A long time ago
in a galaxy far far away before the Soviet heavy tree split, the KV-4 was going to be a wonder-tank! It was going to go 50 kph! It would have a 130 mm gun! However, as the deadline for the test approached, the tank’s stats decreased to a more reasonable level that we see today. In a recent developer Q&A, SerB mentioned the tank that was the “KV-4″ with a 130 mm gun: the 103. All he said was that it was based on the T-100 chassis and had a B-13 130 mm naval gun (like on the SU-100Y). He didn’t mention anything else. So what is this mysterious tank?
Tank 103 (sometimes erroneously called “Object 103″) was a tank born of the Winter War. Its predecessor, the T-100, was sent to Finland along with its competitors from the Kirov factory: the SMK tank and the KV tank. Battle trials proved that the 76 mm guns on all three tanks were insufficient for destruction of thick concrete fortifications. Design bureaus were flooded with requests to make a tank with a big cannon, such as the B-4 howitzer, Br-2 152 mm gun or B-13 130 mm gun. The Kirov factory responded to these calls with SPGs on the chassis of its KV tank. Likewise, factory #185 turned its own creation, the T-100, into an SPG. The results were the T-100-X, T-100-Y (SU-100-Y) and T-100-Z. However, aside from these tanks, another was designed. This tank was not only meant to destroy enemy bunkers, but also ships. Due to the end of the Winter War, the Red Army’s need for bunker busters waned, and the tank did not progress past a wooden model.
The chassis of the tank was still a T-100 chassis, but both turrets were removed. Unlike an immobile SU-100-Y like casemate, a massive turret was built to house the 130 mm gun. The smaller 45 mm gun turret was replaced with two machinegun turrets. Another such turret was placed on the roof of the vehicle for anti-aircraft fire. This kind of firepower came at a cost. The vehicle was heavy, and could not handle a large amount of armour. It only reached 60 mm in the front and sides, which is quite low for the tier SerB estimated (7-8). The tank received an equally powerful engine to propel itself: a 850 hp gasoline engine (for a maximum speed of 31 kph) or a 1000 hp diesel engine (for a maximum speed of 36.4 kph). Additionally, newly designed tracks gave the tank extremely low ground pressure, 0.597 kg/cm^2.
As mentioned above, the gun was the same B-13 we know and love form the SU-100-Y. The gun depression is an uninteresting -5 degrees, with 30 degrees elevation (15 in some turret positions). A creative feature was the ability to move the gun 5 degrees in each direction without rotating the turret, but SerB said this will not be a feature in this game. 196 penetration and 440 damage is superior to both tier 7 Soviet heavies (at 175 penetration and 390 damage), but the much weaker armour could make it a difficult to play glass cannon at that tier, especially since the speed of the tank is not particularly impressive. However, unlike the German Waffentragers, you would have to be pretty clever with how you use it, as the camouflage value would not be very high, and it would not get a TD camo bonus.
I’d play it.