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Is-3 Soviet Heavy Tank


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#1 Inhapi

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 1007 AM

Again after just having read the superb book by Kinnaer and Sewell about the T-10 tank and variants: they state that the IS-3 had many faults:

 

Main ones were the engines shaking loose from their foundations, the turret armour cracking and horrible ergonomics. Almost all IS-3's were rebuilt, most of them immediately after coming of the production lines. Were these problems ever fully solved (i guess the ergonomics not) ? Was the IS III ever a fully operational and combat capable (for its weight class) battle tank ?

 

It seems 100 were given to Egypt. How did they fare against IDF forces ?  Was this a way to give them a status symbol, but quite useless (For the Soviet Union) tank ?

 

From those give to Egypt, some were capured and modifed by the IDF. are there any reports from this ? What about the former Aberdeen proving grounds IS-3 ? any reports on this one ? Where is it now ?

 

The IS-2 IMHO seems to have been a better tank over all. I guess with some improvements it could have been a much better heavy tank and used far more and longer post war (also by allies) than the IS-3, or am i mistaken in this ?

 

I am sorry for asking so many questions, but after reading such an informative book, the extra knowledge you get also raises new questions....

 

thanks,

 

Inhapi


Edited by Inhapi, 08 March 2018 - 1741 PM.

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#2 KV7

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 1123 AM

Again after just having read the superb book by Kinnaer and Sewell about the T10 tank and variants: they state that the IS III had many faults:

 

Main ones were the engines shaking loose from their foundations, the turret armour cracking and horrible ergonomics. Almost all IS III's were rebuilt, most of them immediately after coming of the production lines. Were these problems ever fully solved (i guess the ergonomics not) ? Was the IS III ever a fully operational and combat capable (for its weight class) battle tank ?

 

It seems 100 were given to Egypt. How did they fare against IDF forces ?  Was this a way to give them a status symbol, but quite useless (For the Soviet Union) tank ?

 

From those give to Egypt, some were capured and modifed by the IDF. are there any reports from this ? What about the former Aberdeen proving grounds JSIII ? any reports on this one ? Where is it now ?

 

The IS 2 IMHO seems to have been a better tank over all. I guess with some improvements it could have been a much better heavy tank and used far more and longer post war (also by allies) than the IS III, or am i mistaken in this ?

 

I am sorry for asking so many questions, but after reading such an informative books, the extra knowledge you get also raises new questions....

 

thanks,

 

Inhapi

I think it would have been somewhat useful in its intended role of a heavy tank till effective HEAT ammunition appears (IS-2 quickly has too little armor for this role) but the T-10 really was a big improvement, being practically immune to US AT weapons over the frontal arc for some time.


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#3 alejandro_

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 1650 PM

Almost all IS III's were rebuilt, most of them immediately after coming of the production lines. Were these problems ever fully solved (i guess the ergonomics not) ? Was the IS III ever a fully operational and combat capable (for its weight class) battle tank ?

It was operational, but it was a WW2 design. Originally Army wanted IS-4 but it was too expensive. IS-3 was more like a modernisation of IS-2.

 


The IS 2 IMHO seems to have been a better tank over all. I guess with some improvements it could have been a much better heavy tank and used far more and longer post war (also by allies) than the IS III, or am i mistaken in this ?

The problem with IS-2 was that the armour in the turret could not be improved. In terms of reliability, they were similar. Warsaw Pact did not use either it for long. and it was retired when T-54s became available.
 

From those give to Egypt, some were capured and modifed by the IDF. are there any reports from this ? What about the former Aberdeen proving grounds JSIII ? any reports on this one ? Where is it now

There is not much information. Around 100 IS-3/3M were received. Most served with the 125 Tank Brigade (70 vehicles) and the rest with the 7th Infantry Division. After the 67 war Israel captured around 40, while the total losses for Egypt were 70. Israeli Army used them in pillboxed until ammunition ran out.

In combat they caused quite a few casualties to Granit Task Force. Advantages and disadvantages are well known. It offered good armour, but ROF was lower. FCS had not been modernised, and the vehicles were not adapted for desert use. In any case the real issue was crew training.

 

Perhaps the moderators or inhapi could change the title to "IS-3 Soviet heavy tank" or something that can be searched more easily in the future?


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#4 Inhapi

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 1739 PM

Sorry, i have no idea how to change the topic's title.

