Historical Accuracy: KV-220

Wargaming’s “legendary tank” turned out to be the KV-220. How appropriate that a “legend” should be worthy of what today’s hip youth would describe as an “epic fail”. First, some background.

The KV-220 (otherwise known as KV-220-2, T-220, Object 220, or just 220 in factory documents) was proposed in 1940, as a replacement for the KV-1 that was already considered inadequate by the Red Army. The T-150 was ordered in the same document. The T-150 was meant to have a 700 hp engine and KV-220 an 850 hp engine, but problems were encountered in building such powerful engines. By May of 1941, the KV-220 only had a V-5 engine turbocharged to 700 hp. The in-game T-150 gets that engine under the index V-5F (“forsirovanniy”, turbocharged). You’d think that the KV-220 would get its 850 hp engine too, right? Or at least the 700 hp one? Nope! It gets…650 hp. That’s kind of a downer, seeing as how the tank isn’t exactly tiny, and an extra 200 hp (or even 50 hp) would have come in handy.

The KV-220 and T-150 didn’t meet the Red Army’s expectations, and bets were hedged on the KV-3, 4, or 5 as the Red Army’s heavy tank for the years to come. However, the war began, and dreams of shiny new KVs vanished. As the Germans neared Moscow and Leningrad, everything with a gun and tracks was thrown into battle. Both SU-14s and the SU-100Y defended Moscow. The reject T-50, T-100Z, and other strange vehicles defended their factories at Leningrad. The would-be KVs were no different. The KV-220′s turret (available in game as the top turret of the T-150) defended the city separately from its hull, taking place in a gun battery. The tank itself fought with the 124th tank brigade.

From the reports of military representatives at the Kirov factory: “The T-150 tank, experimental, left for the 123rd tank brigade on October 11th, 1941, tank KV-220-1, factory number M-220-1, experimental, left for the 124th tank brigade on October 5th, 1941, tank KV-220-1, factory number M-220-2, experimental, left for the 124th tank brigade on October 16th, 1941. All tanks were armed with 76 mm F-32 guns.”

D.I. Osadchiy writes in his memoirs: “In the fall of 1941, we received several KV tanks as reinforcements, one of which was named “For the Motherland”. A single one was made at the Kirov factory. It had all abilities of the KV tank, but had thicker armour, weighed 100 tons, and had a more powerful engine with a turbine. It made a whistling sound at high gears, like a Junkers diving. We would even get air raid warnings in the first few days when it was moving around the brigade. The tank was assigned to my company, and they wanted to make me the commander, but then my assistant, Lieutenant Yahonin, an experienced tanker became the commander. The tank was considered nearly invincible for enemy artillery, and was meant for assaulting fortified positions.

In December of 1941 (I don’t remember the date), our brigade was ordered to penetrate the German defences at Ust-Tosna, at the railroad bridge, cross the river Tosna, and in cooperation with the 43rd infantry division, advance to the Mga. The 2nd tank battalion, commanded by Major Pankin, a tank platoon from the 1st battalion, and my company’s “For the Motherland” tank led the attack. My company was ordered to capture the bridge and hold it until reinforcements arrive. The battle was on open terrain. The upper layer of peat barely held the tank. When it neared the bridge, it came under fire from German heavy guns, and we lost radio contact. I was at the battalion HQ at the time. As soon as we lost contact, I tried to get to the battlefield along the railroad embankment. As soon as I crawled up to the tank, I saw that it was missing its turret and the crew was dead.”

“For the Motherland” was definitely the KV-220. An order assigning tanks to the 12th Special Tank Training Regiment lists a tank called “For the Motherland” with vehicle number 220-2.

And here we reach another contradiction. Two, in fact! One lies in Wargaming NA’s introduction of the tank in the Cyber Monday announcement:

“World of Tanks may possess historical accuracy, but it has its legends — the KV-220 is one of them. This prototype tank never saw combat in real life, much less in the game. But here is your limited chance to own this tier V marvel, with a 76mm gun among its powerful gear.”

