Help support TMP

"Steve Zaloga To Speak At HMGS War College" Topic

21 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

Please do not post offers to buy and sell on the main forum.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Wargaming in the USA Message Board

Back to the WWII Discussion Message Board

Back to the Conventions and Wargame Shows Message Board

Areas of Interest

World War Two on the Land

Featured Recent Link

Featured Ruleset

Featured Showcase Article

GallopingJack Checks Out The Terrain Mat

Mal Wright Fezian goes to sea with the Terrain Mat.

Current Poll

1,409 hits since 12 Nov 2019
©1994-2023 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

47Ronin12 Nov 2019 12:58 p.m. PST

FYI, best selling author Steve Zaloga will present a lecture on the role of U.S. armor on D-Day on Saturday afternoon at Fall In 2019.

Mr. Zaloga is a well known expert on tanks and armored warfare. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including over 140 titles for Osprey Publishing. His next book for Osprey is on Warsaw 1920.

Hope to see you there.

John Michael Priest12 Nov 2019 1:12 p.m. PST


47Ronin12 Nov 2019 1:19 p.m. PST

Also "neat" are your ACW War College lectures at 10am on Friday and Saturday at Fall In 2019, Mike.

Hope to see you there.

John Michael Priest12 Nov 2019 2:52 p.m. PST

I am really excited about the entire event. I have been away too long, I like the camaraderie and the fabulous art I see in the various games.

Their creativity always astonishes me.

Mark 112 Nov 2019 3:12 p.m. PST

I've met and spoken with Zaloga at other events.

I have collected dozens and dozens of his writings starting from an article he wrote that shot down the then-common myths about the KV-85, which I found in a small periodical pamphlet called AFV News in the 1970s. So I am a bit of a fanboy of his work, and I won't object if you take this with a pinch of salt. But if I had any opportunity to go see this, I would.

He does excellent research. He writes well, and prolifically. And he's good at "connecting the dots". The perspectives he can offer will enlighten many of us.

Of course any of us can go digging through something he wrote 20 or 30 years ago and find a pet issue to debate, but when you hear the guy in person, you can quickly come to see that his knowledge and his perspectives are as current as today, and he is not fixed in time to what was set in print years or decades ago.

So yeah, go see him. Then come back here and share with us what you were lucky enough to observe.

(aka: Mk 1)

47Ronin12 Nov 2019 4:07 p.m. PST

Mark 1,

FYI, I'm re-reading Zaloga's "Red Thrust" book now, which (as you may recall) was his contribution to the "Red Storm Rising", "First Clash" and "Team Yankee" literature of the late 1980's--early 1990's.

I think it holds up rather well.

The HMGS War College did a great job bringing back the "SPI Guys" (Nofi, et. al.) for Historicon 2018. In 2019, the War College at Historicon featured talks by Dr. John Prados. I, for one, enjoy hearing from authors (like Zaloga) and game designers (like Prados) we all grew up with in our younger days. (Sadly, many of them are no longer with us.) I hope others will join me.

Steve Zaloga knows tanks and he knows D-Day, so I look forward to an interesting presentation.

Mobius12 Nov 2019 5:14 p.m. PST

"he wrote that shot down the then-common myths about the KV-85, which I found in a small periodical pamphlet called AFV News in the 1970s. "
There are myths about the KV-85? I know they appear all over PanzerBlitz but I couldn't any good scenarios using them when we built Ostfront. But what are their myths?

historygamer13 Nov 2019 6:10 a.m. PST

Really looking forward to this talk. Love his books and Osprey works.

Mark 113 Nov 2019 12:34 p.m. PST

There are myths about the KV-85? I know they appear all over PanzerBlitz but I couldn't any good scenarios using them when we built Ostfront. But what are their myths?

Well, the true circumstances of this tank are rather better known today, but Zaloga's research was a key part of transforming the western narrative on it.

