KV-2 (1939)

Soviet Union Soviet Union (1940-41) - 334 built

The massive KV-2, more bang for your roubles

The Soviet KV-2 was a heavy tank developed and used during World War II. It was designed to provide heavy firepower and strong armor support for infantry and other tanks. The KV-2 was armed with a massive 152mm howitzer, which gave it formidable firepower against both enemy tanks and fortified positions. However, its large size and heavy weight made it slow and cumbersome, and it suffered from mechanical reliability issues. The KV-2 saw action during the early stages of World War II, particularly during the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. While its powerful gun could destroy enemy tanks and bunkers with ease, its slow speed and mechanical problems made it vulnerable on the battlefield. As the war progressed and more advanced tanks were developed, the KV-2 became obsolete, and production ceased in 1941 after only a small number were built. Despite its shortcomings, the KV-2 remains a symbol of Soviet armored might during the early stages of World War II and is remembered for its imposing appearance and powerful armament.

Design process

KV-2 1940 blu

Blueprints of the KV-2 M1939 (MT-1 turret version).

kv-2a blu resize

A technical drawing of the KV-2A M1940 (MT-2 turret version).


The KV-2 in Action


The KV-1 (generic) on Wikipedia

KV-2 specifications

Dimensions (L-w-h)7.31 x 3.49 x 3.93 m (23ft 11in x 11ft 5in x 12ft 1in)
Total weight, battle ready53.8 (KV-2 MT-1 turret), 57.9 (KV-2A MT-2 turret) tonnes
Crew5– later 6 (driver, commander, gunner, 2 loaders)
PropulsionV-2 Diesel, 500 bhp
Speed (road/off-road)25/12 km/h (15.62/7.45 mph)
Range200 km (120 mi)
Armament152 mm (5.98 in) 1938/1940 L20 howitzer or 152 mm M-10T (later models)
Secondary: 2 x DT 7.62 mm (0.3 in) machine-guns (8000 rounds)
Armor75-110 mm (2.95 – 4.3 in)
Total production334
KV-2 model 1940: When encountering difficulties on the heavily fortified Mannerheim line during the Winter War in Finland, the general staff demanded a specially equipped version fitted with a heavy howitzer, intended to deal with concrete bunkers, in support of the regular KV-1 units. But instead of choosing a more pragmatic solution of a traditional SPG, the soviet engineers tried to get the best of both worlds in a hurry, while using the same turret ring to accommodate an fully traversed, redesigned turret to house the gargantuan howitzer. This gave the KV-2 an unmistakable profile, with its huge, towering turret, which was only accessible by a ladder.

An obvious target which was also topweight, compromising the lateral stability of the tank while crossing a sloped terrain. All these deficiencies were taken in account when the factory were relocated in the new Tankograd complex at the steps of the Ural. The production was no longer maintained. Only 334 were built in all from late 1939 to mid-1941. KV-2, model 1939, 3rd Regiment of the 2nd Tank Division, Central front, summer 1941. The KV-2 was globally an impressive but unsatisfactory model. Only 400 were built as production stopped in June 1941.

KV-2 winter
KV-2 model 1939, unknown unit, winter livery, Leningrad sector, December 1941.

KV-2 used by the Axis
PzKpfw KW II 754(r), Panzerkompanie (z.b.v.) 66, Malta invasion force, 1941. Notice the Panzer III commander cupola and headlight.


A KV-2 of the 2nd Tank Division/3rd Mechanised Corps (MT-1 turret) being inspected by Germans. Notice the numerous 37 mm (1.46 in) AT shells that bounced off the turret. Baltic area, June 1941, suspected to be the infamous Raseiniai KV-2!

Captured KV-2A (MT-2 turret) displayed at Parola Museum, Finland – Credits: Wikipedia.

The earlier model KV-2. Note the MT-1 sloped turret.


A KV-2A has had its turret blown off. The ammunition may have detonated.

KV-2 107mm

A KV-2 with a 107mm gun. The KV-2 was similar to some superheavy tank projects the gun was intended for use with.

KV-2destroyed_soviet_KV-2kid chilling with a KV-2KV-2 107mm 2

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