 

According to Kinnaer and Sewell, the IS-4 suffered also from reliability issues and was never satisfactory in service. It was only produced in limited numbers as a stop gap until something better came along. (and that something better not weighing 68 tons )

 

Inhapi.


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#5 alejandro_

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 1752 PM

According to Kinnaer and Sewell, the IS-4 suffered also from reliability issues and was never satisfactory in service. It was only produced in limited numbers as a stop gap until something better came along. (and that something better not weighing 68 tons )

 

Yes, the vehicle was too heavy for Soviet infraestructure, along with other issues. T-10 came to put some order into the situation.


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#6 alejandro_

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 1408 PM

IS-3 in Red Square parade:

 

preview_cc4c47e9b225b8953e453cae28484f48


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#7 Mighty_Zuk

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 1426 PM

Here's one in a parade in Israel:

 

%D7%90%D7%9C%D7%9D%20%D7%A2%D7%99%D7%93%


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#8 Jim Warford

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 2154 PM

IS-3M%20Tanks%20In%20Egypt_1956_1_1.jpg

IS-3Ms on parade in Cairo...

IS-3M%20Egyptian%20Army_Parade_2.jpg

Captured IS-3Ms on parade in Israel...

IS-3M%20Captured%20from%20Egypt_IDF_1.jp

Used in a static defensive position on the Bar-Lev Line...

IS-3M_Bar-Lev%20Line_IDF_1_1.jpg
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#9 Ken Estes

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 1545 PM

The Cuban Army reportedly operated IS-2s.

 

IS-3 ergonomics remained a horror, especially for the loader and driver IMO.

 

IS-3/4 were used finally as pillboxes in the Kurile Is. and Russian borders facing China.

 

Otherwise I would not doubt some IS-3 remained in USSR depot storage until CFE Treaty inspections caused their scrapping.


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#10 Jim Warford

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 2233 PM

Here's some info from another thread regarding the Egyptian IS-3Ms during the Six Day War...

...here's some more info about who in the IDF had M48A3 (105mm) tanks in 1967 (Google Translate):

"One of the cases that I have dealt with until recently is the story of the medal of Shalom Ein Gal, commander of a company in the Armored Corps that fought in the framework of the division of Major General Tal in the northern sector. The company, which was the only company of the M48 A3, with a 105mm cannon with a diesel engine, was hit by the 3 Egyptian tanks that were the heaviest tanks in the world, and with proper fire management and attack, the company of the Egyptian tanks was fortified with firepower 3 had 122mm cannons) and destroyed them. On his first day of fighting, Maj. Gen. Yisrael Tal said: "His move, with a single company, contributed enormously to the decision of this entire campaign of the first day."

Major General Tal, who examined this particular battle in detail as he was used to doing, came to the field, searched and found the shoes of the armor piercing shells of the Patton tanks, and thus could have determined scientifically and unequivocally that the company of Ein Gal had destroyed the stalinists. Ein Gal was the only one in the IDF with a 105mm cannon so there was no doubt about the company's "responsibility" for its unique combat capability. As a token of appreciation, Major General Tal gave Shalom Gal and Atlas two shoes with a dedication plaque that read:

"Lieutenant Atlas - An authentic shoe to commemorate the destruction of the Stalinists in the Six-Day War; Israel Tal, General Commander of the Armored Corps - October 1967."


Here's a partial description of the battle...while the "Stalin/3" Battalion was ultimately destroyed, the IDF M48 companies clearly lost a number of tanks...some of which were 105mm-armed M48A3s:

Tanks%20of%20Tammuz_IS-3M%20Battle_1967_
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#11 Jim Warford

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Posted 17 August 2018 - 2302 PM

Translated by Google Translate:

IS-3M_IDF%20Parade_1968_1.jpg
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#12 Wiedzmin

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Posted 18 August 2018 - 0713 AM

IS-3Ms on parade in Cairo...



Captured IS-3Ms on parade in Israel...



Used in a static defensive position on the Bar-Lev Line...
 

this is not IS-3M, IS-3 after UKN programm, but not 3M

 

Tankfest2018part2-105-X3.jpg

IS-3M front

is-3m-p001.jpg

IS-3M rear 


Edited by Wiedzmin, 18 August 2018 - 0722 AM.

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#13 Inhapi

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Posted 25 August 2018 - 0621 AM

 

IS-3Ms on parade in Cairo...



Captured IS-3Ms on parade in Israel...



