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KV1 (Stock)

390000 Cost
720 HPDurability
47.41 / 55.8 Weight
  1. Commander
  2. Gunner
  3. Radio Operator
  4. Driver
  5. Loader
75/75/70Hull Armor(front/sides/rear, mm)
95/75/75Turret Armor(front/sides/rear, mm)
450 h.p.Engine Power
34 km/hTop Speed / Reverse Speed
18 deg/sTraverse Speed
160 damage
86 mmAverage Penetration
8.0412371134 Time for Complete Loading
20 deg/sGun Traverse Speed
220 mView Range
500 mSignal Range
Development started at the end of 1938. A prototype was produced in August 1939. The vehicle first saw combat in December 1939 at the Mannerheim Line. The tank was mass-produced from March 1940 through August 1942, with a total of 2,769 vehicles manufactured.

The KV-1 is a Soviet tier 5 heavy tank

Most novice players will find the KV-1's playing style significantly different from what they are used to, having just come out of the T-28 medium tank. At stock, armed with the 76mm ZiS-5 (which is way below average at tier 5 and should be replaced immediately), it is very slow, and certainly not agile. Consider mounting the 57mm 413 if you enjoy a fast fire rate with decent penetration. The KV-1 with the 122mm U-11 gun firing HE shells can be a surprisingly fun tank to play, but don't expect to be doing much when you get thrown in with the big boys battles. The other gun option is the 85mm, which is a mix between the 57mm and the 122mm, sporting good average damage and penetration with high DPM if used correctly.

Despite only having 75mm hull armor, the KV-1 is very hard to penetrate to tanks on its tier and below. It's one tank all players should definitely learn to kill as its weak spots are the same weak spots are shared with other tanks in the popular KV family. The badly sloped portion on front hull where driver's view port is located is a good place to hit. Also when shot from side to rear hull the fuel tanks will usually burst into flames. Try to avoid aiming for the KV-1's turret: it is well sloped and has a large portion of spaced armor 110mm thick, and is consequently very hard to penetrate.



Level Turret Turret Armor (front/sides/rear, mm) Gun Traverse Speed (deg/s) View Range (m) Experience Weight (t)
V KV-1 95/75/75 20 220 0 7020
Level Gun Average Penetration (mm) Rate of Fire Dispersion at 100 m Aiming Time Experience Weight (t)
V 76 mm ZiS-5 86/102/20 160/160/200 7.46 0.46 2.3 0 1155
V 122 mm U-11 30/140/20 450/270/200 4.09 0.57 2.9 4430 1600
V 57 mm project 413 112/189/15 90/90/110 18.68 0.34 2.3 2710 740
Level Turret Turret Armor (front/sides/rear, mm) Gun Traverse Speed (deg/s) View Range (m) Experience Weight (t)
V KV-1 ChTZ mod. 1942 110/110/110 20 220 2600 8220
Level Gun Average Penetration (mm) Rate of Fire Dispersion at 100 m Aiming Time Experience Weight (t)
V 76 mm ZiS-5 86/102/20 160/160/200 7.46 0.46 2.3 0 1155
V 122 mm U-11 30/140/20 450/270/200 4.09 0.57 2.9 4430 1600
V 57 mm project 413 112/189/15 90/90/110 18.68 0.34 2.3 2710 740
VI 85 mm F-30 120/161/43 200/200/300 7 0.42 2.9 4250 1550


Level Engine Engine Power (h.p.) Chance of Fire on Impact Experience Weight (t)
IV M-17T 500 20 1010 610
IV M-17L 450 20 0 610
VI V-2K 500 15 6020 750

Level Suspension Load Limit Traverse Speed (deg/s) Experience Weight (t)
IV KV-1 mod. 1940 55.8 18 0 10600
V KV-1 mod. 1941 55.8 20 2325 10600


Level Radio Signal Range (m) Experience Weight (t)
V _10R 500 0 100

Compatible Equipment

Heavy Spall Liner
Camouflage Net
Coated Optics
Enhanced Gun Laying Drive
Enhanced Torsion Bars 5+ t Class
Cyclone Filter
Improved Ventilation Class 3
Medium-Caliber Tank Gun Rammer
Binocular Telescope
"Wet" Ammo Rack Class 2

Compatible Consumables

Player Opinion

Pros and Cons


  • Can choose between three good guns that offer completely different styles of play
  • Excellent armor for its tier
  • Armor is same on front, rear and sides. Tank can be angled 45 degrees towards the enemy and it becomes impenetrable fortress
  • 57 and 85mm guns have good rates of fire
  • Powerful 122mm howitzer, especially when firing HEAT


