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Proceed with Caution!
- "What the hell was that?! That's not allowed by schools regulation!"
- ―Sodoko while being chased by IS-2
The IS-2 (in Cyrillic Ио́сиф Ста́лин (ИС) or Iosif Stalin (IS)) was a Soviet heavy tank, the successor of the IS-1 and one of the most powerful tanks of World War II.
The obsolescence of the KV-1 and the capture of a German Tiger led the Red Army to consider developing a new heavy tank in January 1943, the project being given the name Objekt 237. However, during the Objekt 237 development, intense tank fighting in the summer 1943 forced the Red Army to create a stopgap tank: the KV-85, a KV-1S hull with an Objekt 237 turret, equipped with a 85mm D-5T gun. The Objekt 237 prototype, inspired by the the canceled KV-13 project, was approved and entered production under the designation IS-85 on October 1943. Due to the successful mounting of the 85mm gun on the T-34, making it equally well armed as the IS-85, efforts were made to further upgun the IS-85, and two candidates were tested: the D-25 122mm and the D-10 100mm, the projects respectively named IS-122 and IS-100. Though the IS-100 had better anti-tank capabilities, the IS-122 was chosen instead because of its better all-around performance, and it entered production on December 1943. The 85mm-armed IS-85 was discontinued, and the up-gunned version was renamed IS-1, with production of the 85mm gun henceforth reserved for T-34s.
The IS-2 model 1943 had better armor and was faster than the old KV series. It originally possessed a stepped front armor, this "broken nose" design being inherited from its predecessor the IS-2. The tank was upgraded in late 1944, becoming the IS-2 model 1944 with an improved single-casting hull drastically increasing the armor effectiveness despite a reduction in thickness. It had the capability to withstand most enemy ordinance, while the D25-T 122mm gun offered better fire control and improved performance against enemy armor such as the Panther or the Tiger. In the 1950s, most IS-2 model 1944 were upgraded to the IS-2M standard, introducing external fuel tanks on the rear hull (the basic IS-2 had these only on the hull sides), stowage bins on both sides of the hull, and protective skirting along the top edges of the tracks.
The IS-2 saw its first combat in July 1944. Otto Carius was the first to encounter the heavy tank in combat, in the village of Malinava, and destroyed it. While progressing deeper into the village with another Tiger, Carius encountered a platoon of eight IS-2, all of which he destroyed without a loss. The IS-2's problem was that to reload the D-25 122mm gun, the barrel had to be lowered. The tank then saw its first real action during the final stage of the Ukraine liberation in autumn 1944 where it is claimed that they destroyed more that forty Tigers with only eight losses.
The IS-2 then met the Tiger II during the Poland liberation of August 1944, in the town of Oględów, where IS-2s managed to destroy three Tiger IIs from a column of eleven, a fourth some time later, and captured three more when the town was captured. During German counterattacks IS-2s managed to destroy fourteen more Tiger IIs with approximately equal losses. The tank saw its last action of the war during the Battle of Berlin, where it faced urban warfare and infantry armed with Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck that caused 70% of IS-2 losses during the battle.
After the war, the emergence of the MBT concept rendered heavy tanks obsolete, so the majority of IS-2s were transferred to Red Army reserve regiments, while the modernized version of the IS-2, the IS-2M, remained in service until 1982. The withdrawal of the IS-2 from all Red Army service was completed in 1995.
Poland was given seventy IS-2s that fought in Pomerania and Berlin and remained in service until the 1960s. Czechoslovakia accepted eight IS-2 before the liberation of Prague in January 1945, which remained in service until 1960.
Several USSR allies received IS-2s after the war. China received sixty tanks and attempted to reverse-engineer it as the Type 122 medium tank, but the project was abandoned. North Korea had two IS-2 tank regiments available during the Korean War, but none saw combat. Cuba received forty-one IS-2Ms in 1960.
