and the tank, loaded up to 70 tons, the loaded weight of a KV-3, was submitted for testing. By the end of May 1941 it had been driven 1330 kilometres. In the report of the plant test personnel it was noted that the tank had «a poor-shifting transmission, the support roller spindles and suspension arms had bent, the torsion bars had twisted, and the engine lacked sufficient power for a 70-ton tank.»

On 20 May the KV-220 was brought in for repair, in the course of which the vehicle received a V-2SN Diesel Engine with supercharger producing 850 h.p. The tank was subjected to testing again beginning on 30 May and by 22 June 1941 had traveled a total distance of 1,985 km. But because of problems that arose during the preparation of the forged turret, the work period was extended.

The plant began preparation for mass production, but fate intervened. In fact, in March 1941 the command of the Red Army received intelligence information that work was being completed in Germany for the creation of tanks with heavy armor, and they were already being issued to the forces. These intelligence reports especially emphasized that Soviet tank and antitank cannons would not be able to defeat their armor. Much later it became clear that Soviet intelligence had fallen victim to German disinformation, that none of this corresponded to reality. The Germans were not at this time involved in the development of heavy tanks. The following was quickly realized: in the spring of 1941 the German «Panzerwaffe» began to receive captured French V-1 tanks, which had 80 mm armor. In addition, experience showed that the French V-1 and British «Matilda» were destroyed by the fire of the German antitank cannon (much later it became clear that the were not antitank cannons, but the Flak-18 and Flak-36 88 mm AA-gun). It seems that this was the cause of rumors regarding «the new German tanks with heavy armor.»

But then the higher leadership of the USSR and Red Army, made uneasy by this information, decided to undertake adequate measures. On 7 April 1941 the SNK and TsK VKP (b) adopted resolution No. 827-345ss, in which new parameters for the KV-3 tank were specified, and established the design requirement for the KV-4 and KV-5 super-heavy tanks. On 9 April this resolution was enlarged upon by the broader Order No. 231 to the People's Commissariat of Heavy Machine Building:

«Regarding the KV-3 Tank.

1. In modification of SNK and TsK VKP (b) Resolution No. 548-232ss of 15 March 1941, I order:
a) the front-slope armor of the KV-3 to be 115–120 mm and the turret armor to be 115 mm;
b) the KV-3 will be armed with the ZIS-6 107 mm Cannon with a muzzle velocity of 800 m/s;

2. The KV-3 turret is to be formed from forgings with slope angles not less than 30 degrees under the mount for the ZIS-6 107 mm Cannon. The director of the Kirov Plant, Comrade Zaltsman will:
a) by 15 April 1941, together with the Izhorsk Plant, prepare and deliver to the Izhorsk Plant drawings (blueprints) for the modified KV-3 turret and hull;
b) by 25 April 1941, together with the Izhorsk Plant, present for approval of the NKO a mockup of the KV-3 turret.

3. The Kirov Plant will establish a plan for production in 1941 of 500 KV-3 tanks with the ZIS-6 107 mm Cannon.

4. The director of the Kirov Plant, Comrade Zaltsman, is to keep in mind and consideration that:
a) the Izhorsk Plant is obligated to deliver to the Kirov Plant by 20 May 1941 the first forged turret and KV-3 tank hull with full mechanical assemblies and artillery system armor protection. Subsequently, the Izhorsk Plant is responsible to ensure the production and assembly of these turrets and hulls in accordance with the schedule for the output of the KV-3 tanks that has been approved by the Government;
b) The NKV (Comrade Vannikov), Plant No. 92 (Comrade Yelyan), and the Chief Designer of Plant No. 92 (Comrade Grabin), along with the Kirov Plant, are required to develop the drawings for the mounting of the ZIS-6 107 mm Cannon in the KV-3 turret and present them to the NKO for approval by 30 May 1941;
c) Plant No. 92 is required to deliver to Kirov Plant by 25 May 1941 a ZIS-6 107 mm Cannon with mounting parts, mount it in a KV-3 turret, and along with Kirov Plant develop the armor protection for this system;
d) Plant No. 92 of the NKV is required to deliver to Kirov Plant ZIS-6 107 mm Cannons for the 1941 program by the following schedule:
July — 45
August — 80
September — 110
October — 110
November — 110
and by 15 December — 65.

