KV-1

The Panssarimuseo Parola, Finland features some tanks that you wouldn’t see in a typical tank museum. This museum has a great arsenal of Russian vehicles that were captured by the Finns. In 2014 I paid the museum a visit and were truly impressed by their collection. Sadly, since most vehicles are exhibited outside, their paint jobs aren’t in a great shape.

For this post, I’ll have a look at the KV-1 The KV line of tanks was named after the Russian Minister of Defense until May 1940: Kliment Voroschilow. The Finns managed to capture two of the KV-1 tanks that took part in the Continuation War (1941-1944) intact which are the very tanks on display in the museum.

The first KV in the pictures is a 1942 model which has a fully cast turret whereas the first models had a welded one. The – more colourful – second KV is a model 1941 с экранами (s jekranami / with screens). It has appliqué armour bolted on to the turret sides and is usually called KV-1E.

Note the swastika (hakaristi) symbol on the turret sides. The symbol was adopted by the army after the Finnish Air Force started using the emblem as a symbol of luck – after to original Hindu meaning. After the war the emblem was dropped and instead  blue and red circles were used on military vehicles. To this day, however, there are still some Finnish Air Force  elements utilizing the swastika.