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Soviet Union's KV-2 heavy tank
Nickname: Dreadnought

Photos

KV-2 heavy tank:
Soviet Union's KV-2 Heavy Tank
Aberdeen Tank Museum

KV-2 heavy tank:
Soviet KV-2 Heavy Tank
KV-2 heavy tank:
Soviet KV-2 Heavy Tank

KV-2 heavy tank:
Soviet KV-2 Heavy Tank
KV-2 heavy tank:
Soviet Union's KV-2 Heavy Tank

KV-2 heavy tank:
Soviet Union's KV-2 Heavy Tank
KV-2 heavy tank:
Soviet Union's KV-2 Heavy Tank

KV-2 heavy tank:
Soviet Union's KV-2 Heavy Tank
KV-2A heavy tank:
Soviet Union's KV-2A Heavy Tank

Easy Models 1/72 die cast, 36283:
Easy Models 1/72 Armor 36283, Soviet KV-2
Hobby Master 1/72 die cast, 3004:
Hobby Master 3004 1/72 Armor, Soviet KV-2 Heavy Tank
Hobby Master 1/72 die cast, 3006:
Hobby Master 3006 1/72 Armor, Soviet KV-2 Heavy Tank

Design

During the Russo-Finnish War the commander of the 7th Army, K. Meretskov, made requests for a tank that had a large gun to attack Finnish bunkers.1,11

The KV-2 used the chassis and suspension of the KV-1 with an extra large turret that contained a 152 mm howitzer.10

The KV-2 was designed to attack fortifications.9 There was a special concrete busting shell that the KV-2 could fire.9,11

The turret and gun weighed 12 tons.1,7 The turret was 1.45 m tall.2

Main Armament

The 152 mm barrel was 3.7 m long.2 There was a drum sight that has a shortened aiming scope.2

Some may have had a 122 mm gun installed.8 The initial production run had 122 mm howitzers.6

Type Name Weight Muzzle Velocity Range Penetration
500 m
HE2   51.1 kg2 432 m/sec2 5,000 m2  
AP2   40 kg2 508 m/sec2    
APHE8   112 lb8 1,400'/sec8    

Prototype

It took two weeks to complete a prototype.1 Trials for the KV-2 prototype were conducted on February 10, 1940.1 Two prototypes were sent to the Finish front on the Karelian Isthmus.1 It is unclear whether they actually saw combat but Meretskov did report very good success against bunkers, which may have only been against captured ones.1

Production

Production of the KV-2 started in February 1940.6

  • KV-2, KV-2A: 3302
    • Production: 1940 - 19412, 1940 - October 19411
      • ? - October 1941: 3343
      • 1940: 1022
      • 1941: 2321,2
      • 1942: 7802
    • Manufacturer: Soviet arsenals (1942)8

Variants

  • KV-2A: Produced in 1940 to battle the Finnish defenses. Proved to be unwieldy as the turret was very heavy. The turret could only be moved when on flat ground. Construction was halted at end of 1941. Built on the KV-1 chassis at the Kirov works in Leningrad.
  • KV-2B: Larger mantlet with rounded shield and was 4 tons heavier. Some had flame throwers. Built on the KV-1A chassis.
  • LV-1 S: 122 mm gun.2
  • ?: 85 mm gun.2

Usage

It was found that the KV-2 was much to heavy and were eventually replaced by self propelled guns.6

The Germans found that if they immobilized the Kv-2 by damaging it tracks they had a easier time destroying it.11

Trials in Finland

Used against the Mannerheim Line in February 1940.7

Mechanical Problems

The KV-2s suffered from mechanical problems and often broke down.1 The 41st Tank Division reported that it lost 2/3 of its 33 KV-2s, but only five of those were due to combat.1

Moscow Defense

KV-2s were used in the defense of Moscow in late 1941.1

Stalingrad

The 62nd Army, commanded by Major-General V. Chuikov, had KV-2s to help in the defense of Stalingrad.1

