- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The KV-85 is a rank III Soviet heavy tank with a battle rating of 5.0 (AB/SB) and 4.7 (RB). It was introduced during the closed beta testing for Ground Forces before Update 1.41. A KV-1 with a completely new and more powerful armament in its name, the 85 mm D-5, allows the Soviet heavy tank tree to have the firepower necessary to combat the other nation's Rank III vehicles.
The KV-85 is a heavy tank, specifically an up-gunned variant of the KV-1 and KV-1S models built with an emphasis of engaging hostile armoured vehicles as well as a breakthrough tank. Operational and visual characteristics of the KV-85 retain the visual and operational similarities to the previous KV-1 line of heavy tanks of which it is upgraded from. Players experienced in operating previous models of the KV or T-34 series of tanks should have little to no difficulty in adjusting to this vehicle. The KV-85 can be distinguished from its KV predecessors by its enlarged and rounded turret and turret ring mount. A quick glance at this vehicle may be mistaken for similar looking tanks such as the IS-1 which shares the same turret and cannon.
Although the armour thickness is the same as the KV-1S, this vehicle is notable for having a more powerful anti-tank gun shared by the IS-1 and T-34-85 (D-5T). However, at its battle rating, the tank armour will be of little protection against other hostile vehicles it will face. With just 75 mm front and 60 mm side armour, 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 issue. In comparison to other heavy tanks available in the USSR tree, such as the KV-2 models and SPG's, the KV-85's handling and combat style is very similar to the IS-1, being quite capable as jack-of-all-trades heavy tank: fast rate of fire, lighter weight compared to similar USSR heavy tanks of its Rank and Battle Rating, satisfactory mobility, fast turret traverse speed, fast targeting, good ammunition penetration and explosive filler. Although despite its limitations, a skillful and experienced player of this vehicle can tip the favour of balance on their side consistently regardless of the combat situation, be it long-range skirmishes or close-quarters combat.
Survivability and armour
The armour of the KV-85 is overall ineffective. Frontally, it does retain the 75 mm hull armour of the original KV-1, and a new 100 mm thick turret, but it can only be effective in a downtier against tanks with weak cannons. For the turret, the middle sections of the gun mantlet and turret cheeks can all be penetrated with ease, but outward sections will have very high effective thickness. This level of armour is inadequate to resist higher-tier opponents. The main weakspot of the KV-85 comes from the hull side. To house the larger turret ring for an 85 mm gun, there are 2 unapparent bulges right below the turret, 1 on each side. They are only 40 mm thick meaning even SPAA and low tier light tanks can easily penetrate there and result in the turret crew being cleaned or an ammo detonation. Due to this design flaw the KV-85 cannot angle, reducing its armour protection significantly. Roof armour is between 30-40 mm, which is not strong considering that around this BR there are some attackers equipped with high-penetrating cannons such as the Me 410 B-2/U4 and Hs 129 B-3, however these planes are not likely to perform vertical diving runs, rather they usually shallow dive, and your side armour is quite sturdy.
Post-penetration survivability is not good as the turret crew sit very close together, making them vulnerable to any explosive shells. The driver's port and gun mantlet has a chance to get penetrated without setting off a shell's fuse, creating minimal shrapnel.
- Rolled homogeneous armour (hull, gun mantlet, turret roof)
- Cast homogeneous armour (turret, turret cheeks, cupola, rear MG port)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 75 mm (30°) Upper plate
75 mm (70°) Upper glacis
25 mm (25-70°) Joint plate
75 mm (26-50°) Lower glacis
| 60 mm
40 mm Turret base
| 40 mm (cylindrical) Top
75 mm (cylindrical) Bottom
| 40 mm (0-8°) |
30 mm Radiator vents
|Turret|| 100 mm (spherical) Turret front
100 mm (cylindrical) Gun mantlet
|100 mm (8-20°)|| 100 mm (12-34°)
120 + 30 mm (spherical) MG port
| 30 mm (0-3°) |
35 mm Loader hatch
|Cupola||82 mm (cylindrical)|| 82 mm Outer ring |
35 mm Centre
- Suspension wheels are 20 mm thick and tracks are 30 mm thick.
- A 45 mm thick piece of armour lays on the boundary of the gun mantlet.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The KV-85's mobility is average for a heavy tank of its weight and size. Although it has a similar 600 hp engine and a matching weight with the earlier KV-1S, its top speed is significantly lower, at 34 km/h. Still, the average top speed on most terrain remains similar, at around 30 km/h. The KV-85 does start to feel more sluggish when accelerating and turning comparing to the more agile KV-1S, even on concrete roads, but this is beneficial for getting prepared for the later IS series tanks. A forward/backward acceleration is often needed prior to turning if the player wants to traverse the hull faster in response to flankers. The reverse speed is good at around 13 km/h, far better than other tanks like T-34 and Panther.
