There are two tanks known as IS-3. IS-3 (Object 244) was an IS-2 rearmed with the long-barreled 85 mm cannon (D-5T-85-BM). It was developed by LKZ (in Leningrad) and was not taken in service. IS-3 (Object 703) was developed in late 1944 by ChTZ (in Chelyabinsk). This tank had an improved armour layout, and a hemispherical cast turret (resembling an overturned soup bowl) which became the hallmark of post-war Soviet tanks. While this low, hemispherical turret may have improved protection, it also significantly diminished the working headroom, especially for the loader (Soviet tanks in general are characterized by uncomfortably small interior space compared to Western tanks). The low turret also limited the maximum depression of the main gun, since the gun breech had little room inside the turret to pivot on its vertical axis. As a result, the IS-3 was less able to take advantage of hull-down positions than Western tanks. The IS-3's pointed prow earned it the nickname Shchuka (Pike) by its crews. It weighed slightly less and stood 30 cm lower than previous versions. Wartime production resulted in many mechanical problems and a hull weld line that had a tendency to crack open.
As a heavy tank, the IS-3 is one of the many obstacles that a newcomer or just low level gamer has to face, as the IS-3's front is difficult to engage due to the pike design. Though many would learn that the tanks side and rear armor is weak, not only that but the slow turn rate of the chassis and the turret can be useless when engaging flanking opponents. It is best to use the IS-3 as a breakthrough vehicle or as a support. The speed is low, as it is a heavy tank, so circulating around an enemy player is difficult. However, the gun packs a good punch
and can take out most enemies in just a couple shots or so, with the exception of other heavy tanks. The downside of this gun is that it is not very accurate, so some long range shots might not fly to the target. The reload of the gun is also very slow as well, resulting in a low DPM. As the armor is high, many opponents will have a tough time damaging the IS-3 from the front. However, the turret rotation is just as slow as the speed is, so enemies can circle this vehicle fairly easily if the driver of the vehicle is not very experienced in countering this move. To help counter this move, it is highly recommended to turn your turret and chassis at the same moment so that the turret can turn around faster. The IS-3's armor is highly effective against tanks below and at the same level, it can also deal with some tanks with higher ranks. Though it can not protect the player very well against AP/DS and Heat shells that some tanks carry which can be very effective against thick armor.
- Along with the IS-4, the IS-3 is highly criticized for being very underpowered, and many players agree to buff it and move its max level closer to where the T-10's max level is
Pros and Cons
- Big health pool
- Great frontal hull and turret armor protection
- Fairly low profile
- Damage is fairly low for a heavy tank and reload is pretty long, worst DPM of any tank in the game (excluding WWII Premiums)
- Speed is kind of slow, turret rotation speed is somewhat slow as well
- Frontal upper armor can be penetrated fairly easily when encountered from the side, as the pre-angled armor is then not angled
- Can only use armor piercing and high explosive ammunition