Soviet armored fighting vehicle production during World War II

Soviet armored fighting vehicle production during World War II

During the Second World War [The Eastern Front of WWII is also known as Great Patriotic War] from the start of the war between the Soviet Union and Germany (German invasion of the Soviet Union) on 22 June 1941 Soviet armoured vehicle production was necessary to replace losses due to combat and the loss of production facilities.

Figures are up until the first half of 1945 and only include new production The Soviet Union had about 19,221 armoured fighting vehicles when it entered the war. [more detailed figures at List of World War II military vehicles by country#Soviet Union]

Not shown here are armoured cars, aerosans, artillery tractors and armoured trains.

Light armoured fighting vehicles

Armoured vehicles under about 15 tonnes could be produced and rebuilt in many light industrial installations, such as automotive, streetcar, and light tractor factories. Most were driven by standard automotive engines.

For these reasons light tank production continued well into the war, even though the medium T-34 was much more cost-effective. Foreign light tanks continued to be delivered under Lend-Lease, but domestic production would be replaced by cheaper armoured cars and the plentiful SU-76M self-propelled gun, which was simpler but packed a bigger high-explosive punch.

Heavy tanks

The KV-1 (after Kliment Voroshilov) was armed with a 76 mm gun; as with the T-34, the length of the gun was increased during production. The KV-1S was a version of the KV-1 with lighter armour (making it faster) and a new turret (still with a 76 mm gun). KV-85 was a KV-1S fitted with an 85 mm gun in the same turret as the IS-1.

After Voroshilov lost political favour, the new KV-13 model with the KV-85's turret and gun was renamed IS-1 after after Joseph ("Iosif") Stalin. It was soon upgraded to a new turret with high-velocity 122 mm gun, and renamed IS-2, finally giving a slow, expensive heavy tank one clear superiority over the medium T-34.

The IS-3 was an IS-2 with new, advanced hull and turret armour. Due to some serious design flaws, it wouldn't be used in any real combat for over 20 years.

KV-8 was a flamethrower tank.

Heavy self-propelled guns

The KV-2 used the same hull as the KV-1 but was armed with a 152 mm howitzer in a huge turret. The SU-152 was a 152 mm howitzer on a KV-1S hull. Like the KV-2 it was intended for use as an assault weapon against infantry.

The ISU-122 and ISU-152 were self-propelled guns on IS hulls. They were both used as assault guns; the ISU-122 was also useful as an anti-tank weapon because of its high-velocity 122 mm gun.



* T-34 production figures from
** [ T-34: Development History]
** [ T-34-85: Development History]

ee also

* List of Soviet tank factories
* Other countries' production figures
** flagicon|France France
** flagicon|Germany|Nazi Germany
** flagicon|United Kingdom United Kingdom
** flagicon|United States United States

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