Thursday, 18 July 2019

Beast vs Beast Killer

If you read this blog, you're probably already familiar with tests performed with 152 mm guns against King Tiger tanks. Fans of the King Tiger needn't worry about unfairness, since the ISU-152 was in turn tested against a Pak 43. A new welded hull, rather than cast, was adopted by UZTM, which already had experience with using this type of hull on IS-2 tanks. The results were quite impressive.

CAMD RF 38-11369-581 p.12

The upper front plate proved a tough nut to crack. Penetration was not achieved at ranges over 250 meters. There was, however, a problem: after two hits in the immediate vicinity of the welding seam, a crack formed (highlighted with chalk). Even though this performance was much better than the equivalent German armour, work to improve welding technology began. Trials of an IS-3 hull, welded in the same way at the same factory, proved that it could an 88 mm shot to the welding seam without a problem.

"Front of the hull.

The design that was chosen from the front of the IS-3 hull significantly increases the resistance of this component compared to the equivalent section of the IS-2 hull. 

The upper front plates of the IS-3 hull completely protect the crew from 88 mm armour piercing rounds at a range of 100 meters or greater at normal.

The upper front plate of the IS-2 tank (Uralmash) can be penetrated from a range of 600 meters and greater.

Photo: damage to the joint between the upper front plates from an 88 mm armour piercing shell."


  1. Kind of ironic how at the end of a war there are King Tigers and JS-2/3s just lying around to be blown up and tested. But now those King Tigers and JS-2/3s are collectors items

    1. A ton of downright unique vehicles were cut up for scrap right after (or even during) the war, since the steel was needed to rebuild.

    2. To the victor goes the spoils, or in this case the right to melt down old tanks and build old ones. Only America at this point had the spare mine capacity to mine enough new steel. Much of which ended up at the bottom of the ocean.

    3. ...didn't they melt down a whole lot of surplus AFVs and use the steel to make those infamous EKSBAWKS HUEG pre-Oil Crisis cars? Actually saw one of those comically long "yank tanks" downtown today, no doubt the apple of some classic car hobbyist's eye.

  2. The article doesn't indicate the armor thickness nor angle of that ISU-152 glacis. It might be 90mm @ 55° as some diagrams show or it might not.

  3. In some matter of fairness, the 60mm @ 75 degrees glacis is the *only* part of the ISU-152's armor frontally that is able to offer any protection against the PaK 43 - and it's tiny. The *entire* rest of the frontal armor scheme is penetrable out to any practical range by most latewar AT or tank guns the Germans had on hand as the LoS protection is only around 100mm.

    As impressive as deflecting that shell is there - the ISU-152 in no way had an impressive armor scheme.

  4. The ISU frontal armour is only superior to the T-34/85 thus not much. The intention of that test was probably to test the properties of the new technology weldind, joining.