Germany captured one or two IS-2 in 1945, but they weren't given a special designation as were other captured tanks. Romania captured at least one IS-2 during May–June 1944. Hungary captured one IS-2 during World War II, and later had sixty-eight of the tanks in service until 1956, when all tanks were returned to Soviet Union after the Hungerian Revolution was crushed.
In Girls und Panzer
Pravda Girls High School fielded their IS-2 during the tournament semi-finals match against Ooarai Girls Academy. While it didn't do anything exceptional during the first part of the match, it shined during the final stage once Nonna took command of the tank's gun. During the pursuit of Ooarai's tanks the IS-2 knocked out both the M3 Lee and the B1 Bis, but while it hit Ooarai's flag tank and badly damaged it, the Type 89 remained adequately operational —which wasn't the case for Pravda's own flag tank.
During the exhibition match between St. Gloriana and Pravda vs Chi-Ha-Tan and Ooarai, the IS-2 was commanded by Nonna. The IS-2 spent the beginning of the match being stalled by Ooarai's rear guard while St.Gloriana's tanks were entrenched in a golf bunker. Chi-Ha-Tan's reckless charge gave Pravda an opening to intervene, forcing Ooarai to retreat. When Rabbit Team (nicknamed "Heavy Tank Killer") encountered the IS-2, they tried to recreate their tactic from the tournament finals by staying in the heavy tank's blind spot, but the IS-2 was lighter and had a more powerful engine than the Jagdtiger, which allowed it to dislodge the American tank and destroy it. Once at Ooarai's OY line, the IS-2 destroyed Kinuyo Nishi's Chi-Ha and Leopon Team's Tiger(P), which allowed St.Gloriana/Pravda to break the OY line. The IS-2 then spent the last part of the match pursuing Miho and covering Darjeeling's tank during their running battle on the beach, destroying the B1 bis in a last memorable action.
Pravda brought their IS-2 to the aid of Ooarai in the match against All-Stars University Team. Still commanded by Nonna, it was assigned to Sunflower Platoon, commanded by Maho. The IS-2, with the rest of Sunflower, took control of Hill 203 to provide fire support from high ground; however, the plan was foiled by the Karl, and they were forced to retreat. During that retreat, Nonna turned back to hold off Megumi's platoon and allow Katyusha to escape, in the process destroying one Pershing, ramming another to bodily block its path, and finally destroying a second Pershing even as it simultaneously destroyed the IS-2.
During the semi-finals match against Ooarai, the IS-2 performed just like in the anime.
Saga of Pravda
Pravda Girls High School's third-years fielded one IS-2 (commanded by Ekaterina and with Olga as gunner) as flag tank during the introduction match of the year against Pravda's fresh first-years. The first-years were slaughtered, but while the IS-2 might have participated in this massacre, they were tricked by Katyusha when she, alongside Nonna, charged the third-years line. Simultaneously with the other tanks, the IS-2 fired on Katyusha's T-34 only to realize that Nonna was aiming at them. Panicked, Ekaterina urged her loader onward despite knowing that they wouldn't make it in time —perhaps a reference to the IS-2's slow reloading speed— and Nonna destroyed the IS-2 with a trap shot.
Pravda Girls High School fielded their IS-2 (again, commanded by Ekaterina and with Olga as gunner) as flag tank during the 61st Sensha-dō Tournament against St. Gloriana Girls College. For the entire match, the IS-2 held a defensive position in accordance to Pravda's old tactics. Their defensive line was broken by constant harassment by Crusaders that allowed Darjeeling's Churchill, hidden under a camouflage net, to fire two deadly shots: the first was intercepted by Katyusha while the second hit the IS-2's turret ring, destroying it.
The next year, during the same introduction match, the newly appointed commander, Natalia, decided to fight the second-years (Katyusha and Nonna's partisans) instead of the first-years, as a show of force. She fielded the IS-2 as the third-years' flag tank. However, Natalia was unaware of a T-34/85 secretly aiming at her tank, to recreate Nonna's trap shot from the previous year's introduction match, and the IS-2 was destroyed as soon as the match began. Natalia declared a foul play restart to the match, but her team was still annihilated and she was forced to flee. Natalia was able to use her skill to evade many shots, but ultimately both the tank's tracks snapped and it was destroyed.
