KV-5 Object 225 super heavy breakthrough tank
The KV-5 (or object 225, sometimes also mistakenly called the KV-6 ) was a project of the Soviet three-turret super heavy tank of the breakthrough period of the Great Patriotic War. Design developments were carried out by the specialists of the design bureau J. Y. Kotin . Work on heavy tanks KV-5 and KV-220 were carried out at the Leningrad Kirov Plant. The tank had a maximum for that time armor thickness. A technical design was made for the KV-5 and the production of a number of components and assemblies began.
The abbreviation "KV" stands for "Clement (Klim) Voroshilov", and the index "5" denotes the ordinal number of this model in the range of modifications of the Soviet heavy and super heavy tanks of the KV series. In Soviet literature, this project is sometimes referred to as the KV-6, but this statement is more than erroneous. In the project documentation, this model of the tank was also designated as “Object 225”.
The lead engineer of the project was IA Aristov. It was assumed that the new tank, designated KV-5, will have frontal armor 180 mm thick, and side armor 150 mm thick. The KV-5 was supposed to be armed with a powerful long-barreled 107-mm ZIS-6 cannon that could destroy absolutely any tank of that time. Combat weight was supposed to be more than 100 tons. Due to the lack of a suitable diesel engine with 1200 horsepower (it was under development), the KV-5 was redesigned for the installation of two conventional V-2K diesel engines, each with a capacity of 600 liters, placed in parallel. The KV-5 tank had a classic layout. In front of the hull were a small machine-gun turret and an armored cap for the driver. The main turret was huge, it housed a tank commander, a gunner and two loaders. The commander had his own observation turret, which was located on the roof of the main turret, and there was another machine-gun turret there.
At the beginning of March 1941, at a meeting of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b), the results of the Winter War of 1939-1940 were analyzed, during which the question was raised about strengthening the armor of KV-1 and KV-2 tanks by shielding them, and increasing the artillery weapons of the KV- 3 and on the creation of project documentation for KV-4 tanksand KV-5 for the period of 1941. The design and manufacture of the first basic prototype of the KV-5 tank were to be carried out by September 1, 1941. Design work was entrusted to the employees of the design bureau led by J. Y. Kotin. Work on the assembly of components and mechanisms of the prototype tank KV-5 was to be carried out at the Leningrad Kirov Plant.
Until October 10, Izhora Plant was supposed to manufacture a hull and turrets, Kharkov Plant to design and develop a diesel engine with an estimated capacity of 1200 horsepower, Voroshilovgrad Diesel Locomotive Plant to develop a steam diesel installation, and Gorky Artillery Plant to shoot a ZIS-6 for firing unitary shells. These units were also planned to be used to assemble a prototype heavy tank KV-4.. In June 1941, work on the creation of a prototype of the KV-4 was curtailed in favor of the further development of the project of the KV-5 tank. Work on this project began in late June, after the German invasion of the USSR. By August, the project of the super-heavy KV-5 tank was almost completed, however, due to the difficult situation of the Red Army near Leningrad and in view of the possible surrender of the city, work on the prototype was curtailed and the potential of the design bureau was focused on further improvement of the KV-1 serial tank.
The super heavy breakthrough tank KV-5 was assembled, like its predecessors in the KV lineup: the front control compartment, the combat compartment - in the central and the engine-transmission compartment - in the rear. Perhaps the main difference from its predecessors, the KV-5 was the presence, in addition to the main turret, of two front turrets: for the gunner-radio operator and driver.
According to project data, the crew of the KV-5 tank was to consist of 6 people. The tank commander was located to the right of the gun, supervised the crew’s actions and carried out a survey of the terrain through optical instruments in the commander’s turret installed in the roof of the main turret to the right. The gunner, in addition to targeting 107-millimeter guns, if necessary, could fire from a machine gun, which was installed in the machine-gun turret in the roof of the main turret to the left of the longitudinal axis of the tank. Two loaders were located in the central part of the turret and the gun was being charged. The driver mechanic was located in the front part of the hull on the left and used the left front turret, which was made in the form of a folding armor cap, to view the terrain. The gunner-radio operator was located in the right front of the case and, if necessary, fired a machine gun.
The crew could use three hatches in the roofs of the main turret, commander and machine-gun turrets, as well as a sunroof in the front of the front right machine-gun turret and a hinged hood of the front left turret of the driver. The bottom hatch allowed the crew to urgently evacuate from the tank in combat conditions.
The armored protection of the KV-5 super-heavy breakthrough tank was developed in accordance with a differentiated anti-projectile principle. It was supposed to protect the main units of the tank and its crew from damage by the main anti-tank weapons of that period of any calibers at medium and long distances.
