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[Client Values; Actual values in
|11301230 HP Hit Points|
|44.88/47.546.23/48.4 t Weight Limit|
- Commander (Radio Operator)
|600700 hp Engine Power|
|34/14 km/h Speed Limit|
|3235 deg/s Traverse|
|13.3715.14 hp/t Power/Wt Ratio|
|120/90/60 mm Hull Armor|
|100/90/90100/90/90 mm Turret Armor|
|160/160/280390/390/530 HP Damage|
|120/161/43175/217/61 mm Penetration|
|r/m 12.24 r/m 4.88 Rate of Fire|
See here, here, or here for more information.
See here, here, or here for more information.
See here, here, or here for more information.
See here, here, or here for more information.
▲1903.2 Damage Per Minute
With 50% Crew: 0.57 m
With 50% Crew: 0.57 m
|s 2.9 s 3.4 Aim time|
|3828 deg/s Turret Traverse|
|360° Gun Arc|
|-5°/+22°-6°/+25° Elevation Arc|
|6828 rounds Ammo Capacity|
|1512 % Chance of Fire|
|m 330 m 350 View Range|
|m 440 m 625 Signal Range|
The IS-1 (IS-85) heavy tank was a thorough modernization of the KV-1. The tank featured the 85-mm D-5T gun. The IS-1 entered mass production in October 1943, but work was discontinued at the beginning of 1944, as the IS-2 (IS-122) tank entered mass production in December 1943. A total of 107 vehicles were manufactured.
It is the first of the Iosef Stalin class tanks available to the player. The IS represents both the IS-1 and the early model IS-2. The IS can be researched from the KV-85 or from the KV-13, which is sometimes is used as an easy grind bridge. The stock tank is the IS-1, equipped with the 85mm gun also available on the KV-85. The IS is a continuation of the KV-85 and will thus feel very similar in terms of agility and speed. When equipped with a 122mm gun, it technically becomes an IS-2, which will feel much more potent when engaging other heavies. Like most Soviet heavy tanks, the IS fares much better engaging enemies at close range where the IS can hug cover and back off when it is reloading. Thus, the IS is better for maps such as Himmelsdorf where there are mostly close-quarters fighting and no big open areas. The frontal armor on the IS is decent enough to bounce a lot of shots from lower tiers and is surprisingly bouncy even towards other tier 7 tanks and higher tier tanks if you angle the tank properly. Play this tank smartly, hit your enemy, pull back to reload and hit your enemy again. You will find yourself doing massive amounts of damage to the enemy and if you play this tank properly, you can really help your team a lot.
Modules / Available Equipment and Consumables
|Turret||Turret Armor (front/sides/rear)
|Turret Traverse Speed
|Chance of Fire on Impact
Pros and Cons
- The 122 mm D-25T gun packs a great punch with a decent reload time
- Very mobile for a heavy tank, especially with the upgraded engine. Agile enough to act as a decent flanker in emergencies.
- Improved Hull armor thickness and Layout versus the KV-85, is also slightly lower to the ground.
- Very dangerous at close range, especially town maps when equipped with either 122mm gun.
- Potentially effective support tank in higher tier matches, as long as it can land shots.
- Poor gun handling and accuracy. Second worst penetration for tier 7 heavy tank
- Awful stock grind as different 100mm gun on the KV-85. Priority target if top tier
- With stock turret and 100mm D10T mounted, the ammo capacity is only 35, so each shot must be carefully used.
- Shares the same Cupola weak spot and fuel tank vulnerability as the KV-85. Driver and Gunner are vulnerable.
- Expensive ammo on 122mm guns. Cannot angle the armour, as this will expose the shoulders of the front hull.
