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KV-1S Changes Incoming

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The Soviet Union fielded a wide array of tanks prior to and during WWII. Among these was the KV-1, a robust heavy tank that outclassed all other heavy tanks in existence at the time. The KV-1, though well-armored, was criticized by its crews for its poor mobility and firepower. In looking to remedy these poor traits, Soviet engineers introduced numerous variations of the KV-1 including the more mobile KV-1S, and the up-gunned KV-85. Although these two Soviet heavies were stopgap tanks until the new Josef Stalin (IS) series was ready to be mass produced, they'll soon be prominent on the battlefields of World of Tanks!


Coming in Update 2.1, the KV-1S will be slightly adjusted and moved down a tier, and the KV-85 will be introduced as its tier VI replacement!

  • KV-1S (tier V)
  • KV-85 (tier VI)


The mid-tier KV series is one of the more popular groups of heavy tanks, and with good reason. Heavily armored and relatively easy for new players to pick up, many tankers have started their heavy tank careers via the KVs. Capable of breaching the front or holding defensive positions down, these mid-tier heavy tanks play an important role in learning viable heavy tank tactics at higher tiers. With an arsenal of hard-hitting and fast-firing guns at their disposal, Soviet heavies will continue to be favorites in all-out brawls!

  • Players who owned a KV-1S will have it replaced with a KV-85 with the KV-1S researched
  • Players who only had researched the KV-1S would get the KV-1S completely researched and the KV-85 researched
  • Players will be given the corresponding package on the KV-85 to match their progress on the KV-1S
  • Reload time for the 122mm gun on the KV-85 will match the previous KV-1S
  • Shot dispersion radius for the 122mm gun on the KV-85 will match the previous KV-1S
  • If you had Premium ammo or Consumables equipped, they will be removed and you will be compensated their Gold price in Silver
  • If you had Equipment on the KV-1S, you will be given the cost in Silver back 
  • All customization, camouflage, emblem, inscriptions, will transfer to the KV-85 (Gold or Silver purchased)
  • The crew on the KV-1S will be transferred to the KV-85
  • Tank XP on the KV-1S will be transferred to the KV-85

More information will be available as we get closer to Update 2.1. In the meantime, if you're interested in learning more about these powerful Soviet tanks, take a look at our historic brief.

The following piece of history on the KV series comes to us from The Chieftain, Wargaming's in-house militaria expert.

The KV series is well known to historians and gamers as being very tough nuts for the German forces to crack during the invasion of the Soviet Union. This results in the KV-1 and KV-2 being the commonly-known versions, although there were a number of derivatives. The KV-1S and KV-85 are two of them.

The KV tanks of the 1930s had excellent armor for their time, and very good guns. They were a major factor in any battle they happened to get to, a situation which would later be reversed by the Germans in their Koenigstigers(Tiger II). Fortunately for the Red Army’s heavy tankers, they found that the battle tended to come to them, an advantage of being on the defense. Unfortunately, once the German advance was reversed, the limitations of the old, heavy tank started to demonstrate themselves.

Put simply, the KV just couldn’t keep up with the rest of the force in the advance. Quoting General Rotmistrov, “The difficulty is that while there isn’t much difference in speed between the light and medium tanks on the roads, when moving cross-country the light tanks are quickly left behind. The heavy tank is already left behind and often crushed local bridges which cut off units following behind. Under battlefield conditions, that too often meant that the T-34 alone arrived; the light tanks had difficulty fighting the German tanks anyway and the KVs were still delayed in the rear.”


A tank which can’t get to the fight is useless, no matter how good it otherwise is. As a result, a number of programs were started to make a heavy tank which was a little more operationally mobile. One of these was the KV-1S, an attempt to reduce the KV-1’s weight by about five tons. The first thing the Soviets did was reduce the side armor back to the original 75mm after it had steadily increased in thickness over KV-1’s production run, and reduce the volume of the rear hull which needed protecting, hence the sloping rear deck. Most significantly, though, they developed a new, smaller cast turret with a more reasonable crew layout. Finally, to help with mobility and reliability, an entirely new power train was created. The gun remained the same 76.2mm. The Soviets did fairly well, the difference between a KV-1 and KV-1S being the difference between about 47 tons and 42.5 tons, and speed going to 43km/h from the earlier 35km/h.


That said, there was some debate in the Soviet high command as to whether or not they wanted even these lightened tanks, with a strong push to standardize on the T-34 which appeared to be doing a fairly competent job. The KV production line at Chelyabinsk was told to start producing T-34s. Still, there was enough support in the Army, for a heavily armored tank, that the vehicle was accepted for production in August 1942, though only 1,300 (some sources say just over 1,000) were built.

The KV-1S then fell afoul of the Red Army’s tank reorganization. Due to the demonstrated capability of T-34, and relative clumsiness of heavy tanks with nothing to show in terms of increased firepower, the KVs were removed from mixed tank regiments and assigned to heavy tank breakthrough regiments. In these formations, the relative improvement in mobility was less important, and heavier armor was more important. In effect, the KV-1S came too late for its intended role, and filled a void nobody needed filling when it arrived.

The other part of the World of Tanks on Xbox split is the KV-85. The impetus for this was twofold. Firstly, to provide a gun better than that mounted on T-34, and secondly, to have a tank with a cannon which could reliably deal with the new German Tiger which was being deployed.

As a result, the failed KV-13 was enlarged, developed into the IS, and fitted with the 85mm gun. However, as an alternative option, it was decided to see if KV-1S could be up-gunned. The first attempt was Object 238, which basically took a standard KV-1S and squeezed the 85mm gun into it. Suffice to say, it was already a relatively small turret and ring, so the attempt was not a great success. The alternative was Object 239, which became known as KV-85. This was the KV-1S hull with the IS-85 turret. (IS-85 later became known as IS-1)


This design also was not an outstanding success. Yes, it had more room, but the larger turret required a larger turret ring, so the hull had to be modified. While they were at it, they dispensed with the bow gun and moved the radio to the turret. The tank’s weight went back up to 46 tons, losing much of the weight benefit that KV-1S was supposed to have obtained in the first place, and which turned out to be a couple tons heavier than the IS-85. With basically nothing to mark it as better than IS-85, except for the fact that the hull production lines were pretty much already set up, only 130 vehicles were built before all construction moved to the IS series.

Both KV-1S and KV-85 saw service in the second half of 1943, and stayed around until the end of 1944. As ISs came off the line, though, the KVs became irrelevant.


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