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Iosif Stalin 2
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'IS-2 Model 1943' camouflage by JoKeR_BvB09 | download here

After the first few years of the Second World War, Soviet heavy tanks were having a turbulent time. New tanks were on the way but these would take time and a series of interim tanks such as the KV-85 came into being. After added development these led to a new design, the IS-2. This 46 ton heavy tank had armour over four inches thick in places, and was well sloped. The IS-2's began to arrive at front line units during 1944. At this time the Red army was gearing up for Operation Bagration so was on a less offensive stance. In one engagement near Tarnopol three IS-2's destroyed seventeen Tiger tanks at ranges over 2000m. The incredibly destructive 122mm gun on the tank was later put to good use during Operation Bagration where the IS-2 served as a breakthrough tank, and enabled the Red army to smash an entire German army group. The IS-2 led the charge all the way to Berlin.

An IS-2 Mod. 1943 in combat

After the war the IS-2 had a further impact on many tank designs across the globe. At first it was seen as the benchmark tank that British tanks would be facing and was a driving force in the development of the FV214 Conqueror. Later as the British were looking forward towards a tank to replace the Centurion they found an IS-2 buried under the rubble of an apartment block in Berlin. Early drawings for the Chieftain show a hull structure very similar to the IS-2.

The War Thunder IS-2 draws on many of the capabilities and limitations of its real life counterpart. First of all, the IS-2’s armour might not live up to expectations for new players, with the vehicle possessing some notable vulnerabilities at the front of the hull. This in turn can quickly lead to crew members being taken out. Furthermore, it is also possible to damage the IS-2’s fuel tanks with a front shot, leading to the vehicle being set on fire. To this end, FPE should be a priority for any new IS-2 user.

Internal view of War Thunder's
Iosif Stalin 2 heavy tank

However, some of these vulnerabilities are balanced to some degree by strong turret armour – in other vehicles this could be well exploited by utilizing hull down tactics, but the gun depression of the IS-2 is also a limiting factor. Coupled with a relatively slow reload, the IS-2 might now start to sound like a real chore to operate in War Thunder.

There are, however, some real advantages which the IS-2 operator can exploit. First and foremost, the 122mm gun is excellent, combining a good degree of accuracy with a real killer punch. Often one good hit from the 122mm is all that is needed to defeat a foe. Also, for its size the IS-2’s mobility is competitive and this small degree of agility and acceleration can be well used by a canny player.

The IS-2 can be looked at as an entrance ticket to Tier 4 as it shows what is needed in higher tier battles. It is fast enough and it hits like a juggernaut if used properly. Keep the tank in cover as much as possible, particularly the hull, and be ready to get out of the enemy’s line of sight for the long reloads before using the 122mm to its full effect.

The War Thunder Team

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