  • Low accuracy and long reload time with the 122mm U-11 howitzer
  • Slow and sluggish wih maneuverability
  • Really, really bad view range, to the point of blindness (but then again, it's not meant to be used as a scout)
  • Slow aiming time -- guns are reloaded before fully aimed (except with the 122mm U-11 derp)
  • Can be uncomfortable when newly bought because of the poor maneuverability and thus completely different playing style


The KV-1 is one of the most popular tanks in the game. Its thick armor, generous gun selection, and easy-to-learn play style make it one of the best starter tanks and allow it to easily dominate in the hands of a skilled player. In real life, the KV-1 was designed to spearhead assaults against heavily defended areas. It was nearly invulnerable to enemy guns during its time and retains this feature in World of Tanks. The KV-1 has very thick all-around hull armor and an even thicker turret. This allows it to [sidescrape] with ease and withstand serious beatings. Although thick, the KV-1's armor has big enough unsloped areas that the hull must be properly angled to assume its full potential. The KV-1 also offers a generous selection of guns: a rapid-firing and highly accurate 57mm; an extremely powerful but relatively unreliable 122mm howitzer, or a hard-hitting 85mm which is a well-rounded midway. The only downside to the KV-1's guns are their slow aiming speeds; shells will be reloaded before the gun is fully aimed. Furthermore, the KV-1 is very slow and turns sluggishly. Its once-formidable armor and weaponry are much less effective against higher tier tanks. This coupled with poor maneuverability and speed make the KV-1 much easier prey against Tier VI tanks. However, don't let that dissuade you. The KV-1 is very fun and can easily dominate in a Tier V battle.

When facing lower tiered opponents, the KV-1 will easily bounce shells in a frontal battle. However, if the enemy team is composed of lighter faster tanks take care not to be swarmed by them, as your slower turret traverse speed makes it hard to hit a light or medium tank which is circling you. In such a battle, try to stay close to other tanks which can spray insect repellent on you. Try to force tanks of the same tier into a brawl and do not be caught out in the open. In a higher tier battle the KV-1's armor becomes less useful, so the KV-1 functions more as a fire support tank than a frontline brawler (which is actually okay given the KV-1's superb gun selection). Head to the same spots you would in lower tier battles but also make sure you have higher tiered heavy or medium tanks to support. A KV-1 in a tier VI game can hold the flank given cautious play and a KV-1 in a tier V game can lead massive attacks on the enemies' over flanks.

The KV-1 has excellent guns and armor for its tier which allow it to heavily dominate tanks at and below its tier. It's tough, fun, powerful, easy-to-learn, and a great choice as a starter heavy tank. The KV-1 is a keeper for many, and with good reason.

Early Research

  • Oddly, the M-17F engine carries over from the T-28, even though they're completely different vehicles. Install it immediately.
  • The stock suspension can't handle the weight of the second turret, so your choice to start with is between the suspension and the 57mm 413 gun. The added maneuverability from upgrading the suspension will also make the tank more comfortable to play with, while the 57mm is an excellent choice for fire support if the 122 mm is too close-ranged for your play style.
  • Whatever you choose to research from the line above, once you research the suspension, you can then research the 122mm howitzer or proceed to the second turret, making the 85mm F-30 gun available.
  • You'll have to research the V-2K engine if you want to get the KV-1S.

Historical Info

KV1 model 1940 s ekranami (with appliqué), or KV1-E. The slogan on the turret side reads "Victory will be ours."
The Kliment Voroshilov (KV) tanks were a series of Soviet Heavy tanks, named after the Soviet defense commissar and politician Kliment Voroshilov. The KV series were known for their extremely-heavy armor protection during the early war, especially during the first year of the invasion of the Soviet Union in World War II. Almost completely immune to the 7.5 cm KwK 37 and 3.7 cm KwK 36 guns mounted on the early Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks, until better guns were developed, often the only way to defeat a KV was a point-blank shot to the rear. Prior to the invasion, about 500 of the over 22,000 tanks in Soviet service at the time were of the KV-1 type. When the KV-1 appeared, it outclassed the French Char B1, the only Heavy tank used 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) in all practical respects. Later in the war, the KV series have become a base of development of the excellent Iosif Stalin tank.


