|This page is about the gift Soviet heavy tank KV-2 (ZiS-6). For other versions, see KV-2 (Family).|
The KV-2 (ZiS-6) is a gift rank III Soviet heavy tank with a battle rating of 5.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.59 "Flaming Arrows" as a premium pack but was removed from the store at the end of the 2018 6th Anniversary sale. It was shortly available from the store during the 2019 "Black Friday". It was also made available in-game for golden eagles () during the 2019 "Tankers' Day" and the 2021 "Defender of the Fatherland" mini-events.
The KV-2 (ZiS-6) is a heavy artillery tank. It is an experimental up-gunned variant of the KV-1 and KV-2 models built with an emphasis of destroying fortification, bunkers and enemy armoured vehicles, featuring the new 107 mm ZiS-6 cannon. Although the armour thickness is the same as the KV-1 and KV-2, this vehicle is notable for having a more powerful cannon; although smaller in calibre to the KV-2, has much higher armour penetration values. In fact, the tank fires Armour-Piercing High-Explosive (APHE) shells with the highest penetration value out of all USSR tanks both at and below its battle rating. With about 163 mm of penetration in normal combat conditions and with 440 grams of explosive filling carried by the default B-420 shell, this tank will obliterate all enemy vehicles upon penetration with the exception of some light-armoured vehicles of which the contact fuse may fail to detonate. Despite its significantly powerful armament, the KV-2 (ZiS-6) is plagued by inherited weaknesses shared within the KV lineage of tanks. At its battle rating, the tank's armour will be of little protection against other hostile vehicles it will face. With just 75 mm armour all around and including the largely slat and exposed turret, almost all tanks and the ammunition they fire (a significant number of which have double the penetration value of the thickness of the KV's armour) will penetrate with little to no difficulty. Tightly packed and strewn ammunition both within and at the base of the turret will more than likely turn the entire vehicle into a erupting volcano upon being struck by stray shells, if not outright cripple the crew to the point the rate of fire is reduced to virtually a standstill. This tank is a spiritual successor of the original KV-2 in combat operations. Although a high crew count of 6, the rate of fire is relatively slow but faster than its predecessor with a higher velocity and flatter trajectory. The same is unfortunately to be said for its slower turret traverse, reverse and acceleration speed and heavy weight.
Operational and visual characteristics of the KV-2 (ZiS-6) retain the visual and operational similarities to the KV-2 which it is upgraded from. Players experienced in operating previous models of the KV-2 or Soviet SPGs should have little to no difficulty in adjusting to this vehicle. The ZiS-6 can be distinguished from its KV and KV-2 predecessors by its enlarged and tall rectangular turret and longer barrel. A quick glance at this vehicle may be mistaken for similar looking tanks such as the KV-2 in which shares the same turret shape.
The KV-2 (ZiS-6)'s closest and most popular competitor of the same battle-rating is the KV-85. The KV-85 when compared, is free to unlock with currency spending, is lighter in weight, more manoeuvrable, faster in fire rate and turret traverse at the expense of fewer crew members. What the ZiS-6 lacks in these qualities may be compensated by its firepower comparable to 'a mini IS-2' as well as the added Premium talisman RP and SL increase bonus of which the KV-85 will lack on the get-go. These detail and information should be considered by the interested user when deciding whether to purchase this tank and incorporating it into their existing arsenal, or when taking into battle. The KV-2 (ZiS-6) will reward those who are patient, and a boon to those seeking increased premium firepower unmatched by any other USSR vehicle at its rank.
Survivability and armour
The armour protection of the KV-2 (ZiS-6) is really not great at its BR. The hull front and sides largely consist of 75 mm thick armour plates, which allow the player to angle the hull and increase its effective thickness to ~90-110 mm. However this is still penetrable by common opponents, such as Tiger H1, M4A2 (76) W, Chi-Nu, etc. The biggest and most noticeable weakspot of this KV-2 is of course the huge and flat turret. Protected by 75 mm unsloped armour all round, the turret usually fails to resist incoming shells regardless of whether the player angles it or not. While the original KV-2 has a large bulge on the gun mantlet that can bounce/absorb shells, the KV-2 (ZiS-6) does not. The huge gun mantlet only has the gun barrel sticking out, making it even easier to penetrate. The only advantage brought by this all-round protection is probably that the KV-2 is immune to almost all SPAA (eg. Wirbelwind, M19) or, when angling, low tier tanks. Opponents who deliberately bring low tier tanks (eg. M22, Ho-Ro) into this BR will have a hard time trying to penetrate a KV-2 (ZiS-6). The roof armour is between 30-35 mm which can effectively block .50 cal AP bullets, commonly used by Allied planes like P-47D and P-51. However, some aircraft have the ability to penetrate this 30 mm of armour even from far away, for example the Do 335 B-2 whose MK 103 penetrate ~60 mm at ~600 m.