The armored hull of the KV-5 tank, as planned, was to be assembled from rolled armor plates, which were fastened between each other by tugs and welding. When designing, it was assumed that the thickness of the armor plates in the frontal part of the hull would reach 180 millimeters, in the aft part and along the sides - up to 150 millimeters, with the thickness of the bottom armor plates and the roof 40 millimeters.
The rotating main turret of the KV-5 tank had a diamond shape with an insignificant forage niche and was also assembled from rolled armor plates that were attached to each other by welding, as well as with boosted and keyed (double dovetail) connections. According to preliminary calculations, the frontal part of the turret was supposed to have a armor of 180 millimeters, and the sides and stern - 150. The armor of the roof of the turret, like the case, did not exceed 40 millimeters. The front machine-gun turret and the driver's turret had a round shape and were assembled from rolled armored plates that had a thickness of 180 millimeters.
As the main armament of the KV-5 super-heavy breakthrough tank, it was planned to use a 107 mm anti-tank rifled cannon. The gun was installed, according to the project, in the front of the turret and closed with a massive semi-cylindrical armor mask. According to the designers' estimates, the ammunition for the ZIS-6 cannon was to consist of 40-50 shots of unitary loading, which were to be placed along the sides of the turret and in the stern niche.
As an auxiliary weapon in the KV-5 tank, it was supposed to use three machine guns of 7.62 mm DT in various variations of the installation (in the machine gun turret on top of the main turret, in the machine gun front turret and in the mask of the gun as a twin) It was also proposed to install one machine gun caliber or 7.62 or 12.7 millimeters in the feed niche, as well as a single anti-aircraft gun on the turret on the main turret on the right side. Ammunition for machine guns DT, depending on the installation options, according to preliminary data, should have consisted of about 6000-7000 rounds, loaded into disc magazines.
According to preliminary calculations, the super-heavy KV-5 tank, as well as the KV-4 tank developed earlier , was to be equipped with an air-cooled piston twelve-cylinder V-shaped four-stroke diesel engine M-40 with water cooling, which, as planned at that time, could develop maximum power at 1200 horsepower. However, as of July 1941, the M-40 engine was not yet created. Designers of the KV-5 followed the path of equipping it with a power plant from two twin twelve-cylinder V-shaped diesel engines V-2K with water cooling, which provided the same total power. It was assumed that this power plant could allow the tank to develop a maximum speed when driving on the highway at 35-40 kilometers per hour.
The suspension of the super-heavy tank KV-5, as well as the predecessor tanks KV-1 , KV-2 , KV-3 and KV-4 , is classified as an individual torsion with internal damping for each support roller. The chassis, according to the currently available drawings, was supposed to include eight bearing stamped dual-roll rollers. As with the predecessor tanks, each track roller had a mate with the suspension stops of the suspension balancers. The driving wheel of the rear is equipped with removable gear rims with a pinch-type gear. The guide wheel was installed in front. The upper branch of the caterpillar rested on four rubberized supporting rollers.
The wooden model assumed a flamethrower on the left fender. The KV-5 tank, made in metal, was distinguished by the installation of the ATO-41 flame thrower in the front plate on the right, while maintaining the course gun on the left. F-32 gun. In August 1941, the Kirov Plant in Leningrad manufactured 8-10 KV-5 tanks from the latest vehicle sets. And the flamethrower was enough for 4 tanks, and the rest of the KV-5 came out of the gate "with patches", at the place of proper installation of the flamethrower. From the staff and mat. units of the 24th tank division and 146th tank regiment of the 198th divisional division, 24th September 1941 formed the 124th separate tank brigade. All KV-5s entered the 124th Tank Regiment of the 124th Separate Tank Brigade. In total, together with the KV-5, the 124th TP consisted of 32 pcs. KV-1, several T-34, T-26 and a pair of armored vehicles. "
However, in connection with the approach of the Germans to Leningrad, work on the KV-5 was stopped in the first half of August 1941. The project of the super heavy tank KV-5, like its predecessor KV-4 , remained on paper. For this project, no prototype or prototype tank was collected. Naturally, there is no question of any combat use of the KV-5 tank. But nevertheless, the insights and skills gained by the designers during the creation of the KV-5, later found their implementation in the creation of heavy SACs and KV series tanks at the final stage of the Second World War and in the post-war period.
The super-heavy KV-5 tank, for all its merits, had a very serious disadvantage: excessive mass. As a consequence, the tank’s permeability would be insufficient, and there would be problems with the transportation of the tank. Development of the KV-5 tank was completed by August 1941, but the prototype could not be made, as the German troops were already approaching Leningrad. It was necessary to modernize the already produced KV-1 tanks.
Unfortunately, now the possible appearance of the KV-5 tank can be judged only by the old layout drawings in the technical documentation and computer models in online games that have an abundant share of free interpretation.
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