In comparison with the KV-3, the design philosophy for the IS shifted somewhat away from heavy armor plating towards increased mobility. As a result, the IS is one of the more maneuverable heavy tanks. The stock 85mm gun is a joke and should be replaced as soon as possible. Against equal or higher tier enemies, most players play the IS as if it was a medium tank and supporting friendly heavy tanks that have heavier armor. While not quite fast enough to flank enemy tanks on a regular basis, this tank is terrific for "peek-a-boom" maneuvers from behind cover. On paper the stats for the second 122mm gun don't appear much better than the first 122mm, but the increased firing rate often makes the difference between dying and getting that last kill shot in on the enemy you're facing. Against higher tier heavy tanks and tank destroyers, the 122's impressive damage is often greatly reduced by the enemy's armor, if it penetrates at all. In these situations, switch to a target with weaker armor if possible. Many low tier tanks fear the IS due to its capability to one shot some lower tier tanks. It has one of the highest "Fear Factors" among the tier 7 heavies (Tied with the Chinese IS-2).
For a more medium tank play-style (being somewhat of a heavy medium anyway) using the 100mm "1D10T" D10T gun might be preferential. It does do less alpha damage then the 122's, but it has a good rate of fire, better accuracy and a better aim time, making a great scout-killer gun that can also engage at longer range then the 122's. Be aware that the T-44 tier 8 medium uses a similar gun as its top gun, a tier higher. Also, the credit cost per round is only a quarter that of the 122's, making it more profitable to use, which in turn makes grinding more enjoyable. However, many more experienced players regard its use as a bad habit, as while it may be good for grinding out credits, it instills a play-style that is not suitable as preparation for later tanks.All higher tanks use guns that have essentially the same style as the 122 mm's. If you don't like those guns, then heavy tanks probably aren't your thing, and you should grind out a medium line. However, it is recommended for the grind towards the IS-3 for the more trigger-happy, as the far lower cost per round will allow you make credits much easier. In a Tier IX game, using the 100mm gun may seem like poor choice. The epitome of IS game-play based off the 122mm's alpha, allowing you to play peek-a-boom and survive longer. However, its poor accuracy may render the tank effectively useless at range, with insuficent penetration to deal with enemy armour while unable to hit weakspots without exposing the tank for a dangerosuly long time, whereas the 100 mm gun can be used to target weakspots even when taking snapshots.
However, for those who stick to the course of the 122mm guns, the higher tier of the two, especially with a 100% crew and tank gun rammer, can easily be seen as a pre-9.4 KV-1S, and KV-85 skilled operator's heaven. The gun takes about 11 seconds to reload with these modifiers in place. Very few heavy tanks with similar guns will be able to fire as quickly as you can, save for the Tiger specifically. Despite the below average penetration, the IS, with the D-25T mounted, can still lay down some serious hurt. It will almost feel as though you are driving the KV-85 if you used the 100mm S-34 (Though with roughly several seconds longer reload time), but is overall considerably improved. The IS has astronomically more useful gun depression compared to the KV-85, and packs a greater alpha punch with the D-25T, which can land damage values of up to nearly 500, and often. Because of the decent reload speed, it is also viable to switch to different rounds without as high of a risk as it was when using the 122mm on the KV-85.
Yet another thing to note, is that the IS does not lose any of the agility at all from the KV-85. In fact, with the top engine, the IS enjoys an additional 100 horsepower, which improves acceleration, its ability to hold its top speed, and its speed when going up inclines. The IS can also turn its hull 5 degrees faster than the KV-85, allowing it to react more quickly. You do have the same top speed as the KV-85, but you are slightly lighter, can turn faster, hit hard frequently, and can actually bounce tier VIII rounds frequently with the right angling. The only major flaw with the IS' 122mm guns is the horrible accuracy, and that the penetration remains the same from tier 6, 175mm, which proves less effective at tier VII, where the IS sits. However, the IS is more nimble than the KV-85 for a reason.
