The publication of any images or informations related to nazism, fascism or any other totalitarian regimes must be understood as the reproduction of historical accuracy and not as apology to these regimes, leaders or symbols.
A publicação de qualquer imagem ou informação referentes ao nazismo, fascismo ou quaisquer outros regimes totalitários deve ser entendida como reprodução do rigor histórico e não como apologia a estes regimes, líderes ou símbolos.

KV-1C Beutepanzer - Panzerkampfwagen KV-1 756(r) mit 7.5cm KwK - case report

       This is the story of a girl I built a few years ago and who caught my attention because of her the only one of her kind: Let's talk about the Panzerkampfwagen KV-I(r) mit 7.5cm KwK, a Soviet KV-1 tank that was captured and extensively modified by the Germans to their needs.

The Kliment Voroshilov (KV) tanks were a family of Soviet heavy tanks named after the Soviet defence commissar and politician Kliment Voroshilov and used by the Red Army during the World War II.
KV-1 Model 1939 heavy tank 
From left to right Lazar Kaganovich, Joseph Stalin,
the infamous Pavel Postyshev and Kliment Voroshilov - Moscow, 1934.

      The KV series were known for their heavy armour protection during the early part of the war, especially during the first year of the German invasion of the Soviet Union. In certain situations, even a single KV-1 or KV-2 supported by infantry was capable of halting large German formations. The German tanks at that time were rarely used in KV encounters as their armament was too poor to deal with the "Russischer Koloss" (Russian Colossus). The KV heavy tanks were practically immune to the 3.7 cm KwK 36 of the early versions of Panzer III...
Pz.Kpfw III