Modifications and economy
The KV-85, as the name suggests, is armed with a 85 mm D-5T cannon, the same gun as on the early T-34-85. Its standard BR-365K APHE shell has very good penetration, damage, and adequate velocity and shell drop, making it a nice jack-of-all-trades round. The unlockable BR-365A goes further in terms of explosive fillers and penetration against sloped armour, and can penetrate tough tanks such as the M4A3E2 and Panther at surprising angles, making it the backbone ammo of Soviet tanks around this BR. Both shells have no problem one-shotting common opponents. However, unlike the T-34-85, the KV-85 does not have access to APCR, but it generally does not face tanks that are too well protected (eg. Tiger II, M26) while the T-34 has to.
While the cannon and ammunition make great firepower, the poor gun handling brings the firepower down. The gun depression is an awful -3 degrees, so the KV-85 can barely fight in a flat urban environment. Any sort of slope will prevent the player from aiming down at a target. The vertical and horizontal targeting speeds are not very fast too. The gunsight only has a maximum zoom of 3.5x, forcing the KV-85 to engage targets at a closer distance.
|85 mm D-5T||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|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)
|70||66 (+4)||51 (+19)||46 (+24)||41 (+29)||29 (+41)||17 (+53)||11 (+59)||1 (+69)||No|
- Shells in racks 1 to 7 are modeled by sets of 5 or 6 and are modeled as a set of 10 in rack 8.
- Shells disappear from the rack after all shells in the set having been shot or loaded.
- Turret empty: 51 (+19) shells.
- Turret and flanks empty: 41 (+29) shells.
|7.62 mm DT|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
The small calibre of the DT machine gun makes it largely ineffective against all armoured vehicles but the ones with an open compartment. It still can be used to ping targets as a rangefinding help or to mow down minor obstacles blocking your line of sight. The clip capacity is quite poor as it relies on a magazine of 63 bullets instead of a belt like similar machine guns from other nations.
Usage in battles
At its rank and battle rating, the KV-85'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-85 has less of this issue as the entire front portion 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. The tactical usage and efficiency sit somewhere between the IS-1 and the T-34-85 (D-5T); it is almost as armoured to par as the IS-1 in some aspects but is not as fast as the T-34-85 whilst still retaining the same armaments. Although of an older design, the KV-85 makes a crude, yet still effective jack-of-all-trades vehicle sufficient in holding its own on the battlefield in many situations by experienced users.
Another significant note of this vehicle is its considerably fast reverse rate, the second highest of its Rank and Battle-Rating for the nation's heavy tank line, topping at 14 km/h behind the IS-1's 17 km/h. Players can use this advantage to cross from cover to cover whilst engaging hostile targets or to make a tactical retreat. During situations where close-quarters engagement is expected, an unorthodox strategy can be utilized when the operator of the KV tank re-positions the vehicle 180 degrees and drive in reverse towards the enemy. By driving in reverse with the rear facing the opposition, the engine blocks make a crude yet somewhat effective shield and protecting the more delicate crew. Many opponents the KV-85 will face will fire APHE as its main ammunition armament; the engine blocks and fuel tanks act as spaced-armour and causing APHE to detonate prematurely prior to reaching the crew compartment. In situations where the operator want's the best chance of victory in a 'round-the-corner' head on engagement, the surviving crew after a first-shot volley may be given the opportunity for a retaliatory strike and second-volley after being hit. This tactic should only be utilized in a case-by-case situation basis where it is an absolute necessity, as the engine compartment will almost certainly catch fire when struck. This is of little consequence if the user has Fire Extinguisher equipped. Be aware that this tactic is not suitable against opponents who fire solid-shot armour piercing shells such as certain British and American vehicles, as these will go straight through the rear, into the crew compartment and out the other side without stopping.
Although equally capable and effective in operating alone, the KV-85 also operates efficiently with other friendly vehicles. Of note are vehicles that act as bullet magnets such as the Churchill Mk.VII with its heavy armour and large target to act as a distraction or to soak up shots, whilst the user of the KV-85 or other friendly vehicles may trail behind it and fire off shots 'over-the-shoulder' to dispatch more powerful opponents of which the guns of the Churchill may have difficulty dealing damage against.
Japanese tanks faced by the KV-85 are of little concern as their armour protection is largely inferior, as well as being relatively rare to tanks of other nations. Vehicles of American and British of the same Rank and Battle Rating are also less of a concern as their weapons and armour (excluding the Churchill Mk VII) are also generally inferior to some extent. When situation persists, hostile vehicles of German and Soviet origins should be prioritized first. Tiger tanks should be targeted 'between-the-eyes' of the front plate between the MG and driver's viewport, or to the left or right side of the same front plate to set off ammunition racks. All Panzers models IV and below are of little concern - a single shot anywhere and everywhere will almost always guarantee to penetrate and destroy them. The Panther of which it may occasionally face will be invulnerable in its sloped front plate. Target instead of the turret, or flank to the side and destroy with a single APHE shot.