Thanks to the spacious interior and an abundance of crew (6), the KV-2 (ZiS-6) can usually survive a few penetrations in the turret or even in the hull. However as soon as spare crews run out, the KV-2 will once again be very vulnerable.
- Rolled homogeneous armour
|Armour||Front (Slope Angle°)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 75 mm (31°) Front plate
70 mm (71°) Front glacis
75 mm (25-74°) Lower glacis
45 mm (1-50°) Machine gun port
|75 mm|| 60 mm (3-86°) Top
70 mm (11-58°) Bottom
| 35 mm Front |
30 mm Rear
35 mm Hatches
|Turret|| 75 mm (1°) Front turret
70 + 70 mm (1-62°) Gun mantlet
|75 mm|| 75 mm (1°)
45 mm (1-50°) Machine gun port
- Suspension wheels are 20 mm thick, torsion bars are 20 mm thick, and tracks are 30 mm thick.
- Front belly armour is 35 mm thick, rear belly armour is 30 mm thick.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
As a KV-2 heavy tank, the KV-2 (ZiS-6) has a slow top speed and HP ratio. However, the acceleration on the KV-2 (ZiS-6) is pretty good: the top speed is reached within seconds on flat terrain, even off-road. Its slow speed won't let you reach the frontline quickly but its good cannon combined with its tall profile and average armour rather call for a playstyle at a good distance from the enemy. The reverse speed is average: it won't let you retreat quickly but isn't a handicap either. The lack of neutral steering makes turning on the spot slow (2 km/h): make sure to build a little speed before turning to increase it (4 km/h). The tracks are quite large and grant you a decent mobility on hard (solid ground, roads) and soft terrain (mud, snow, sand). The KV-2 (ZiS-6) reaches 16 km/h when fording, it struggles at a meagre 4 km/h when climbing uphill from idling and 12 km/h uphill with some speed built-up. Due to its weight, the tank's mobility is unhindered by obstacles. The KV-2 (ZiS-6) also brakes quickly and without skidding although it is a heavy tank.
Modifications and economy
The 107 mm ZiS-6 cannon, like many Soviet high-calibre cannons, has a few great strengths and some glaring weaknesses. In terms of ballistics, a close comparison in penetration would be the 88 mm KwK36 cannon found on the Tiger I, but the ZiS-6 has considerably more HE filler. The gun is fairly accurate out to one kilometre, but does suffer an occasional flyer.
As with most large-bore Soviet cannons, the biggest weakness is the long reload - almost 22 seconds with an untrained crew, and not much faster than 17 seconds with an Aced crew. The turret that the ZiS-6 is housed in offers no advantageous features - it is still in essence the same slow-traversing KV-2 turret found on the 152 mm models found at a lower BR. This means that the armour leaves much to be desired at the BR, and that the limited vertical guidance (particularly depression) will leave the ZiS-6 compromised in hilly terrain.
Due to the turret's slow traverse, limited vertical guidance, and the gun's very long reload, the KV-2 ZiS-6 is best used from longer ranges where it can utilize hard cover.
|107 mm ZIS-6||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
The ammunition choice is limited but sufficient:
- B-420: APHEBC - A capped armour-piercing shell with a ballistic cap that has relatively high penetration power and explosive filler. It will destroy any armoured target it penetrates.
- OF-420: HE; useful for destroying open and lightly armoured vehicles.
|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)
| 34 (+2)
| 31 (+5)
| 16 (+20)
| 12 (+24)
| 6 (+30)
| 1 (+35)
- The KV-2 (ZiS-6) uses two-piece ammunition, composed of projectiles (yellow) and propellant bags (orange). Both have separate racks.
- Projectiles and propellant charges are modeled individually and disappear after having been shot or loaded.
- Turret left side empty: 18 (+18)
|7.62 mm DT|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
At its rank and battle rating, the KV-2 (ZiS-6)'s armour is no longer up to par against newer and more powerful weapon systems of opposition vehicles it will face. Although unlike the IS-1 successor of which is unable to protect itself by angling due to the rounded turret mount causing a vulnerability, the KV-2 has less of this issue as the entire front potion of the front and lower-plate is designed to be straight and rectangular and allowing it to deflect or ricochet some shots when angled optimally but the large turret is extreme exposed and vulnerable to head-on fire.
