There is a plethora of information on the internet; the scale and variety of the information available is the best aspect of the web. Unfortunately the downside invariably relates to the subject matter, and more specific to this article the quality of the information online. In this article we will be discussing a vehicle that has been discussed on the internet by several names, one of which is the KV-VI. The Soviet KV-VI, or Behemoth, is described as a KV series tank made to excessive proportions; specifically an elongated chassis supporting multiple turrets, both main and secondary. This vehicle never existed.
The Kliment Voroshilov series of tanks are known to have been heavily armoured; and during the beginning of the invasion of the Soviet Union, difficult to knockout. It is claimed that the KV-VI was ordered, possibly by Stalin himself, as a response to stories of KV series tanks (KV-1 or KV-2) that single-handedly changed the course of a battle. It is claimed that two prototypes were created. The following quote is oft repeated:
“The first prototype was completed in December 1941 and was rushed into the defense of Moscow. In its first action during a dense winter fog, the rear turret accidentally fired into the center turret. The resulting explosion completely destroyed the vehicle. The second prototype was completed in January 1942, and was sent to the Leningrad front. This one had indicators installed to show when another turret was in the line of fire. In its initial attack on the Germans, the tank broke in half when crossing a ravine.” (“Secret Weapons: KV-VI Behemoth.”)
Purportedly called Stalin’s Orchestra by those Germans who encountered it; it is claimed the vehicle had a crew of 15 men and one Commissar.
A model of the KV-VI was made by modeler Brian Fowler:
Fowler’s model has been show in a number of articles on the KV-VI; and was the basis for other representations of the vehicle including a diagram of the KV-VI by deviantART user VonBrrr. Click here to see VonBrr’s page. VonBrr’s representation also is popular in articles on the subject. VonBrrr notes:
Half way through illustrating I found that the thing never really existed[…]
Although the KV-VI didn’t exist, it is not likely a fake as it is often described as being. The KV-VI is more likely the result of harmless creations by enthusiasts that went viral. Advanced modelers for example are known to be extremely creative with their designs; including reusing parts left over from kits. This may be what Fowler’s model was born from; and in my opinion his work is likely the beginning of the KV-VI’s life.
1. “Secret Weapons: KV-VI Behemoth.” Geheimkrieg. Blogger, 27 May 2011. Web. 28 Nov 2013. <http://geheimkrieg.blogspot.com/2011/05/secret-weapons-kv-vi-behemoth.html>.
2. “The soviet behemoth — KV VI.” The Order Of The Iron Phoenix’s Blog. N.p., 17 Jul 2013. Web. 28 Nov 2013. <http://theorderoftheironphoenix.com/wp/the-soviet-behemoth-kv-vi/>.
3. “T-28.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 29 Oct 2013. Web. 28 Nov 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-28>.