When in tier VII matches, you can subjugate the opposing teams tanks with your punishing blows and rapid fire, especially against those that ignore the threat you pose, make them regret it. Yet keep in mind that you are not in any way shape or form invincible, as you may have felt sometimes in the KV-1 in tier V matches. Keep in cover if there are SPGs present, and do not expose your tank and receive loads of damage. Be careful of more agile medium and light tanks, you may be fast, but they are faster, and most can put several shots into for each you put into them. The Peek-a-Boom tactic makes the IS in tier VII a very formidable opponent especially, even against tanks like the T29 and Tiger, which the D-25T will have no trouble penetrating if you know where to shoot. Just remember that the abysmal accuracy of the 122 will make hitting a target at even a decent range rough. When rounding a corner of a building, make sure to completely clear your turret of the corner or your round will hit the building next to you and even splash-damage yourself!
The same can be relatively said for tier VIII matches, but you should not spearhead pushes. Although you are still relatively able to compete against tier 8s, tier 8 is where the devious Waffentrager Borsig, imposing T34, frustratingly bouncy IS-6 and other tanks lurk. If you get out in the open with any of such tanks present, you will melt, and fast. Yet on the other side of that coin, the IS still has one ace up its sleeve: its agility. When given the opportunity, use the speed of your tank to quickly jump behind a front and put a shot or two into the back or side of an opposing tank, but duck back into the shadows as soon as their guns begin to turn toward you. The latter play style is almost a necessity if you are unlucky enough to find yourself in a tier IX match. However do not get discouraged, you still have enough gun power to pull an upset or two on a front, or because a complete breakdown of a front for the enemy. If your gun can land a penetrating shot from a flanking move, odds are others, fast mediums or lights, will follow in. In essence, you can be seen as playing the role of a trailblazer at tier IX matches, just make sure you do not get on the business end of a tier IX heavy or TD's gun. In any of these cases, as long as there are other tier VIIs to put the beat down on, focusing on them when you can should do enough to help push your team forward toward victory. At any of these tiers, Although it is strongly not recommended, if you are able to get off shots on targets a medium-long distance away, the not-too-shabby accuracy of the D-25T will enable you to land some shots at these ranges, but do not depend on sniping, and when a front nearby is faltering, turn your focus upon it where your 122mm will land shots easily at close distance.
Overall the IS can be a fun and interesting tank to play, especially if you understand where enemy tanks are weakest and when to pounce on opportunities when they arise.
- Unfortunately the only usable module that carries over from the KV-85 is the 122 mm D-2-5T gun, and it is not immediately usable, so you have to fight stock for a while (unless you have unlocked the 85 mm D5T-85BM or 100 mm D10T via the medium line). The engine may also be unlocked from the ISU-152 TD line.
- Your first step should be to research the 2nd turret (if you have not done so already) in order to mount the 122 mm D-2-5T (the 1st 122mm). Alternatively you could research the 100 mm D10T.
- Next the tracks are good for the increased traverse speed and because the engine costs so much more, it also helps to slightly improve overall agility.
- Go from there.
- Note the V-2-54IS engine, the 12RT radio, and the 122 mm D-25T gun are also upgrades on the IS-3, the more you research here, the better later, as many modules will carry over.
Development and Preliminary Design
In the beginning of Operation Barbarossa, the KV was the Soviet's Heavy tank. German tanks of the time had difficulties engaging it, but after the Tiger appeared, the heavy KV proved inadequate. The tank was heavy, but poorly armed with the same gun as the much more mobile T-34 medium tank. Thus, a replacement was ordered. N.V. Tseits, recently released from a GULag, was appointed head designer of the new project.
The project first led to the KV-13 universal tank, which was supposed to have medium weight and heavy protection, with both turret and hull protected by cast armor. By sacrificing internal space, consumption of materials were minimized for a given armor protection, following instructions of the State Defense Committee's decree of 1942. The KV-13 was equipped with a 600hp engine, capable of reaching speeds up to 55 km/h, and used parts from both the T-34 and the KV. However, acceleration was poor and the tank suffered severe reliability problems. Despite improvements, the Soviet military lost interest in the project.
