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Operation Herkules KV-2 heavy tank


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Operation herkules was the code name given by the Germans to the invasion of Malta. At the time the Germans had their hands full on both the eastern front and in north Africa. Nevertheless many Generals (including Rommel) were keen to sieze Malta. The idea was eventually shelved after the experience of invading Crete. Goering was set against it as he felt that it would end up very badly for his airbourne units. The plan was to use airbourne, and amphibious forces to sieze the island. As part of the amphibiuos landing force was a ecclectic mix of German armour which included panzer III's and IV's, but a sizable attachment was drawn from captured Russian armour - KV-1's KV-2's and T34's. The KV-2 came as a nasty surprise to the German army in 1941, as the armour was practically inpenetrable to all but the heaviest of anti tank weapons and was beyond the main armament of the Panzer IV. The Russians however, did not use their armour particulalry well at this stage of the war, resulting in large troop encirclements and capturing of much hardware, including the KV-2. The German army doctrine at the time, was to use captured equipment, which they did to great effect on all fronts. So given this background, ten or so KV-2's, redesignated the Panzerkampfwagen KV II 754® formed the hardcore of Panzer Abtielung zBV-66. See figure 1.


Figure 1.

After the cancellation of operation Herkules, these KV-2's ended their days fighting the former owners on the Eastern front.

As you can see, there was little in the way of modification. Primarily, some KV-2's had their cupola's replaced with cupolas from Panzer III's, and additional ammunition was racked on the rear of the vehicle. Jerry can racks were also attached to the fenders on some examples.

The paint job consited of yellow with brown overspray Fig 2 & 3, with nationality markings but little else.


Figure 2


Figure 2

For my build, I have ordered the Trumpeter Pz.Kpfm KV-2754®, (Fig 4)


Figure 4.

There are some upgrade sets (voyager etc), but I think it will be out of the box. Thanks for looking. Away for the next week, so hoping the kit will have arrived when I get back.


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Great idea for a build, Jay. There's so much diversity in terms of kit on both sides of the siege, I love that you've gone a bit left field with this one - really looking forward to see it come together.

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As a reformed armour modeller, I'd love to see this built. Operation Herkules was very close to going ahead until, ironically, General Ritchie grossly mishandled the Battle of Gazala and suddenly for a moment it didn't seem necessary to invade Malta: with the German front line on the Nile, Malta would be unable to affect Mediterranean shipping.

I wonder what happened to the KVs afterward? I've heard nothing of them turning up in Italy, though some were used for last-ditch fighting in Germany in 1945.

The idea of these things going ashore with just Matildas and Valentines to stop them... maybe the 3.7" AA artillery would have had to be used.

I reckon that commander's cupola would have been put right in the corner to allow a view downwards: many Soviet KV2s were lost because of the substantial 'dead ground', invisible to the crew, around them.

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  • 3 weeks later...

OK at last some progress. The beast has arrived. After a thorough check through, I deceided to order the Jordi Rubio barrel as the kit one looked a bit naff. The rest of the kit is good.

It comes as a softish plastic. The detail is crisp but there is a fair amount of flash.

Heres a couple of photos to start - hull built up.



OK there are some nasty gaps which need filling


Turret and barrel fitted but not glued.



Getting the feel for the beast.


So, Ive been pondering a dio for the KV-2 and I've deceided to put it on a tank park. It will be titled 'Final Modificatons'. As such I'm going to show it as recently renovated and painted, ready for the scheduled invasion. I ordered the Masterbox set of Mechanics and Aber photo etch tool box. There will also be a sleeping dog involved somewhere too. Here's a couple of shots of the figures.



I think they're pretty good. Nice pose and expressions. Looking forward to try and paint them.

Here is the workbench and photo etch tool box.


I found a circuit diagramme for a WW II german radio set, so I photocopied it and reduced it down. I think it looks effective.


Have to say that I think the tool set from Aber is brill, but it is testing me building it. You can make the cantilever movable but you have to make your own bolts. I've managed two made from stretched sprue. So I'm thinking I'll superglu the box together - open. Look forward to comments,


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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 years later...

unbelievably, its been 4 years since i posted here. primarily due to competing in triathlon, followed by a very bad illness. So, my athletic days are over, I thought I might try and resurrect my modelling, such as it is. So here are a few progress pics IMG_0742_zpsra4604c8.jpg





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