|This page is about the Soviet heavy tank KV-2 (1939). For other versions, see KV-2 (Family).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The KV-2 (1939) is a rank II Soviet heavy tank with a battle rating of 3.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41. One of the most infamous tanks in the Soviet tree, the KV-2 introduces the concept of heavy-calibre armaments that will trend on other Soviet heavy tanks.
The KV-2 is a modification of the KV-1 that mounted a M-10T (152mm) howitzer in order to provide support to infantry against fortified positions. The large and extremely heavy turret, necessary to mount the 152 mm howitzer, results in a slow traverse time. Its gun is an effective breach weapon, designed against fortifications. Despite this usage, very few were made, with the majority being lost due to breakdowns and not German attackers because none of their tanks at that time could penetrate the thick armour. The KV-2 would have been more effective if the Red Army was attacking and not defending because then they would have needed more bunker destroyers.
The KV-2 is a behemoth of a tank, which players feared due to the devastating punch of its 152 mm round and its distinctive and intimidating profile. However, these traits also serve as the tank's weaknesses. The KV-2 can be an effective force on the battlefield, and is well-loved by the community, being christened with numerous nicknames, usually in reference to its abnormally large armament calibre, large profile, or its iconic and legendary status in the Soviet tech tree. The KV-2 has also been given the title "The King Of Derp" by the fanbase.
Survivability and armour
- Rolled homogeneous armour
|Hull|| 75 mm (31°) Front plate
70 mm (72°) Front glacis
25 mm (7-71°) Joint plate
75 mm (26-51°) Lower glacis
|75 mm|| 60 mm (13-89°) Top
70 mm (14-57°) Bottom
|Turret|| 75 mm (15-16°) Front turret
90 mm (10-20°) Gun mantlet 90 mm (1-54°) Gun mantlet shield
|75 mm||75 mm||40 mm|
- Suspension wheels are 20 mm thick while tracks are 30 mm thick.
- With its straight angles the KV-2 can easily be angled in the diamond direction (30°). Improving the line of sight thickness of the chassis to 100mm frontally and 130mm on the side. The turret achieves at 30° up to 90mm of steel, however, the turret ring remains a weak point on all angles. Although since the introduction of volumetric shells this has been made less of a problem
The normal role of a heavy tank is to bring armour and firepower to support the lighter, faster tanks to hold strategic points they have captured. However, the massive profile of the KV-2 heavy tank and the majority of flat 75 mm armour means that even with proper angling and cover, the KV-2 will be unable to hold points for long. The KV-2 easily identified by even the least experienced players and as soon as it fires one round, it will be out-manoeuvred on and forced to retreat or be violently removed. Additionally, artillery and aircraft will often force the KV-2 out of positions if not outright destroy it due to the KV's abysmal speed and massive size. Lastly, the KV-2 has no machine gun to deal with air or lightly armoured targets, meaning once the howitzer fires, that is it for around 30 seconds. Even most anti-air vehicles can effortlessly overrun and destroy the KV-2 if it is over-extended or alone. Couple that with this tank's inability to provide effective long range support and players will have a difficult time finding their niche with this vehicle.
The large turret housing the 152 mm howitzer is a huge target on the KV-2, a more enticing target than the hull. The profile makes concealing the tall, heavy tank difficult, while the turret armour is relatively poor all-around at 75 mm. Not to mention that there will always be ammunition inside the turret, so a penetrating APHE shot has a very high chance of detonating one of these rounds. At its battle rating and rank, most enemy tanks have the capability of penetrating and eliminating the KV-2 through the turret, not to mention even some of the lower rank ones have powerful enough guns to deal with the armour.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The KV-2 (1939) is incredibly sluggish in speed and manoeuvrability. The original KV-1 is already slow as is, but the KV-2 added a huge and heavy turret that increased the total weight from ~46 tons to ~52 tons. Top speed for the vehicle on flat ground is only about 34 km/h, and accelerating is very slow to get the tank up to this speed. Unless moving forwards at a certain gear, the KV-2 (1939) is also very hard to turn on even ground.
Modifications and economy
"Parts" and "FPE" should be the first targets for unlocking. While the mobility of the KV-2 is quite bad, the turret traverse and accuracy is worse. Thus "Horizontal Drive", "Adjustment of Fire" and "Elevation Mechanism" should be prioritized after the first set of upgrades. The "PB-35" shell unlock can be ignored as it is only a marginal upgrade compared with the GF-530 stock shell.