Despite this, the Experimental Tank Factory continued research and testing, led by N.F. Shamshuring after the death of Tseits. The design was now more based on the KV-1S. After the appearance of the German heavy Tiger tanks, the speed of development was increased and orders were placed for two Iosef Stalin (IS) prototypes, based on the design of the KV-13. One of the prototypes, the IS-1 (factory designation: Object No.233), was armed with a 76.2mm gun, the other, the IS-2 (factory designation: Object No.234) was armed with the 122mm U-11 howitzer. Both tanks had better armor protection, a higher speed and equal or better armament than the KV-1S. Problems with the engine and transmission were solved while factories prepared for the production of the new vehicles.
After the first data about the German Tiger tank became available, it turned out that the 85mm AA-gun 52-K model 1939 was the most effective against its armor. It could penetrate the 100mm frontal armor from 1000m. New 85mm guns based on the 52-K model were developed, the D-5T gun ultimately being the chosen gun for further development. The IS-1 was ordered into production, together with an order for the development of an IS with a 122mm gun, based on the 122mm Field Cannon A-19 Model 1931, which proved to be the most effective anti-tank gun in the battle of Kursk. During tests, the 122mm was able to throw a Panther several meters back with a penetrating shot in its side armor. Other tests were done with a 100mm gun, but this gun was not available in large numbers and ultimately scrapped.
The first IS-1s (85mm) were produced in October 1943, the first IS-2s (122mm) in December. Production of the IS-1 was quickly stopped in January 1944, in favor of the IS-2. Only 107 IS-1s would be produced.
In combat, the 122mm with regular sharp-nosed APHE ammunition, did not prove to be very effective against Tigers (penetration from 1200 meters) and the sloped Panthers (penetration from 600-700 meters). Soviet designers noticed that the blunt-nosed HE ammunition was much more effective against sloped armor. It caused cracking of the armor and could tear off the whole front armor plate at the seam weld. However, in 1944 the problems of the APHE round also disappeared as the German tanks decreased in armor quality due to lack of materials and the Soviet ammunition improved in quality. The IS-2 also improved in quality: from 1944 onwards, the front armor was tempered to a very high hardness, leading to better protection, but higher production costs.
Despite this, the armor protection of the IS-2 was still lower than expected: a Soviet 76.2 mm Gun ZiS-3 could penetrate it from all sides at a distance of 600-700 meters. Not all shots penetrated, but the impacts also caused armor splintering and fragmentation inside the turret. As a result, many many ISs were lost during the winter and spring of 1944. Further modifications meant the German 88mm guns could not penetrate its front armor at point-blank range from an angle of 30 degrees. The turret could not be further modified. The 122mm already caused major imbalances (as the turret was designed for the 85mm gun) and increased armor would result in even more problems. Some smaller improvements to the turret led to an AA-gun and an improved periscope.
Soviet tank doctrine focused on only two tanks, the Medium T-34 tank and successors, and the Heavy IS-2 tank. In total 3,483 IS-2s and 107 IS-1s were produced. Afterwards, production shifted to its successors, the IS-3 and IS-4.
The IS-2 tank was designed as a breakthrough tank and proved very effective during the course of the war. The separate breakthrough regiments, previously equipped with KV tanks, could field the new tanks from February 1944 onwards, receiving the "Guards" status in the process. Each regiment of 375 men in total consisted of 21 tanks (4 companies of 5 tanks and a commander tank), a SMG infantry company (riding on the tank), an anti-aircraft battery, a sapper platoon, a medical platoon, and a signal platoon.
The tank crew was, due to formations of new regiments, partly inexperienced. Each tank had four crew members: two lieutenants (the tank commander and the driver) and two sergeants (the loader and the gunner). The big disadvantage of this setup was that the tank commander had a secondary task: operating the radio. This meant that he could not fully concentrate on the battlefield.