Regarding the KV-4 tank.

The director of Kirov Plant, Comrade Zaltsman, is required to:

1. Design and produce in accordance with tactical requirements, approved by the NKO, a KV-4 tank (with lengthened hull), armed with the ZIS-6 107 mm Cannon and basic armor of 125–130 mm. Consider the possibility of increasing the armor thickness in the most vulnerable areas to 140–150 mm.

2. Produce one test model by 1 October 1941, in anticipation of which:
a) prepare and deliver drawings for the hull and turret of the KV-4 to the Izhorsk Plant;
b) present for approval to the NKO a mockup and technical proposal for the KV-4 tank by 15 June 1941;
c) factor in that the Izhorsk Plant is required to produce and deliver to the Kirov Plant a KV-4 tank hull and turret by 15 August 1941.

Regarding the KV-5 tank.

The director of Kirov Plant, Comrade Zaltsman, is required to:

1. Design and produce a KV-5 tank by 10 November 1941. Carry out the development of the tank hull construction and forged turret together with designers of the Izhorsk Plant, based upon the following basic characteristics of the KV-5:
a) frontal armor of 170 mm, side armor- 150 mm, turret- 170 mm;
b) armament-ZIS-6 107 mm Cannon;
c) engine- 1200 h.p. diesel;
d) width not to exceed 4.2 metres.
During the construction consider the possibility of transporting this tank by railroad during all conditions of movement.

2. Produce and deliver to the Izhorsk Plant drawings for the KV-5 hull and turret by 15 July 1941.

3. Present for approval to the NKO and GABTU a mockup and technical proposal of the KV-5 by 1 August 1941.

4. Factor in that the Izhorsk Plant is required to produce and deliver a KV-5 hull and turret to the Kirov Plant by 1 October 1941.

Artillery armament of the KV-3, KV-4, and KV-5 tanks.

1. The director, Plant No. 92 (Yelyan) and the Chief Designer Comrade Grabin are responsible to develop the 107 mm Tank Cannon with muzzle velocity of 800 m/s, utilizing a fixed shell with an armor-piercing projectile of 18.8 kg weight. They will prepare a developed design, test, and deliver a test model of this cannon by 1 June 1941 for testing in the KV-2 tank.

2. The NKO is required to:
a) develop a round with armor-piercing and high-explosive fragmentation projectiles by 1 June 1941;
b) produce 200 rounds with proof-testing projectiles (to test the mounting and recoil systems) by 15 May 1941, 2000 rounds with high-explosive fragmentation projectiles by 10 June 1941, and 500 rounds with armor-piercing projectiles by 15 June 1941.

3. The director of the Kirov Plant is to design and produce for KV tanks two 1200 h.p. diesel test engines on the base of the M-40 or M-50 engine by 15 October 1941. Be advised that an analogous tasking has been given to Plant No. 75 of the NKSM.

Peoples' Commissar of Heavy Machine Building /signature/

Here it is interesting to add that after beginning of the Great Patriotic War an analysis of the non-combat losses of KV tanks shows that they were equal to combat losses. Among the leading causes was breakdown of overheated engines and transmissions. Therefore during the design of »Object 223" (KV-3) it was particularly voiced that a new transmission should replace the old (for exchange in the future on KV-1 tanks). Unfortunately, the new transmission could not be created in time.


KV-4 Super-heavy Breakthrough Tank

Designers began to work on the KV-4 design in April 1941. Since the Kirov Plant did not have experience in this area, the chief of the SKB-2, J. Kotin, assigned almost all the engineers of his design bureau to the design of this tank and placed it on a competitive basis.

All the designers addressed this assignment with great enthusiasm. Their task was sufficiently difficult: the mounting of two cannons and 125–130 mm armor that had never been employed before on Soviet tanks led to the necessity to strengthen the chassis and conditioned a sharp increase in the weight of the tank. The creative thought of the participants in the design was not limited, and the designers took advantage of this. In consideration of the required specifications, they developed and put forth a relatively diverse spectrum of ideas. They considered the design of 80-, 90-, and even 100-ton tanks. The lightest of the designs was submitted by engineer N. Dukhov — 82.5 tons. The heaviest was by the designer G. Kruchenykh - 107 tons.