Used in a static defensive position on the Bar-Lev Line...
 

this is not IS-3M, IS-3 after UKN programm, but not 3M

 

Tankfest2018part2-105-X3.jpg

IS-3M front

is-3m-p001.jpg

IS-3M rear 

 

 

I've seen that exact tank when it was still on display in Brussels....never found out how the Belgians had managed to get hold of one of these.


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#14 alejandro_

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Posted 25 August 2018 - 1247 PM

Bovington tank museum has published the details:

 

Mid-1988, the period of President Gorbachevs Glasnost and Prestroika, two volunteers of the armour section of the Belgian Royal Military Museum turned to the embassy of the USSR in Brussels with questions for a new painting scheme for the T34/85. Upon discussion they learned that the Soviets were willing to donate two armoured vehicles to the Museum on the condition that they would be received with full ceremony by the Belgian Minister of Defense. 

 

On 8 September 1989, the Soviet Ro-Ro ship Mekhanik Konovalov arrived at the port of Antwerp with a IS-3M “Pike” tank and a ISU-152 “Beast Killer” SP on board.

 

They had been thoroughly checked, repainted and completed at the Tank Factory N° 177 in Kiev (Ukraine). Chief Engineer Colonel Vladimir Mazin and two technicians accompanied the armoured vehicles to give driving lessons and technical instruction to the Belgian museum volunteers at the Field Artillery Training School in Brasschaat, near Antwerp. 

The IS3-M and the ISU-152 had every  single item on board, in full working order: machine guns, radios, optics, down to the crew overalls and field uniforms

 

On 2 October the formal handing-over ceremony took place at the square of the Cinquantenaire Park, where the museum is located. Army General (Armoured Corps) Yevgeni F. Ivanovsky, Inspector General of the Soviet Armed Forces represented the USSR and presented the vehicles to Belgian MOD Guy Coeme

 

 

https://www.tankmuse...ws/bovnews64106


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#15 Chris Werb

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Posted 25 August 2018 - 1416 PM

 

 

Perhaps the moderators or inhapi could change the title to "IS-3 Soviet heavy tank" or something that can be searched more easily in the future?

 

 

Done :)


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#16 Jim Warford

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Posted 25 August 2018 - 2225 PM

Video from Tankfest...


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#17 Jim Warford

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Posted 25 August 2018 - 2244 PM

I think it's past time to reconsider the IS-3/IS-3M...like the renaissance surrounding the M4 Sherman in recent years, the IS-3/IS-3M deserves more appreciation than it's been given over the years. It's surprising appearance in the Berlin parade at the end of WWII is significant for a variety of reason, including the fact that it basically fired the first salvo in the defining "action-reaction" tank development process of the Cold War. For years after that initial appearance, it still had to be considered in any discussion regarding tank development or potential conflict with Soviet/Warsaw Pact forces.

Research I've conducted regarding the Six-Day War has only confirmed that the deficiencies normally associated with the IS-3/IS-3M while significant, were not show-stoppers. On the contrary, it's performance during that war was both impressive and successful. Israeli accounts confirm that it was truly a feared opponent. In addition to the widely publicized reports about large numbers of IS-3s captured by the IDF, and so many being out-maneuvered by the more mobile Israeli forces, the presence of the IS-3/IS-3M was considered a significant problem by the Israelis. In one case, the Israelis changed their plan of attack to specifically avoid these Egyptian heavy tanks. Reports also confirm that IDF tanks including Israeli M48s with both 90mm and 105mm main guns, were destroyed by IS-3/IS-3Ms.

Clearly, the IS-3/IS-3M deserves more recognition than it normally gets...

IS-3M_Live-fire%20Testing_IDF_1_2.jpg
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#18 Chris Werb

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Posted 26 August 2018 - 0859 AM

When I saw the IS-3 and ISU-152 at the Belgian Army museum 20 years ago they were both out in the rain and looking very sorry for themselves. It's great to see them restored and running.

 


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#19 shep854

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Posted 26 August 2018 - 1030 AM

Even though they didnt penetrate, those hits had to be classed as emotionally significant events. 😳
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#20 Jim Warford

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Posted 26 August 2018 - 2125 PM

Even though they didnt penetrate, those hits had to be classed as emotionally significant events.


Shep; my understanding is that the series of pics showing 105mm impacts on a IS-3M (which this one is a part), are the results of live-fire testing in Israel. I'd love to see some actual BDA photos from the fighting in the Six-Day War...if any are out there...
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