After disappointing results with the multi-turreted T-35 Heavy tank, Soviet tank designers started drawing up replacements. The T-35 conformed to the 1920s notion of a 'breakthrough tank' with very-heavy firepower and armor protection, but poor mobility. The Spanish Civil War demonstrated the need for much-heavier armor on tanks, and was the main influence on Soviet tank design just prior to World War II. Several competing designs were offered, and even more were drawn up prior to reaching prototype stage. All had heavy armor, torsion-bar suspension, wide tracks, and were of welded and cast construction. One of the main competing designs was the SMK, which lowered the number of turrets from the T-35's five to two, mounting the same combination of 76.2 mm and 45 mm weapons. When two prototypes were ordered though, it was decided to create one with only a single turret, but more armor. This new single-turret tank was the KV. The smaller hull and single turret enabled the designer to install heavy frontal and turret armor while keeping the weight within manageable limits.
KV-1 On trials

When the Soviets entered the Winter War, the SMK, KV, and a third design, the T-100, were sent to be tested in combat conditions. The heavy armor of the KV proved highly-resistant to Finnish anti-tank weapons, making it more effective than the other designs. It was soon put into production, both as the original 76-mm-armed KV-1 Heavy Tank and the 152 mm howitzer-mounting assault gun, the KV-2 Heavy Artillery Tank. The KV's strengths included armor that was impenetrable by any tank-mounted weapon then in service except at point-blank range, good firepower, and good traction on soft ground. It also had serious flaws: it was difficult to steer, the transmission was unreliable, and the ergonomics were poor, with limited visibility and no turret basket. Furthermore, the 45-ton KV was simply too heavy. This severely impacted the maneuverability, not so much in terms of maximum speed, but in its inability to cross many bridges that medium tanks could cross. The KV outweighed most other tanks of the era, being about twice as heavy as the heaviest contemporary German tank. KVs were never equipped with a snorkeling system to ford rivers on the bottom, so they had to be left to travel to an adequate bridge. As applique armor and other improvements were added without increasing engine power, and later models were less capable of keeping up to speed with medium tanks and had more trouble with difficult terrain.

Soviet Heavy tanks of World War II (Zaloga & Grandsen 1984:119, 176)
T-35 T-100 SMK KV-1
Crew 11 7 7 5 5 5 5 4 4 4
Weight 45 t 58 t 55 t 43 t 45 t 47 t 42.5 t 46 46 t 46.5 t
Gun 76.2 mm
M. 27/32
76.2 mm
76.2 mm
76.2 mm
76.2 mm
76.2 mm
76.2 mm
85 mm
122 mm
122 mm
Ammunition 100 rds. 111 111 114 114 70 28 28
Secondary armament 2×45 mm,
5×7.62 mm
45 mm 45 mm 2×DT 4×DT 4×DT 4×DT 3×DT 2×DT, DShK 2×DT, DShK
Engine 500 hp
M-17M gasoline
500 hp 850 hp
600 hp
V-2K diesel
600 hp
600 hp
600 hp
600 hp
600 hp
600 hp
Fuel 910 L 600 L 600 L 600 L 975 L 975 L 820 L 520 + 270 L
Road speed 30 km/h 35 km/h 36 km/h 35 km/h 35 km/h 28 km/h 45 km/h 40 km/h 37 km/h 37 km/h
Road range 150 km 150 km 335 km 335 km 250 km 250 km 250 km 240 km 150 (225) km
Armour 11–30 mm 20–70 mm 20–60 mm 25–75 mm 30–90 mm 20–130 mm 30–82 mm 30–160 mm 30–160 mm 20–220 mm


KV-1 Heavy tank trials on crossing antitank and natural obstacles. Reserve Front 43rd Army 109th Tank Division Sep. 1941. The sign on the turret translates as "Kill the fascist"

