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Know Your Steel: KV-1


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TheKroo #1 Posted 06 November 2013 - 01:48 PM

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Hello tankies,
Welcome to our new "Know Your Steel" series of articles. The following articles are going to be dedicated to interesting info and trivia about the tanks we have in game.
A bit of side view on them. We will not go too technical or too deep and will try to provide a fun to read material.
Hope you will enjoy this first article.
KV-1
When he was joining the 70th Infantry Division on 14th November 1933, student Zinoviy Grigorevich Kolobanov (Russian: Зиновий Григорьевич Колобанов) did not even dream about having his name connected to one of the most famous tank skirmishes in the Great Patriotic War.
19th August 1941 was a grim day for Leningrad forces of USSR. German armoured forces were easily dispatching light soviet tanks of the BT series and the T20 family.
Commander of the German 8th Division’s vanguard had no reason to worry while his 20 vehicle group was approaching the crossroad at the edge of Krasnogvardeysk swamp. Shortly first tank was out. German vehicles stopped, believing it ran across a mine. 150 meters farther, gunner Starshiy Serzhant (Старший Cержа́нт) Andrey Usov (Андрей Михайлович Усов) was already taking aim at the group’s rear, 800m further to the west.
Few moments later, hit by a 76mm shot, tank at the rear of the group had caught fire and disabled the chance of a retreat. Astonished German tankers were trying to figure out who was shooting at them. Panicked they did not
noticed 5 hunkered down KV-1 tanks, belonging to the First Battalion’s Third Company under command of Starshiy Leytenant Kolobanov. Spotted late and well hunkered down, his KV-1 had continued firing until it had depleted his double battle compliment of APCR shells (total of 220) and only then had the second Soviet tank fired from its new position.
When the dust was down. Count of the skirmish was 43 destroyed German tanks. The crew of tank number 864 have counted astonishing 135 hits on their KV armour – neither of the hits penetrating their armour. They alone had managed to destroy 22 enemy tanks, two Self-propelled guns and two halftracks.
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The story would have had another ending if a group of students who had visited Kirovsky Zavod did not get their homework of reworking the SKB-2 blueprint of a new heavy tank, which was supposed to replace a faulty designed T-35.At the very beginning they were forced with a series of technical difficulties, including unreliable transmission which was not meant for such weight. No one seriously believed in finding a viable solution in any reasonable time. Around that time Czech Š-II vehicles were under consideration for testing at Kubinka with the aim of copying the good solutions. Alongside the student project (SKM-2)a new idea had arisen with project leaders being J.I. Kotin (SKB bureau director) and I.M. Zaltzman (KTZ factory director). They were proposing a project of a single turreted heavy tank with reinforced armour.
The army had decided to test both of the prototypes on February 27th 1939 and so the development was launched. Kirovski Zavod got the green light for production of the prototypes. In midst of turbulent political events, it turned out it was easier to make a tank rather than name one. It was popular but very risky to name a tank by a politician. Kotin and Zaltzman had decided to go with the wind and name the tank by then People's Commissar for Defense of the Soviet Union: Kliment Voroshilov. Officially naming the tank KV-1.
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KV-1 was first to receive a diesel engine (450 HP) mentioned later becoming a standard for most tanks. Its casted turret was equipped with 76mm gun firing shells of 612ms initial velocity able to penetrate a homogeneous steel plate 60mm of thickness at 500mm distance. Despite bad presentation in Moscow, the tank was granted approval for usage.
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KV-1 had received its fiery christening during the Winter War. It had surpassed all competition which was sent to fight alongside it. Practice has shown that the 76mm gun was ineffective against concrete bunkers used by the Finnish. This led the military to develop a “small turret” with the 76mm gun and “big turret” with the 152mm howitzer in place. The larger turret tank was named KV-2 .
KV-1 had shown his true value during the German invasion of USSR. The Soviets had 508 KV-1 tanks on the front lines which were structured as heavy tank battalions. Less than 10% was lost in direct combat. Most knocked out tanks were the result of crew abandonment (lack of ammunition or fuel). Despite everything, crews liked their tanks as they offered great level of protection.
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KV-1 proved to be virtually untouchable by any of German possessed tank mounted weapons of the initial war period. There are recorded cases of few isolated tanks holding the advancement of an entire German armoured group.
At the end the main advantage of KV-1- proved to be its greatest flaw: the weight of the tank was quite a limiting factor (bad USSR infrastructure, swamps, managing terrain).
Soviet forces soon realized this handicap and necessary modifications and changes were made. In an attempt to transfer all the T-34’s virtues, the military had taken attempts to make KV-1 lighter and more mobile. And KV-1S was born.
As you may know World of Tanks has a medal called “Kolobanov's Medal”
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“Awarded to a player who stands alone against five or more enemy tanks or self-propelled guns and wins (this means that you can capture the enemy base by yourself when you are against five enemies and you will recieve the achievement.)
Colonel Zinoviy Kolobanov was a Soviet tank ace who destroyed 22 German tanks, 2 guns and 2 halftracks with his KV in battle on August 19, 1941.”