The assertion that the tank hasn’t seen combat in game is also false, I’ve seen KV-220s in game (although only three in my 22000 match tenure). But let’s keep reading, and look at that “76 mm gun among its powerful gear”. Two paragraphs above, we have learned that the KV-220 entered battle with a 76.2 mm F-32 gun. Let’s look at that KV-220 model.



Look at that gun! Definitely 76 mm, definitely powerful, definitely an F-…nope, wrong again, that’s a ZiS-5.

“But Ensign!” you may say, “maybe the ZiS-5 somehow ended up at the factory, and the military representatives, due to their incompetence and being kept in the dark by factory workers, had no idea that it was being installed on the tank!” That isn’t really possible, seeing as how the question of producing the ZiS-5 was still undecided as of a few weeks before that. Production just started, the only ZiS-5s they could have gotten their hands on were at factory #92, in Nizhniy Novgorod, or factory #9, in Yekaterinburg, neither of which  are exactly next door to the besieged Leningrad.

So there you have it, WG got the gun, engine, and introduction wrong. Nice one, Wargaming.

39 thoughts on “Historical Accuracy: KV-220

    • Even better than a Tiger/P, it actually has side and rear armor, and the front armor is sloped.

      I really don’t know why people are calling it being chosen for the sale a “fail”. At tier 5 it’s armor is straight overpowered (100/100/80? turn the hull 45 degrees, enjoy your 140+mm of armor), and the gun is more than powerful enough to contribute to a fight; several other tier 5 premiums wish they had 99mm of penetration, most have ~91. The turret face is only 75mm, but the gun housing is 90mm and takes up a good portion of it.

      I can see a lot of rage being spewed on the forums about this thing’s armor. In a tier 5 battle it’s not going to give a crap about most of the things shooting at it, at tier 6 it’s going to piss a lot of people off when they bounce off angled hull or miss the turret face and bounce off angled housing. All the while it’s spitting out 110dmg shells that have a good chance of penetrating if adequately aimed.

      • And people call me crazy when I say both Tigers wouldn’t be OP one tier lower with soft stats readjusted…

        • I am looking forward to historical battles and the utter bewilderment of most players when it is placed a tier below the IS

          • In randoms it’s balanced in the worst possible way.
            Super-heavy level HP and massive DPM coupled with bad hard stats just makes it unrealistic.

            In a more realistic balance Tiger would resemble ARL 44 play style while Tiger P either the T-150 or the AT-8.

            • Dunno about the tiger p . You would have to give it worse mobility than the at2 to balance it at tier 6.

              • Tiger P could loose the extra plate and gain D.Max cannon as top gun instead of the L/71 (which is historical), loose the top engine and of course HP rebalance.

                If you wanna keep the bolted plate you get to keep the same gun selection as VK 3001P.

                • My ARL 44 gamestyle is 105mm close combat. The long 90mm is an overkill as far as pen is considered, and is has much less DPM with same-shit aim time. Sloped UFP on ARL can ding suprising shots if angled properly, and it is really enjoyable to play that way. I’m still playing it even thou it’s elited, as I want to get the Sixth Sense before jumping up the tier ;)

      • Hehe they call it fail, because they doesn’t have the clue how to play with this tank. They would much more bundle with Type59 and 10k gold for 1k euros. They actually would buy it, because it’s almighty Type… Im leling so hard. If this tank was cheaper i could buy it, but for now – nope. It will come back sooner or later, or enter the giftshop

  1. Interesting, is it possible that the KV-220 suffered from rushed preparations to make it combat ready?

    You wrote that it’s supposed turret was with a gun battery, so I assume it was either hit by very nasty guns,
    got hit by a (un-)lucky shot, or the KV-1 turret was mounted in a hurry with faults.

    • I dunno, I’d say it sounds like the ammo rack got hit, if it was equipped with just a standard KV-Turret, the the armour would be thick but not impenetrable, and so a decent AP-shell could get through.

  2. interesting read but the truth is I wasn’t expecting anything amazing I knew it was going to be one of these rare tanks. I wouldn’t mine seeing the BT-SV at the tank for sale.

  3. What I expected, and I think most people will agree, was potentially some random obscure tank, most likely below tier 8 so as to not influence the meta too much.

