KV-1 Restoration: In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Zinoviy Kolobanov’s heroic stand


In 2015, a tank wreck was discovered in a bog in northern Belarus. A first investigation showed that the parts belonged
to a Soviet KV-1 heavy tank. In the fall of that same year, a team of restorers, historians, and salvage experts pulled the remnants
of the military vehicle out of the mud. Their next step was to attempt to restore the illustrious tank. Any discovery
of a previously unknown KV tank is a big deal. I’d call it a sensation. When we found out
about the Stalin Line project to restore the legendary Soviet KV tank, we couldn’t pass it up, so we gladly supported that project The KV-1 itself is a very rare and exclusive thing. There are no KV-1 tanks on Belarusian territory, even in non-running condition. Today, there are only about 12 KVs left in the world. This tank appeared to be really unique. When the restorers cleared off
the mud from the turret, they were pleasantly surprised. This particular KV was armed with the L-11 gun. The L-11 gun is of a particular interest because it was very rare. Only 141 KV tanks were equipped with it. The serial number
of the combat vehicle was readable. This was a great piece of luck
for the historians. Thanks to this, they could find out
the whole history of this KV-1. This tank was assembled
in late 1940. On December 17, 1940, this tank, as a part of a batch of seven KV tanks, was sent to the 2nd Saratov Tank School
for crew training. Then, as you know, World War II started for the USSR in June 1941. Every tank was needed
at the front. So, the seven KVs of that batch were assigned to reinforce
the 13th Tank Division of the 5th Mechanized Corps
on July 8, 1941. They took part
in the Lepel counteroffensive. The marks of shell and bullet hits
on the turret armor are evidence of heavy action. On July 10 and 11, 1941, the 13th Tank Division tried to break out of encirclement. The discovered KV
was extracted from the ground just north of that
breakthrough attempt. Perhaps it was driven
into the bog by enemy aircraft. It’s possible that the crew
just couldn’t find their way through the unknown location. The tank got bogged down
in the swampy terrain. The crew tried to save the vehicle, to extract it. They laid logs under the tracks. Most likely,
when the crew were unsuccessful in their efforts,
they destroyed the vehicle. Its ammo rack exploded, so the armor plate joints
came apart. You can clearly see this on the recovered turret itself. Only the turret
and part of the running gear remained. The hull never was discovered. An ISU-152 assault gun was taken as the basis for restoration. The restorers had to solve
many unusual tasks to get it in running order. The KV and IS chassis are different. First of all,
their running gears are different, and secondly,
their width is not the same. So, we had to cut off
the whole upper part of the ISU-152. We cut off the fighting
and engine compartments, leaving just the steel “bathtub.” But the front plate, the nose of the KV-1,
it should be made at the same angle: 70 degrees
for the front armor, and 30 degrees
for the driver’s part of armor. But no matter
how we tried to make the upper armor plate fit,
we couldn’t do it. So, we had to cut off the front part completely. And it is 90 mm thick. Imagine what it was like to cut off those 90 mm of steel with an angle grinder. The diameter
of the angle grinder disc is 230 mm. So it was a bit scary to do it. There are very many parts missing. Only the turret
is more or less complete at the moment. For example,
the hatch was given to us by colleagues in Russia. It’s an original KV hatch. The same hull front hatch was used for the ISU-152, identical to the KV-1’s one. So, we used it as well. When we lack spare parts, we, of course, use the Internet, but also books with photos
and blueprints. Then you start calculating, measuring, and looking
for the required materials. I mean for everything
you can find here on the Stalin Line. Every available piece, little piece of metal
from any other vehicle, if you take a good look at it,
you can find a suitable detail. But, of course, it depends how your hands
and imagination work. If you turn on
your imagination a bit, you can do anything you want. The rear of the ISU-152 is different from the rear of the KV. It was angled here, so, to make it resemble the KV, we used… You can’t bend
a 30 mm steel sheet, 70 cm in diameter. So we found a gas pipe, cut it apart, welded it in, and got the required result, as it was on the KV-1. The restorers completely remade the running gear to make it resemble
the KV-1 running gear. They adapted the ISU hull to the turret found in the bog. A lot of previously
missing armor components were made anew. Also, a new engine was installed. It took more than half a year
to restore the vehicle. And not just to restore its exterior, but also get it running. The KV is an iconic vehicle of Soviet tank building, and the restoration
of this legendary vehicle is dedicated to the 75th anniversary of Zinoviy Kolobanov’s heroic stand. On August 19, 1941, five KV tanks under the command
of Lieutenant Zinoviy Kolobanov destroyed 42 German tanks near the Voyskovitsy settlement
in the Gatchisnky District of the Leningrad region. Kolobanov’s crew
personally destroyed 22 tanks. Kolobanov was in command
of one of the best tanks in 1941, the KV-1. It had reasonable maneuverability, strong armor, and powerful armament. This allowed the tankers
to feel confident on the battlefield. They withstood the German fire. This allowed them to hold out. The tank had a powerful cannon. So, as a result, there were 22 knocked-out
German vehicles. The KV tank
and Zinoviy Kolobanov’s deed have found their reflection
in the World of Tanks game. For example, the KV is one
of the most popular tanks in the game community
around the world. Kolobanov’s medal is one of the most epic awards
in World of Tanks. It very hard to achieve. It’s given to a player
who stands alone against five or more enemy vehicles
and wins. So, the in-game achievement really is modelled
after Kolobanov’s actual situation during the war. A total of just more than 3000 Kliment-Voroshilov tanks
were built. All these vehicles contributed
greatly to the victory. The KV tank was a very menacing threat
to the Germans at the beginning of the war. Its armor was essentially immune to German tank and anti-tank guns, except for the largest ones
of the time, like the “acht-acht” cannon, the 88 mm antiaircraft gun. Then the German Tiger
arrived on the battlefield, and the KV became obsolete at once. It was outmatched by the Tiger in both armor protection and firepower. Nevertheless, the KVs
took part in combat until the end of the war. The last time the KV-1 tanks were used in large numbers
was in 1944 during the Mannerheim Line
breakthrough in Karelia, the same place where the KVs
of the initial batch once had their first trial by fire. This was the last milestone in the combat use of the KV tanks. In the future, the restored KV tank will take part
in the historical reenactments on the Stalin Line.

