Hobby Master HG7001 Russian JS-2 Stalin Heavy Tank - 7th Independent Guards Heavy Tank Brigade, Berlin, 1945 (1:72 Scale)
"By powerful artillery fire, air strikes, and a wave of attacking tanks, we're supposed to swiftly crush the enemy."
- Marshal Georgi K. Zhukov
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 7th Independent Guards Heavy Tank Regiment, then assaulting Berlin in April 1945.
Length: 5-1/4 inches
Width: 1-3/4 inches
Release Date: April 2012
Historical Account: "Polar Bears" - The 7th Guards Tank Brigade's insignia was a white polar bear on a red star. The badge was a result of the brigade's earlier service. At the time of the German invasion, this unit was the 46th Tank Division of the 21st Mechanized Corps operating in the Baltic Area. After the defeats of 1941, it was reorganized as the 46th Tank Brigade and fought in the Leningrad Area. It was renamed as the 7th Guards in 1944 in recognition of its combat performance and took part in the offensive against Finland in the summer of that year.
In November 1944, the brigade fought against German troops around Petsamo in the Arctic Circle. It was this campaign that the polar bear insignia was commemorated. After returning from the far north, the brigade turned in its T-34 tanks and was reequipped with IS-2 Stalin tanks. It was, as one of the new heavy tank brigades, that it fought in the last offensives against Germany, and took part in the fighting in the center of Berlin.