Monday 14 September 2015

Long Living KV-2

The KV-2 was a tank needed for a very particular purpose, to attack heavy fortifications. Since there were no enemy fortifications to attack in 1941, production was ceased, and relatively few KV-2s survived the first months of the war. However, this particular vehicle seems to have made it quite far.

"July 6th, 1942. The 34th Independent Tank Brigade is in the previous positions. The personnel of brigade elements were busy with preparing for battle and political instruction. One KV tank with a large turret (152 mm gun) was received. The HQ company is in the same place wit 3 T-60 tanks operational. Personnel are repairing wheeled transport, preparing for battle, and undergoing political instruction. The rear of the brigade and second echelon of the HQ moves to the forest east of Natalyevka in the night of July 7th. No changes in brigade armament and supply chain."

This KV-2 saw combat in August, and then was transferred to the 145th Tank Brigade in September. The tank survived the winter and returned to fight in 1943.

"The KV-2 tank blocked the path for German tanks with its hull by driving on the crossing and engaging in a firefight. The KV-2 crew destroyed two enemy tanks. An enemy counterattack with infantry and tanks was destroyed by our tanks in ambush. In total, 8 enemy tanks knocked out, 2 burned up."

"Award order
  1. Name: Grabelniy, Iosif Semyonovich
  2. Rank: Guards Sergeant
  3. Position, unit: Breech operator of a KV-2 heavy tank, 1st Tank Battalion, 43rd Guards Tank Brigade
    is nominated for the Order of the Red Star.
  4. Year of birth: 1921
  5. Nationality: Ukrainian
  6. Party affiliation: VLKSM
  7. Participation in the Civil War and subsequent actions in defense of the Soviet Union (where, when): in the Patriotic War since June 1941 (Western Front)
  8. Wounds and concussions in the Patriotic War: wounded three times: November 4th, 1941, November 16th, 1941, September 16th, 1942
  9. In the Red Army since: 1941
  10. Recruited by: Sheptovskiy recruitment office, Kamenets-Podolskiy oblast
  11. Prior awards: none
Brief and specific description of heroism or achievements: Participated in an attack building on the success of penetrating enemy defenses on July 13th, 1943 near Otvershek village, north of the Fomin river valley. In battle, he acted bravely and with initiative. His crew destroyed two enemy tanks and the rest turned to flee, allowing our units to advance.

July 16th, 1943, in battle for Kireykino village in Orel oblast, his tank destroyed two cannons, three pillboxes, three machineguns, and up to 56 enemy soldiers.

He is worthy of the Order of the Red Star."


  1. According to some sources KV-2s were used up to the end of war in city combats. Were this old tank continuously modernized with some mechanical elements from the KV-1S ? Like better gearbox and cooling system ?

    1. Really? As far as I'm aware, this is the last one, the role being taken over by the SU-152. KV-2s were not upgraded like the KV-1S.

    2. There is no info where and when. Just some people on the Facebook historical forums and here the author of this page claims that they joined in battles of east prussia. Its probably missidentification for other vehicles with 152 mm gun. But I still strongly believe that if not whole tanks at least their turrets were used up to the end of war. Surplus KV-1Ses should be modified by them and even IS-2s that lost their turrets and there wasnt available spare IS-2 turret. Such repair result is not bigger junk like IS-2 model 1944 with IS-1 turret Although its suicide thing in the tank engagements its very usefull in the urban combat. Till to the end of war no more than half of heavy guards tank regiments didnt have IS-2s. If they had KV-1s, Churchills so why not KV-2s too?

    3. That's a movie prop, I've never heard of a real KV-2 turret mounted on an IS-2 hull. They had KV-1s and Churchills, true, but they also had spare parts and ammunition for KV-1s and Churchills. No spare parts were produced for the KV-2.

    4. I know its for movie purpose, it was clearly rebuilt from the IS-2 M. I mainly meant posibility to upgrate KV-1S tanks. But never mind :D

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