Soviet heavy tank “IS-1”

The Soviet heavy tank “IS-1” was developed in the second half of 1942. in the KB Chelyabinsk Kirov factory. The KV-13 was taken as a basis, on the basis of which the IS-1 and IS-2 heavy tanks were later developed, and with differences of tanks they beat their weapons. The task of creating a tank was the creation of a breakthrough tank with the speed of an average T-34 tank and not exceeding the dimensions of the KV-85. And at the same time it was necessary to improve the performance and eliminate the shortcomings of existing tanks in service. The reason for the development of new tanks was due to the appearance on the front of new German tanks “Tiger”.

“IS-1” – a series of heavy Soviet tanks, produced in the period from 1943 to 1953. The name “IP” is an abbreviation of the person in whose honor they were named – Joseph Stalin. A total of 8 models were released, each of which has its own distinctive characteristics.

In the autumn the project was completed, and in the summer of 1943. The first sample of the heavy tank “IS-1” was ready. The new tank differed from the HF by the increased armor protection of the turret, the hull and the optimal angles of the armor plates. In January 1944, the last 40 pieces of Is-1 left the shops of the Chelyabinsk Kirov Plant, after which modernized heavy IS-2 tanks went into production.

From the German side, the heavy guns of the “IS-1” used the “Artshturm 2” assault guns (StuG 40) to effectively use their 85 mm guns from a distance of no more than 400,600 meters, when their armor was no longer an armor-piercing barrier. shells guns “Tigers”, “Panther” and assault guns. Self-propelled installations “Ferdinand” and “Nashorn” could hit a new Soviet tank from a distance of 2000 m and more. Even the most massive German anti-tank gun of that time, the RAC 40, successfully cracked down the IC, firing from a distance of 500,800 meters on the sides and turret of the tank. Under these conditions, the first requirement was to equip the IS tank with a powerful artillery system, which the GFCS demanded several times from the NKV.

Baptism of fire:

One of the first to join the battle was the 13th Guards Heavy Panzer Tank Regiment. February 15, 1944, having in its composition 21 tanks “IS”, he arrived in the area Fastov – Belaya Tserkov. After the march, the regiment received the task of supporting the attack of the 109th tank brigade on the village of Lisyanka, for which the company commander assigned a company – five tanks of the IS. By the time of its entry into battle, the last T 34 109 th tank brigade, attacking Lisyanka in the forehead, had been hit by “panthers” and anti-tank and assault guns of the Germans. Having let the “IS-1” at a distance of 600–800 m, German tanks and self-propelled guns opened heavy fire and within 10 minutes they destroyed all of our heavy vehicles, while two of them were burned. Each tank received from 3 to 7 hits. The next day D. Lisyanka was surrounded and taken. In it, 16 “Panthers”, two Pz.IV and two assault guns were abandoned without fuel.

On March 5, 1944, the 15th IS-1 of the 13th Guards Heavy Tank Regiment of the Breakthrough supported the attack of the 50th Tank Brigade on Uman. During the battle, five tanks were hit by fire 88 mm anti-aircraft guns, three cars were out of order for technical reasons, and one fell from the bridge near the village of Colonel and overturned. A rather rare case occurred here as well: the lower frontal sheet of one ISA struck a heavy German anti-tank rifle s.Pz.B.41, which had a 28/20 mm conical barrel.

The first recorded collision of the “IS-1” with the “tigers” occurred on March 4, 1944 near the town of Starokonstantinov in Ukraine in the course of the Proskurov-Chernivtsi offensive operation. The 1st Guards Heavy Tank Regiment of the Breakthrough (Commander – Lieutenant Colonel N.I. Bulanov) engaged in combat with a company of heavy tanks “Tiger” of the 503rd Heavy Tank Battalion. During an exchange of fire in poor visibility conditions, from a distance of 1500–1800 m, one IS was damaged and three were damaged, but were subsequently repaired. With the return fire “IS-1” in one “Tiger” they damaged the cannon, and in the other – the undercarriage. On March 16, the “tigers”, having opened fire from an ambush, shot down four “IS-1s”, two of which were burned down together with the crews. A little earlier, on March 8, two IS-1s from 150–200 m were shot with 75 mm camouflaged assault guns. One tank received 8 hits, the other – 4.

As a result of these battles, the conclusion of the GBTU about the discrepancy between the IS-1 weapons and its reservation to the similar indicators of German heavy tanks appeared. It recommended changing the shape and booking of the frontal part of the hull and strengthening the armament of the IP tanks, as already mentioned above. The surviving documents of those years suggest that of the total number of manufactured heavy tanks of this type, exactly 100 units took part in the battles. Another six tanks were sent to the higher officer tank schools – two cars each. One tank was on trial at the Kubinka range. By the end of the war, 37 operational tanks of the IS 85 remained operational. Another 37 in April 1945 were written off due to normal wear and tear, since the mileage of each of them exceeded 2000 km.

In the game World of Tanks, the Soviet heavy tank “IS-1” is located at level 7 and belongs to the nation of the USSR. Although the armor of this model does not have high performance, but this is fully compensated by maneuverability and rather high mobility for its class. Due to all its weapons, the tank can inflict fairly substantial damage to its opponents, but you should not send it to the assault, because high armor penetration is not included in the advantages of this model. On the forehead of the case there is a 60-mm detail, which significantly reduces the protection of the tank and is one of the weakest and least protected places.

When upgrading to the installation offers several options for guns. Each of them will be most useful for different styles of play. 100mm D-10T will suit those who are used to quickly and often attacking the enemy. Ammunition is relatively cheap, the gun has a high rate of fire and accuracy, but does little damage. The 122-mm D-25T is inferior in reloading and firing speeds to the D-10T, but significantly surpasses its strength. It is not very precise, but it can take a solid amount of strength from the enemy. The disadvantages of weapons can be called a low speed of information and the spread of mixing. Therefore, it is more comfortable to shoot at close ranges. Another drawback is the declination of the gun, is 5 degrees, because of this, it is difficult to play from the relief and you have to open the weak points of the tank “IS-1”.

Heavy Soviet tank “IS-1” can reach speeds of up to 34 kilometers per hour. For this type of tank it is quite acceptable, but you shouldn’t rush into battle or strive to change the flank, the speed of movement is unlikely to allow you to do it imperceptibly. In addition to all the many weak spots in the front of the hull will be an excellent target for the enemy. A low survey of 350 meters would rather allow enemy tanks to strike faster than the heavy Soviet tank IS-1 would notice and hit back. Without the support of light Allied tanks, pushing the flank is very difficult if you are in an open area.