The layout decisions were also very diverse. Designers K. Buganov, G. Kruchenykh, F. Marishkin, G. Moskvin, N. Strukov, and S. Fedorenko, each working on his own design, suggested single-turret variants of the heavy tank with the mounting of the 107 mm Tank Cannon in the main turret, and a 45 mm Tank Cannon in a small turret located above the main turret, a «second floor» as it were.

Designers A. Yermolaev, L. Sychev, L. Pereverzev, Bykov, and two workers whose signatures are missing from the working drawings, suggested a two-turret variant of the tank with the mounting of a 107 mm Cannon in a large central turret, as on the SMK tank, and a 45 mm Gun in a separate turret located in the bow portion of the hull.

Designers N. Dukhov and M. Kreslavskiy in their designs recommended pairing the guns in one turret, and engineer N. Shashmurin proposed mounting the 107 mm Cannon in a casemate fashion in the hull on a pedestal with a 30-degree angle of firing to the horizon. This designer foreswore the 45 mm Gun and in its place mounted a 76 mm Gun in a production KV-1 tank turret on an enormous hull with significantly lengthened chassis components.

Two designers, P. Mikhailov and G. Turchaninov, in their designs recommended the mounting of the 45 mm Gun casemate fashion, having cut an embrasure for it in the frontal armor plate of the tank's hull, and they placed the 107 mm Cannon in a standard tank turret on the vehicle's hull.

Only engineer N. Tseits rejected the mounting of a second gun. He suggested the mounting of the 107 mm Cannon in a standard tank turret, laying it out in circular form so that the entire basic load of 120 fixed rounds were stowed along the walls of the cylindrical turret. This design stood out for its originality and in the future created fertile soil for employment of an auto-loading mechanism.

In a collective design submitted by three authors (P. Tarapatin, K. Kuzmin, and V. Tarotko), the 107 mm Cannon was positioned in the turret with a limited angle of rotation (130°). The designers V. Pavlov and D. Grigorev reached the same decision, but for the 45mm gun and not the 107 mm Cannon. Outside of the design parameters, some designers recommended the mounting of a flamethrower on the tank.

There were also some original suggestions for the armor of the KV-4 tank. For example, K. Buganov and F. Marishkin selected a means of armor plating the tank turret in a form so that its ring was deep in the hull, which excluded jamming with the strike of projectiles and shrapnel, as happened during the tests of the KV-1 tank at Kubinka.

G. Kruchenykh and N. Strukov recommended a tank turret that was rhomboid-shaped with rounded angles, and engineer S. Fedorenko designed a turret with a non-traditional curved form with the mounting of two DT machine-guns and a 45 mm Gun on an original turret mounting, which permitted a rifleman to conduct fire without exposing himself from the hatch.

In their designs these workers frequently resorted to other methods that had not been encountered earlier in tank design. For example, engineer P. Mikhailov developed an original tracked loop for their vehicle.

Five designers placed the engine and transmission in the front portion of the hull, which was an unusual decision for heavy tanks. Engineer N. Tseits suggested the placement of the engine in the stern and the transmission in the bow. L. Pereverzev recommended the pair of drive sprockets in the stern of the vehicle be removed from the hull and fastened to mounts, which gave some economy in the armor protection of the vehicle as a whole but at the same time made this most important component of the vehicle particularly vulnerable.

An analysis of the preserved drawings (about 20 variants of the KV-4 tank design have reached us) attests that many of the designs contain valuable from the design point of view decisions and fully deserve patenting at the inventor level. Work on the KV-4 project was conducted in the troubling prewar days and therefore authorship of the most interesting suggestions remains unconfirmed.

The artillerymen completed their task for the KV-3 tank first. It is a fact that the design bureau of Plant No.92, under the supervision of V. Grabin, had worked out the design of the F-42 107 mm Tank Cannon in the fall of 1940, created on the base of the F-39 95 mm Tank Cannon. (This cannon had undergone successful testing in the T-28 tank turret in the summer of 1940). By the beginning of 1941, in accordance with a decision of the NKO, the 107 mm Cannon was prepared and successfully underwent factory testing on a field casemate. In March 1941 it was tested in the turret of a KV-2 tank. By the middle of June 1941 the ZIS-6 Tank Gun underwent factory testing, after which it was sent to the Artillery Scientific Test Range at Leningrad.