cDa #2 Posted 06 November 2013 - 02:07 PM

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Good first job is, Young padawan did good, master will be pleased :)

Steffenximus #3 Posted 06 November 2013 - 03:09 PM

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View PostHunter1911, on 06 November 2013 - 01:48 PM, said:

KV-1 proved to be virtually untouchable by any of Germans then possessed anti-tank weapons.
Oh really ? Have you heard of something called 8.8cm FlaK guns ? Or the 5cm L60 gun ? I won't even mention the mighty L43 and L48 guns. You don't really believe that germans had problems killing this thing IRL, do you ? KV-1 was an inferior tank to T-34, in all regards, just like IS-2 was inferior to T-34/85.
I smell propaganda all over this post.

Edited by Steffenximus, 06 November 2013 - 03:10 PM.


CR7070 #4 Posted 06 November 2013 - 03:09 PM

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nice  job, looking forward to other tanks

EimasLT #5 Posted 06 November 2013 - 03:25 PM

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Very good :)

Schmeksiman #6 Posted 06 November 2013 - 03:31 PM

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Brilliant article Hunter, a welcome sight on the forums, especially when one of the mods is writing it. I'd say your promotion was well worth it  :blinky:

Nanowatt #7 Posted 06 November 2013 - 03:41 PM

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Nice but i would like to see in future more technical details about each tank you are going to discuss.Nice work with the article:D

JoonKaboon #8 Posted 06 November 2013 - 03:51 PM

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View PostSteffenximus, on 06 November 2013 - 03:09 PM, said:

Oh really ? Have you heard of something called 8.8cm FlaK guns ? Or the 5cm L60 gun ? I won't even mention the mighty L43 and L48 guns. You don't really believe that germans had problems killing this thing IRL, do you ? KV-1 was an inferior tank to T-34, in all regards, just like IS-2 was inferior to T-34/85.
I smell propaganda all over this post.

At the start of the war with the russians, the germans did NOT have sufficient capability to fight against the KV-tanks. Later on they did, and the weight of the KV became a liability. Anyhow, at the start of the conflict, german tanks had trouble with penetrating the T-34 hull. For a long time, only the Stug 3 was capable of knocking both tanks out.

TheKroo #9 Posted 06 November 2013 - 04:01 PM

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View PostSteffenximus, on 06 November 2013 - 03:09 PM, said:

Oh really ? Have you heard of something called 8.8cm FlaK guns ? Or the 5cm L60 gun ? I won't even mention the mighty L43 and L48 guns. You don't really believe that germans had problems killing this thing IRL, do you ? KV-1 was an inferior tank to T-34, in all regards, just like IS-2 was inferior to T-34/85.
I smell propaganda all over this post.
KV was produced from 1939–43. Please do note that 8.8cm gun was first used on a tank after 1942, i.e. after the appearance of Tiger series.
During the early stages of the war Germans were fielding Panzer series from Panzer I to IV and those tanks were heavily outmatched by KV's.
L/48 became the standard gun from June 1942.
OFC KV series were outmatched by Tiger and Panther series, but we are talking about initial war period.

View PostSchmeksiman, on 06 November 2013 - 03:31 PM, said:

Brilliant article Hunter, a welcome sight on the forums, especially when one of the mods is writing it. I'd say your promotion was well worth it  :blinky:
Thanks mate, glad you enjoyed it.

View PostNanowatt, on 06 November 2013 - 03:41 PM, said:

Nice but i would like to see in future more technical details about each tank you are going to discuss.Nice work with the article:D
Noted. Will do :)

AngryBanana #10 Posted 06 November 2013 - 04:07 PM

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View PostSteffenximus, on 06 November 2013 - 03:09 PM, said:

Oh really ? Have you heard of something called 8.8cm FlaK guns ? Or the 5cm L60 gun ? I won't even mention the mighty L43 and L48 guns. You don't really believe that germans had problems killing this thing IRL, do you ? KV-1 was an inferior tank to T-34, in all regards, just like IS-2 was inferior to T-34/85.I smell propaganda all over this post.
ahahaha, the germans didnt have L/48 L/48s or L/60 5cms at the start of the war, and the 88mm FlaK is a FLugzeugAbwehrKanone, not an antitank gun.

