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Soviet Union's IS-2, JS-2 heavy tank
"Victory Tank"

Photos

IS-2 heavy tank:
Soviet Union's IS-2 Heavy Tank
Aberdeen Tank Museum

Design

After the Battle of Kursk it was realized that larger guns than 85 mm were needed. Kotin's team at Zavod Nr 9 initially placed an 85 mm gun in the IS series but it was then determined that a 100 mm or 122 mm gun was needed. The 100 mm BS-3 and 122 mm A-19 were put through tests in November 1943. The 100 mm was better at armor penetration but the 122 mm could rip off the armor of a captured Panther. The 122 mm was selected as it was available and the 100 mm was in very short supply.

Based on the IS-1 with a longer turret to accept the 122 mm, which was designed by General A. A. Petrov. Initially had a single chambered muzzle brake which later became a double chamber after a test which almost fatally wounded Marshal K. E. Voroshilov.

The A-19 122 mm gun was based on a naval gun. The ammunition was in 2 parts which slowed it's loading. An IS-2's crew could fire around two or three rounds a minutes. In 1944 the 122 mm D-25T gun was installed which had a better breech which helped its performance.

Type Weight Muzzle Velocity Direct
Fire Range
Indirect
Fire Range
Penetration
500 m
    2,562'/sec
780 m/sec
     
  25 kg 790 m/sec     140 mm
APHE   2,600'/sec      

Armor

The IS-2 had a cast hull front which was uniformly sloped, not bent as in the IS-1. The better sloping provided better protection without an increase in weight. The IS-2 could now withstand a direct hit by a 88 mm AP round at over 9,144 yards / 1,000 m.

Turret

The design team wanted to provide more protection in the turret, but that would have resulted in the turret being unbalanced and there wasn't time to completely redesign it.

Prototype

Was demonstrated to the Main Defense Commissariat and was accepted for production on October 1943.

Production

The first one was finished in January 1944 at the Chelyabinsk factory.

  • IS-2: 3,800, 3,854
    • 1943: 102, 35
    • 1944: 2,210, 2,252
    • 1945: 1,500, 2,350
      • to May 9: 997, after May 9: 1,150
    • Manufacturer: Soviet arsenals

Variants

  • IS-2:
  • IS-2m: Improved fire control system which extended the effective range of the 122 mm. The driver had his observation hatch replaced by a sight slit.

Usage

A guard tank brigade had:

  • 3 regiments
    • 65 IS-2s each

First battle was in February 1944 at Korsun Shevcherkov (Chevchenkovski).

Against Royal Tigers

In August 13, 1944, eleven IS-2s of the 71st Independent Heavy Tank Regiment blocked an attack by fourteen Royal Tigers (PzKpfw VI Ausf B) of the 501st Heavy Panzer Regiment. The battle was at 656 yards / 600 m and resulted in four of the Royal Tigers being destroyed and seven damaged at a loss of three IS-2s and seven damaged.

