World War II Album Volume 9: Soviet KV Heavy Tanks

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9781500596446: World War II Album Volume 9: Soviet KV Heavy Tanks
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Merriam Press World War II Album WA9

First Edition (2014)

This pictorial album covers the KV-1, KV-2, KV-85 and their variants, such as flamethrower tanks and experimental models.

The Kliment Voroshilov (KV) tanks were a series of Soviet heavy tanks named after the Soviet defense commissar and politician Kliment Voroshilov and used by the Red Army during World War II. The KV series were known for their extremely heavy armor protection during the early part of the war, especially during the first year of the German invasion of the Soviet Union.

They were almost completely immune to the 3.7cm KwK 36 and howitzer-like, short-barreled 7.5cm KwK 37 guns mounted respectively on the early PzKpfw III and PzKpfw IV tanks fielded by the invading German forces. Until better guns were developed by the Germans it was often the case that the only way to defeat a KV was with a point-blank shot to the rear.

Prior to Operation Barbarossa (the German invasion of the USSR), about 500 of the over 22,000 tanks then in Soviet service were of the KV-1 type. When the KV-1 appeared, it out-classed the French Char B1, the only other heavy tank in operational service in the world at that time. Yet, in the end, it turned out that there was little sense in producing the expensive KV tanks, as the T-34 medium tank performed better (or at least equally well) in all practical respects. Later in the war, the KV series became a base for the development of the IS (IS=Josif Stalin) series of tanks.

214 B&W photos

8 color photos

1 illustration

1 side view drawing

4 four-view drawings

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