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Tank of the Month: IS-2

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

The IS tank series was developed by the Soviet engineers partly to replace the KV series, and partly to face the new threat of German Panther and Tiger tanks. The IS-2 was one of many versions in the series and appears in World of Tanks in the Chinese tech tree.

From 1st August 07:10 until 1st September 07:00 CEST (GMT+2), you will benefit from 30% more credits after each battle you play with your IS-2.

If you don’t have the tank yet, from 1st August at 07:10 until 5th August 07:00 CEST (GMT+2)the IS-2 is discounted by 50%. Don’t miss this chance to get it for half-price and earn more credits all month long!



Facing a great deal of criticism from the crews for its bad mobility and the lack of heavy armament, the KV series was subjected to some design upgrades. Those issues were partially addressed by the KV-1S, which was lighter and faster. However, due to the high production costs and mediocre combat performance of the series, the Soviet authorities nearly made the decision to discontinue their heavy tank program completely.

The Battle of Kursk in 1943 made the Soviets reconsider their priorities. Threatened by large numbers of German Panther and Tiger tanks, the Soviet tank industry resumed development with the KV-85 and the KV-13 tank designs, which aimed for an improved armour layout and a more powerful main gun. After some modifications, a prototype designated as IS-85 was built and accepted for production. This became the IS-1 heavy tank.

The need for heavy armament made the Soviet engineers experiment with two guns: the A-19 122 mm and the BS-3. After a series of tests, the decision was made to use the A-19 gun in further development. This new prototype was designated as the IS-2 and was accepted for mass production.

The IS-2 entered service in early 1944. The tanks were assigned to separate tank regiments consisting of 21 tanks each. These units were used to reinforce the most important attack sectors during major offensive operations, and their role was primarily to break through enemy defences. Other assignments included supporting infantry, destroying bunkers, buildings, machine-gun nests and other ‘soft’ targets.

By the 1950s, the Soviet main battle tank concept underwent drastic changes which rendered heavy tanks obsolete in the new mechanised warfare doctrine. As a result many IS-2 tanks were exported in the early 1950s to China, and were used during the Korean War from 1950 through 1953. The IS-2 tank remained in service until the late 1950s. They were then phased out of Chinese service due to the scarcity of spare parts and the launch of the Type-59 project.



"Come get some!"

Technological Progression

In order to obtain the IS-2, you just need to follow a straight research line in the Chinese tech tree up to the Type 58 (Tier VI). From there, you can unlock either the IS-2 or the T-34-1, which is a Tier VII medium tank.

Researching the IS-2 is necessary to develop the Chinese heavy tanks line.



The IS-2 is very similar in gameplay to the regular IS from the Soviet branch; it is best utilised as a brawler. Bearing in mind that its gun has a relatively low accuracy, the IS-2 is most effective in close-quarters combat. In addition to this, the decent acceleration and mobility of this tank makes it perfect for ‘peek-a-boo’ tactics: place the tank near a corner of a building or other form of cover, drive out, shoot, and then quickly retreat to reload.

The frontal armour of the IS-2 may not be as thick as that of its Soviet counterpart, but it is well sloped and can bounce off a lot of shells if properly angled. A well-positioned IS-2 can single-handedly stop a small group of enemies in narrow bottleneck passages. Therefore, this tank is perfect for city maps like Ensk or Himmelsdorf.

Playing the IS-2 on an open map is trickier as the gun accuracy makes sniping next to impossible. The best thing you can do in such scenarios is to use your mobility to drive from cover to cover and aim for the closest enemy.

If you encounter a higher tier opponent, it is advisable to use HEAT shells as your gun will have difficulties in penetrating their armour. With HEAT shells, you can dish out an average damage of 390 HP with an armour penetration potential of 300 mm – this is a force most Tier IX tanks will have to reckon with. However, if you are low on credits and cannot afford HEAT shells, use HE instead – these can deliver damage and/or knock out enemy modules where APs would bounce.




