Welcome to the 13th edition of Ensign’s Q&A. You know the drill: email me questions at tankarchives@gmail.com, and I will answer them. The previous Q&A can be found here. Q: Were all KV transmissions as bad as the Aberdeen one? A: No, the one Aberdeen received was “gently” used. KV transmissions were typically much more reliable. Q: How much did the various KV designs have in common? A: I don’t know exactly, but there are requirements for parts commonality in some project specs (usually SPGs based on an existing vehicle). I’d have to read the specs to see exactly how much, but parts commonality with existing vehicles can be a great bonus to getting your design chosen among competing ones. Q: Why was the ZiS-6 gun abandoned? A: Initially, the tank that it was meant to go into (KV-3) was cancelled. The KV-2 could carry a ZiS-6 into combat, but there was simply no worthy opponent to it at the time. When the Germans started fielding Tigers and Panthers, Grabin brought up his gun again, but it was beaten out by more modern 100 and 122 mm guns, partially due to the issue of ammunition shortages. Despite the fact that the gun was around for a while, there was no AP ammunition stocked for it. Meanwhile, the 122 mm D-25T could just use A-19 shells. Q: What separated the KV-4 and the KV-5? A: I haven’t seen the specific design requirements for the vehicles, so it’s hard to say, especially due to the great number of KV-4 and KV-5 designs that were submitted. The tanks competed against each other for the title of the Red Army’s main heavy tank, so the requirements would have to be similar enough for such a comparison to make sense. Q: Was the KV-4 supposed to be equipped with only the ZiS-6, or other guns?* A: The ZiS-24 wasn’t built for nothing. Also, there was an “experimental high power 107 mm tank gun“, but I don’t know if that is also the ZiS-24. Soviet documents have a bad habit of writing things like “107 mm tank gun” without specifying which one. That’s all for this time. Email more questions to tankarchives@gmail.com.

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