"The Klim Voroshilov Heavy Breakthrough Tank"

by V.V. Gagin

Poligraf Publishing, Voronezh, Russia, 1996

32 pp.

ISBN: 5-86937-010-8
Review Type: Book Review
Rating: Recommended

Reviewed by Cookie Sewell

S u m m a r y

Price: 12.99 (UK); Approx US$22
Advantages: Good, useful book on the KV series with a number of new photos of KV and KV-1s tanks in action
Disadvantages: High price, low distribution; new facts from other authors have passed parts of this book by; Russian language, but with English subtitles to illustrations
Recommendation: For Soviet armor fans and Russian linguists


T h e    B o o k

I am a real sucker for any new books on Soviet armor. Although stung on two other purchases due to sleazy Russian marketing practices, this book is not bad and has the one advantage that its illustrations are subtitled in English for wider appeal. The author in this case is not only identified but illustrated "in drag" from his days in the early 1980s when he was a serving tank officer in the 2nd GMRD – the "Taman Guards" division.

The book uses new and old material to cover the history of the KV tank, and has a large number of what appear to be fresh illustrations of the KV tanks in action. Some information has been made obsolete (i.e. we know know that the KV tank carried three guns as designed – a 12.7mm machine gun, a 45mm AT gun, and a 76mm gun all in one mantelet, and the 152mm version built in 1939 was called the "KV with Big Turret", not the KV-2) but most is pretty fair, and the information is pretty good where new sources are cited. A number of incidents in the combat career of the KV are cited in text, and the overall presentation is pretty good stuff.

This is a pricey book – thirteen pounds works out to around $21.70 for a slim 32 page effort -- but the photos alone just about justify the price of the book.

Note that the press runs of Russian books are very low as a rule. This one only had some 1000 copies printed in its first run, and the scarcity of the books makes them worth more in the English bookshops, and hence to the West. Few of these books filter past England, with exceptions like Lou Bobiyak's Ace Hobbies in New York City. If you can find one, expect it to come dear.

Review by Cookie Sewell, June 1998.
Page Created 26 June, 1998.
Last updated 22 July, 2003.

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