All You Need To Know About The Massive Soviet ISU-152

During World War II, the Soviets developed a massive mobile gun to defend against the German tanks. It was based on the KV-1S tank and was known as ISU 152. On February 14, 1943, it was put into production and designated KV-14. In April 1943, the KV-14 was re-designated as the SU-152. Eventually, the performance of the SU-152 in combat made modernizing the vehicle necessary.

On May 25, 1943, shortly after deploying the ISU 152, they began modernizing the SU-152. This included increasing the armor protection and making other improvements.

ISU-152, in Yad la-Shiryon Museum, Israel (By No machine-readable author provided. Bukvoed assumed (Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY 2.5 / Wikipedia)
ISU-152, in Yad la-Shiryon Museum, Israel Photo Credit.

In July 1943, development began in July 1943 and the first improved version was ready a month later. This version was designated IS-152. Factory trials occurred in September 1943, this demonstrated a large number of deficiencies and it was sent back for improvements. In October, the second version was ready. This version was the first actual improvement on the original IS-152.

Factory trials of the newer version began immediately followed by state trials on a test range. On November 6, 1943, this version was adopted for production, now known as ISU-152. Production began in December.

Nicholas Moran gives a tour of the most interesting military vehicles. In this video, he looks at the Soviet ISU-152 tank destroyer. What is different about it from the SU-152? What is common between the ISU-152 and some of the German vehicles? How is it that the external fuel tank is not a weakness in the design?

The answers to these questions and more are contained in this episode of “Inside the Chieftain’s Hatch.”

Joris Nieuwint

Joris Nieuwint is a battlefield guide for the Operation Market Garden area. His primary focus is on the Allied operations from September 17th, 1944 onwards. Having lived in the Market Garden area for 25 years, he has been studying the events for nearly as long. He has a deep understanding of the history and a passion for sharing the stories of the men who are no longer with us.