|“||Heavy tanks incoming, sir! It's gonna get ugly...
- Kowalski, Secret Weapons
The Russian KV-1 is a hard-hitting and well armored initial heavy tank. Perhaps its most important quality is its ability to be created in 1939 war mode, where most nations may not have a heavy tank of their own, except for the British Matilda, with a weak 2-pounder, and the French B1 bis, with a mediocre Medium cal AP gun. The KV-1 does, however, come at a price of $40, so it can't be used as an early rush unit as many players economies are only being developed. It is far better to deploy the KV-1 on the frontline, where it can take and return heavy fire. It is slow, but can do massive damage to enemy armour when supported by AA and recon.
It is an early Russian tool of destruction, as the only other factions in the 1939+ Warmode that owns heavy tanks are France and the United Kingdom, but the KV-1 can be easily destroyed by an ambush, or by spamming light tanks, outnumbering and outgunning it.
During the 1930's, the Red Army, more than any other force, played around with multiturret tanks, culminating with a five-turreted monster, the T-35. However, it soon became apparent that these dinosaurs were about to be wiped out. While the two frontal machine gun turrets of the T-28 were a devastating weapon, the T-35's four secondary turrets could not be micromanaged by a single man. Furthermore, the weight and size of turrets meant that the tank would be vulnerable, slow and weakly protected, and the advent of AT guns was a death sentence. Most of those giants ended up stuck due to mechanical malfunctions in the first days of war anyway.
The first real attempt construckt an effective heavy tank had two turrets: one with a 76,2mm gun and one with a 45mm Gun. Thus came the SMK and T-100 prototypes. Out of curiosity they decided to dispose of the secondary turret on the SMK. The result, shortened and mounted with a diesel engine, became the KV, and production in Leningrad began, relocated in 1941 to the Chelyabinsk "Tankograd".
The tank, unlike the smaller T-34, was completely invulnerable to available AT guns. Only the German 88mm gun could pierce its thick armor at close range. Tank rammings became common, with KV commanders running over Czech-produced German Panzer 38(t) tanks. The only complaint was the low effectiveness against bunkers, which led to the Mobile artillery version known as KV-2, with a horrendously large 152mm howitzer in a bulky turret.
Production eventually ceased in 1942. This was due to expected expenditures towards this tank which ultimately proved too burdensome on the already undersized Soviet war economy, as the expenses and over-work were put into each and every KV-1 unit produced.
KV had sevel variants before it got replaced fully by the IS-series KV-1 (upgraded in 1940), KV-1S (faster and lighter variant), KV-85 (Stop gap to the IS-1) and many more.
- In 1939, a small group of these tanks can wipe out any of the other nations' armor bases with ease.
- In 1942, even though a Soviet player can now Build the T-34 medium tank, the it is still a good idea to produce a small force of KV-1's as it is the only other tank that can match the German Tiger (although other nations now have AT available that can destroy them).
- Because of the KV-1 Russia is considered one of the best nations to use in the Total War game mode.
- It would be effective to use these in Total War in the early game while the enemy still has light tanks to simply to harass the enemy ex. (destroy supply depots, destroy bases, take out supply convoys) the enemy will likely build his own tanks costing him valuable early game money.
Use this as meat shields in 1939/1942 for T26 or T34, then use them to flank the enemy.
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