The 152 mm gun is perhaps the most iconic weapon in the Soviet tree. Shells that penetrate will almost always destroy the enemy and even those that fail to do so will still typically do some damage or even destroy the target thanks to the huge amount of explosives in all 3 available shells. A large calibre gun coupled with the heavy turret sadly produces a slow gun traverse (both horizontally and vertically) to get the gun onto a target and very long reload times. The turret also presents a narrow gun depression and elevation range (-5° and 12° respectively), even though limited depression is something common among soviet tanks and you rarely need more elevation.
|152 mm M-10T||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
- G-530 (AC) - The "Anti-Concrete" round has below average but bearable velocity with enough penetration for most tanks up to BR 5.0 (Churchill VII being one of the few exceptions), but the massive size can struggle to go through small weakspots such as the bow machine gun of the M4 Sherman. With over 5 kg of TNT equivalent of HE filler, it will one shot enemies whenever it enters the crew compartment of the enemy vehicle. Even when it doesn't penetrate the enemy's armour, it can still send fragments through thin plates nearby and knock out crew/damage components like a large HE shell. Its armour piercing qualities and much lower fuse sensitivity than HE shells sometimes makes it better than HE since it can go through tracks and side skirts then explode closer to the main armour.
- OF-530 (HE) - High-explosive shell that can destroy pretty much any tank in the game if you know where to shoot. The high explosive mass of the shell inflicts devastating damage to tanks with the overpressure mechanic, provided you target a spot where the armour is thin. The roof of the hull is a good spot, as the explosion will knock out the crew with the blast when going through the roof plate.
- PB-35 (APCBC) - The APCBC shell has the same penetration as AC shell at point-blank range, but loses less of it over range. It's also less prone to ricochets. These are the only pros it has, further undermined by reduced shell velocity which makes the KV-2 even less suitable for long range engagements (800+ m). At the same time its explosive filler is also less potent than AC shell, which means it's less effective as a do-it-all shell.
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|36||32 (+4)||27 (+9)||20 (+16)||1 (+35)||Yes|
Turret empty: 27 (+9)
Usage in battles
The old peek-a-boom tactics, and staying behind others is still the best method for employing this "heavy tank". Roll forward, take the shot, and then pull back for the over half-minute reload time, and then repeat. Close range brawling is a bad idea due to certain characteristics on the tank. Make sure to plan the route ahead of time make sure to avoid large distances in the open, this is a slow moving tank with a large profile making it an easy target for long barreled guns. It is recommended to have a work with a squad mate or other friendly tanks to cover the KV-2 during the reloading phase.
Most tanks with a high-velocity cannon can cripple the KV-2 through the turret. As such, pretty much all tanks at its battle rating should be taken account of. Rely on always getting the first shot off, else the enemy tank is more than likely to destroy the KV-2. Another type of vehicles to worry about are the very small tanks like the M22 Locust and the ASU-57 as these can get right under the tank's gun depression and fire away at weak points with little risk of return fire by the KV-2.
In Arcade, the target lead indicator make the slow, but long-range penetrating PB-35 APCBC a destructive force to be afraid of since ranging is a lot easier for the low-velocity shells. Always conduct attacks via "Peek-a-boo" tactic in that stay behind cover while searching for targets, then pop out when a target presents itself to fire before returning back to cover to reload.
One must be conscious and use the map terrain to their advantage. On more open maps like Karelia and Carpathians, the KV-2's speed and low velocity will make traversing the battlefield while sniping long-range targets difficult. However, one could hang back and snipe unsuspecting and immobile targets, while at the range most return fire would more than likely bounce off the armour. However, be wary of more penetrating guns like the 75 mm on the Panther and the 76 mm on the M4 Shermans that easily piece the front turret armour.
Smaller maps benefit the KV-2 in that the low shell velocities are no longer a big detriment to the combat ability, plus it could make the most of the initial penetration values in close-range battles. However, enemy tanks in close-range will also have an easier time penetrating the KV-2 front armour, or flanking around while reloading the gun thanks to engine power increase. In these cases, situational awareness and friendly support is the key to victory and survival of the KV-2 in the smaller maps.
Realistic and Simulator modes are taxing for the KV-2 as the removal of the target lead indicator can make long-range fighting with the 152 mm a chore.
The most important thing in these game modes, due to the lack of target markers, is the vision. The binoculars are the greatest assets. Keep the turret in a well-angled position while scouting for targets with the binoculars or normal eyesight.
