With the current World of Tank special on the IS-3, IS-8, and IS-7 in full swing I have decided to write a post reviewing the IS series of tanks. The Iosif Stalin (IS) family of tanks was a series of heavy tanks developed beginning during the second world war. Often written as IS, or “ИС” in Cyrillic, the acronym means Iosif Stalin, or Joseph Stalin; the namesake of the Soviet leader at the time. With first deliveries beginning in October 1943 with the IS-1; this series would go on to see many models including the IS-2, IS-3, IS-4, and IS-10 or T-10 as it was renamed.
Not including foreign operator variants, the IS family included 7 distinct variants including prototypes as well as 4 upgraded IS versions.
IS-85 (IS-1) – Initial 1943 model armed with an 85 mm gun.
IS-100 – A prototype variant armed with a 100 mm gun.
IS-122 (IS-2 model 1943) – 1943 model, armed with an A-19 122 mm gun.
IS-2 model 1944 (or “IS-2m”) -1944 design with D25-T 122 mm gun.
IS-2M – modernization of IS-2 tanks circa the 1950s.
IS-3 – 1944 armour design, internally similar to IS-2 model 1944, and produced concurrently. Roughly 350 built during the war, but did not participate in the war.
IS-3M – Modernization of the IS-3 circa 1952.
IS-4 – 1944 design which competed with the IS-3 design. Roughly 250 built after the war.
IS-6 – A prototype design using an experimental electrical transmission.
IS-7 – 1946 prototype design. The IS-7 model 1948 variant was armed with the 130 mm S-70 naval cannon.
IS-10 – 1952 design; renamed T-10 in the wake of Stalin’s death.
In addition to the USSR, the IS family would see service with the following nations: China, Cuba, Egypt, Nazi Germany, North Korea, Poland, Romania, and South Ossetia. In some cases these nations acquired their IS tanks as prizes of war.
1. “Iosif Stalin tank.” Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 5 May 2013. Web. 5 May 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iosif_Stalin_tank>.
2. Nikiforov, Alexei . “IS-7: the armored wonder?.” PKKA-CA. N.p.. Web. 6 May 2013. <http://pkka.narod.ru/is-7.htm>.
3. “Тяжелый танк ИС-6 » Общественное поисковое объединение «Война-1945».” Общественное поисковое объединение «Война-1945». Поисковое общественное объединение «Война-1945», 18 Apr 2011. Web. 6 May 2013. <http://war1945.ru/domestic-vehicles/518-tyazhelyy-tank-is-6.html>.