Gremlin182 #11 Posted 06 November 2013 - 04:38 PM

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View PostSteffenximus, on 06 November 2013 - 03:09 PM, said:

Oh really ? Have you heard of something called 8.8cm FlaK guns ? Or the 5cm L60 gun ? I won't even mention the mighty L43 and L48 guns. You don't really believe that germans had problems killing this thing IRL, do you ? KV-1 was an inferior tank to T-34, in all regards, just like IS-2 was inferior to T-34/85.
I smell propaganda all over this post.

The Germans did indeed have a big problem with the KV1s and the T34s too, sure they had 88s but a large part of the german tank forces at the time were still panzer IIs and IVs and the 37mm anti tank gun was also the common AT gun.
Check out Henry Mettlemanns story he was a German tanker on the Russian front if you want to know the effect these tanks had.he said his tank was a sardine can compared to them.

Mac_Maus #12 Posted 06 November 2013 - 05:18 PM

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View PostAngryBanana, on 06 November 2013 - 04:07 PM, said:

ahahaha, the germans didnt have L/48 L/48s or L/60 5cms at the start of the war, and the 88mm FlaK is a FLugzeugAbwehrKanone, not an antitank gun.
true except for the 8.8 flak gun, that gun could also be positioned in a horizontal way and used as an anti tank gun.
http://en.wikipedia....lak_18/36/37/41
edit: the link

Edited by Mac_Maus, 06 November 2013 - 05:19 PM.


AngryBanana #13 Posted 06 November 2013 - 05:19 PM

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View PostMac_Maus, on 06 November 2013 - 05:18 PM, said:

true except for the 8.8 flak gun, that gun could also be positioned in a horizontal way and used as an anti tank gun.
So? I was aware of that but it still doesnt make it an AT gun.

mynameispuffs #14 Posted 06 November 2013 - 05:20 PM

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Sheds some light on the history of my remote control KV-1 :)

REALLY nice post: well written, presented and the facts are all correct. :great: :great: :great:

look forward to more in the future!

Mac_Maus #15 Posted 06 November 2013 - 05:22 PM

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View PostAngryBanana, on 06 November 2013 - 05:19 PM, said:

So? I was aware of that but it still doesnt make it an AT gun.

Lol, u think they worried  about that?? if it hurts ehm then hurt ehm!  :trollface:

TheKroo #16 Posted 06 November 2013 - 05:34 PM

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View PostMac_Maus, on 06 November 2013 - 05:18 PM, said:

true except for the 8.8 flak gun, that gun could also be positioned in a horizontal way and used as an anti tank gun.
http://en.wikipedia....lak_18/36/37/41
edit: the link

That is correct. The discovery of its effectiveness made the Germans realize the gun's potential for tank and anti tank usage.
But we are still referring to the fact that German tank mounted guns of early war period were not able to penetrate the KV tanks.

The 8.8 cm Flak 18/36/37/41 was not mounted nor used on a tank prior to Tiger series.
Quite a lot of field guns were able to knock out a tank.

So most German vehicles of early war period were not able to reliably penetrate KV series tanks.

AngryBanana #17 Posted 06 November 2013 - 05:44 PM

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View PostMac_Maus, on 06 November 2013 - 05:22 PM, said:

Lol, u think they worried  about that?? if it hurts ehm then hurt ehm!  
ofc they used it vs tanks, but the OP said there were no AT guns capable to deal with it, which is true.

TheKroo #18 Posted 06 November 2013 - 05:46 PM

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View PostAngryBanana, on 06 November 2013 - 05:44 PM, said:

ofc they used it vs tanks, but the OP said there were no AT guns capable to deal with it, which is true.

Let us call it like this:

OFC the Germans had weapons capable of destroying KV tanks. They DID not have tank mounted weapons capable of such action (during the early war period).

:)

Gremlin182 #19 Posted 06 November 2013 - 05:49 PM

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View PostAngryBanana, on 06 November 2013 - 05:19 PM, said:

So? I was aware of that but it still doesnt make it an AT gun.

The 88 mm Flak gun was widely used in the AT role throughout the war and most AA units would have had a certain number of AP shells just in case.

In much the same way the British 25 pounder field gun carries Ap rounds and was also used in emergencies in the AT role.

In the case of the 88 mm flak gun it was determined quite early in its development that the  things that made it an excellent AA gun also made it a great AT gun ie high muzzel velocity.
You need it to hit a high flying fast moving aircraft and to penetrate armour.

That said The soviets had 3000 T34s and 1500 KV1s in 1941 against that the Germans had 2600 PZII PZIV and StugIIIs
The other tanks PZIIs and so on would have had zero chance against a KV, at least a 37mm 50mm or short 75mm had some chance.
Bad tactics bad command structure and the at the time excellent Luftwaffe beat the Soviet army in 1941..

TheKroo #20 Posted 06 November 2013 - 05:53 PM

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I have reworded the article slightly as some of my writings were possibly confusing. Thank you all for the feedback :)




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