If I were to describe the narrative of the KV-85, as I found it at that time in the books I had voraciously consumed prior to finding his AFV News article, I would have said:

- It was built as an up-gunned KV-1, and served as the "current" Soviet heavy tank in the second half of 1943 and early 1944. It wasn't built in very large numbers, yet it was frequently encountered by the Germans through mid- to late-1944, as witnessed by unit AARs and individual memoirs.*

- It was a response to the Tiger, bringing the gunpower of the KV up to what the Soviets considered to an equivalent level.

- It was built on the hull of the KV-1c**. Oddly it removed the front "ekrani" plate from the glacis.*** Probably due to weight considerations.

- It used a turret derived from the T-34/85.****

It was Zaloga who first published to western audiences (to my knowledge) that in fact:

- The turret of the KV-85 came from the IS development effort (with no direct relationship to the T-34/85)

- The hull was a KV-1S (not a KV-1c) simply and quickly updated with hull fillets to expand the turret ring to fit the IS turret. (And ammo storage had to be re-arranged, but that's the easy and not visible to the outside part.)

- The entire production run was completed in about one month, after which the IS hull entered production and there was no further need for KV-85s. Only two "breakthrough regiments" appear to have been equipped with the KV-85, and most were consumed in the fighting on the southern part of the front in the winter months of 12/43 – 3/44.

- It was not so much a reasoned response to the Tiger, as a factory implementing a quick stop-gap measure to make use of a short-term IS turret inventory, as the turret production started before the hull.

* The KV-85 does appear in a disproportionate number of German documents from mid-1944. This is probably due to mis-identification, as from the front the IS-1 (if it ever even made it into combat) or the IS-2 (original stepped hull) would have appeared visually similar.

** The more correct (and currently used) designation would be the KV-1 m1942, but back in the late 1970s western books still used the letter-subtype style identifiers of Soviet tanks which the Germans developed during the war.

*** I still have my GHQ KV-85 models from the 1970s. The hull front looks like a KV-1S (or initial production KV-1 m1940), but the hull rear / engine deck is clearly NOT a KV-1S.

**** I have seen this repeated multiple times in western books on Soviet WW2 armor, including books published as recently as the early 2000s. Never really understood this assertion, as: a) the turret doesn't even LOOK like a T-34-85 turret -- I mean, it even had a rear turret MG, which no T-34 ever had, and b) the timeline doesn't make sense, as the T-34-85 was a later development, not a predecessor to the KV-85.

(aka: Mk 1)

Mobius13 Nov 2019 2:28 p.m. PST

I looked up in my 1974 Vol. 11 No. 4 edition of the AH General and there is the KV-85 superior defense factors than the Tiger I and Panther (13 vs 12).
I have a photo of a captured KV-85 where the Germans evaluated the armor and it does have a front turret of 110mm. But with a LH of 60mm @ 25. UH 75mm @ 30 and glacis of 50mm @ 70. So overall a bit better armor than a T-34/85.
The KV-1S went into production the summer of 1942 and ended the summer of 1943.
I have the production of the KV-85 being over a 3 month period 8/43 thru 10/43 where 148 were made.

Mark 113 Nov 2019 3:37 p.m. PST

I have the production of the KV-85 being over a 3 month period 8/43 thru 10/43 where 148 were made.

So when I said "The entire production run was completed in about one month" I put the "about" at the wrong place. It was about (almost? approximately?) the entire production run in one month, and dribs and drabs elsewhere.

My understanding is that out of the ~148 produced, more than 120 (maybe 130) were built in the period from about the middle of 9/43 through the middle of 10/43. The turrets were mostly built in 8/43 and 9/43 as part of the IS program. It was only as the turrets were stacking up in 8/43, and as it became clear that the IS hull still needed more work, that they engineered a kludge to stick 'em on KV-1S hulls. Once the surplus of IS turrets was consumed (and with no more coming, as the the IS-85 / IS-1 had entered production), the KV-85 production ended. This was not so much because the IS was a better tank, but because the KV-85 was only built to consume a short-term excess of IS turrets. In fact KV-1S production continued through December of 1943, in parallel with IS-1 production.

