Hobby Master HG7003 Polish People's Army JS-2 Stalin Heavy Tank - 1st Polish Army, Berlin, 1945 (1:72 Scale)
"For our freedom and yours."
- Unofficial motto of Poland
The Iosif Vissarionovich tank (or IS tank, also known as the Joseph Stalin tank), was a heavy tank developed by the Soviet Union during World War II and first used in the Kursk area in September 1943. The tanks in the series are also sometimes called JS tanks.
The heavy tank was designed with thick armour to counter the German 88 mm guns, and carried a main gun that was capable of defeating the German Tiger and Panther tanks. It was mainly a breakthrough tank, firing a heavy high-explosive shell that was useful against entrenchments and bunkers. The IS-2 was put into service in April 1944, and was used as a spearhead in the Battle of Berlin by the Red Army in the final stage of the war.
Two candidate weapons were the A-19 122 mm gun and the BS-3 100 mm gun. The BS-3 had superior armour penetration (185 mm compared to 160 mm), but a less useful high explosive round. Also, the BS-3 was a relatively new weapon in short supply, while there was excess production capacity for the A-19 and its ammunition. Compared to the older 76.2 mm tank gun, the A-19 had very good armour penetration, similar to that of the effective 75 mm high velocity gun mounted on the German Panther, and delivered 3.5 times the kinetic energy of the older F-34.
The separate shells and charges of the two-piece ammunition of the A-19/D-25T 122mm gun. Left to right: the cartridge, high-explosive/fragmentation shell PF-471, armor-piercing tracer shell BR-471, armor-piercing capped shell BR-471B. All shells are shown from two sides.
After testing with both BS-3 and A-19 guns, the latter was selected as the main armament of the new tank, primarily because of its ready availability and the effect of its large high-explosive shell when attacking German fortifications. The A-19 used a separate shell and powder charge, resulting in a lower rate of fire and reduced ammunition capacity, both serious disadvantages in tank-to-tank engagements. However, the gun was very powerful, and while its 122 mm armour-piercing shell had a lower muzzle velocity than similar late-issue German 75 mm and 88 mm guns, Soviet proving-ground tests established that the A-19 could penetrate the front armour of the German Panther tank, and it was therefore considered adequate in the anti-tank role.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale diecast replica of a Russian JS-2 heavy tank that was attached to the 1st Polish Army then deployed to Berlin during 1945.
Release Date: June 2012
Historical Account: "Berling's Army" - The Polish First Army (Polish: Pierwsza Armia Wojska Polskiego, 1 AWP for short, also known as Berling's Army) was a Polish Army unit formed in the Soviet Union in 1944, from the previously existing Polish I Corps as part of the People's Army of Poland (LWP). The First Army fought westward, subordinated to the Soviet 1st Belorussian Front, during the offensive against Germany that led to the capture of Berlin in May 1945. In the Berlin Offensive, the First Polish Army's strength was over 74,000, thus making up 7.5% of the strength of the Soviet 1st Belorussian Front, which counted over 980,000 men when the Polish First Army is included in the total. During the Berlin Offensive, the Polish First Army sustained casualties of over 10,400 men.
The First Polish Army was formed from the previous Polish I Corps in the Soviet Union, a formation of the Polish Armed Forces in the East. On August 10th, 1943, The Soviets gave permission for enlarging the Polish 1st Tadeusz Kosciuszko Infantry Division into a Corps. The new formation was to be composed of two infantry divisions, one artillery and one armor brigade, one support and one air regiment, four independent battalions, and support units. It was commanded by General Zygmunt Berling, his second-in-command' Gen. Karol Wierczewski, and Col. Wodzimierz Sokorski. The formation of the corps took part in combat from September 1943. In March 1944, it was enlarged again, forming the Polish First Army