|This page is about the German heavy tank KV-IB (Germany). For other uses, see KV-1 (Family).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The ▀KV-IB is a premium gift rank III German heavy tank with a battle rating of 4.3 (AB/SB) and 4.0 (RB). It was first unveiled in the game in Update 1.41.27. Possibly the second rarest tank in-game, next to the E-100, the KV-1B cannot be obtained by ordinary means. It was first obtainable by purchasing select MSI products in Russia. In 2015, an event known as "Summertime Madness" had the KV-1B available to be obtained as a prize. The vehicle has since been available to be obtained via events, such as the March 2016 "War Thunder:100" team deathmatch event and the Warbond shop in the 4th, 5th, and 6th War Thunder anniversary. Aside from these events, it is not available in-game or via the gift shop.
Performance wise, the KV-1B is identical to the Soviet KV-1E with the applique armour. The applique armour is seen on the front hull plate, lower glacis, bits of the sides, and the turret sides.
The KV-1B is unique for the German tree with its three-tone default camouflage of green, white, and brown. This was the Finnish armour camouflage scheme in World War 2, as the KV-1B represents one captured and being used in Finnish service.
The KV-1B is armed with a 76 mm F-32 gun, which is equivalent to the L-11 gun on the early T-34 in-game. This gives the KV-1B a rather poor firepower rating, as a point-blank shot can only penetrate 73 mm. However, the APHEBC rounds with their explosive fillers are more than adequate to cripple enemy tanks should it penetrate. The choice between high-explosive and fragmentation ammunition is also liberty to take against lightly armoured vehicles. Another worry for the firepower department is the turret traverse rate, which is rather slow.
The armour on the KV-1B is brought up to its great amount, especially for its battle rating, thanks to the additional 25 mm plates on the front and sides of the 75 mm hull plates. The turret side armour also experiences the same upgrade. The common weak point on the KV-1 tanks from the front, the turret, also has some 25 mm applique armour covering the flat turret cheeks, reducing the flat 75 mm profile by a large margin. This leaves only the round slope gun mantlet and the minuscule turret cheeks as prominent weak points towards the enemy.
The KV-1B's mobility is a mixed bag due to the heavier weight. It accelerates efficiently on flat grounds going forward, but constant turning will burn off speed rapidly. Going up hills will be problematic if speed is not conserved for the climb. Overall, the KV-1B can be trusted to drive over distance, but any quick changes in a pre-planned path could hinder its overall movement speed.
Survivability and armour
- Rolled homogeneous armour
|Hull|| 75 + 25 mm (30-31°) Front plate
40 mm (72°) Front glacis
75 mm + 25 mm (26-51°) Lower glacis
|75 + 25 mm|| 60 mm (13-89°) Top
70 mm (14-57°) Bottom
|Turret|| 75 + 30 mm (14°) Turret front
90 mm (1-62°) Gun mantlet shield
75 mm (4-36°) Gun mantlet
|75 + 30 mm (14-15°)||75 mm (15-16°)||40 mm|
- Suspension wheels are 20 mm thick, tracks are 30 mm thick.
- Roof armour is quite excellent, coming in at 30 - 40 mm. It will reliably protect from most autocannons, though aircraft with good driveability and +30mm weaponry may still pierce it. More importantly, it makes the vehicle quite resilient against rocket strikes from vehicles such as the Calliope.
- The lower glacis, unlike most other tanks, is not a weak spot! It is significantly better angled than the upper frontal plate. Furthermore, neither the MG port nor the drivers view slit are weak points. Discard them as targets if aiming for them.
- Gun mantlet is an extra 75 mm bolted on to the turret, with some parts having an extra 90 mm added. This results in a spaced and overlapped part with ~150 mm. Only the cheeks left and right of the mantlet bulges should be shot! However, these areas are quite small and easily missed, if the turret is traversed.
- Extra armour is not placed all over the tank, thus revealing some weaker areas on the front hull and sides.
The Finnish KV-1B has excellent protection characteristics. Above from its naturally tough KV-1 body that consists primarily of 75 mm of armour, it has armour screens ranging of 25 and 30 mm thick on the hull and turret respectively. Those who fight the Russian KV-1E may understand some weak points, but the KV-1B remains a tough tank. Another part of why the KV-1B is quite a threat is that the tank is overall quite fast once it has accelerated. Coupled with the armour, this tank can be considered quite a swift bruiser.