In fact, earlier tests had placed one of the developmental 85mm guns in a KV-1S turret successfully. It was evidently a reasonably workable upgrade, but was not undertaken because the IS tank was expected to be superior in almost every way. But then, all those extra IS turrets started stacking up…

Anyway, that's my current understanding. But in any case, the key issues of the "myths" were that the KV-85 was a planned upgrade (rather than a stop-gap kludged together to use some excess turrets), and that the turret was from the T-34-85 (not the IS).

(aka: Mk 1)

Mobius13 Nov 2019 6:53 p.m. PST

I hadn't heard the story of the Russians being all stocked up with JS turrets before any heavy tank entered production. From the story in the old RBF the KV-85 seemed to just be a step in the development of a heavy tank. The Russians tested two KV-85 variants against two JS-85 variant tanks. The JS-85 were somewhat better and even lighter but the KV-85 could hold considerably more shells.

The KV-85 got the nod for production first as the hulls were available. The JS-85 production started up the last month of KV-85 production but was even less. Only 130 JS-1/JS-85 were build over 4 months (10/43-1/44) . Meanwhile it was discoverd that a model of the A-19 could be mounted in the JS turret and the JS-2 began production 1/44.

I don't know if front turret of the JS-1 was 100mm as the JS-2 or 110mm as the KV-85. So if you say that the turrets were built before production how would the turret front armor be different?

Walking Sailor13 Nov 2019 10:50 p.m. PST

It was about (almost? approximately?) the entire production run in one month, and dribs and drabs elsewhere.
Apparently a few KV-1's returned to the factory were rebuilt as KV-85's. This done outside of the production run.
IS-1 (if it ever even made it into combat)
Three Guards Heavy Tank Regiments deployed about January, 1944 against the Korsun-Shevshenkovskiy Pocket.
KV-85 link
IS-1 link

Walking Sailor13 Nov 2019 10:52 p.m. PST

Talk about hijacking a thread. Sorry Steve.

Mobius14 Nov 2019 7:00 a.m. PST

Yes, the thread has been hijacked but it works like a bump to the 'Zaloga Appearing' theme.
Here is a photo of a captured and examined KV-85.


It differs from the Russian armor scheme drawing.

Maybe as Walking Sailor wrote that this was a scheme of a rebuilt KV-1.
Here is the armor scheme of a KV-1S.

This is the JS-1.


The scheme shows that the front turret is 100mm but I have my doubts. It may have been reduced to balance the turret when the heavier 122mm was added,

47Ronin14 Nov 2019 10:03 p.m. PST

Interesting discussion.

Hijack away, so long as you show up to the Zaloga lecture on Sat. at 2pm.

Hope to see you there.

DaleWill Supporting Member of TMP16 Nov 2019 8:06 p.m. PST

Steve gave an excellent presentation Backed by primary source documentation. Learned a lot. Corrected several myths about D-day and Omaha beach. The name of the journal escaped me but his paper on this subject has been submitted for review. Should be published in the 2020-2021 time frame.

47Ronin17 Nov 2019 2:49 p.m. PST

+1 to DaleWill's comments.

Great presentation by Steve Zaloga.

Hopefully, HMGS will have him back again.

Sean Barnett18 Nov 2019 8:03 p.m. PST

Agree--it was a very good talk.

GamesPoet Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2019 8:11 p.m. PST

Sorry I missed it.

HMGS War College02 Nov 2022 2:57 p.m. PST

Just a quick note to update a prior topic.

FYI, Steve Zaloga of Osprey Publishing will be speaking at the HMGS War College at Fall In 2022 this Saturday at 1pm. His topic will be "Writing Military History Books".

Hope to see you there.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.