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Comments

  1. It's amazing how little of the original tank remained. So much had to be filled it with custom parts.

  2. This is so BS!!

    THEY ARE NOT RESTORING this tank…

    They are just project building from SCRATCH!!

    Hey, cool project, but they're not rebuilding/restoring this tank. They are garage building from SCRATCH.

  3. WW2 started for Soviet Union in 1939 when the bastards attacked Poland. In 1939 SU was in close alliance with the 3rd Reich

  4. thats nice guys, now How about everyone slide up the gaming tree to War Thunder? Plenty of Russian tanks to be had.

  5. Correction, war started for soviet Union not in june 1941 but on september the 17th 1939,when they invaded Poland,. There is no more self cheating nation than Russians, when to this Day they teach their children that Soviet Union never invaded anybody or never started the war.

  6. They should a dropped a CAT turbo diesel bulldozer motor in that puppy. Forget the authenticity of a ww2 diesel engine

  7. KV was the Tiger of the early part of the war on the Eastern Front – expensive, powerful, imposing.. but ultimately not the most effective weapon vs. middle tanks like T-34 who had the same firepower and a lot more mobility and cost a fraction of the heavy tank.

  8. When I say world of tanks most people say "the game?" What they miss is that they also take care of tanks.they don't just do video games.

  9. A family member fought on the heights of Seelow and in the defense of Berlin, his last combat of the war.
    He witnessed Soviet infantry overrun daily by their own tanks.

  10. 1:45 Just to remind you, the war didn't start for the USSR in 1941. This is when Hitler turned against USSR. USSR STARTED the war by attacking Poland in September 17 1939, having Nazi Germany as it'a ally. I don' know why this was not corrected in the material.

  11. Love WOTs. I like Russian and German tanks both. The US tanks take forever to upgrade. The Russian ones have a ton of variations. I am a fan of these restoration channels. So much awesome history.

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