You are viewing a news item in the old website format. There may be display issues in some browser versions.


Tank of the Month – IS

General News
In other languages: pl de fr es tr cs


Last month was dedicated to German beasts; this month we focus on their closest enemies, the Soviets, innovators of heavy tank design.  The IS series were big, heavy and mean and were even named after the Soviet dictator, Josef (Iosef) Stalin. As such, this month we look at the tank that began it all – the IS.

From the 1st of November, at 06:30 CET (5:30 GMT), until the 30th of November, at 06:00 CET (05:00 GMT) all credits earned with the Soviet tier VII heavy tank, the IS, will receive 20% extra credits.

Battle for the red star and gain some extra credits for winter.  After all, the Russian winters tend to be really cold and quite frankly long! 

First watch our special video about the IS, then read all about it afterwards!

IS-1/2 History

In World of Tanks, the IS tank is based on a combination of the historical IS-1 and IS-2.

With the Germans on their doorsteps, the Soviets needed something to counter the firepower of the German tanks.  All they had was the KV series which was looking thoroughly outdated in 1942.  The use of Lend-Lease tanks from American and Britain were helping to keep the Germans at bay for now, but a national solution was needed.  The problem was made even more urgent by the introduction of the Tiger tank from the Germans towards the end of 1942.

Design teams were put on the task of designing a new heavy tank capable of fighting back against the Tigers and Panthers.  The initial prototype was originally going to be the KV-13, but was renamed to be the IS-85 or Object 233.  ‘IS’ stood for Iosef Stalin, the Soviet leader of the time.  The IS-85 later began to be known as the IS-1.

The primary weapon on the prototype was the 85mm D-5T main gun and the tank was fitted with thick curved armour for protection.  The top speed was only 23 miles per hour (37 km per hour).

The IS-1 was quickly put into production and was deployed to the frontlines in early 1944.  However, their performance was unsatisfactory.  A whole platoon of five IS-1s were destroyed by German SPGs in Korsun-Sevsenkivskyj, whilst in the city of Staro-Konstantinov, a clash between three IS-1s and two Tigers resulted with the Tigers still having the upper hand.

Fortunately for the Soviets, the improved version was already in development.  The new version was significantly better than its predecessor and became the IS-2.  The biggest change was an increase in gun size.  The 85mm D-5T was replaced first with a 100 mm BS-3 and then a 122 mm A-19.  To support the larger gun, the turret needed to be bigger to incorporate the longer barrel and the muzzle brake.

Testing provided successful, despite a near-fatal accident for the notorious General Clement Voroshilov, who was impaled with shrapnel when the muzzle brake blew apart.

Production began in 1944 and the tanks began to be deployed from April 1944 onwards.  It is estimated that around 4,400 units were made, although this figure included IS-1s still coming out of production that were improved simply by adding the 122 mm gun and calling them IS-2s. 

Although the IS-2 appeared late in the war, it was still able to make a difference.  In particular it was critical in the Soviet invasion of Berlin, bringing about the end of the war.

Development of the IS series continued after the war and into the 1950’s.


IS in the game:

In World of Tanks, the IS-1 and IS-2 have been combined into a single vehicle – the IS.  

The IS is a Tier VII heavy tank that can be compared to the following vehicles: American T 29, German Tiger and Tiger P. and French AMX M4 (1945).




Engine Power: 600 (h.p.)
Chance of Fire on Impact: 15%
Weight: 750 kg 

Engine Power: 700 (h.p.)
Chance of Fire on Impact: 12%
Weight: 700 kg 

The basic engine is Tier VII giving a max. speed of 34 km/h.  Whilst the top speed remains the same even if you research and install the advanced engine, the higher one will give you better acceleration.




Load Limit: 47.5 (t)
Traverse Speed: 32 (deg/sec)
Weight: 11,500 (kg)

Load Limit: 48.4 (t)
Traverse Speed: 35 (deg/sec)
Weight: 11,500 (kg)




Signal Range: 440 (m)
Weight: 100 (kg)

Signal Range: 625 (m)
Weight: 110 (kg) 




Armour: 100/100/100 (front/sides/rear);(mm)
Traverse speed: 38 (deg/sec)
View Range: 330 (m)
Weight: 7200 (kg)

Armour: 100/100/100 (front/sides/rear);(mm)
Traverse speed: 28 (deg/sec)
View Range: 350 (m)
Weight: 7500 (kg)



85 mm D-5T

100 mm D10T

85mm D5T-85BM

122 mm D-2-5T

122 mm D-25T

Rate of Fire (rounds/min)






Average Penetration (mm) (AP/APCR/HE)






Average Damage (AP/APCR/HE)






Accuracy at 100 m (m)






Aiming Time (sec)






Weight (KG)






The first three guns can be used with the stock turret. If you want to go up to the 122mm guns you will first have to research and mount the IS-122 turret. The 85 mm gun has got low penetration and low damage, so it would be useful to research the 100mm gun as soon as possible until you are ready for the 122mm.  The only difference between the two 122 mm guns is rate of fire (D-25T is higher).

IS with Stock Turret IS with Top Turret


Playing Tips

Now you are familiar with the origins of the tank and the available modules for it, let’s find out how to play it efficiently.

Use your mobility to get into striking distance – your tank is faster than opponents of the same tier, so use the advantage to shoot and then get away quickly. The gun has got quite a long loading time, so after firing it is the best to retreat and wait until you are able to defend yourself again. Try to aim for the weak spots on your enemies – even your top gun has a relatively low penetration rate compared with other heavies of Tier VII.

As with all heavies, going up steep hills is a slow process, leaving you vulnerable whilst you grind your way up the slope. The tank has weak armour on the sides and rear so be careful about which parts you expose to enemies.  The turret has less armour then the hull so you should try to expose your hull rather than the turret.

Remember you are slow tank, so don’t rush forward as you won’t be able to come back. Smaller tanks can be dangerous they are faster, meaning you can be easily flanked, carouselled or similar. Your frontal armour is resistant to lower tier guns, so try to  face them, though be careful against higher tier vehicles, better to flank them. Performing hull-down tactics might be quite difficult with this tank due to the poor depression of the gun.

If you are fighting with the tanks of the same tier you are more than capable of leading the attack. Remember that whilst your gun is strong it is inaccurate, so don’t bother trying to snipe. It is better than the guns of other nations though (see comparison below)


IS: Gun 122 mm D-25T

Tiger: Gun 8,8 cm KwK 43 L/71

 T29: Gun 105 mm Gun T5E1

Average Damage (HP)




Recommended equipment:

  • Improved Ventilation
  • Large Calibre Tank Gun Rammer
  • Enhanced Gun Laying Drive

Recommended skills for your crew members:

  • Commander – Eagle Eye or Sixth Sense
  • Gunner – Dead Eye and Snapshot
  • Driver – Preventive maintenance, Off-road driving
  • Loader – Safe Stowage and Repair

Recommended consumables:

Standard three: Manual Fire Extinguisher, Small Repair Kit, Small First Aid Kit and some players might find a use for the Removed Speed Governor (increases power of the engine by ten percent)

We hope you enjoyed our overview and the new feature of an introductory video.  Please share your opinions on the video on our forums!