    The way WG hyped it up definitely sounded like it would be the Type since that is really the only tank with a “mythological reputation” and had it been the unexpected case that the Type went on sale then a lot of players, including myself, would definitely have picked one up. However most of us know that it is extremely unlikely the Type will ever go on sale again, unless WG is going bankrupt or something and needs a surefire way for fast cash, and therefore knew in the back of our minds that it wasn’t going to be the Type.

    I’ll be grabbing one because it sounds like it could be a decently fun tank to play at tier 5 (100mm of armor let’s go!) and I’m one of those players that likes having rare premium tanks whether I play them or not just to have them in my collection.

    In the end it was typical WG over-hyping.

  4. Seems it not that rare on SEA/ASIA server since KV-220 is given to all beta-testers here.

    And interesting, seems it have pretty good hull but average turret armor. Seems not that hard to pen with 76mm.

  5. With the way WG has packaged the KV-220, I have the feeling this mythical tier 5 tank is going to be very expensive to purchase.

    • The gold value of the cheapest package is 11,800 gold. You can buy 12000 gold for 50 dollars, so the package won’t be more than that. The real question is, since it is Cyber Monday, will WG offer it at a discount. My bets are on no. If they do, it will be very small. So, optimistic minimum, 45 dollars, realistic maximum, 50 dollars.

  6. Is 76.2 mm F-32 gun in game? I can’t find it…..if there is what are the characteristics of it(pen, dmg, acc, etc)

    • It’s a tier IV gun on the T-28, the reason you can’t find it is because it’s only on that one tank, and nobody uses it.

      In the upgraded config. of the T-28 the F-32 has:
      110 alpha, 67 MM of pen, 15.38 ROF, 0.51 ACC, and 2.9S aiming time.

      KV-1 gets the ZiS-5 as a stock gun:
      110 alpha, 86 pen, 15 ROF, 0.46 ACC, and 2.3S aiming time.

      KV-220 ZiS-5 stats are slightly better than the KV-1:
      110 alpha, 99 pen, 14 ROF, 0.46 ACC, and 2.29S aiming time.

      There have been some people whining about how unhistorical the KV-220 is with the ZiS-5, but if it had the F-32 it would have to be a tier IV tank, for which it has way, way, way too much armor. Since they couldn’t put it in at tier IV, they had to give it a better gun so that it would be useful at tier V, hence the ZiS-5.

      Otherwise the KV-1 and KV-220 are pretty similar, the 220 has a better power to weight ratio and more hit points, the KV-1 has better turret armor, but the 220 has better hull armor, and slightly better gun depression (-8 vs -7).

      The KV-1 obviously has a much better gun, but as far as tier V heavy gold tanks go, the 220 doesn’t look half bad.

      • Out of curiosity I checked the suspension numbers, to see if the power:weight was countered with worse ground resistance; maxed out KV-1 has 1.1/1.4/2 resistance for road/normal/soft terrain. The 220 has 1.14/1.37/2.51.
        Looks like taking it into swampy areas is the pinnacle of bad ideas, but it should perform surprisingly well on normal terrain…which is probably what it’ll see the most of anyway.

        So yea, it should definitely move better than the KV-1, just avoid soft ground if at all possible.

      • Thx for the response :) I checked few russian mid tiers but didn’t find the gun. I was just curious what were the stats of it. Yea with that gun it would be UP, so Zis-5 seems like a reasonable solution eventough it’s not historical.

  7. Wonder if the Germans Hummiliated the KV-220.

    I will try looking into my German SPG books and see if the time and place match up .Unlikely ofc that a German SPG hit it as there was never enough SPGs to go around and regular Field Artillery and Ju 87 support was more available.

  8. Lol and price is set at 49,99 euro(with 10500 gold and 30day prem).. no chance in hell I would buy that at that price..

  9. I think the ONLY reason i may get this tank…is so that i can add it to my collection of tanks that will never see the light of day again. Other than that its not a very effective combat vehicle.

  10. Pingback: KV-220 – is it worth it? | For The Record

  11. At least the gun is better than the F-32. The F-32 in game only has 69 mm of penetration. You can be happy to have that ZiS-5 in stead of that F-32.