Among this extra armour, the KV-1B still possesses a few weak points. Starting from the hull front, the driver's hatch and bow machine gun are uncovered by the extra plating. There are some small uncovered areas in the lower glacis as well if it can be targeted. In the hull sides, the 25 mm extra armour is mostly present at the higher part of the side armour behind the suspension, so aim closer towards the wheels, or even between the suspension wheels, to hit the thinner 75 mm side. Hitting the hull sides is a recommended tactic, as behind these are the ammunition and fuel tanks, which can ignite or explode if hit, instantly destroying the KV-1B. If these extra armour platings prove too hindering, rest assured that the rear hull armour is actually unprotected by these extra plates, so the usual thickness of 60-70 mm at the rear can be exploited by fast and flanking vehicles to immobilize the KV-1B through the transmission and engine. However, the strong hull front and sides make an angled KV-1B a dangerous enemy as it will then be very hard to penetrate through there,
The turret is better protected than the hull with 30 mm extra plates, but some weakness can still be found. In the turret front, the extra armour covers the flat side area that would normally be 75 mm thick, preventing easy turret cheek shots. However, the gun mantlet cheeks that are 90 mm and the tiny area under it that is 75 mm are not covered by these extra plates. With a sufficiently powerful weapon, this frontal turret area can be the only area that is easily penetrable when a KV-1B is aiming towards the player. The turret sides are another story. With 30 mm extra armour covering a large portion of it, it might actually be one of the worst areas to shoot the KV-1B at, as the movement from the KV-1B turret, coupled with the armour, can change the shot angle and simply bounce away from the shot. Despite all this, there are still small slivers of weak points in this 30 mm plate. Right around the area that the 30 mm plates seem to intersect, there are two holes present that will reveal the 75 mm armour underneath. This allows a clean shot to the turret side and, if the enemy is carrying lots of ammunition, a chance to strike one of the ammo racks in the turret and destroy the tank. The turret rear, like the hull rear, is not protected by extra armour, so a manoeuvre around the KV-1B to these areas can allow the player to use their weaponry against the more vulnerable hull and turret rear sides.
Though the F-32 gun is at the weaker end of the Russian 76 mm guns, it is still quite powerful against most vehicles. One firepower trait to exploit on the KV-1B is the rather slow turret traverse rate. The KV-1B will have a hard time keeping its gun on flanking vehicles, especially those that are up close to it on the sides. With allies, a small light tank can get up close and force the KV-1B to try and turn its turret and hull to keep up with the small circling tank, allowing an ally with a powerful gun to hit the KV-1B at weak points when it is concentrating on the more immediate threat of the circling tank. Nevertheless, a small light tank can do plenty of damage itself while outrunning the KV-1B, using the aforementioned armour weak points. The tank is helpless to a quick foe if there are no other enemy players around to assist it.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Modifications and economy
|76 mm F-32||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
The KV-IB (Germany) has the following ammunition available:
- BR-350A: The typical APBC with HE filler. This is the standard round most players will take as the default type. It is able to cause massive post-penetration damage if it does penetrate.
- BR-350B: The new APHEBC with HE filler, sacrificing some explosive post-pen damages for raw penetrating power and solid-shot spalling post-penetration damage. Recommended taking this shot as the primary weapon to use the extra penetration values.
- OF-350M: High-explosive shell. Though it should never be used for the purpose of penetrating an enemy tank, it can be useful for hull-breaking vulnerable vehicles, such as trucks and the like.
- Sh-354T: Shrapnel shell. In ways, it is similar to the HE shell, except it has sufficient penetration value to deal with light tanks as well. Its explosion can also create shrapnel that can also be used against lightly armoured vehicles in a manner similar to HE shells.
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|BR-350A (MD-5 fuze)||APHEBC||78||76||69||61||53||47|
|BR-350B (MD-8 fuze)||APHEBC||86||84||76||67||59||52|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|BR-350A (MD-5 fuze)||APHEBC||615||6.3||1.2||14||150||48°||63°||71°|
|BR-350B (MD-8 fuze)||APHEBC||615||6.3||0.9||14||98.56||48°||63°||71°|
|111||107 (+4)||102 (+9)||79 (+32)||1 (+110)||No|
- Racks are modeled by sets of 5 shells (+ 1 set of 3 & 2 sets of 4) and sets disappear from the rack once all shells in the set have been loaded/fired.