Specifications

  KV-2
Crew 61,3,4,8,9,11
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 116,845 lb,
53,963 kg3,9,11
52 tons4,8, 53 tons7, 53.1 tons3,9,11
Length w/gun 22' 2.25"8, 22' 3"3,9,11, 23' 11.75"
6.79 m3,9,11, 6.8 m4
Length w/o gun 22' 4"
Height 10' 7.5"8, 12'3,7,9,11, 12' 11", 16'1
3.28 m4, 3.65 m3,9,11, 4.9 m1
Width 10' 11"3,9,11, 10' 11.25"8, 11' 9"
3.32 m3,9,11, 3.35 m4
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 1' 2", 17"8
Ground contact length 14' 5"8
0.52 m4
Ground pressure 12.23 psi, 12.3 psi8
0.84 kg/cm2 4
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 152 mm 1938/40 L/24.52
1: 152 mm M1938/40 L/203
1: 152 mm L/244
1: 152 mm howitzer7
1: 152 mm M1938/408
1: 152 mm L/20 howitzer9,11
Secondary  
MG 2: 7.62 mm DT MG3
3: MGs4
2: 7.62 mm MG9,11
MG - coaxial 1: 7.62 mm DT MG8
MG - rear turret 1: 7.62 mm MG
1: 7.62 mm DT MG8
MG - hull 1: 7.62 mm MG
1: 7.62 mm DT MG8
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 364,8
Secondary  
MG 3,0554, 3,078, 3,0878
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 1109,11, 30-1103
Hull Front, Upper 3"@0°8, 754, 75+35
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 3"@0°8, 754, 75+35
Hull Sides, Lower 75
Hull Rear 3"@0°8, 754
Hull Top 354
Hull Bottom 354
Turret Front 3"@0°8, 4.3"1
754, 100, 1101
Turret Sides 2.9"1, 3"@0°8
751,4
Turret Rear 754
Turret Top 354
Engine (Make / Model) W-24,8, W-2-K2,3, V2K9,11
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water8
Cylinders V-128,9,11
Capacity  
Net HP 5509,11, 6008
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 5 forward, 1 reverse4,8
Sliding mesh8
Steering Clutch brake8
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Diesel8,9,11
Octane  
Quantity 131.2 gallons8
650 liters4
Road consumption 1.3 mpg8
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°8
Power and manual8
Speed - Road 15 mph8, 15.62 mph1, 15.9 mph3, 16 mph9,11, 16.2 mph
25 kph1, 25.6 kph3, 26 kph9,11, 35 kph4
Speed - Cross Country 7.4 mph1, 9.3 mph
12 kph1
Range - Road 87 miles3, 93 miles9,11, 99.4 miles, 150 miles8
140 km3, 150 km9,11, 220 km4
Range - Cross Country 130 km4
Turning radius 31'
9.5 m4
Elevation limits -4° to +24.5°, -5° to +12°8
Fording depth 3' 9"8, 4' 9"
1.45 m4
Trench crossing 8' 6", 9' 2"8
Vertical obstacle 3'8, 3' 8"
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Torsion bar4
Christie type coil spring torsion arm8
Wheels each side 64,8
Return rollers each side 38
Tracks (Type) Steel skeleton, dry pin8
Length  
Width 2' 3.5"8
700 mm4
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch 6.25"8
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  
  KV-2A
Crew 61,5,6
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 53,850 kg1
53 tons1,5,6
Length 7.31 m1
22.3'5,6, 23' 11"1
Height 12'5,6, 12' 11"1
3.93 m1
Width 10.93'5,6
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length 14.4'6
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 152 mm howitzer1,5
152 mm M1938/40 howitzer6
Secondary  
MG 2: 7.62 mm MG1
2: MG5,6
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 366
Secondary  
MG 3,0876
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 35 - 1005, 1101
Hull Front, Upper 1106
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 75 - 776
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top 356
Hull Bottom 356
Turret Front 35 - 1006
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) V-2K6
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders 126
Capacity  
Net HP 5505,6
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Diesel5,6
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°
Speed - Road 16 mph5,6, 16.2 mph1
26 kph1
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 100 miles6, 125 miles1
200 km1
Range - Cross Country 84 miles6
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width 2' 3.5"6
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  
  KV-2B
Crew 66
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 57 tons5,6
Length 22.3'6
Height 13.7'5,6
Width 10.93'6
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length 14.4'6
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 152 mm M1938/40 howitzer6
Secondary  
MG 2: MG6
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 366
Secondary  
MG 3,0876
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper 1106
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 75 - 1106
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top 356
Hull Bottom 356
Turret Front 35 - 1006
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) V-2K6
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders 126
Capacity  
Net HP 5506
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Diesel6
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 16 mph6
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 100 miles6
Range - Cross Country 84 miles6
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width 2' 3.5"6
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  
  KV-2 1940
Crew 62
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 52 tons2
Length w/gun 6.8 m2
Length w/o gun 6.67 m2
Height 3.25 m2
Width 3.35 m2
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 0.45 m2
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure 0.9 kg/cm2 2
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 152.4 mm 1938/40 howitzer2
Secondary  
MG 3: 7.62 mm DT MG2
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 362
Secondary  
MG 2,475-3,0872
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper 752
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 752
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear 60-752
Hull Top 30-402
Hull Bottom 30-402
Turret Front 1102
Turret Sides 752
Turret Rear 752
Turret Top 352
Engine (Make / Model) W-2-K2
Bore / stroke 4 stroke2
Cooling  
Cylinders V-122
Capacity  
Net HP 600@2,000 rpm2
Power to weight ratio 11.5 hp/ton2
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Diesel2
Octane  
Quantity 610 liters2
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°
Speed - Road 26 kph2
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 250 km2
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 1.6 m2
Trench crossing 2.7 m2
Vertical obstacle 1.2 m2
Climbing ability 30°2
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  

Sources:

  1. Russian Tanks of World War II Stalin's Armored Might, by Tim Bean & Will Fowler, 2002
  2. Russian Tanks and Armored Vehicles 1917-1945, by Wolfgang Fleischer, 1999
  3. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  4. Panzer Truppen The Complete Guide to the Creation and Combat Employment of Germany's Tank Force 1933-1942, Thomas L. Jentz, 1996
  5. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  6. Airfix Magazine Guide 22 Russian Tanks of World War 2, John Milsom and Steve Zaloga, 1977
  7. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  8. Tank Data 2, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, E. J. Hoffschmidt and W. H. Tantum IV, 1969
  9. The Illustrated Guide to Tanks of the World, George Forty, 2006
  10. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  11. World War I and II Tanks, George Forty, 2012
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site

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