Thursday 3 October 2019

Marishkin's KV-4

The KV-4 family of tanks were built to rather loose requirements, and therefore had a very large variety of designs submitted. F.A. Marishkin's 85 ton design was one of the more reasonable ones, but it wasn't without an unusual feature. The tank had a second turret carrying a 45 mm gun on top of the main turret with a 107 mm gun.

  • Turret platform front: 125 mm
  • Upper sloped front: 80 mm
  • Lower front: 130 mm
  • Rear: 125 mm
  • Roof: 40-50 mm
  • Front floor: 50 mm
  • Rear floor: 40 mm
Tactical-technical characteristics:
  • Mass: 85 tons
  • Full length: 8.7 meters
  • Full width: 3.8 meters
  • Full height: 3.5 meters
  • Wheel base: 3 meters
  • Clearance: 0.55 meters
  • Contact surface length: 6.15 meters
  • Ground pressure: 0.53 cm/kg²
  • Diesel engine type: 17-40
  • Maximum engine power: 1200 hp
  • Range: 12 hours
  • Crew: 7
  • 1 107 mm gun
  • 1 45 mm gun
  • 1 coaxial machinegun (paired with 45 mm gun)
  • 2 independent machineguns (rear and front)
  • 100 107 mm rounds
  • 200 45 mm rounds
  • 1000 PPSh rounds for 3 submachineguns
  • 107 mm gun elevation: 15 degrees
  • 107 mm gun depression: -5 degrees
  • 45 mm gun elevation: 20 degrees
  • 45 mm gun depression: -5 to -10 degrees
  • 45 mm gun arc: 180 degrees
  • Machinegun elevation: -
  • Machinegun depression: -
  • Machinegun range: -
Suspension: torsion bar
Road wheels: steel with internal shock absorption
Radio: 10-R


  1. Short of using a diesel locomotive engine, I don't know where they were going to get a 1200hp engine for this fantasy. Then of course you are stuck with a bigger problem of crating a transmission strong enough to transfer this power to the drive sprocket, that can be manually operated. Ships on land just never work.

    1. The soviets were working on various 1000-1200hp tank engine programs in the 40s, mostly derived from marine powerplant (M-40, M-50, few others) work, but there were also proposals to simply use twin V-2s. Can pretty easily hit that power level with that solution.

      The Germans did in fact hit 1200hp with the MB517 supercharged marine diesel which is the same size as the DB603 it ultimately came from. As to the transmission issue, the IS-7 did actually have a transmission capable of absorbing 1200hp (even though they settled on a 1050hp engine for production reasons), which was a manually operated 8-speed planetary gearbox operated by hydraulic servo.

      Remarkably the first IS-7 built had a 6-speed syncromesh layshaft manual transmission that was operated just by cables & levers.

    2. My guess is the German's transmission was just a beefed up Mayback 8-speeed from their tiger tanks. Thee Germans borrowed the design from the British. But it wasn't until the 1950s that anyone managed to get a planetary style transmission to be reliable. Regardless the problem with big tanks is they are easy to spot and hard to hide. Magazines and books always talk about armor thickness and the slope. But in real life the best defense it to quickly get to a position where you can't be easily seen and piles of dirt, to absorb most of the impact from enemy rounds.

    3. But it is interesting to hear about the Soviets developing 1200hp Tank engines. Seeing that thee Soviets more than anyone else managed to get the maximum armor protection from the smallest package.

    4. One does not simply toy with the idea of comically large supertanks without also giving some thought to what exactly is going to power them, after all. The rather spartan ca. 50-ton hard cap on acceptable AFV weight came fairly late.

    5. For tank designers the 50 ton cap became apparent as soon as they built huge tanks over 50 tons using clutch brake steering and discovered that existing brake technology was not available to deal with the brakes heating up. Which forced them to use some form of advanced of transmission to transfer power to steer the tanks. But these too proveed unreliable. Russia more than any country recognized this and worked hard at producing heavy tanks at or under thee 50 tank limit.