...and howitzer-like, short barreled 7.5 cm KwK 37 guns of the early Panzer IV tanks fielded by the invading German forces.
Pz.Kpfw IV
      Until more effective guns were developed by the Germans, the KV-1 was invulnerable to almost any German weapon except the 8.8 cm Flak gun.
Flak 88 gun
       Prior to Operation Barbarossa, about 500 of the over 22,000 tanks then in Soviet service were of the KV-1 type. As the war progressed, it became evident that there was little sense in producing the expensive KV tanks, as the T-34 medium tank performed better (or at least equally well) in all practical respects. In fact the only advantage it had over the T-34/76 was its larger and roomier three-man turret.
      Later in the war, the KV series became a base for the development of the IS (Iosif Stalin) series of tanks.
      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 armour protection, but suffered from poor mobility. The Spanish Civil War demonstrated the need for much heavier armour 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 armour, torsion-bar suspension, wide tracks, and were of welded and cast construction. One of the main competing designs was the SMK, which in its final form had two turrets, mounting one 76.2 mm and one 45 mm weapon.
      The designers of the SMK independently drew up a single-turreted variant and this received approval at the highest level. Two of these, named after the People's Defence Commissioner, were ordered alongside a single SMK. The smaller hull and single turret enabled the designer to install heavy frontal and turret armour while keeping the weight within manageable limits.
      The KV was ordered right off the drawing board. 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 KV outperformed the SMK and T-100 designs.
     The KV's heavy armour proved highly resistant to Finnish anti-tank weapons, making it more difficult to stop. In 1939, the production of 50 KVs was ordered.
      During the war, the Soviets found it difficult to deal with the concrete bunkers used by the Finns and a request was made for a tank with a large howitzer. One of the rush projects to meet the request put the howitzer in a new turret on one of the KV tanks. Initially known as 'Little turret KV' and 'Big turret KV', the 76-mm-armed tank was redesignated as the KV-1 Heavy Tank and the 152 mm howitzer one as KV-2 Heavy Artillery Tank.
      KV tanks first faced the Germans in the Battle of Raseiniai, just after the start of Operation Barbarossa. On 23 June, over 200 German tanks advancing through Lithuania encountered Soviet armor, including KV-1 and KV-2 tanks. While their frontal armor was sufficient to deflect anti-tank fire, German troops were able to outflank them and destroy them with explosive charges or lure them to within point-blank range of direct-fire artillery. Of the more than 200 Soviet tanks lost at Raseiniai, 29 were KVs.
A German 15cm sIG 33 passes by an early KV-2, abandoned by his crew, after mal-function.
Lithuania, 1941
      The KV's strengths included armour that was impenetrable by any tank-mounted weapon then in service except at point-blank range, that it had good firepower, and that it had good flotation on soft ground. It also had serious flaws, all of which were rectified with the introduction of the KV-1S: it was difficult to steer; the transmission (which was a twenty-year-old Holt Caterpillar design) "was the main stumbling block of the KV-1, and there was some truth to rumors of Soviet drivers having to shift gears with a hand sledge"; and the ergonomics were poor, with limited visibility.
      Furthermore, at 45 tons, it was simply too heavy. This severely impacted the maneuverability, not so much in terms of maximum speed, as through inability to cross many bridges medium tanks could cross. The KV outweighed most other tanks of the era, being about twice as heavy as the heaviest German tank at that time (before the Tiger).
      As applique armour and other improvements were added without increasing engine power, later models were less capable of keeping up to speed with medium tanks and had more trouble with difficult terrain. In addition, its firepower was no better than the T-34.
      It took field reports from senior commanders "and certified heroes", who could be honest without risk of punishment, to reveal "what a dog the KV-1 really was".
      By 1942, when the Germans were fielding large numbers of 5,0 cm Pak 38 AT gun and 7,5 cm Pak 40 AT gun, the KV's armour was no longer impenetrable, requiring the installation of additional appliqué armour.
A KV-1 (1941) with additional appliqué armor facing their worst enemy:
mechanical failures caused by the overload of their own weight. East front, 1942.
      The KV-1's side (favorable approach: 30° degree at 300 - 500 m distance), top, and turret armour could also be penetrated by the high-velocity Mk 101 30 mm gun carried by German ground attack aircraft Henschel Hs 129.
Henschell Hs 129 being re-armed with 30mm projectiles by the ground crew.
Russian Front - 1942.
      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 the smaller and faster T-34 medium tanks. In 1943, it was determined that the 76mm gun could not easily penetrate the frontal armour of the new Tiger, the first German heavy tank, one of which was 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 a similar engine and gun as the T-34 (the KV used a 600 hp V-2K modification of the T-34's V-2 diesel engine, and had a ZiS-5 main gun while the T-34 had a similar F-34 main gun), 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 uneven terrain. Finally, it was expensive to produce. Only about 300 KV-2s were made, all in 1940-41, making it one of the rarest Soviet tanks.
      A new heavy tank design entered production late in 1943 based on the work done on the KV-13. Because Voroshilov had fallen out of political favour, the new heavy tank series was named the Josif Stalin tank, after the Soviet leader Stalin
KV-13 prototype
      The KV-13 program's IS-85 prototype was accepted for production as the IS-1 (or IS-85, Object 237) heavy tank. After testing with both the 100mm D-10 and 122mm guns, the D-25T 122mm gun was selected as the main armament of the new tank, primarily because of its ready availability and the effect of its large high-explosive shell when attacking German fortifications. The 122mm D-25T used a separate shell and powder charge, resulting in a lower rate of fire and reduced ammunition capacity. While the 122mm armour-piercing shell had a lower muzzle velocity than similar late German 7.5 cm and 8.8 cm guns, proving-ground tests established that the 122mm could penetrate the frontal armour of the German Panther tank at 2500 metres and the HE shell would easily blow off the drive sprocket and tread of the heaviest German tank or self-propelled gun. The IS-122 replaced the IS-85, and began mass production as the Iosef Stalin 2 (IS-2) heavy tank. The 85mm gun saw service in the lighter SU-85 and T-34-85.

KV versions and models:
      The Soviets did not recognize different production models of KV-1 during the war; designations like model 1939 (M1939, Russian: Obr. 1939) were introduced later in military publications. These designations, however, are not strict and describe leading changes, while other changes might be adapted earlier or later in specific production batches. Designations like KV-1A were applied by the Germans during the war. All tanks in the series were heavily based on the KV-1.

- KV-1
  • Model 1939 – First production models, these tanks were prone to frequent breakdowns, but were highly resistant to anti-tank weapons during the Winter War. Armed with the 76 mm L-11 tank gun, recognizable due to a recuperator above a barrel. Most tanks were lacking the hull machine gun. 141 were built.
  • Model 1940 (German designation: KV-1A) – Used the F-32 76 mm gun and a new manlet. The main production model by the time of the German invasion.
  • Model 1940 s ekranami ("with screens") or KV-1E – with additional bolted-on appliqué armour and F-32 gun.
  • Model 1941 (German designation: KV-1B) – Up-armoured with 25-35mm added to the turret, hull front and sides. Turret was now cast instead of welded. This tank was armed with the longer-barreled ZiS-5, tank gun.
  • Model 1942 (German designation: KV-1C) – Fully cast turret with thicker armour or welded turret with thicker armour, again up-armoured, using an improved engine and the 76 mm ZiS-5 tank gun.
  • KV-1S – A variant with higher speed, but thinner armour. A new, smaller, cast turret and redesigned rear hull with a new planetary transmission. 1.370 built.