By 1942, when the Germans were fielding large numbers of long-barrelled 50 mm and 75 mm guns, the KV's armor was no longer invincible. The KV-1's side, top, and turret armor could also be penetrated by the high-velocity MK 101 carried by German ground attack aircraft such as the Henschel Hs 129, requiring the installation of additional field-expedient appliqué armor. The KV-1's 76.2 mm gun also came in for criticism. While adequate against all German tanks, it was the same gun as carried by smaller, faster, and cheaper T-34 medium tanks. In 1943, it was determined that this gun could not penetrate the frontal armor of the new Tiger, the first German Heavy tank, fortunately captured near Leningrad. The KV-1 was also much more difficult to manufacture and thus, more expensive than the T-34. In short, its advantages no longer outweighed its drawbacks. Nonetheless, because of its initial superior performance, the KV-1 was chosen as one of the few tanks to continue being built following the Soviet reorganization of tank production. Due to the new standardization, it shared the similar engine (the KV used a 600 hp V-2K modification of the T-34's V-2 diesel engine) and gun (the KV had a ZiS-5 main gun, while the T-34 had a similar F-34 main gun) as the T-34, was built in large quantities, and received frequent upgrades. When production shifted to the Ural Mountains 'Tankograd' complex, the KV-2 was dropped. While impressive on paper, it had been designed as a slow-moving bunker-buster. It was less useful in the highly-mobile, fluid warfare that developed in World War II. The turret was so heavy it was difficult to traverse on non-level terrain, and it was expensive to produce. Only about 250 KV-2s were made, all in 1940-41, making it one of the rarer Soviet tanks. As the war continued, the KV-1 continued to get more armor to compensate for the increasing effectiveness of German weapons. This culminated in the KV-1 model 1942 (German designation KV-1C), which had very heavy armor, but lacked a corresponding improvement to the engine. Tankers complained that although they were well-protected, their mobility was poor and they had no firepower advantage over the T-34 medium tank. In response to criticisms, the lighter KV-1S (Russian language: КВ-1С) was released, with thinner armor and a smaller, lower turret in order to reclaim some speed. Importantly, the KV-1S also had a commander's cupola with all-around vision blocks, a first for a Soviet Heavy tank. However, the thinning-out of the armor called into question why the tank was being produced at all, when the T-34 could seemingly do everything the KV could do and much more cheaply. The Soviet Heavy tank program was close to cancellation in mid-1943. The appearance of the German Panther tank in the summer of 1943 convinced the Red Army to make a serious upgrade of its tank force for the first time since 1941. Soviet tanks needed bigger guns to take on the growing numbers of Panthers and the few Tigers. A stopgap upgrade to the KV series was the short-lived KV-85 or Objekt 239. This was a KV-1S with a new turret designed for the IS-85, mounting the same 85 mm D-5T gun as the SU-85 and early versions of the T-34-85. Already-high demand for the gun slowed production of the KV-85 tremendously, and only 148 were built before the KV design was replaced. The KV-85 was produced in the fall and winter of 1943-44; they were sent to the front as of September 1943, and production of the KV-85 was stopped by the spring of 1944 once the IS-2 entered full scale production.

Combat History


German officers are examining the damaged Soviet KV-1 Heavy tank screened with additional armor. It probably belonged to the 101st Tank Division.

When Operation Barbarossa began, the Red Army was equipped with 508 new KV tanks. Its armor was so effective that the Germans were incapable of destroying it with their tanks or anti-tank weapons, and had to rely on air support and 88 mm anti-aircraft artillery (flak) or 105 mm howitzers to knock them out. Most of these tanks, and the effective T-34s, were parcelled out to units in small numbers and poorly supplied, but at the Battle of Raseiniai they were used to good effect. On 23–24 June, a single KV-2 effectively pinned down elements of the German 6th Panzer Division for a full day at the bridgeheads of the Dubysa River below Raseiniai, Lithuania, playing a prominent role in delaying the advance of Panzergruppe 4 on Leningrad until it ran out of ammunition and the crew was forced to abandon the tank and withdraw. According to Panzer Operations, however, the tank (said to be a KV-1), after destroying several antitank guns, their crews, and an 88 mm flak gun, was hit repeatedly with rounds from another 88 mm gun. The crew was knocked unconscious, and recovered only to be killed by an exploding grenade. They were buried with full honors, uncommon for other troops. The English version indicates that Erhard Raus, the author, may have mistaken similar events and people, so this may be an error.


Wrecked KV-1 tank, Stalingrad, Russia, Aug 1942. Note the multipule hit marks on the tanks hull and turret.

On August 14, 1941, the vanguard of the German 8th Panzer Division approached Krasnogvardeysk (Gatchina) near Leningrad (St Petersburg), and the only Soviet force available at the time to attempt to stop the German advance consisted of five well-hidden KV-1 tanks, dug in within a grove at the edge of a swamp. KV-1 tank no. 864 was commanded by the leader of this small force, Lieutenant Zinoviy Kolobanov. German forces attacked Krasnogvardeysk from three directions. Near Noviy Uchkhoz settlement the geography favored the Soviet defenders as the only road in the region passed the swamp, and the defenders commanded this choke point from their hidden position. Lieutenant Kolobanov had carefully studied the situation and readied his detachment the day before. Each KV-1 tank carried twice the normal amount of ammunition, two-thirds being armor-piercing rounds. Kolobanov ordered his other commanders to hold their fire and await orders. He did not want to reveal the total force, so only one exposed tank at a time would engage the enemy. On August 14, the German 8th Panzer Division's vanguard ventured directly into the well-prepared Soviet ambush, with Kolobanov's tank knocking out the lead German tank with its first shot. The Germans falsely assumed that their lead tank had hit an anti-tank mine, and failed to realize that they had been ambushed. The German column stopped, giving Kolobanov the opportunity to destroy the second tank. Only then did the Germans realize they were under attack, but they failed to find the source of the shots. While the German tanks were firing blindly, Kolobanov knocked out the trailing German tank, thus boxing in the entire column.

