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Is-3 Soviet Heavy Tank


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1940s mod was UKN (removal of the construction defects). All WW2 tanks that were kept in service passed through this, as things considered OK for wartime were no longer considered acceptable.

IIRC Egyptian IS-3 were those, not IS-3M

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Zaloga, Kinnera, Aksenov and Koshchatavtsev's book Stalins Heavy Tanks 1941 -1945 makes mention of the IS-4: only 200 being built, and with the beginning of the Korean War seven regiments of IS-4 were sent eastward in case the Soviets decided to intervene on the ground (as opposed to in the air with MiG-15 and Soviet 'volunteer pilots').

 

I guess that when MiGs operated only over N Korea it was easy to deny involvement, but any capture of Soviet tanks and tanks crews may have made that deniability a tad more problematic.

 

Even with the IS-4's perceived faults (speed and mobility being questioned), US ground forces may have found them a handful to deal with. As the distances involved any Korean intervention were about a third of those expected in any Soviet attack in Europe, speed and mobility may have been of slightly less importance.

 

Some IS-3 were sent to Manchuria for possible use against Japan in 1945.

 

Therefore, rather than shipping these IS-3 and IS-4 tanks back to Europe, it was probably better to emplace them where near where they were.

Edited by DougRichards
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Doug, if you look at the terrain in N. Korea, you'll see the reason why armour was de-emphasised later in the conflict. I'm not saying the IS-4 wouldn't have been a headache, but it wouldn't have been a game changer.

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"From static positions" is the point Stuart. To "break through" later in the conflict, enemy mechanised forces would have had to travel down single roads at the bottom of steep valleys. They would have been easily interdicted by AT weapons. artillery, mines, obstacles and demolitions. Even to attempt that they would have had to time their attack for bad weather because they would be creating a dream target for air interdiction, assuming they made it out of their assembly areas. There is a reason the last two years of the conflict were primarily an infantry affair.

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But even throughout the Pacific War, much of the terrain was not suited for large scale fast moving mechanized operations but armor still had a very important role. Such close armor support while making a big push surely would still enable infantry to advance better than without the armor. And if the armor was an IS-4, as opposed to a T-34-85, then M4s would struggle just like how Chi-Ha tanks struggled vs M4s.

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"From static positions" is the point Stuart. To "break through" later in the conflict, enemy mechanised forces would have had to travel down single roads at the bottom of steep valleys. They would have been easily interdicted by AT weapons. artillery, mines, obstacles and demolitions. Even to attempt that they would have had to time their attack for bad weather because they would be creating a dream target for air interdiction, assuming they made it out of their assembly areas. There is a reason the last two years of the conflict were primarily an infantry affair.

Rather earlier than that. We lost at least 2 Centurions in the Imjin battle to Chinese soldiers with explosive sticks.

 

I don't believe that was why the war was static though. I think it was more an unwillingness to face the casualties it would take to move the front line, armour led or not.

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Hello, I'm looking for the date when the IS-3 was modified and re-designated the IS-3M. Also a listing of what these upgrades were.

 

I understand most (all) IS-3 were modified in 1946 to fix engineering and armor plate problems. Then there are references to an early 1950s (1952?) modification. And last a 1960 modification. Also the initial shipment (31) IS-3 to Egypt in 1956, were these IS-3 or IS-3Ms? Again different references seem to contradict.

 

Any information would be most appreciated.

 

First upgrade program to IS-3 was designated UKN ((Ustranenie Konstruktivnych Deficiencies - removal of design deficiencies). ). It was launched in 1948 and the objective was to extend the life of the vehicle in order to make it suitable for peace time use. The requirements were as followed:

 

1) Increase engine life to 250 hours and improve the bottom hull protection aganst mines

2) Increase transmission life to 2,000km

3) Prevent leaks in rotation mechaniscms, wheels and gearbox

4) Improve gas evacuation. Install new filter and a system to clean main gun from the inside

5) Install a system to help loading of main gun in movement

6) Improve turret configuration in command version

 

There were other changes, engine and transmission mounts were reinforced, the radio was replaced, a new oil pump was installed. The cluth was redesigned. Cost was high in monetary terms (190,000-250,000 roubles) but not critical as it did not require rolled steel or too much manpower.