- KV-2  
  • A heavy assault tank with the M-10 152 mm howitzer, the KV-2 was produced at the same time as the KV-1. Due to the size of its heavy turret and gun, the KV-2 was slower and had a much higher profile than the KV-1. Those captured and used by the German Army were known as (Sturm)Panzerkampfwagen KV-II 754(r). Few were produced due to its combat ineffectiveness, mainly the decreased speed due to the weight of the new gun and turret. Due to an increase in turret weight from the expanded dimensions and a heavier gun, the turret traverse mechanism could work only on level ground. 334 vehicles were built.

  • Object 150 - Experimental. Armour - 90 mm, Weight - 51 tons. New 700 hp engine. At first was called KV-3.Turret had a cupola but was in all other ways identical to the turret of the KV-1. One prototype was constructed in 1941 and was destroyed defending Leningrad.

- KV-3 
  • (Objects 221, 222, and 223) - Experimental. Longer chassis (7 rollers per side). The first design (Object 221) was never built, but it was supposed to have an 85mm gun. The same thing happened to Object 222, but it was supposed to have a F-32 76.2mm gun. The Objects 221 and 222 both used a new modified KV-1 turret. Object 223's hull was built and was tested with weights to simulate the new conical turret (housing a 107 mm ZiS-6 cannon) that was designed for it. Object 223 had up to 120 mm of sloped armour. Series production was intended to start in late 1941, but the German invasion of the USSR halted these plans and the only prototype hull was destroyed.

  • (Object 224) - A project for a super-heavy tank. About 20 different designs were proposed, but it was cancelled due to the outbreak of the war. Different versions would have been between about 85 and 110 tonnes. Armour from about 120 to 190 mm. Armament consisted of the 107 mm ZiS-6 cannon. Different variants had various auxiliary weapons: 45 mm, 76 mm cannons, machineguns and flamethrowers in addition to the main gun.

- KV-5
  • (Object 225) - A cancelled project for a super-heavy tank. Armament was to be a 107mm ZiS-6 gun in a large turret and machine-gun in a small secondary turret. Weight was projected as about 100 tons, and the tank was to have 150–180mm of armour. Project development began in June 1941, however was cancelled due to the Siege of Leningrad, in which all developmental operations at the Kirov Plant were halted. The project fell out of favour from the more advanced heavy tank designs, and no prototype was built.
KV-5 profile - artistic interpretation of an operational version - Panzerserra Bunker
- KV-7
  • (Object 227) (also called U-13). - Experimental self-propelled gun. armed with 3 cannons: two 45 mm model 1932/34 and one 76 mm F-34. 200 rounds of ammunition was carried for the 45 mm guns and 93 rounds for the 76 mm gun, and the tank had 100 mm of frontal armour. One unit was produced and tested in 1941.

- KV-7-2
  • (also called U-14) had two 76mm F-34 cannons, and 85mm of frontal armour. Vehicles were not taken in service primarily because they could not fight tanks (the KV-7s had only 15 degree gun traverse to each side) and could not combat concrete bunkers due to the small caliber of the guns. After the failure of the KV-7 it was decided to put one 152 mm gun in the casemate instead of three smaller guns; this led to the development of the SU-152.

- U-18
  • Experimental self-propelled gun. KV-7 armed with 152 mm ML-20 cannon. Vehicle was projected in 1941. Wooden mockup was constructed. Project was cancelled, but this vehicle was a first step towards SU-152 design.
    U-18 wooden mockup

- U-19
  • Experimental self-propelled gun projected by the Grabin Artillery Projects Central Department armed with the 203 mm howitzer M1931 (B-4) in a KV-1S hull. The vehicle was to have 75 mm of frontal armour, 60 mm on the side, and the roof was to be 30 mm (the roof would have been removable to facilitate loading). It was projected to weigh 50 tons, one prototype passed by the testing grounds in the spring of 1944 but it was not very successful and was cancelled within a year. I built this girl in the Bunker...

- SU-152
  • See SU-152. Heavy assault gun based on the KV-1S chassis.

