Monday 3 August 2015

Ogledow Combat Diary

"Report on combat action of the 71st Independent Guards Heavy Tank Regiment from July 14th to August 31st, 1944


Enemy losses from July 14th to August 31st, 1944:
  • Burned:
    • Tiger tanks: 4
    • King Tiger tanks: 4
    • Panther tanks: 3
    • Ferdinand SPGs: 1
    • 128 mm SPGs: 1
    • APCs: 3
  • Knocked out:
    • Tiger: 1
    • King Tiger: 2
    • Panther: 3
Guns of various caliber: 23
Machinegun nests: 22
Enemy soldiers and officers: 600

Regiment losses:
IS-122 tanks burned: 3
IS-122 tanks knocked out: 7. Of those 3 were repaired at the regiment and 4 sent to a repair base.

Officers: 3, including regiment commander Guards Lieutenant-Colonel Yudin
Sergeants and soldiers: 10

Officers: 8
Sergeants and soldiers: 36

Experience showed that the tanks could travel 70-100 km per day, with an average speed on the highway of 20-25 kph, or 10-15 kph on dirt roads. The fuel lasts for 125-150 km. On average, tanks travelled 110 km and worked for 250-270 engine-hours, compared to the warranty period of 150 engine-hours.

Practical off-road speed on the battlefield is 8-12 kph. Practical rate of fire is 2-3 RPM. One ammunition load is enough for one day of battle.

Conditions of firing and observation from inside the tank are satisfactory.

Practical firing from the tank revealed that the 9T-17 periscope is inconvenient for firing and observation, as it does not have 360 view and cannot be used to fire due to difficulty of fire correction and shifting targets.

Current cast armour can be penetrated by an 88 mm shell from 800-1000 meters, as the quality is low (bubbles, insufficient density). 

  1. The armament of the IS-122 is the most powerful on any currently produced tank. The 122 mm shell has significant penetrating capability, which makes these tanks the best method of fighting enemy heavy tanks.
  2. A drawback is the amount of smoke that reveals the tank when firing.
  3. Experience on the foothold across the Vistula shows that enemy tanks avoid areas where IS-122 tanks are defending, and as a result are forced to divert their attack and seek regions not protected by heavy tanks."


  1. What exactly is the "128mm SPG"? A Jagdtiger?

    1. Pretty sure the only alternative would've been a Sturer Emil, and both of *those* oughta been long hors de combat by that date.

    2. It does seem a bit early for a Jagdtiger though. Huh.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Was the ferdinand even on the Eastern front by 1944 or had they been transferred to Italy?

    1. FWIW Achtung Panzer mentions some were transferred back to East already in April '44, and the still surviving vehicles of the type were reorganised in "autumn" of the same year into a new unit that apparently mostly fought in that theater:

  3. Any armor upgrade of IS-122 in 1944 or 1945?

    1. Aside from improved casting, the IS-2 received a straightened UFP in 1944.

    2. In addition to the hull configuration and casting (the early IS-2s had too-hard armor that tended to spall even on non-penetrating hits), the IS-2 1944 had an "improved" wider mantlet Considerable controversy on what exactly that means; as at least one source says "the armor protection of the mantlet was improved" though many deny that, saying it was just more durable--though you'd think that just making something wider without making it *thicker* wouldn't make it much stronger or more durable).

  4. Was the 88mm gun mentioned from a Tiger 1 or Tiger 2? Also, was the IS2 penetration range from the front or sides? Thank you.

  5. I had the same questions; my guesses are a) the Tiger I 88/L56 (as these are relatively early-war IS-2s (KV-13 hull, small gun mantlet); the armor protection of the IS-2 1944 would be superior; and b) for the Tiger II, probably side shots if we're talking about the APHE round.

    The 122 mm could knock out a Tiger II from the front, even at longer ranges using its massive HE round (due to concussive effects which could include cracking the armor and spalling) but in warfare, the best shot is the shot that gives you the greatest chance of success. Never take the iffy shot if you can get a sure thing..