Although the Germans correctly guessed the direction of fire, they could only spot Lieutenant Kolobanov's tank, and now attempted to engage an unseen enemy. German tanks moving off the road bogged down in the surrounding soft ground, becoming easy targets. 22 German tanks and 2 towed artillery pieces fell victim to Kolobanov's No. 864 before it ran out of ammunition. Kolobanov ordered in another KV-1, and 21 more German tanks were destroyed before the half-hour battle ended. A total of 43 German tanks were destroyed by just five Soviet KV-1s (two more remained in reserve).
A KV-1, on the Eastern front being examined by a German panzer officer

After the battle, the crew of No. 864 counted a total of 135 hits on their tank, none of which had penetrated the KV-1's armor. Lieutenant Kolobanov was awarded the Order of Lenin, while his driver Usov was awarded the Order of the Red Banner. Later on, former Captain Zinoviy Kolobanov was again decorated by Soviet authorities, despite having been convicted and downgraded after the Winter War for "fraternizing with the enemy." After the end of World War II, Lieutenant Kolobanov served in the Soviet occupation zone in East Germany, where he was convicted again when a subordinate escaped to the British occupation zone, and was transferred to the reserves. The battle for Krasnogvardeysk was covered up by Soviet propaganda. A monument dedicated to this battle was installed in the village of Noviy Uchkhoz in 1980, at the place where Kolobanov's KV-1 was dug in, due solely to the demands of the villagers. Unfortunately, it was impossible to find a KV-1 tank, so an IS-2 Heavy tank was installed there instead. The Soviet victory was the result of a well-planned ambush in advantageous ground and of technical superiority. Most of the German tanks in this battle were Panzer IIs, armed with 20 mm guns, and a few Panzer IIIs armed with 37 mm KwK 36 L/46.5 guns. The German tank guns had neither the range nor the power of the 76 mm main gun of a KV-1, and the narrower track width of the German tanks caused them to become trapped in the swampy ground.

Historical Inconsistencies in Game

  • The 57 mm 413 gun did not exist.
  • The 122 mm U-11 gun was designed for the KV-9 and a different turret.
  • The 85 mm F-3 gun was designed for the KV-220.

Historical Gallery

Sources and External Links

Light Tanks IMS-1 IIBT-2 IIT-26 IITetrarch IIIBT-7 IIIBT-SV IIILTP IIIM3 Light IIIT-127 IIIT-46 IVA-20 IVValentine II
Medium Tanks IVA-32 IVT-28 VMatilda IV VT-34 VIT-34-85 VIT-34-85 Victory VIIKV-13 VIIT-34-85 Rudy VIIT-43 VIIIT-44 IXT-54 XObject 140 XT-62A
Heavy Tanks VChurchill III VKV-220 Beta-Test VKV-1 VIKV-1S VIKV-2 VIT-150 VIIIS VIIKV-3 VIIIIS-3 VIIIIS-6 VIIIIS-6 Fearless VIIIKV-5 VIIIKV-4 IXIS-8 IXST-I XIS-4 XIS-7
Tank Destroyers IIAT-1 IIISU-76 IVSU-85B VSU-85 VSU-85I VISU-100 VISU-100Y VIISU-152 VIISU-100M1 VIISU-122-44 VIIIISU-152 VIIISU-101 IXObject 704 IXSU-122-54 XObject 263 XObject 268
Heavy Tanks
USA VT14 VT1 Heavy Tank VIM6 VIIT29 VIIIT32 VIIIT34 VIIIT34 Independence IXM103 XT110E5
UK VChurchill I VExcelsior VIChurchill VII VITOG II* VIIBlack Prince VIIICaernarvon IXConqueror XFV215b
Germany IVPz.Kpfw. B2 740 (f) IVDurchbruchswagen 2 VVK 30.01 (H) VIVK 36.01 (H) VIITiger I VIITiger (P) VIITankenstein VIIILöwe VIIITiger II VIIIVK 45.02 (P) Ausf. A IXE 75 IXVK 45.02 (P) Ausf. B XE 100 XMaus