An interesting fact: in his memoirs «Oruzhie Pobedy» («Weapons of Victory»), V. Grabin writes about 600 completed ZiS-6 cannons, which because of a lack of needed tanks went to the blast furnace in the fall of 1941. However, the chief designer of Plant No.92 clearly dissembles: in calculating the work of his plant for 1941, by the way, signed by V. Grabin, it was said that «five serially-produced ZIS-6 cannons were manufactured in July-August 1941, after which their production was halted because the heavy tanks were not ready.»


KV-5 Heavy Breakthrough Tank

Work was begun on the KV-5 tank («Object 225») in June 1941. The talented designer N. Tseits, one of the oldest workers of SKB-2, was named the senior engineer for this vehicle. Also in his group were K. Kuzmin (hull), L. Sychev (turret and gun mount), and N. Fedorchuk (running gear components). The experience gained in the development of the KV-4 design was weighed during the design of the KV-5. The result was a powerful tank of relatively unusual appearance. The hull of the KV-5 had a height of 9.2 metres. Therefore the driver-mechanic and radio operator-machine gunner received special cupolas that permitted them an adequate sector of view. The rhomboid-shaped turret was of relatively large size. Housed in it were the tank commander, who had a commander's cupola, gunner, and loader. The solid diameter of the ring was 1840 mm and the large internal space of the turret afforded all members of the crew normal working conditions. The tank was heavily armored-150–180 mm.

With the beginning of the war, a whole series of collectives entered the project. Thus, the notion of a forged turret was abandoned and replaced by a welded turret design. In view of the absence of a 1200 h.p. diesel engine (it was still in development), the KV-5 was redesigned for the installation of two parallel-mounted conventional V-2 engines.

By August 1941 the KV-5 design was practically fully completed, and the production of a number of the tank's components and aggregates was begun. But because of the difficult situation at the front around Leningrad, all experimental work at the Kirov Plant was halted and all efforts were dedicated to increasing the output of production KV tanks. The latest date found in the preserved drawings of the KV-5 is 15 August 1941, when the battle was being fought around Luga and Krasnogvardeysk.


KV-7 Heavy Turretless Tank

Variant I

By the end of 1941, when the production of KV tanks had been shifted to the Urals, SKB-2 received the tasking to develop an improved KV tank for the purpose of mounting a more powerful gun and improving its mobility characteristics. By 1942 several experimental variants of the KV had been suggested. One of the first was the design of an artillery mounting, «Object 227», with a non-rotating combat compartment — a gun platform formed from 100 mm armor plates. Because at that time there were no more powerful mass produced guns, the decision was made to mount the 76 mm Tank Gun and, in that manner, increase the firepower and rate of fire of the combat vehicle. The chief designer of «Object 227» was G. N. Moskvin and designers L. I. Gorlitskiy and N. V. Kurin from Uralmash were involved in the armament. L. E. Sychev exercised overall supervision.

Work was begun in mid-November 1941 and by 29 December this same tank, under the designation KV-7, was sent together with a KV-8 and a second variant KV-7 to Moscow for joint testing and display to J. Stalin. As a result of the tests, the tank was not recommended to accept for service.

The KV-7 was armed with one 76 mm Tank Gun ZiS-5, with two coaxially mounted 45mm Tank Guns Model 1938 mounted in an armored gun platform. The guns could fire singly or in salvo. The vertical lay was from −5° to +15° and the horizontal lay ±7.5°. Ammunition for the 76 mm gun was set at 93 rounds, and 200 rounds for the two 45 mm guns. In addition, the tank was armed with three 7.62 mm DT machine-guns: one hull-mounted facing forward, one facing rearward in the combat compartment, and one in a cupola on the combat compartment hatch. The combat weight of «Object 227» was 45 tons and it had a crew of 6.

