UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


KV-6 Flamethrower

Soviet heavy tank KV-6In the prewar period, the main emphasis in the creation of flamethrower tanks was placed on light machines such as the T-26 and BT, the production of which was well established by the Soviet industry. True, their specialization included not only flame throwing - tanks were equipped with full-fledged chemical weapons, which allowed the production of smoke, spraying of toxic agents and degassing of the area. This is reflected in their name - HT (chemical tank, as a rule, these were tanks based on the T-26) and BHM (combat chemical machines based on the T-27 tank and BT tanks).

Using the experience of plant number 37, plant number 174 developed and manufactured a powder flamethrower, which arrived in the spring of 1941 for testing. Simultaneously with this, the powder gun-gunner of the NATI design, designed under the guidance of engineer Danilov, was ready. As a result, in May 1941, it was decided to adopt the flamethrower design of plant No. 174 under the symbol ATO-41 (the automatic tank-type flamethrower of 1941) was adopted by the Red Army. Its production began at the Lyubertsy plant in the summer of 1941. Within 10 seconds, up to three shots could be fired from ATO-41. The flame throwing range of a standard mixture (fuel oil-kerosene) was 60-70 meters, and a viscous fire mixture up to 110 meters.

During the battles in Mongolia and Finland, the XT-26 and XT-130 chemical tanks, which were the most popular in the Red Army, were well established. However, during the battles of the initial period of the Great Patriotic War (June-September 1941), about 80% of the machines of this type were lost. Most of the tanks were lost in an non-combat ["extra-conquest"] setting: left in parks, abandoned on the marches, blown up by crews due to lack of fuel or ammunition.

But those HT, who had the opportunity to take part in clashes with German troops, most often became victims of the enemy's anti-tank artillery. The thin armor of chemical tanks, inherited from the T-26, could not withstand shelling even with 20-mm cannons, However, in some cases, HT showed high efficiency - especially impressive was the flame throwing of the infantry that did not have time to gain a foothold, which, as a rule, took flight at. Such situations repeatedly occurred during the battles in Ukraine in June-July 1941.

A simple comparison of the available facts showed that the installation of flame-throwing weapons would be more effective on T-34, T-50 or KV-1 tanks. It is the last type of combat vehicle received in this regard, the highest priority, as having excellent armor and spacious combat compartment.

In 1941, at SKB-2 of the Leningradsky Kirovsky Plant (JIKZ) under the leadership of J. Y. Kotin, a competition was announced for the draft design of a super-heavy KV-4 tank (object 224) with a battle weight of 80–92 tons. long-term defense, and in addition to the 107-mm and 45-mm tank guns and 3–4 machine guns, they included a flamethrowing device in the tank — a clear influence of the experience of the Soviet-Finnish warriors. A heavily armored tank (with a thickness of up to 130 mm was planned for the KV-4) a tank with cannon and flame-throwing weapons responded better to the conditions of the battlefield saturated with anti-tank weapons (although not even all the draft designs of the KV-4 included a flamethrower, and the super-heavy KV-5 was developed without a flamethrower).

The first version of the flamethrower KV was developed in the summer of 1941 and received the designation KV-6. It differed from the usual (“linear”) tank only in the installation of the ATO-41 flamethrower in the body, instead of the DT machine gun, and in a 110-liter tank with fire mixture located in the fighting compartment.

In August 1941, in SKB-2 L KZ, urgent work began on installing flamethrowing weapons on the KV serial heavy tank. Tests of flamethrowers for these tanks were carried out in the Krasnoye Selo area, but it was not possible to finish the work on the tank in connection with the evacuation of the plant to Chelyabinsk, where Chelyabinsk Kirovsky Plant was formed on the basis of the Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant. The construction of these machines was organized at the Kirov factory, but because of the blockade of Leningrad, only a few units were assembled. At least four KV-6s were transferred to the 124th tank brigade under the command of Colonel N. Rodin in September 1941 and were actively used in battles in the Leningrad sector.

After the evacuation to Chelyabinsk, work on the flamethrower KB continued. The new machine received the designation KV-8 (object 228). Its design began at the ChKZ in November 1941. The first model of the KV-8 tank was made in December 1941.

KV-5bis / KV-6 “Behemoth” - Hoax

In a number of sources there are references to a certain tank KV-5bis or KV-6 “Behemoth”, also called “Stalin’s orchestra”, which in reality is a hoax, a fictional design of a three-turret heavy tank — a “composite” that received, however, widely known and later described in detail by Alexander Afanasyev.

The KV-6 Behemoth is a Soviet three-mounted heavy tank found in a number of sources. It looked like a cruiser, in the form of three KV tanks connected to each other, with a single powerful diesel engine. The project allegedly included the use of three linearly elevated towers from KV tanks, the middle one with two 152-mm guns, and also towers from BT-5 mounted on top of them. As an additional weapon on the tank, it was allegedly intended to install a flamethrower and a Katyusha jet installation.

Some sources claim that it was developed and entered service in 1941, and was immediately sent to the defense of Moscow. According to this version, until the winter of 1942, three cars were built and all were lost. In the first incident, during the defense of Moscow, a shot of the back tower landed in the stern of the middle, causing an explosion of ammunition. In the second incident, the tank broke in half when crossing the moat, the resulting spark undermined the fuel tanks. In the third rebound double howitzer caused the detonation of ammunition. By this logic, all cars are hopelessly lost.

The illustration was made up of images of real-life technology, was technically almost indestructible, and more like a caricature. According to Afanasyev, the designer J. Kotin began the development of the KV-5bis tank in 1942, according to Stalin’s personal instructions. Made by 1944, nine KV-5bis tanks were, allegedly, equipped with a tank company of the Stalin breakthrough company, which took an active part in the Karelian operation and participated in the breakthrough of the Mannerheim Line, without suffering any losses. Without a loss, the company also went through the Vistula-Oder and Balaton operations, later taking part in the Korean War.

There is a whole list of reasons why this machine - the fruit of imagination. However, the question remains: why was the rumor about the development of this machine started? There is one place where this car found its embodiment, even if it’s comic, tank simulator games that everyone knows about.

Hoax - KV-5bis Heavy Tank

Hoax - KV-6 Heavy Tank

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 10-04-2019 10:17:14 ZULU