Due to its unsatisfactory manoeuvrability, rate of fire and traverse speed, close-quarters engagements against multiple enemies in small-spaced environments are highly discouraged unless absolutely necessary. The tank is too large and slow to escape or retreat from what would be overwhelming situations, and too large to hide. Should the need to enter tight alleyways and streets if towns or cities, escort either by or with other friendly units are of utmost importance and should best serve in a support capacity should more heavily armoured opponents are encountered. This tank excels best at long to medium range engagements on largely open areas. Due to its poor -5 degrees of gun depression - a trait inherited by all USSR armoured vehicles, engaging hostiles by cresting over the tops of hills are highly discouraged unless absolutely necessary. Should clusters of multiple hostile vehicles are encountered in combat, the optimal tactic is to wait for them to split up before engaging them one-by-one if the opportunity presents itself.
Lightly armoured vehicles where the contact fuse may not activate upon penetration such as the Waffentrager or Nashorn are of the most concern as the default B-420 APHE shell has the tendency of penetrating from the front to rear dealing less damage than what is expected. Follow up shots may be required. Although the HE OF-420 shell is an excellent solution, the 16 .7 to 21.51 seconds of shell swap may not warrant enough justification for use when few seconds are only available to determines survival.
Another class of vehicles of significant threat are fast-tanks such as the M18 GMC or T-34 tanks capable of running circles in ways the KV-2 (ZiS-6)'s slow turret traverse rate and poor manoeuvrability will be unable to cope in close-quarters engagements. The last type of vehicle of concern are low-chassis tanks such as the ASU-57, ASU-85, PT-76B and even some German tank-destroyers are so small to the point they safely drive up to the vicinity of KV-2 and be immune from retaliation due to the 107 mm gun situated on a high turret and only -5° degrees of elevation down and 15° up
Pros and cons
- Excellent firepower
- Greatly improved reload speed over previous KV-2 models
- High crew capacity (6 crew members)
- High velocity and powerful munition
- Premium talisman with RP and SL increase bonus
- Reload time is still very long
- Insufficient armour protection
- Poor gun depression of -5° (common trait of all USSR tanks)
- Large profile
- Poor manoeuvrability and slow speed
- High weight
- High risk of internal ammunition explosions by penetrating shells
In the late 1930s, the Soviet Directorate of Artillery, a part of the Soviet Ministry of Defense, issued a directive to design and build larger field artillery. By late 1937, going into 1938, proposals included both 95 mm calibre and 107 mm calibre. In the early 1940s, the Soviets had incorrectly received reports of up-armoured German tanks, leading them to question if their current 45 mm and 76 mm cannons were sufficient to combat the new German tanks. In response, the Soviets eventually drew up plans for the KV-4, to be armed with a ZiS-6 107 mm cannon. The 107 mm cannon passed factory tests in early 1941, and by mid 1941, had been mounted into the turret of a KV-2 for further testing and analysis. It was through this testing that the KV-2 with ZiS-6 cannon came into existence, as we see it in War Thunder.
Several hundred 107 mm ZiS-6 guns were created in anticipation of being fitted to the KV-4 and KV-5 heavy tanks. When the KV-4 was dropped in favour of the KV-5 (also to be armed with ZiS-6), and the KV-5 subsequently dropped due to the siege of Leningrad, all of the ZiS-6 guns were destroyed and scrapped, since the heavy tanks they were intended to be mounted in would never materialize.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the vehicles;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
|USSR heavy tanks|
|KV||KV-1 (L-11) · KV-1 (ZiS-5) · KV-1E · KV-1S · KV-85 · KV-122 · KV-220|
|KV-2 (1939) · KV-2 (1940) · KV-2 (ZiS-6)|
|IS||IS-1 · IS-2 · IS-2 (1944) · IS-2 "Revenge" · IS-3 · IS-4M · IS-6 · IS-7 · T-10A · T-10M|
|Multi-turreted||SMK · T-35|
|USSR premium ground vehicles|
|Light tanks||BA-11 · RBT-5 · BT-7A (F-32) · T-26 (1st Gv.T.Br.) · T-26E · T-126|
|Medium tanks||T-34 (Prototype) · T-34 (1st Gv.T.Br.) · T-34E · T-34-57 (1943) · T-34-85E · T-34-100 · T-44-122 · T-55AM-1 · T-72AV (TURMS-T)|
|▂M3 Medium · ▂M4A2 · ▂T-III · ▂T-V · ▂МК-IX "Valentine"|
|Heavy tanks||SMK · T-35 · ▂MK-II "Matilda" · KV-1E · KV-2 (1940) · KV-2 (ZiS-6) · KV-122 · KV-220 · IS-2 "Revenge" · IS-6 · T-10A|
|Tank destroyers||BM-13N · BM-8-24 · SU-57 · SU-76D · SU-76M (5th Gv.Kav.Corps) · SU-85A · SU-100Y · SU-122P · Object 120|
|SPAA||▂Phòng không T-34 · ZUT-37|