KV-85 gallery

This is the first experimental model presented, the “Objekt 238” or “KV-1S-85“, in which the new 85mm S-31 gun was installed in a KV-1S tank’s standard turret. The S-31 gun was considered very complicated to manufacture and finally it was not chosen. Due to the size of the new gun, the room inside the turret was minimal and made the tasks of the crew extremely difficult, so the prototype was discarded.
This is the experimental model designed “Objekt 239“, in which a new turret, (redesigned for the “Izdeliye 237” (IS) heavy tank project) was installed. This turret was armed with the 85mm D5-T gun and was installed in a KV-1S heavy tank chassis. The prototype passed all tests with success and its mass production was decided in August 1943 as “KV-85” heavy tank. The tank’s turret was practically the same as the one that would later be installed in the T-34/85 medium tank.
The chassis of the KV-1S had to be widened to accommodate the new turret, reaching a width of 3.45 meters. The new turret was better protected, reaching 100mm thick in all of it except the roof, which was 40mm thick. The hull was 75mm thick on the front and the rear and 60mm thick on the sides. The weight of the new KV-85, (on the image) increased to 46 tons and its range was reduced to 180 km.
The KV-85‘s crew was only 4 due to the size of the new turret. The need to carry seventy 85mm shells in improved racks, forced to get more room in the hull, so the fifth crewmember, (the gunner-radio operator), had to be removed. The D5-T gun was able to penetrate 100mm of the Tiger tank’s frontal armor at 1km distance, but due to the poor quality of the Soviet optics, t was practically impossible to achieve it in combat.
Only 148 KV-85 tanks arrived at combat, where they demonstrated to be good vehicles, though sometimes due to the tactics and employment, they were not taken advantage enough and suffered considerable losses. They actively participated in the Liberation of Crimea since the end of 1943, but they rarely clashed directly with the German tanks, although when they did, they were able to put the Germans in serious trouble.

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