Since the usual fighting ranges exceed 600 m, getting hits without aim assist with the howitzer are rare. Though close-range fighting can fix this, the close-quarters battle is not a tactic the KV-2 should indulge in alone without supporting teammates to cover for the tank in case of flankers. Due to long reloads, rangefinding should be priority whenever the distance is not clear in order to not waste the first shot. If the target is beyond rangefinding range, a tip is to utilize the OF-530 HE shell in the first shot, with spare G-530 anti-concrete rounds for the follow-up. These two rounds share the same ballistics, so the HE shell can be fired first to gauge the distance. If it lands close to the enemy and hits, chances are it will either destroy it or cripple its mobility, plus the impact of the explosion will alert teammates of the presence of an enemy tank at the area of firing. If the enemy tank still remains after the OF-530 shell, the next loading G-530 AC shell can follow through the same ballistic path and destroy the enemy via a penetration.
Getting close: Probably the most difficult part, if spotted a 40 kg shell will soon be on its way to ruin someone's day. Thus sneaking up, or attacking, from outside the KV-2's field of view is advised. Of course, after the KV-2 has fired, a window of opportunity and hope will open up. With moving up and aiming two shots can be placed on the moving Soviet tower tank. An attack route from the side or rear is preferable, not only is it a blind spot, but the turret traverse is so awful on the KV-2 that it will not have the time to react fast enough. Just make sure to hit, or the tank will be alerted and counter-attack.
Shooting: Targets should be the gunner (right side) to stop the loading process and the loader to increase loading time to up to one and a half minutes. If shooting APHE shells, two penetrating hits will often take out the gun breech as well, stopping the reload and the ability to return fire entirely. The easiest way of performing these hits is via the turret ring, although a harder task since the implementation of volumetric shells, which will always not be angled at certain parts from the front. If APHE shells hit below the side hull, it will possibly detonate the main storage of ammunition, resulting in one-shot destruction. If that is not the case the gunner, commander, cannon breech, loader, and ammunition and turret ring will be damaged or wounded.
Shooting a KV-2 from the side is much easier, just one massive turret reaching into the sky. But do not shoot anywhere! The tracks will often eat shots and most KV-2 drivers are by now smart enough to not fully load up their KV-2, leaving the rear turret empty of shells.
Pros and cons
- Huge howitzer, dealing high damage with incredible force that will almost always one-shot enemies on a successful penetration
- Fear factor, the sight and sound of this behemoth and its gun tends to send smaller tanks fleeing in terror
- Has one of the best HE rounds in the game
- The new overpressure mechanic has made it so the KV-2 can kill pretty much anything with a turret shot
- Able to destroy higher rank tanks
- Has the hull armour of the KV-1 which will stop most Pz.III and Pre-T-34-57 shots
- Large crew count means it is unlikely to be destroyed in one-shot unless the ammo racks explode
- Long reload, resulting in difficult 1-on-1 fights since missing gives the enemy an opportunity to counter
- Slow rotation speed of the turret means that flank attacks are difficult to respond to
- If more than 19 rounds loaded, the ammo fills the weak spot ammo racks in the sides of the turret
- A characteristic trait of Soviet tanks, the KV-2 has terrible gun depression, worse when compared to other Soviet tanks
- Tall turret is very vulnerable from the side and difficult to hide
- Driver's viewport is a juicy weak spot, easily exploitable by experienced players
- Has a tendency, although a rare but dreaded occurrence, to overshoot targets at close range when using the sights
- Large silhouette
The start of the KV heavy tanks began after the heavy tank T-35 flaws came to light. Designers were ordered to draw up new designs to become the basis of a breakthrough heavy tank needed for the Soviet doctrine. This made for a tank that was heavily armoured, but not very mobile as it was to be for siege warfare. The designs offered all had heavy armour, wide tracks, and used the torsion-bar suspension. The designs were the SMK, T-100, and what would be the KV-1 tank, which was named after the then Soviet Defense Commissar Kliment Voroshilov.
During the developmental progress, the prototypes of all these heavy tanks were made and the Winter War with Finland was on its way. The Soviets sent these tanks into Finland for combat testing, to which the KV design outperformed in every way with its superior armour and firepower. The armour on the KV tank was impenetrable by a tank cannon in service and most anti-tank guns as well, the 76,2 cannon also gave it a huge firepower boost compared to the usual 37 mm in use by other countries. However, the design was found to be difficult to steer, the transmission was unreliable, ergonomics was poor and vision was limited, plus with its 45-ton weight, it was a very heavy tank for its time. In truth, while formidable in power and protection, courageous crew member willing to curse the name would speak out about the trouble the KV tank really was. The main variant of production before World War II broke out was the KV-1 model.