Pros and cons
- Good firepower with the 85 mm gun
- Fast targeting and tracking
- High rate of fire
- Rectangular armour shape allows for good angling effectiveness
- Good mobility, identical to KV-1 (L-11)
- Significantly fast reverse speed
- Player skill compatibility between older and newer T-34, KV and IS models
- Insufficient flat armour that would be penetrated if not angled
- Poor gun depression of -3°
- Large gun turret silhouette and profile
- Max speed relatively slow and inferior compared to contemporary tanks
- Limited crew (4 maximum)
- Vehicle center hull is a mass of ammunition, fuel, and crew that can all be damaged with a shot to the area
At its introduction, the KV-1 Heavy Tank in Soviet service was one of the most heavily armoured tanks in service in the world, it also has an outstanding firepower advantage over its contemporaries with the 76.2 mm gun. But as the war progressed, deficiencies in the KV designs were made to light; it was slow, not ergonomic for the crew, and was starting to become a setback due to the Germans being equipped with newer anti-tank guns. Plus, in a technical term, the T-34 medium tank could do basically everything the KV-1 could do (had similar armour ratings and same gun), but was more mobile and cheaper to produce.
It was clear that if the KV tanks wanted to stay in service, it needed to be upgraded. First was the KV-1 Model 1942, which featured more armour, but still lacked mobility and had the same 76.2 mm gun. The first radical response to the tank design was the lighter KV-1S, which featured lighter armour, a smaller turret, a commander cupola, and a better transmission system. All this helped the KV-1 increase in mobility and speed, but it brought the question on why the tank was still being produced still as now it really had the same specifications as the T-34, but the T-34 was still a lot cheaper to produce than the KV tank. If this viewpoint didn't cause the Soviet heavy program to gradually die, then it was the appearance of the Panther tanks that convinced the Soviet command that their tanks need to have more armour and better guns.
In order to help introduce a better gun into the system quickly while better tanks were being developed, the 85 mm D-5T cannon commonly seen on the SU-85 at the time was attached to the KV-1S tank on a new turret from the developing IS-85 tanks. The new model, called KV-85, helped even the balance in tank firepower by being able to engage the Tiger I from a long distance. However, it was only a stopgap design and not many were produced due to the same 85 mm cannon equipping the standard T-34s to make the T-34-85, making the KV-85's firepower advantage a moot point. Plus, the development of the IS-2, featuring more armour and mobility caused the KV tanks to finally be declared obsolete. The KV-85 was produced from September 1943 to December 1943, with only 148 tanks produced.
The KV tank series was succeeded by the Iosef Stalin heavy tanks, first with the IS-1, which featured an 85 mm cannon and effectively replacing the KV-85, then the IS-2 with its 122 mm gun that can kill most of the later German tanks easily.
This tank was created based on the KV-1S due to delays in the IS-1's development. It was equipped with the turret developed for the IS-1 with an enlarged traverse circle, strengthened armour and an 85 mm cannon. The new vehicle was the next step on the path to creating a heavy tank significantly different from a medium tank not only in its armour, but in its firepower as well. The new cannon required a new ammo rack, and the ammunition complement had to be reduced to 70 shells. The tank's main armament was an 85 mm D-5T-85 cannon with a rate of fire of up to 8 shots per minute. Standard ammunition for the 85 mm Mod. 1939 air defence gun was used in the cannon. Instead of a frontal machine gun, a fixed bow machine gun was installed in a socket mount to the right of the driver, which he used to lay down unaimed fire. This allowed the gunner/radio officer to be removed from the crew. Part of the ammunition complement and an additional fuel tank were installed in his place.
Owing to the fact that the tank was an intermediate model, it was manufactured for a relatively short time. In total, 130 of them were made.
KV-85 tanks served in guards assault tank regiments. The first regiment of these new tanks reached the front as early as the first days of September 1943 during battles to liberate Left-bank Ukraine. Alongside other vehicles, the heavy tank was tasked with breaking through enemy positions and fighting armoured vehicles. When used correctly, it could oppose the newest German heavy tanks, which previously technically surpassed it. The tank had insufficient hull armour for the end of 1943, providing adequate defence only against German guns below with a calibre below 75 mm.
The KV-85 was an important intermediate link between pre-war heavy tank designs and the powerful IS tanks built to replace them.
- Vehicles equipped with the same chassis
- Vehicles equipped with the same gun
|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|