Specifications

  IS-2
Crew Driver, loader, commander, gunner
4
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 101,200 lb, 101,963 lb
45 tons, 45.3 tons, 45.5 tons 46 tons, 50.6 tons
46,000 kg, 46,250 kg
Length w/gun 31' 6", 31' 6.75", 32' 5.8", 32' 6", 32.8', 33' 10.75"
9.83 m, 9.9 m, 10.7 m
Length w/o gun 21' 10"
Height 8.9', 8' 11", 8' 11.5", 9'
2.73 m, 2.9 m
Width 10' 1.6", 10' 2", 10' 3", 14' 3.25"
3.07 m, 3.09 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 13.75", 1' 4.5"
0.42 m, 0.47 m
Ground contact length 14' 3.25", 14.3'
4.3 m
Ground pressure 11.25 psi, 11.3 psi, 11.66 psi, 12.6 psi
0.8 kg/cm2 , 0.81 kg/cm2 , 0.82 kg/cm2
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 122 mm D-25
1: 122 mm M1943 (D-25) L/43
1: 122 mm
1: 122 mm L/43
1: 122 mm M1943
1: 122 mm M1943 (D-25)
Secondary  
MG 3: 7.62 mm DT MG
4: MGs
1: 7.62 mm MG
1: 12.7 mm MG
1: 12.7 mm DShK-38 MG
3: 7.62 mm MG
MG - coaxial 1: 7.62 mm DT MG
1: 7.62 mm DT or DTM MG
1: 12.7 mm M1938 DshK
MG - rear turret 1: 7.62 mm DT MG
1: 7.62 mm DT or DTM MG
MG - hull 1: 7.62 mm DT MG
1: 7.62 mm DT or DTM MG
1: 7.692 mm DT or DTM MG
MG - antiaircraft 1: 12.7 mm DShK
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 28
Secondary  
MG 12.7: 350
7.62: 3,024
2,330, 2,631
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 19 - 132, 120, 132
Turret: 100
Hull: 105
Hull Front, Upper 4.3"@0°, 90-120, 120
Hull Front, Lower 90-95
Hull Sides, Upper 3.5"@0°
89 - 90, 90 - 95, 90
Hull Sides, Lower 90
Hull Rear 2"@0°, 60
Hull Top 20 - 30, 25, 30
Hull Bottom 20 - 30, 25
Turret Front 3.9"@0°, 160, 30 - 100, 30 - 102
Turret Sides 3.7"@0°, 160 - 100
Turret Rear 90
Turret Top 30
Engine (Make / Model) V-2-IS
1943: V-2-IS
V-2K
V-2-IS (V2K)
V2-IS
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water
Cylinders V-12, 12
Capacity  
Net HP 513, 600
520@2,000 rpm
Power to weight ratio 11.3 hp/ton, 13 hp/ton
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 8 forward, 2 reverse
2x4 forward, 2 reverse
5 forward, 1 reverse
Sliding mesh
Steering Clutch brake
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Diesel
Octane  
Quantity 217 gallons, 158 gallons + 104 gallons in auxiliary tanks
820 liters
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°
Electric or hand
Speed - Road 23 mph, 25 mph, 27 mph
37 kph
Speed - Cross Country 15 mph
Range - Road 94 miles, 120 miles, 149 miles, 150 miles, 160 miles
130 - 240 km, 150 km, 240 km
Range - Cross Country 130 miles
110 - 125 km, 210 km
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -4° to +20°
Fording depth 4' 3"
1.3 m
Trench crossing 8.1', 8' 2"
2.49 m, 2.5 m, 2.9 m
Vertical obstacle 3' 3"
1 m
Climbing ability 24° slope
Suspension (Type) Torsion Bar
Torsion arm
Wheels each side 6
Return rollers each side 3
Tracks (Type) Cast allow steel, dry pin
Length  
Width 1' 9", 2' 1.5", 2' 1.63"
650 mm
Diameter  
Number of links 87-90
Pitch 6.25"
Tire tread Steel
Track centers/tread 97.25"
  IS-2 1944
Crew 4
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 46 tons
Length w/gun 9.83 m
Length w/o gun 6.77 m
Height 2.73 m
Width 3.07 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 0.46 m
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure 0.8 kp/cm
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 122 mm 1943 D-25 T
Secondary  
MG - coaxial 1: 7.62 mm DT MG
MG - rear turret 1: 7.62 mm DT MG
MG - hull 1: 7.62 mm DT MG
MG - antiaircraft 1: 12.7 mm DSchK 38
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 28
Secondary  
MG 7.62: 2,330
12.7: 250
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper 120-160
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 90
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear 60-90
Hull Top 20-30
Hull Bottom 20-30
Turret Front 100
Turret Sides 90
Turret Rear 60-90
Turret Top 30
Engine (Make / Model) W-2-IS
Bore / stroke 4 stroke
Cooling  
Cylinders V-12
Capacity  
Net HP 600@2,000 rpm
Power to weight ratio 11.3 hp/ton
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Diesel
Octane  
Quantity 800 liters
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°
Speed - Road 37 kph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 150 km
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 1.3 m
Trench crossing 2.5 m
Vertical obstacle 1 m
Climbing ability 30 - 36°
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  
  IS-2 M
Crew 4
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 49.6 tons, 45,000 kg
Length 33' 6", 10.33 m
Height 2.92 m, 9' 6"
Width 3.36 m, 11'
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 122 mm
Secondary  
MG 3: 7.62 mm MG
MG - antiaircraft 12.7 mm AA
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper 120
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 95
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear 60
Hull Top 30
Hull Bottom 30
Turret Front 160
Turret Sides 110
Turret Rear 100
Turret Top 30
Engine (Make / Model)  
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders  
Capacity  
Net HP  
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 37 kph, 23 mph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 155 miles, 149 miles
250 km, 240 km
Range - Cross Country 130 miles
210 km
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  

Sources:

  1. Russian Tanks of World War II Stalin's Armored Might, by Tim Bean & Will Fowler, 2002
  2. Russian Tanks and Armored Vehicles 1917-1945, by Wolfgang Fleischer, 1999
  3. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  4. Panzer Truppen The Complete Guide to the Creation and Combat Employment of Germany's Tank Force 1943-1945, Thomas L. Jentz, 1996
  5. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  6. Airfix Magazine Guide 22 Russian Tanks of World War 2, John Milsom and Steve Zaloga, 1977
  7. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  8. Battle Winning Tanks, Aircraft & Warships of World War II, David Miller, 2000
  9. Russian Armour Volume 1: The IS Tanks IS-1, IS-2, IS-3, Mikhail Baryatinskiy, 2006
  10. Tank Data 2, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, E. J. Hoffschmidt and W. H. Tantum IV, 1969
  11. The Illustrated Guide to Tanks of the World, George Forty, 2006
  12. Armored Fighting Vehicles, 300 of the World's Greatest Military Vehicles, Philip Trewhitt, 1999
  13. World War I and II Tanks, George Forty, 2012
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