Gekkan Senshado Magazine
Pravda Girls High School fielded their IS-2 during the tournament quarter-finals match against Viking Fisheries High School. It is unknown how it performed during the match; it is only known that after the KV-2 destroyed the city where Viking's tanks were entrenched, the IS-2 charged alongside the same KV-2 in a frontal assault, with the T-34s forming a pincer movement.
Pravda Girls High School fielded their IS-2 during the Winter Continuous Track Cup first round match against Viking Fisheries High School. During the last stage of match, when Viking attempted to launch an attack against Pravda's flag tank composed of two pairs of Chaffees and Panzer IIIJ, Katyusha launched a counterattack composed of two T-34/85 (Klara and Katyusha) and the IS-2 (Nonna). The IS-2 destroyed one charging Chaffee and attempt to destroy their flag tank; Nonna's shot was deflected by another Chaffee, which rammed the IS-2, but Viking's flag tank was destroyed soon after by Katyusha.
- The tank series was named after the Soviet leader Iossif Vissarionovitch Djougachvili also known as Iosif Stalin.
- IS-2 was featured in World of Tanks both as the Soviet heavy tank IS (Tier 7) and the Chinese heavy tank IS-2 (Tier 7).
- In April 2020, the Pravda version of the tank was released in World of Tanks Blitz as IS-2 Pravda SP alongside Saunders' Sherman Firefly (Firefly Saunders SP).
- Midoriko Sono mistakenly calls it the "Molotov", after the Soviet Foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov.
- Although the tank is meant to represent a Model 1944, there is an error in the vehicle's 3D model: the narrow gun mantlet shown was only a feature of the IS-1 and early models of the IS-2, where late Model 1943 variants and all Model 1944 vehicles used the wide gun mantlet as a standard feature.
- Like the Churchill, that was named after then Prime Minister Winston Churchill, in honor of his promotion of the development of the tank in WW1, the IS-2 took its initials from the name of Joseph Stalin (Ио́сиф Ста́лин, 'Iosif Stalin'), then leader of the Soviet Union. Thus the IS-2 is sometimes refered to as the "JS-2," after the anglicised initials sometimes used instead of the cyrillic.
- Main article: IS-2/Gallery
|Light Tanks and Tankettes||7TP • AMR-35 • BT-42 • Crusader • CV.33 • FT-17 • Harry Hopkins • M22 Locust • M24 Chaffee • Mark VI • Panzer II • Panzer 38(t) • R35 • T-60 • T-70 • Tetrarch • TK Tankette • Type 2 Ka-Mi • Type 94 Tankette • Type 95 Ha-Go • Type 97 Te-Ke|
|Medium Tanks||Centurion • M3 Lee • M4 Sherman • M13/40 • Matilda II • P26/40 • Panzer III • Panzer IV • Panzer V "Panther" • Sentinel • SOMUA S35 • T-34 • T-44 • Type 89B • Type 3 Chi-Nu • Type 97 Chi-Ha|
|Heavy Tanks||ARL 44 • B1 Bis • Black Prince • Churchill • IS-2 • KV-1 • KV-2 • M26 Pershing • Mark IV • Neubaufahrzeug • Panzer VI "Tiger" • Panzer VI Ausf. B "Tiger II" • Panzer VIII "Maus" • VK45.01 Porsche Tiger|
|Tank Destroyers||Elefant • Hetzer • ISU-152 • Jagdpanzer IV • Jagdpanther • Jagdtiger • Mareșal • Semovente da 75/18 • StuG III • T28 Super-Heavy Tank|
|Self-Propelled Artillery||Karl-Gerät 040|
|Main Battle Tank||Type 10|