Despite its superiority on the battlefield, some observed that the KV-1's armament was not enough to destroy some of the Finnish fortifications that they encountered. For this, a request to mount a 152 mm howitzer on the KV-1 was made and resulted in the KV-2 with its extremely large turret and an increased weight of 52 tons. The KV-2 suffered from a very high profile, low speed, and was to turret heavy. Compared to the KV-1 height of about 9 feet, the KV-2 was at 11 feet tall. The increased weight of the tank slowed it down drastically, and the very heavy turret mixed with a low-powered traverse speed meant that the KV-2 can only traverse on level ground, as a slope would cause the turret to start turning with gravity. The combat ineffectiveness and flaws of the KV-2 came to light and was only put on limited production due to them, resulting in only about 334 units being produced from 1939 to 1941.
During the opening stages of Operation Barbarossa, the KV tanks came as a huge surprise from the Germans as they had no prior intel about these tanks, resulting in a lack of capable anti-tank weaponry that could destroy these tanks, aside from 88 mm FlaK guns. The KV-2 served alongside the KV-1 in stalling the German Offensive to Moscow. During the Battle of Raseiniai, in Lithuania, a single KV-2 was able to hold up the entire 6th Panzer Division for a full day by firing at them from a concealed location before it ran out of ammunition, ending with about two dozen tanks destroyed.
Due to the low quantity of KV-2 produced, they didn't see much service past the opening stages of the war due to loss from attrition or mechanical failures, however, 10 were still in service with the Voronezh Front on 4 July 1943 for the battle of Kursk. These were transferred to the 3rd Mech Corps on 9 July, and by 18 July only 1 was left serviceable - 5 were destroyed on 12 July, and 4 are recorded as being in repair from 13 July. 
Only one KV-2 is left intact as a survivor of the war, it is housed at the Central Armed Forces Museum in Moscow.
This tank came into service in the Red Army in 1940 and was an assault tank intended to be used to overcome long-term defensive positions. The KV-2 was armed with a powerful 152 mm M-10 cannon installed in its tall armoured rotating turret. This weapon was shot with separately loaded shells, so its combat rate of fire was not high. The howitzer had relatively good characteristics. Its armour-piercing 52 kg round with a 436 m/s muzzle velocity penetrated a 72 mm thick armour plate at a distance of 1500 m at a 60° angle. For firing on concrete fortifications, it possessed a 40 kg concrete-piercing shell with a 530 m/s muzzle velocity. All these vehicles were equipped with a 71-TK-3 radio set. The vehicle was armed with three additional 7.62 mm DT tank machine guns. One was paired with the howitzer, the second mounted in the rear turret wall, and the third mounted as a bow gun in the underturret box's frontal plate to the driver's left.
By 1941, 330 of these tanks had been produced in total, and production ceased at the beginning of the Great Patriotic War.
In mid-February 1940, several of these heavy tanks were put to the test during the breaking of the Mannerheim Line. They broke through stone fortifications and destroyed pillboxes at close range, allowing infantry divisions to pass through areas previously closed to them. Furthermore, its strong armour could survive heavy fire from the enemy's anti-tank artillery. In the first years of the war, the KV-2 was practically invulnerable to all forms of anti-tank artillery. A number of captured vehicles of this type were used by German troops.
The tank had some serious flaws. Its mobility on the move and in combat was seriously limited by its high weight and issues with its clutch and transmission. When the vehicle was at a slight tilt, the turret became extremely difficult to turn. Its ammunition complement for its main gun amounted to only 38 shells.
- Vehicles equipped with the same chassis
- Other vehicles of similar configuration and role
- [Wikipedia] Kliment Voroshilov tank - KV-2
- [Tanks Encyclopedia] KV-2
- [Military Factory] KV-2 (Klimenti Voroshilov)
|USSR heavy tanks|
|KV-1||KV-1 (L-11) · KV-1 (ZiS-5) · KV-1E · KV-1S|
|KV-2||KV-2 (1939) · KV-2 (1940) · KV-2 (ZiS-6) · KV-220|
|Other KVs||KV-85 · KV-122|
|IS-1/2||IS-1 · IS-2 · IS-2 (1944) · IS-2 "Revenge"|
|Other IS tanks||IS-3 · IS-4M · IS-6 · IS-7|
|T-10||T-10A · T-10M|
|Multi-turreted||T-35 · SMK|