The new tanks first saw action on February 15, 1944, during the Korsun-Shevcheskovsk Operation. 5 IS-1 tanks were ordered to help the 109th tank brigade in the assault on Lisyanka village in Ukraine. When the Soviet tanks approached within 600-700 meters, the Germans opened fire and knocked out all Soviet tanks. However, the village was captured the next day.
The first IS versus Tiger battle occurred on the first of March 1944. 1 IS-1 was destroyed and two were crippled after the German Tigers opened fire at a distance of 1500 to 1800 meters. Two Tiger tanks were damaged. More IS-1s were damaged by artillery and field guns and as a result, the Soviet military demanded higher armor quality and the cancellation of the 85mm gun.
The IS-2 was more successful. The 72nd regiment took part in fighting near Obertin between April 20 and May 10 and destroyed 41 Tiger I and Ferdinand tanks (it should be noted, however, that all German tank destroyers were labeled Ferdinand by the Soviets, most likely the Ferdinands were Stug IIIs in reality). Only 8 IS-2s were lost in the battle.
The Tiger II and the IS-2 only met on a few occasions. Generally this encounters resulted in high losses on both sides. The first and most successful battle happened between a single IS-2 and 7 King Tigers. The IS-2 ambushed the Tiger IIs and destroyed three of them. The other four retreated.
However, the main task of the IS-2 was not tank versus tank combat. The tank was especially potent against soft targets with its 25 kg HE shells. The appearance of the IS-2 meant the Soviets were now able to break through enemy lines defended by bunkers and AT-guns. At the very end of the war, the IS-2 was successful as a breakthrough tank in the Battle of Berlin, as it was able to destroy buildings with a single shot. At that point in the war, the main enemy of the IS-2 was not the Panther or King Tiger, but infantry with Panzerschrecks or Panzerfausts. 70% of the IS-2s destroyed in that battle were destroyed with these kind of weapons.
IS-2 After The War
In May 1945, production of the IS-2 stopped in favor of the new IS-3. However, the IS-2 was used until the 1970s by the Soviet, Chinese, and North Korean army. The last time the IS-2 was used was during training in 1982, but the vehicle was only definitely scrapped in the 1990s.
During the later stages of the war, the IS series was a primary Soviet tank, mainly used to break through enemy lines. It was the first Soviet tank that was able to face a Tiger or King Tiger one on one. In that role, it did not only have tactical value, but also acted as the model for the turn of the war. Soviet morale received a boost after the employment of these tanks.
The IS-2 was on paper a Heavy tank, but it was more mobile and agile than its predecessor, the KV. Internal space was sacrificed for performance and cost saving.
The IS-2 was the main tank in the final battle on the Soviet front, the Battle of Berlin. It proved to be an excellent fighter in the streets of the German capital.
Armament in turret
Armor (carbon steel)
Power to weight ratio
Maximum speed (km/h)
Total Weight (metric tons)
Roadwheels per side
Number of support points
Track Width (mm)
Track Pitch (mm)
Track Links per side
Track length (m)
Track contact length (m)
Support length (m)
Ground Pressure (kg/cm2)
Ground Clearance (mm)
|IS-1||107||85mm D-5T||59||2,520||60-160mm||4||W-2-IS V-12||600||14.1 hp/t||37||800||150||8-speed||Clutch brake||8.56||3.07||2.73||-||44||6||1-2-2-1||3||-||-||Steel||650||159||87-90||-||4.3||-||0.78||460|
|IS-2||3,483||122mm D-25T||28||2,520||60-160mm||4||W-2-IS V-12||600||11.3 hp/t||37||800||150||8-speed||Clutch brake||8.83||3.07||2.73||-||46||6||1-2-2-1||3||-||-||Steel||650||159||87-90||-||4.3||-||0.8||460|