- Turret empty: 102 (+9) 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. The clip capacity of the machine gun 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
In game, this tank is possesses great armour and an adequate gun. However, it may not be able to destroy the enemy from the front at times. As such, the tank may require being at a very close distance or a flank shot to disable certain targets. The defining characteristic of this tank is its armour. It can be a tough tank to destroy, given that most of the weak spots from the predecessor have been armoured and, from the front, the only weak spot is the centre of the upper hull. When using this tank, do not be afraid to advance towards the enemy, especially against tanks such as the 75 mm M4s and T-34s since they will find it very difficult to penetrate your thick armour. This tank can also be used for long-range support, since when the armour is properly angled, almost no tank that it faces can pierce its armour.
The typical weapon of choice that would be used against the KV-1B would be the German long 75 mm gun seen on the Panzer IV or tank destroyers. Another weapon to take care of the tank is the Type 5 guns on the Japanese Na-To tank destroyer and Chi-To tank. However, if playing in RB/SB, there is no risk of coming up against the long 75 mm on both the German and Japanese tank since the KV-1B is on the axis side.
Against Allies, there are a few guns that have the ability to penetrate the KV-1B. High-velocity guns like the 76 mm, 17-pounder, and 85 mm can cut through the hull at a perpendicular angle or the turret with ease. However, these guns most likely won't be seen except in an up-tier.
Urban areas tend to result in very close range engagements. At this range, the armour of this tank can no longer offer the degree of protection that it does at range. With this being said, urban can also present nice medium range opportunities, such as open-air squares and long streets in which this tank can utilise its armour. Urban fighting presents the largest challenge for this tank, as close range flank shots can easily pierce its mighty armour. As such, here are some tactics to use in a city setting:
- Hold down a street - set up in a way that minimizes the chance to be flanked while allowing for the largest angle fire. This will allow the KV-1B to fire at the enemy while minimizing the chance of getting knocked out by a close-range flank shot
- Move with a group of tanks - try to stay in the middle of a group as this will minimize the chances of a close-range flank shot. At this range, the cannon of the tank can penetrate most tanks and has a decent rate of fire, allowing it to quickly engage multiple targets.
- Never blindly drive through an intersection - always check both ways before crossing, as this presents the largest opportunity for danger for this tank.
The armour of this tank allows it to engage in the long-range fighting that defines an open country. However, the gun on this tank does not allow it to engage targets at range. This means that in while playing in open country, it is a good idea to get into a good overwatch position or to charge the enemy until the KV-1B is capable of engaging at the optimal range for the 76 mm weapon. While the armour on this tank is among the best for the enemies it faces, there are still certain tanks to worry about. The main tanks to work about are those with the American 76 mm, German 75 mm L/48, Russian 57 mm and 85 mm, and of course all the large calibre guns such as the KV-2. These weapons are capable of piercing through the KV-1B armour at range, though this requires a lucky hit on an un-angled plate. Here are some tips when fighting in open country:
- Always angle the tank - the unangled armour is good, but it is nearly impossible to pierce when properly angled.
- Don't be afraid to expose the tank - use the armour to give a degree of freedom in finding the targets.
- Advance - take the point or lead the charge, the KV-1B has the armour to break through enemy lines.
This is the type of terrain that this tank excels in. The average range of engagements allows for both the armour and gun to shine. This type of terrain also makes flanking hard, since going over a hill exposes a tank to fire from multiple directions. Even with this, don't forget to check your surroundings. Here are some tips and tactics for fighting in this environment:
- Move through the area between hills - this will allow a degree of control on where the enemy will come from and angle the armour in accordance.
- Going over large hills can be dangerous as it exposes the KV-1B to fire from all directions and also exposes the bottom of the tank to fire.
- Check your surroundings - while it is dangerous to go over hills, many newer player will attempt to do this and will sometimes manage to flank the tank.
This tank does not excel here due to the low penetration of the gun. However, the armour of this tank makes it almost invulnerable to enemy fire at long ranges. Due to this, it is possible to safely attack enemies with little fear of penetrating return fire. Just remember to properly angle the tank in order to maximize its armour. While long range combat is not the best option for this tank, it can use its armour to sit in positions that no other tank could do safely. When using this tank from long range, the first piece of advice would be to close in on the enemy, though this is sometimes not possible. When one finds that long-range combat is necessary or is a preferred strategy, one can place this tank in a highly visible position to draw enemy fire. This will allow teammates to find the enemy and eliminate them. This will also allow for one to choose their target, since its gun necessitates shooting at weakly armoured targets or the sides and rear of tanks.
