The KV-1 is part of a series of tanks made by the Soviet Union that were used for the majority of World War II. These tanks were a part of the Kliment Voroshilov collection of armor, named after the Soviet Defence Commissar and politician of the same name. Known for their incredible armor properties, the KVs were renowned for the ability to hold off an enemy advance.
The Soviet Union had their own doctrine on which they designed their tanks, known as “Soviet deep operation”. This doctrine, in turn, precipitated the need for heavily armored, yet unfortunately sluggish, tanks that were to be used for holding a position against an enemy attack or maintaining pressure during a siege.
From this, the Soviet designers began work on a replacement for the T-35. Several designs were created, including the multi-turreted SMK (direct competition of the would-be KV-1). As part of the design process, a single-turreted tank was designed and named after the Soviet Defence Commissar. All previous designs had included heavy armor (aligning with the doctrine), wide tracks, and torsion-bar suspension.
As 1939 was coming to a close, the Soviet Union entered the Winter War, and it was here that the SMK and KV were tested in combat conditions. The KV ended up outperforming its competitor and because of this, 50 units were ordered for production.
It was around this time that the KV saw its first two versions named the KV-1 and KV-2. The difference between these two tanks was based
In World of Tanks, the KV-1 is a Tier 5 heavy tank known for its excellent hull armor and its impressively rounded turret upgrade. It’s also one of the best heavy tanks for newer players, as it’s a short grind down one of the best USSR tank lines in World of Tanks.
In-game it has a wide range of available guns, with the 76mm ZiS-5 being the stock version, as with the real-life variant of the KV-1. However, the KV-1 can be upgraded to utilize a 122mm U-11 Howitzer, capable of one-shotting a lot of lower tiers while still being able to hold its own when the KV-1 is bottom tier.
The KVs success was attributed to its armor, which at the time, was impenetrable by any competing tank-mounted weapon. Unfortunately, its armor was its biggest weakness, as the sheer weight of the KV-1 left it stranded or caused drivers to divert and look for adequate bridges. It took senior commanders and certified heroes to report on the KV-1s struggles before further progress was made.
One such hero was tank commander and veteran of the German-Soviet war, Zinoviy Kolobanov. The tank commander managed to hold out against 43 German Panzers using just his KV-1. With such impressive armor, German tanks struggled to penetrate the KV-1, as is evident with Kolobanov’s achievement.
Due to its sheer size and seemingly invincibility, the German’s took to calling it the “Russischer Koloss” or “Russian Colossus”. However, this legendary status faded, as later in the war German armor increased in lethality thanks to their use of long-barrelled 50mm and 75mm guns, which could easily penetrate the thick hide of the KV.
Toward the end of the war, the KV series of tanks became the foundation of what would become
So while the shift away from the KV-1 and others in the series was inevitable, players can still experience one of the easiest to use heavy tanks in World of Tanks.