With the KV-1 and KV-2 heavy tanks in operation, work was begun on even heavier designs. The KV-3 was an improved KV-1, the KV-4 a design exercise that created many weird and wonderful designs for multi-turreted tanks and assault guns, and the KV-5 an immense 100-ton tank with armor 170mm (6.7”) thick mounting a 107mm gun.
In April 1941, N V Tseits of the SKB 2 design bureau was given six months to design this monster and deliver a prototype, Object 225. His design team included K I Kuzmin (hull), L Sychev (turret) and N Fedorchuk (running gear). Despite the short time frame, the design of the KV-5 was almost complete by August 1941 and production of the prototype had begun when the approaching German Army forced the design team to evacuate to the Urals. The proposed tank was huge: 36’5”/11.10m long, 13’1”/4.00m tall, and weighing 100 tons. The crew of five had plenty of room, but were widely separated.
Both the driver-mechanic and the radio operator-machine gunner had separate compartments with their own vision cupolas. The turret was large for its three man crew, with another machine-gun cupola on top for the commander.
Hypothetical Combat Service
The main components of the prototype KV-5 were evacuated with the plans. They received low priority for the remainder of 1941. When conditions improved in early 1942 the prototype was completed and production began. The super-heavy tanks of the Bolshoi Tankovy Polk (Great Tank Regiment) were committed to Marshal Zhukov’s Operation Mars in November 1942. Despite their immense power, they were unable to eliminate the Rzhev Salient and the threat to Moscow that it represented.
The KV-5 was a true monster of a tank. Nearly three times as long as a T-34 medium tank, and over twice as high, it dominated the battlefield in more ways than one. While it is slow, the gigantic KV-5 is almost immune to all enemy action and can destroy any enemy tank at long range.
In Flames Of War
Weighing in at 100 tons, the KV-5 is easily the heaviest tank attempted anywhere in the world to date. Its armor is impenetrable, while its gun can destroy any other vehicle in existence.