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KW-2 in the Central Museum of the Armed Forces Moscow

KW-2 in the Central Museum of the Armed Forces Moscow

General properties
crew 6th
length 7.00 m
width 3.32 m
height 3.20 m
Dimensions 57 t
Armor and armament
Armor steel
  • 75–110 mm tower
  • 60-75 mm tub
Main armament 152-mm M10 SL / 24
  • 36 rounds of ammunition
Secondary armament 2 × DT machine gun
drive V12 diesel engine W-2 K
600 HP
suspension Torsion bar
Top speed 25 km / h
Power / weight 10.52 hp / t
Range 250 km

The KW-2 ( Russian КВ-2 ), named after the defense minister at the time the KW series was launched , Marshal Kliment Yefremovich Voroshilov , was a heavy Soviet tank that was used in World War II from 1941 to 1942.


The KW-2 was developed on the chassis of the KW-1 when the Soviet General Staff requested a tank with heavy armament to fight fortified positions and bunkers. In order to be able to meet this requirement, the turret was enlarged to accommodate a shortened 152 mm artillery gun . The high silhouette of the vehicle now required reinforced armor on the turret in order to be able to withstand the heavy fire that was to be expected. The combat weight of the KW-2 increased to 57 tons and its top speed fell to below 30 km / h. The only Soviet variant of the KW-2 was the KW-2b, which was not based on the chassis of the KW-1, but on the chassis of the improved KW-1A.


The tank was mass-produced after the design was approved in 1940. The Soviet Union produced about 330 vehicles of the versions KW-2 and KW-2b. Both variants of the KW-2 turned out to be too heavy to be used in difficult terrain according to modern principles. The fast-moving battles around 1941 in particular demanded high mobility with moderate fuel consumption from the tanks involved on the German and Soviet sides. The KW-2 did not meet any of these requirements and was also very susceptible to repairs. As a result of these problems, most KW-2s were lost due to technical defects or lack of fuel or got stuck in difficult terrain and were abandoned. The tower could only be turned when the vehicle was in a horizontal position.

The low rate of fire, the slow turret pivot mechanism and the slow-flying 152 mm artillery projectile made the KW-2 unsuitable for fighting its smaller and more agile opponents. Although the core armor could not be penetrated by the German combat vehicle cannons at the beginning of the German-Soviet War , the KW was unable to move and the crew could be forced to surrender. Most of the time, however, their destruction was left to the Air Force. A few cases are known in which a single KW-2 stopped entire German tank companies by blocking the passage at a terrain bottleneck. The KW-2 was called "52-tonner" by the German soldiers and was the terror of the tank troops at the beginning of the war. After German troops overran the production sites, the production of the tank ended and was not resumed elsewhere, as the whole construction had turned out to be a failure anyway.

Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS deployed captured KW-2 tanks under the designation Panzerkampfwagen (Pzkpfw) KW-2 754 (r). As a booty tank , it was used as an artillery observation tank , among other things because of its size, which was ideal for it. According to the files, individual KW-2s can be found in the 5th SS Panzer Division "Wiking" , the 269th Infantry Division and the Panzer Division zbV 66.

Technical specifications

Panzerkampfwagen KW-II
0 General characteristics
crew six soldiers
Combat weight 52 t
Specific ground pressure 0.84 kg / cm 2
length 7.10 m (series vehicle / tube 12h)
width 3.35 m
height 3.28 m
Ground clearance 43 cm
Chain width 70 cm
0 armament
Main armament 152.4 mm howitzer M-10 SL / 24
Secondary armament 3–4 DT-MG (cal. 7.62 mm ) (serial vehicle)
Combat load HW 36 floors
Combat load MG 3055 rounds
0 mileage
engine Twelve-cylinder - diesel engine W-2K
cooling water
Displacement 38.88 l
Bore / stroke 150 mm × 180 ( connecting rod 186.7) mm
Max. rotational speed 2000 min -1
Max. power 600 hp (550 hp at 1900 min -1 )
Liter output 14.5 hp / l
Power / weight 10.6 hp / t
transmission five forward gears, one reverse gear
Speed ​​limit road 35 km / h
Fuel supply 650 l
Range road 220 km
Range terrain 130 km
steering Steering brakes
Rollers 6th
suspension Torsion bars
Fording depth 145 cm
0 armor
Tub bow 75 mm
Tub side 75 mm
Tub rear 75 mm
Tub roof 40 mm
Tub bottom 35 mm
Tower cover 90 mm
Tower front 110 mm
Tower side 75 mm
Turret stern 75 mm
Tower roof 35 mm


  • Jochen Vollert: KV-2 / KW-2. Verlag Jochen Vollert Tankograd, Erlangen 2004, pp. 6, 18.
  • Alexander Lüdeke : captured tanks of the Wehrmacht - Great Britain, Italy, Soviet Union and USA 1939–45. Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 2011, ISBN 978-3-613-03359-7 .

Web links

Commons : KW-2  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Lüdeke: captured armor of the Wehrmacht. 2011, pp. 72-73.
  2. Thomas L. Jentz : The German Armored Troop 1933-42. Podzun-Pallas-Verlag, 1998, ISBN 3-7909-0623-9 , p. 282.