Variant II

A second variant of the turretless KV-7 was being worked on practically parallel with the first variant KV-7. It also mounted multiple guns: its armament consisted of two coaxially mounted ZiS-5 76 mm Tank Cannons. In addition, the tank was armed with two 7.62 mm DT machine-guns: frontal and rear-facing. The ammunition supply for both main guns was 150 rounds. As has already been stated, at the end of December 1941 the vehicle, under the designation KV-7, was sent to Moscow for testing, which was conducted in the presence of K. I. Voroshilov, chief of GABTU I. Fedorenko, and Chief of GAU N. N. Voronov. As in the case of the first variant, this tank was recognized as unsuitable (preference was given to the KV-8 flamethrower tank). J. Stalin, to whom a copy of the test results was sent, responded, «Who needs three cannons? It would be better to mount one, but good one,» which put a halt to the idea of a multiple-gunned KV.


KV-9 Heavy Assault Tank

In the fall of 1941, after the misfortune with the development of the KV-3 and KV −5, the question arose of the creation of an artillery (assault) tank. The KV-9 heavy tank («Object 229») was the next effort to rearm a mass production KV-1 with a more powerful gun system, in this case the 122 mm U-11 Tank Howitzer, designed in December 1941 under the guidance of engineers V. Sidorenko and N. Usenko. Work on this vehicle was begun in November 1941 at ChTZ (with the participation of Uralmash engineers), and continued until April 1942. «Object 229» was recommended to accept for service under the designation KV-9. In addition to the prototype, the plant was to produce a lot of 10 tanks, but in fact managed to produce only one additional KV-9. Plant No. 9, which was responsible for production of the U-11 howitzer, produced 10 of them.

The basic idea during the creation of the KV-9 was an attempt to create a multi-purpose heavy tank capable of successful combat not only with enemy fortifications, but also with his tanks. The weight of the tank was 47 tons and it had a crew of four men: two in the turret and two in the hull.

The tank had the easily replaced cast turret from the KV-1. For protection of the tank against antitank guns, its frontal armor had an enormous for the time thickness of 135 mm. The armor thickness on the turret roof was 40 mm. The tank was equipped with a TMFD telescopic sight. The U-11 cannon had semi-fixed ammunition from the M-30 Howitzer, its vertical elevation angle was −4° +19,5°. The tank's basic load consisted of 48 rounds for the main gun and 2,646 cartridges for the three 7.62mm DT machine-guns.

Combat employment

Combat Employment

In many publications it is possible to find references to the fact that these vehicles (all or some) were moved to Chelyabinsk, and that the turrets and other parts of the KV-3 tanks were also evacuated there. Unfortunately, this information is not supported by archival documents. For example, in reports of the representatives of the military office at the Kirov Plant, which scrupulously recorded all information regarding the production of KV tanks, it is clearly stated that the T-150, KV-220-1 (as the KV-220 tank was designated in the military office documents) and KV-220-2 (as the incomplete KV-3 tank was designated in the military office documents) were not evacuated anywhere, and the entire time remained at the Kirov Plant. In early October 1941, when the production of KV tanks in Leningrad was practically halted, they decided to turn the experimental tanks over to the troops. All of them underwent necessary repair, during which serial KV-1 turrets were installed on the KV-3 and KV-220 (the KV-3 basically had no turret and the armament on the KV-220 had been disabled at the beginning of the summer).

In accordance with reports of military representatives, «the experimental T-150 tank was issued to 123rd Tank Brigade on 11 October 1941; the experimental KV-220–1 tank (with factory No. M-220-1) was issued to 124th Tank Brigade on 5 October 1941, and the experimental KV-220–2 tank (with factory No. M-220-2) was issued to 124th Tank Brigade on 16 October 1941. All tanks were armed with the F-32 76 mm main gun.»

Reports about the subsequent fate of these vehicles are exceedingly sparse. Only one recollection has been located, that of D. Osadchiy, commander of a tank company in 124th Tank Brigade (cited here verbatim):

"In the fall of 1941 our brigade received several KV tanks as replacements, one of which was named «Za Rodinu» [For the Motherland]. It was produced as a single example at the Kirov Plant. It had the same capabilities as the KV tank, but it had heavier armor protection, a weight of more than 100 tons, and more a powerful engine with turbocharger. During movement in the upper gears the engine whistled and this whistling was very much like the whistle of a diving «Junkers». The first time after receipt of this tank during its movement in the brigade someone even gave the «air alert» signal. The tank came to my company and initially we wanted to make it my command tank. But alter it became the command tank of my deputy, experienced tanker Lieutenant Yakhonin. The tank was considered practically indestructible for enemy artillery and was intended for assault on fortified positions.

