The KW-1, massproduced from february 1940 to early 1943. It first saw service in the Finnish winter war, and when Germany attacked Soviet in June 1941, some 636 KW (Kliment Woroshilov) tanks had been built. The KW-I was armed with a 76.2mm L/30.5 gun, but later variants (KW-1A, KW-1B, KW-1C and KW-1S) housed a 76.2mm L/41 gun with better armour penetration. The KW-1E later appeard with additional armour plates. Also a KW-2 was produced. It�s main task was to support infantry and was armed with a 152mm cannon. But since the KW-2 had bad performance it was only produced until 1942. Plans were also made to construct a KW-4, KW-5 and a KW-13, but all projects were abandonded. The experience from the front, showed that the KW started to be too slow. This resulted in a new version; the KW-1S (skorostnoj, fast), a lighter and faster KW which appeard in late 1942. When Soviet needed more firepower they built the KW-85 which had an 85mm cannon. A total of 130 KW-85s were manufactured. Later the KW was replaced by the IS (Iosef Stalin) series. A total of 4.775 KW-I were manufactured along with some 1.470 KW-1S. Prototype named KW-1K was built, based upon the KW-1 Model 1942 equipped with 82mm RS-82 rockets. KW-1 tanks were equipped with many different guns 76.2mm guns; L-11 L/30.5, F-32 L/39, F-34 L/41.5, ZiS-5 L/41.5. KW tanks also had different radio equipment; 71-TK, 71-TK3, TP-2-4, TPU-2, TPU-4-bis, TPU-4R, TPU3bisF and TPU-4. Each vehicle also carried a flair pistol. Captured KW-1 tanks were specified by Germans as PzKpfw. 753 (r). Germans were happy to send in as many captured KW-1's to battle as they could, and some KW-1 were equipped with a commanders cupola and rearmed with a 75mm KwK L/48 gun (when available) to ease ammo support.
An abandoned KW-1 Model 1940 is inspected by German soldiers.
Soviet tank crew jumping onto a KW-1 Model 1941
Soviet tank crew in front of their KW-1E Model 1941 with extra armor plates.
KW-1S of the 6th Heavy Tank Regiment.
Knocked out KW-1S
|Armor penetration: (APDS - BR-350P)
|76.2mm F-34 L/41