The basic suspension is sufficient to allow mounting of all available module upgrades. However, if you wish to install additional equipment, a suspension upgrade is necessary.

NameTraverse speed (deg/s)

IS-2 early


IS-2 late




The IS-2 offers two upgrades to the engine. Installing the second model will reduce the general chance of fire by 3% while the final one will additionally slightly improve the tank’s general performance. However, even with the stock engine, the IS-2 is quite fast and nimble for a heavy tank.

NamePower (h.p.)Chance of fireType







12% Diesel



The stock and the upgraded turret of this tank do not differ in terms of parameters and ammo capacity. You can also mount the top gun on the stock one. However, the upgraded turret is a bit more slender and has slightly improved armour angles, thus increasing the chance of a ricochet upon shell impact.

Standard turret Upgraded turret



The stock gun on the IS-2 is quite decent in terms of damage and rate of fire. In addition to this, it is the most accurate one from the three models available. 


NameRate of fire (shots/min)Average penetration (mm) (AP/APCR/HE)Average damage (hit points) (AP/APCR/HE)Accuracy (dispersion at 100m, in meters)

100 mm 44-100JT






The upgraded guns replace accuracy with a significant increase in damage potential. Using the 122 mm guns will force you to get close to your target in order to land an effective strike. 

NameRate of fire (shots/min)Average penetration (mm) (AP/HEAT/HE)Average damage (hit points) (AP/HEAT/HE)Accuracy (dispersion at 100m, in meters)

122 mm 37-122JT





122 mm D-25T







Even though the IS-2’s stock radio is far from being even remotely decent, you can immediately install the 9RM (provided that you have researched it on the Type T-34) and enjoy the 525 m radio range. The top radio offers a 600 m range and is used by many other vehicles from the Chinese tech tree as well.

NameSignal range (in meters)









As the IS-2 is manned by only four tankers, you need to pick their perks carefully and have the tank’s best effectiveness in mind:

Commander/Radio-Operator: Situational Awareness or Recon is a good choice for the first skill as these will improve your view range. Alternatively, you can consider taking the Mentor perk so that the other crew members can earn more experience.

Gunner: Snap Shot could be an essential perk to improve your accuracy during turret rotation. Deadeye is not a bad choice either so that you can damage the enemy’s modules more easily.

Driver: Your driver should definitely learn Smooth Ride – having better accuracy during movement will make you a better brawler. After that, Off-Road Driving will be a good pick as it will improve your mobility.

Loader: Safe Stowage is quite important – you don’t want to be removed from the battle with just one well-placed shot. After that, Repairs is always a good pick.



Remember that the Repairs skill is very helpful for brawler tanks such as the IS-2. As this skill is evened out among all crew members, it is most effective when all of your tankers have it mastered. Picking it as the second (or even as the first) skill for every crew member is also a good idea.


Equipment and Consumables


When picking additional equipment to install on your IS-2, you should aim to counter the most obvious cons of the tank. As it takes around 3 seconds to aim, the Enhanced Gun Laying Drive is a good first choice. For the second slot, you may want to consider taking the Gun Rammer. As the IS-2 is a brawler, a decent rate of fire is quite important, and being able to shoot faster than your opponent can decide who’ll be sent to the garage – you or them. The last slot can be used for installing Improved Ventilation or Coated Optics. The first one would improve the general performance of your crew whereas the second one would expand your view range. Pick the one you find more useful.

When it comes to consumables, it is absolutely mandatory to have a Repair Kit (large or small) and a First Aid Kit (large or small) at all times. If you cannot repair a destroyed module or heal an injured crew member, especially while pushing the frontlines, you will find yourself at a serious disadvantage. The third consumable slot is more flexible. Many players choose the Fire Extinguisher and it’s not a bad choice – fire going rampant inside the tank is definitely something you want to prevent. However, minding that your top engine has only 12% chance of fire upon impact, you can consider experimenting a bit and go for Quality Oil, Improved Combat Rations or any other Premium consumable.


We hope this article will help you in improving your gameplay experience with your IS-2!