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The design was deemed to offer no significant advantages over the IS-2, just the reload time was less, and the IS-6 project was halted. The IS-7 heavy tank design began in Leningrad in by Nikolai Fedorovich Shashmurin [7] [8] and was developed in It was accepted into service in as the IS, [12] but due to the political climate in the wake of Stalin's death in , it was renamed T The biggest differences from its direct ancestor, the IS-3, were a longer hull, seven pairs of road wheels instead of six, a larger turret mounting a new gun with fume extractor , an improved diesel engine, and increased armour.

General performance was similar, although the T could carry more ammunition. Ts like the earlier tanks they replaced were deployed in independent tank regiments belonging to armies, and independent tank battalions belonging to divisions. These independent tank units could be attached to mechanized units, to support infantry operations and perform breakthroughs.

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The TM is the final iteration of this type. It featured a longer gun barrel than previous models with 5-baffle muzzle brake and This was the last Soviet heavy tank to enter service. However the mobility and firepower of medium-tanks and the evolution of the main battle tank rendered heavy tanks obsolete. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.

Home FAQ Contact. IS tank family Wikipedia open wikipedia design. Soviet WWII tank.

Works (74)

This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Cold War tanks. List Category. Main article: IS-1 and IS Main article: IS-3 tank. Main article: IS Main article: T tank. War is Boring.

Stalin's Heavy Tanks 1941-1945: The KV & IS Heavy Tanks

Retrieved 30 October World of Tanks North America. Bloomsbury Publishing. Tank Encyclopedia. Retrieved Archived from the original on May 22, IS-2 Heavy Tank Osprey Publishing Ltd. The National Interest. Retrieved 9 October RIA Novosti. July 6, Archived from the original on Baryatinsky, Mikhail The IS Tanks. Hersham, Surrey: Ian Allan Publishing. When Titans Clashed. The KV tanks were practically immune to the 3. Until the Germans developed more effective guns, the KV-1 was invulnerable to almost any German weapon except the 8.

Prior to the start of Operation Barbarossa in June , about of the over 22, tanks then in Soviet service were of the KV-1 type. As the war progressed, it became evident that there was little sense in producing the expensive KV tanks, as the T medium tank performed better or at least equally well in all practical respects.

After disappointing results with the multi-turreted T heavy tank, Soviet tank designers started drawing up replacements. The T conformed to the s notion of a "breakthrough tank" with very heavy firepower and armour protection, but suffered from poor mobility. The Spanish Civil War demonstrated the need for much heavier armour on tanks, [ citation needed ] and was the main influence on Soviet tank design just prior to World War II.

Several competing designs were offered, and even more were drawn up prior to reaching prototype stage. All had heavy armour, torsion-bar suspension , wide tracks, and were of welded and cast construction. One of the main competing designs was the SMK , which in its final form had two turrets, mounting one The designers of the SMK independently drew up a single-turreted variant and this received approval at the highest level.


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The smaller hull and single turret enabled the designer to install heavy frontal and turret armour while keeping the weight within manageable limits. The KV was ordered right off the drawing board. The KV's heavy armour proved highly resistant to Finnish anti-tank weapons, making it more difficult to stop. In , the production of 50 KVs was ordered. During the war, the Soviets found it difficult to deal with the concrete bunkers used by the Finns and a request was made for a tank with a large howitzer.

One of the rush projects to meet the request put the howitzer in a new turret on one of the KV tanks. While their frontal armor was sufficient to deflect anti-tank fire, German troops were able to outflank them and destroy them with explosive charges or lure them to within point-blank range of direct-fire artillery.

Of the more than Soviet tanks lost at Raseiniai, 29 were KVs. The KV's strengths included armour that was impenetrable by any tank-mounted weapon then in service [7] except at point-blank range, that it had good firepower, and that it had good flotation on soft ground. It also had serious flaws: it was difficult to steer; the transmission which was a twenty-year-old Holt Caterpillar design [8] "was the main stumbling block of the KV-1, and there was some truth to rumors of Soviet drivers having to shift gears with a hand sledge"; [8] and the ergonomics were poor, with limited visibility.

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This severely impacted the maneuverability, not so much in terms of maximum speed, as through inability to cross many bridges medium tanks could cross. In addition, its firepower was no better than that of the T While adequate against all German tanks, it was the same gun as carried by smaller, faster, and cheaper T medium tanks.

In , it was determined that this gun could not easily penetrate the frontal armour of the new Tiger , [12] the first German heavy tank, one of which was captured near Leningrad.

The KV-1 was also much more difficult to manufacture and thus more expensive than the T In short, its advantages no longer outweighed its drawbacks. Nonetheless, because of its initial superior performance, the KV-1 was chosen as one of the few tanks to continue being built following the Soviet reorganization of tank production.

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While impressive on paper, it had been designed as a slow-moving bunker-buster. It was less useful in the highly mobile, fluid warfare that developed in World War II.

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The turret was so heavy it was difficult to traverse on uneven terrain. Finally, it was expensive to produce. Only about KV-2s were made, all in , making it one of the rarest Soviet tanks. As the war continued, the KV-1 continued to get more armour to compensate for the increasing effectiveness of German weapons.

This culminated in the KV-1 model German designation KV-1C , which had very heavy armour, but lacked a corresponding improvement to the engine. Tankers complained that, although they were well-protected, their mobility was poor and they had no firepower advantage over the T medium tank. In response to criticisms, the lighter KV-1S was developed, with thinner armour and a smaller, lower turret in order to reclaim some speed. Importantly, the KV-1S had a commander's cupola with all-around vision blocks. It also had a sophisticated planetary transmission that significantly increased the reliability, and allowed use of more efficient regenerative geared steering, unlike the solely clutch and brake steering systems used by the Panzer III, IV and T and previous KV tanks.

Its reduced weight allowed it to achieve a top speed of Over 1, were built before production ended in August The Soviet heavy tank program was close to cancellation in mid The appearance of the German Panther tank in the summer of convinced the Red Army to make a serious upgrade of its tank force for the first time since Soviet tanks needed bigger guns to take on the growing numbers of Panthers and the few Tigers. The KV appeared on the front beginning in September and its production ended by December Although the KV was an excellent opponent to the Tigers and Panthers, it was a stopgap and thus was built in small numbers.

A new heavy tank design entered production late in based on the work done on the KV Because Voroshilov had fallen out of political favour, the new heavy tank series was named the Iosif Stalin tank , after the Soviet leader Stalin. The Soviets did not recognize different production models of KV-1 during the war; designations like model M, Russian: Obr. These designations, however, are not strict and describe leading changes, while other changes might be adapted earlier or later in specific production batches. Designations like KV-1A were applied by the Germans during the war.

The tank was hit multiple times by it but fired back, disabling all four guns. During the night, German combat engineers attempted to destroy the tank with satchel charges , but were unable to, despite possibly damaging the tracks. Of several shots fired, only two penetrated the tank. German infantry then advanced, with the KV opening machine-gun fire against them. According to some accounts, the crew was buried by the German soldiers with full military honours; in other accounts, the crew escaped during the night.

General Erhard Raus was Commander of the 6th Panzer Division 's Kampfgruppe , [f] the unit delayed by the lone vehicle. He described it as a KV-1 , which was damaged by several 88mm anti-tank gun shots fired from behind the vehicle while it was distracted by Panzer 35 t tanks from Panzer Battalion 65, and the KV-1 crew were killed by members of a pioneer unit who pushed grenades through two holes made by the gun while the turret began moving again, the other five or six shots having not fully penetrated. Apparently, the KV-1 crew had remarkably only been stunned by the shots which had entered the turret.