This tank excels in medium range combat due to great armour. Many tanks it faces will find penetrating this tank almost impossible even from the side due to the additional armour.
This tank does not excel here due to bad mobility, and the greatest strength of this tank, its great armour, is no longer as potent.
Pros and cons
- Has extra 25 mm armour on the hull front and sides, and 30 mm on the turret sides
- Features a unique Finnish camouflage
- Good reload time
- Very good brawler
- Very good at absorbing damage
- Gun does a lot of damage upon penetration
- Very good top armour
- Crew of five
- Bouncy turret cheeks
- Located on the German lineup, you wont face dangerous guns like the KwK 40 in RB or SB.
- Some of the spots are not covered by the additional armour
- Gun is basically the same as the L-11 cannon, therefore it's weak compared to other guns
- Slow repair times
- No access to APCR shells
- Driver's port can easily be penetrated
- Sluggish turn when not in motion, and turning while in motion will make the KV-1B lose a lot of speed
- Does not like obstacle and hills
- Reverse speed is below average
- Finnish KV-1B looks like an Soviet KV-1 so you may be mistakenly team killed often in SB, however regularly updating teammates using the request location feature can negate this somewhat
Development of KV-1
The development of the KV-1 heavy tank began after the numerous flaws of the T-35 multi-turreted tank came to light. Designers were ordered to draw up new designs to become the basis of a breakthrough heavy tank as deemed necessary by Soviet combat doctrine. This called 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 become the KV tank, which was named after the then Soviet Defense Commissar Kliment Voroshilov.
As the prototypes were being developed and tested, the Winter War with Finland began. The Soviets sent these tanks into Finland for combat testing, and the KV design outperformed its contemporaries in every way with its superior armour and firepower. The armour on the KV tank was impenetrable by most tank cannons 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, the ergonomics were poor and vision was limited. At 45-tons, it was also very heavy tank for its time. In truth, while formidable in firepower and protection, it gained a bad reputation among its crews. The main variant of production before World War II broke out was the KV-1 model.
The initial production in 1939 had the KV-1 equipped with an L-11 cannon, and later this was upgraded to the F-32 in 1940, then to the F-34 (or ZiS-5) cannon in 1941. The Model 1941 production also had the KV-1 up-armoured for increased survivability. The tank had an additional 25-35 mm of armour added to the turret, hull front and sides. The turret was also now made of cast construction rather than welded. This KV-1 construction was designated the KV-1B and it served with the Soviet Union as a response to crew complaints about the inadequacy of the KV tanks and while the changes did little to mitigate this criticism, the additional protection was welcomed by its crews. However, the increased armour on the KV-1B caused an increased weight and lowered its top speed. The tank could only do about 19 mph (30 km/h) on roads and went even slower in cross-country. The operational range of the vehicle was only 155 miles (250 kilometres).
Finnish troops captured many Soviet armoured vehicles during the Winter War and Continuation War. Among these were KV-1B's, which the Finnish affectionately nicknamed the "Klimi". This KV-1B (real model is KV-1E) was captured near Solomennoye, Petrozavodsk at the start of the Continuation War. A second KV-1, a 1942 model was captured around the same time. The KV-1s and other tanks in Finnish service fought off the Soviets when they invaded Finland again in the Continuation War in June 1944. The KV-1B "Klimi" was used in various battles, such as the Battle of Tali-Ihantala, in defence against the Soviets. This conflict ended with the treaty agreement between the Soviet Union and Finland for peace in late August 1944. Both Finnish KV-1's survived the war and can now be found in the tank museum at Parola.
Several KV-1s survived the war, most as monuments, but also in museums, along with several reproductions. Only one genuine KV-1 was restored to running condition in Russia after it was found in the bottom of the Neva River. One KV-1B can also be found at the Bovington Tank Museum at England.
- Vehicles equipped with the same chassis
- Vehicles equipped with the same gun
- Other vehicles of similar configuration and role
- [Historical] Zinovy Kolobanov's feat of arms
- [Wikipedia] Kliment Voroshilov tank
- [Tanks Encyclopedia] KV-1
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