- ZiK-20
  • The ZiK-20 was very similar to the U-19 (S-51), but had 105 mm of frontal armour, and 75 mm of side armour and was to mount a ML-20 gun. By the time was wooden mockup was made the KV-1 was phased out of production. However just before the project was cancelled a blueprint was drawn up to equip the ZiK-20 with a Br-2 152.4 mm gun; and to offset the weight the frontal armour was to be reduced to 75 mm (or 60 mm on the KV-1S chassis).

- SU-203
  • SU-152 equipped with 203 mm M-4 heavy howitzer. Never built.

- KV-8
  • A KV-1 fitted with the ATO-41 flamethrower in the turret, beside a machine gun. In order to accommodate the new weapon, the 76.2mm gun was replaced with a smaller 45mm gun M1932, though it was disguised to look like the standard 76mm (the cannon was placed inside a 76mm tube). Notice the pic below...

- KV-8S 
  •  The same as KV-8, but based on KV-1S. Equipped with ATO-42 flamethrower (improved version of ATO-41).

- KV-8M
  • Upgraded version of KV-8S. Equipped with two ATO-42 flamethrowers (turret and replacing the machine gun in the hull). Two prototypes were constructed.

- KV-9
  • (Object 229) - A KV-1 with short 122 mm U-11 cannon. One prototype was constructed and proved in 1941.

- KV-10
  • (Object 230) - Also known as KV-1K. A KV-1 with 4 rocket launchers on the sides of hull. Each launcher contained two 132 mm M-13 rockets. Early variant of KV-1K had two launchers on the back of hull, each contained 6 rockets. One prototype was constructed and tested in 1942. Not taken in service.

- KV-11
  • (Object 231) - KV-1 armed with 85mm F-30 cannon. Projected in 1942. Not built.

- KV-12
  • (Object 232) - Experimental chemical tank. Was equipped with 4 external toxin tanks on the back of chassis. In 1942, a newly formed design bureau of plant No. 100 proposed a new version of a flamethrower tank, which was based on the serial KV-1. The head of the project, designated as "Object 232" was engineer S. Fedorenko. In addition to using the tank as a "chemical" (flamethrower), it was assumed that the flamethrower tank would infect the terrain with poisonous substances, setting smoke screens and degassing the terrain. Later this machine received the designation KV-12M. Not taken in service.

- KV-13 
  • Prototype of a "light weight and speedy" heavy tank. Designation for an advanced redesign of the KV series, which resulted in the production of the IS series.

- IS model 1 and model 2
  • (Objects 233 and 234) The IS model 2 (object 234) was a KV-13, with turret and armament from KV-9. One prototype was constructed and proved in 1943. This tank had lost competition to IS Model 1 (object 233) and was not taken in service.

The two competitors for IS-2 design, side by side....
- KV-14
  • (Object 236) – Prototype designation for a 152 mm self-propelled gun, accepted for service as the SU-152.

  • (Object 239) – A KV-1S with the 85 mm D-5T cannon in a new turret, with the ball mounted hull machine gun removed and the hole welded shut, 148 of these tanks were produced in the second half of 1943 until the spring of 1944; they were a stopgap until the IS tank series entered production.

- KV-85G
  • KV-1S with 85 mm S-31 gun. Turret and mantlet remained from conventional KV-1S. This variant was a competitor of KV-85 during proving. It lost the competition and was not taken in service.

- KV-100
  • A KV-85 with the 100 mm S-34 gun. One prototype was made in 1944. Not taken in service.

- KV-122
  • A KV-1S with short barreled 122 mm S-41 howitzer. One prototype was made in 1943. Not taken in service.

- KV-122
  • A KV-85 with the 122 mm D-25T gun. One prototype was made in 1944. Not taken in service.

- KV-152
  • Proposal to fit a 152 mm gun into the turret of a KV-85. Nothing became of the project.

- KV-220
  • (Object 220) - Experimental. Longer chassis (7 rollers per side). Armour - 100 mm. New 850 hp V-2SN engine with turbocharging. New diamond-shaped turret. 85mm F-30 cannon. One prototype was constructed in 1941. The tank was lost in battle after a direct hit to the frontal hull by a 150 mm howitzer sFH 18 in December 1941.