In December 1941 (I don't remember the exact date), our brigade received the mission to break through the Germans' defense in the sector Ust-Tosno railroad bridge, force the Tosna River, and in coordination with units of 43d Rifle Brigade develop the attack toward Mga. The 2d Tank Battalion under the command of Major Pankin, a tank platoon from 1st Battalion, and the tank «Za Rodinu» from my company attacked in the first echelon. In this battle the tank received the mission to capture the railroad bridge across the Tosna River and hold the bridgehead for the arrival of the main body. The battle unfolded on open terrain. The frozen upper layer of peat barely supported the tank. When it approached right up to the bridge, it was greeted with the fire of German heavy guns and radio communications with the tank were lost. At this time I was at the battalion command post. When communications were broken with the tank «Za Rodinu», I attempted to reach the place of the engagement along the railroad embankment. When I managed to crawl to the tank, I saw that the turret had been blown off the tank and the crew was all dead."

Thus, the KV-220 or KV-3, which is not precisely known, was destroyed. Information regarding the fate of other KV tanks has not been found.

Specification of Some Projects of KV-4 Heavy Tank
Parameter KV-4 by Kreslavsky KV-4 by Kuzmin, Tarapatin, Tarotko KV-4 by Pereverzev KV-4 by Mikhailov KV-4 by Kruchenykh KV-4 by Tseits
I. Main characteristics
Combat weight, kg 92,600 88,000 100,000 86,500 107,700 90,000
Max length, m 9 9.26 6.5 9 9.13 8.35
Max width, m 4 3,.79 3.8 3.6 4.03 4.03
Max height, m 3.225 3.175 3.32 3 3.78 3.62
Track, m 3.15 3.04 3 2.5 3.1 3.18
Clearence, i` 0.6 0.5 0.52 0.5 0.55 0.55
Length of bearing area, m 6 6.66 ? ? 6.09 6.05
Ground pressure kg/cm2 0.908 0.8 ? 0.896 1.04 0.88
Engine Diesel M-40
Max. power, h.p. 1200
Max speed, km/h 45 36 39 50 35 45
Range, km 180-230 250 300 2800 litres 320 180
Crew 6 6 6 5 9 7
II. Armor
Side armor, mm hull 125, turret 140 125 125 150 hull 130, turret 140 125
Upper frontal plate, mm 80 125 100 130 130 130
Lower frontal plate, mm 130 125 125 180 130 130
Rear, mm 130 100 e` 125 125 130 100 e` 130 125
Roof, mm 50 40 50 40 50 60
First bottom plate, mm 40 40 50 50 50 ?
Second bottom plare, mm 40 40 40 40 50 50
III. Armament
Main Gun No.1 107mm ZiS-6
Main Gun No.2 45mm 20-K no
Machine-guns 3 4o~7,62mm DT 3o~7,62mm DT 4o~7,62mm DT 2o~7,62mm DS
Main Gun No.1 ammo 103 20 100 85 105 108
Main Gun No.2 ammo 140 160 103 150 300 no
Maichine-guns ammo 6000 4200 4500 45 clips 10000 10000
Gun No.1 elevation angle +15° −7° +? −5° +20° −7° +20° −5° +20° −12° +20° −5°
Gun No.2 elevation angle +15° −7° +80° −5° +25° −7° +20° −5° +20 ° −12° no
Gun No.1 traverse 360° 60° 360° 360° 360° 360°
Gun No.2 traverse 360° 360° 270° 45° 360° no
Additional armament n/a flamethrower flamethrower n/a flamethrower
IV. Other propetries
Suspension torsion bar
Road wheels steel; with internal shock-absorber
Radio 10-R

From Polish: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
From Russian: James F. Gebhardt
Sources: «Tankomaster» No.6, 2000;
Janusz Magnuski «Ciezki Czolg KW», 1997;
Pavlov, I. V., Pavlov, M. V., «Sovetskie Tanki i SAU 1939-1945», Moscow 1996;
M. Svirin «Artilleriskoye Vooruzhenie Sovetskikh Tankov 1940-1945» A`Armada-Vertikal, No.4, 1999;
V. Gagin «Tyazheliy Tank Propyva Klim Voroshilov», Polygraph, 1996

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