The Iosif Stalin tank (or IS tank), was a Soviet heavy tank during World War II and first used in the Kursk area in September 1943
About this creation
The IS tank was designed with thick armour to counter the German 88 mm guns, and carried a main gun that was capable of defeating the German Tiger and Panther tanks. It was mainly a breakthrough tank, firing a heavy high-explosive shell that was useful against entrenchments and bunkers. The IS-2 was put into service in April 1944, and was used as a spearhead in the Battle of Berlin by the Red Army in the final stage of the war.
The KV series of Soviet heavy tanks was criticized by its crews for its poor mobility and lack of any heavier armament than the T-34 medium tank. In 1942 this problem was partially addressed by the lighter, faster KV-1S tank. The KV series were much more expensive than the T-34, without having greater combat performance; the heavy tank program was nearly cancelled by Stalin in 1943. The IS-85 (Object 237) prototype was initially accepted for production as the IS-1 heavy tank.
The A-19 122 mm gun was very powerful, and while its armour-piercing shell had a lower muzzle velocity than similar late-issue German 75 mm and 88 mm guns, Soviet proving-ground tests established that the A-19 could penetrate the front armour of the German Panther tank, and it was therefore considered adequate in the anti-tank role.
However the A-19 gun was unable to penetrate the glacis plate of the Panther at any distance, and could only penetrate the bottom front plate of the hull at 100 m. It was however the large HE shell the gun fired which was its main asset, proving highly useful and destructive in the anti-personnel role. The size of its gun continued to plague the IS-2, and the two-piece ammunition was difficult to handle and slow to reload (the rate of fire was only about two rounds per minute). Another limitation imposed by the size of its ammunition was the payload: only 28 rounds could be carried inside the tank
The IS-2 was slightly lighter and faster than the heaviest KV tank and had thicker front armour and a much-improved turret design. The tank could carry thicker armour than the KV series, while remaining lighter, due to the better layout of the armour envelope. The KV's armour was less well-shaped and featured heavy armour even on the rear, while the IS series concentrated its armour at the front. The IS-2 weighed about the same as a German Panther and was lighter than the German heavy Tiger tank series, and was slightly lower than either
Later improved IS-2s (model 1944) had a faster-loading version of the gun, the D25-T with a double-baffle muzzle brake and better fire-control. It also featured a simpler hull front without a 'step' in it (using a flat, sloping glacis armor plate). Other minor upgrades included the addition of a travel lock on the hull rear, wider mantlet, and, on very late models, an antiaircraft machine gun.
In the mid-1950s, the remaining IS-2 tanks (mostly model 1944 variants) were upgraded to keep them battle-worthy, producing the IS-2M, which introduced fittings such as external fuel tanks on the rear hull (the basic IS-2 had these only on the hull sides), stowage bins on both sides of the hull, and protective skirting along the top edges of the tracks.
IS-3 at the museum I work at.
IS-3 at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD
Weight - 46 tonnes
Length- 9.9 m
Width - 3.09 m
Height - 2.73 m
Crew - 4
Armor - 30–120 mm
Main armament - D25-T 122 mm gun w/28 rounds
Secondary armament - 2× DT 7.62 mm
Engine - 12-cyl. diesel model V-2
Fuel capacity - 820 l
Range - 240 km
Speed - 37 km/h
Excellent MOC! Your write up is very informative, but you should include some info about the MOC itself (i.e. challenges you faced in construction or part availability). I would love to see a version with that super sloped turret armor!