The Panzerkampfwagen KV-1 756(r) mit 7.5cm KwK :
      The Germans was very quick in utilizing any captured equipment of value with some of the equipment from the Polish, Czech and French campaigns undergoing major re-workings and upgrades while much of the Russian equipment captured was simply remarked and used as is due to the changing tides of war reducing time for any upgrades.
      Many of the captured armoured cars and tanks fell into that category where they were simply repainted, remarked and pressed into service against their previous owners. Trucks, staff-cars and other logistics vehicles also fit into this philosophy, with captured support vehicles being sent to the "warm" or rear areas, releasing the "purely German" vehicles to the hotter lines.
Captured KV-1C tank of the 2/Pz.Rgt. 1 in the workshop at Sychovka
Russian Front - January 1942.
      One exception was a program to re-arm and upgrade captured KV-1s with 7.5cm german gun with the Panzer IV type cupola added to the turret plus other minor changes, this was designated Pz.Kpfw KV-1 756(r) but only one example was produced and used by the 22nd Panzer Division, 204th Panzer Regiment in 1943. 
      There is only one know photo of this 756(r) reproduced on page 73 of the Tankograd KV special No.2003 which shows the conversion based on the KV-1C cast turret model 1942 (late)  and is armed with the early 7.5cm KwK40 L/43 gun with double baffle muzzle brake from the initial Panzer IV Ausf.G and also has the Commander’s cupola from the early Ausf.G with two part hatch added to the front right corner of the turret. Other additions include a T-34 style ventilator added to the front left of the turret roof and additional storage baskets on the rear deck.
      The replacement of the commander's cupola is justified by the superiority of the German all-round view cupola in relation to the primitive periscopes of the KV-1. The installation of an additional fan in the tower improves the operability of the crew in battlefield conditions and the replacement of the 76mm Russian gun by the German 75mm gun can only be justified by logistics, since they were very similar in performance. The fate of this unique vehicle is unknown ...

PzKpfw KV-1 756(r) mit 7,5cm KwK
TypeHeavy tank
Place of origin  Soviet Union
Service history
In service          1943 – ?
Used by Nazi Germany (Captured)
Wars                           World War II
Production history
DesignerZh. Kotin, TsKB-2
ManufacturerKirov FactoryChTZ
No. built1
Variantsonly one field adaptation
Weight47 tonnes
Length6.75 m
Width3.32 m 
Height2.71 m 

  • Maximum (front): 90 mm
  • Side: 75 mm
  • Rear: 70 mm
1 x 75 mm KwK 40 L/43
87 rounds
2× DT machine guns
1 x MG 34 coaxial 
EngineModel V-2 V12 Diesel engine
600 hp (450 kW)
Power/weight13 hp/tonne
SuspensionTorsion bars
335 km
Speed35 km/h 
The kit:
      There is a good kit on the market for this version, manufactured by Trumpeter. This was a quick construction, without many interventions ... I used the kit #00366 German Pz.Kpfw KV-1 756(r) (Trumpeter wrote the abbreviation wrong in the box art: Pz.Kpfm... shame!!)
Trumpeter kit #00366 box.
      As I said before, this was a quick and simple project ... OOTB, in essence, by the book!!
Follow the booklet, building the chassi...

Aligning the torsion arms ...

Putty to seal a little gap...

Hull ready!!!

Wheels under cleaning...

Wheels in position...  Notice the girls in the background!!

The turret and gun is a piece of cake!!!

A Russky girl with German accent!!!

Jerry-can, because Russia is soooo big!!!

Making the rack in the rear deck, in scratch... The kit does not come with this detail ...

The rear deck rack in the real Girl (blue arrows)
Rack ready!!

Steel cables... always very useful on the Russian front!
       Well... after 1942, the Germans have turned yellow ...
Dark-yellow and tones...

Cammo "tiger" in green and brown ...with Future, to prevent silvering
in the decals...

Big balkenkreuz in the turret. Achtung !! Ich bin Deutscher !!!
Meet Otto, the German cousin of Kojak !!

Otto and his beutepanzer!!!

These Russian engines make a lot of pollution ...

Next step: final weathering...
       And this rare Girl was ready for action: KV-1C Beutepanzer - Panzerkampfwagen KV-1 756(r) mit 7.5cm KwK belongs to 22nd Panzer Division, 204th Panzer Regiment, Russian front in 1943. 

 Panzerkampfwagen KV-1 756(r) mit 7.5cm KwK belongs to 22nd Panzer Division
204th Panzer Regiment - Russian front, 1943.

Panzerkampfwagen KV-1 756(r) mit 7.5cm KwK belongs to 22nd Panzer Division
204th Panzer Regiment - Russian front, 1943.
and Otto, the engineer!!
Auf Wiedersehen, Kameraden!! 
See you, soon!!!