The IS-3 arrived too late to see combat in WWII; it would become the main Soviet tank of the immediate Cold War period and participate in conflicts throughout the 1950s and '60s and even into the modern day.
TheIS-3 heavy tank was a late World War Two Soviet tank design that was an improvement on the IS-2. Although the IS-3 arrived too late to see combat in WWII, it would become the main Soviet tank of the immediate Cold War period and participate in conflicts throughout the 1950s and ’60s and even into the modern day.
The IS-3 caused significant alarm in the West when introduced due to its powerful armament and advanced protection, which combined raw thickness with complex angles.
However it would come to earn a rather poor combat record, becoming something of a “paper tiger”. This has resulted in controversy amongst some who suggest that the IS-3 was overrated, and others that claim the tank’s poor record was due to poor training and tactics.
The development of the IS-3 (originally known as Object 703) started in late 1944 at the Factory No. 100 Kirovskiy Works as an improvement on the IS-2. Development of the IS-3 took into account lessons that had been learned from the design and combat experience of the IS-2. As a result, it was an almost complete redesign from its predecessor.
As development for the IS-3 did not occur until late 1944, and it was a major departure from the IS-2, the tank did not come off the production line until May 1945 although some pre-series vehicles were issued to the Red Army that spring.
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