 

More work was done in the early 50s. This led to IS-3M version. Some of the work is what you expect in a major overhaul, when some equipment is replaced by more up to date types

 

- DShK and DT machineguns replaced by modernised types

- A V-54K-IS with a VTI-2 two stage air filter was installed

- The four 90 L tanks were replaced with two 200 L

- Installation of R-113 radios and R-120 intercoms

- TVN-2 night sight for driver

- Some controls and instruments were replaced with electric types

- New oil tank with heat exchanger and defoamer

 

There were also more structural changes: ribs added in the rear and bottom of the hull, and the position of the gearbox was modified.

 

I don't reacll reading about any 1960s upgrade. By then it wasn't considered a modern vehicle and sent to secondary districts or used for static positions.

Edited by alejandro_
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"From static positions" is the point Stuart. To "break through" later in the conflict, enemy mechanised forces would have had to travel down single roads at the bottom of steep valleys. They would have been easily interdicted by AT weapons. artillery, mines, obstacles and demolitions. Even to attempt that they would have had to time their attack for bad weather because they would be creating a dream target for air interdiction, assuming they made it out of their assembly areas. There is a reason the last two years of the conflict were primarily an infantry affair.

Rather earlier than that. We lost at least 2 Centurions in the Imjin battle to Chinese soldiers with explosive sticks.

 

I don't believe that was why the war was static though. I think it was more an unwillingness to face the casualties it would take to move the front line, armour led or not.

 

 

Yes, we could have advanced, but Truman in particular was not willing to pay the price of advancing through mostly incredibly defensible terrain or of the conflict escalating into a general war against China and Russia. I'm sure we could have advanced, at great expense, given enough resources, but we had air supremacy (superiority nearer the border) and the ability to strike from the air at will, weather permitting*. I can't see how the communists could have made significant inroads. There were occasional exceptions to this. If you google the 72nd Tank Battalion and Mundung-ni Valley, you will come up with one.

 

*Ground controlled radar bombing may have been possible.

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As in World War II once again, sea and air power weighted heavily in the favor of UN forces. However, the rugged terrain of the Korean Peninsula and the primitive logistical 'tail' of the Chinese and North Korean forces limited the effects of the overwhelming aerial and naval firepower that could be brought to bear. Nor could the most destructive weapons used to end World War II be employed in bringing the victory that some leaders and the public expected.


Instead, the leadership and public of the United States learned that the air weapon was no panacea in warfare, and that balanced forces of all arms had to be maintained in order to meet the uncertain threats of the present and future. The response to aggression in Korea had to be balanced against further moves by the USSR and its bloc of collaborating nations. With nuclear weapons present on both sides, the substitute for victory had to be the quarantine of aggression, using flexible response and a strong alliance structure poised to contain the expansion of Soviet power.


The policy response to the Korean War reflected these points as well as the emerging technologies. The United States maintained a peacetime conscription, expanded the defense budget from $13B to $60B, strengthened NATO (including rearming Germany), expanded the army and navy, adding aircraft groups to both the Air Force and Navy, now equipped with both strategic bomber fleets and CVA class aircraft carriers.

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The report probably ought to be qualified with this observation. They certainly had a Centurion captured at the Imjin Battle, and I think at some point prior to this, they also got a Cromwell. The Cromwell was driven in view of the British lines, and was dispatched by 20 pounder fire, which was possibly the only British Tank Vs Tank conflict in the Korean War. The Centurion from the photos that Vasiliy Fofanov posted up over 10 years ago is substantially intact, but has the hull floor burned out, suggesting it was successfully demolished.

 

I guess the point in making is, studied they might have been, but its very unlikely they were tested because they were derelicts.

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Hello, I'm looking for the date when the IS-3 was modified and re-designated the IS-3M. Also a listing of what these upgrades were.

 

I understand most (all) IS-3 were modified in 1946 to fix engineering and armor plate problems. Then there are references to an early 1950s (1952?) modification. And last a 1960 modification. Also the initial shipment (31) IS-3 to Egypt in 1956, were these IS-3 or IS-3Ms? Again different references seem to contradict.

 

Any information would be most appreciated.

 

---Kenny

 

Here's some interesting info from a post awhile back...

 

IS-3%20Heavy%20Tanks%20In%20Egypt_CIA-FO

 

IS-3M%20Tanks%20In%20Egypt_1956_1_2.jpg

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