The British were questioning the value of a hull machinegun by 1943. The gun was hard to operate and seemed to offer little actual benefit in combat. It did, however, significantly weaken the tank's armour. By 1944 the Soviets had relegated their hull MGs to fixed mounts operated by the driver, but the main drawback still remained.
"To: Deputy People's Commissar of Tank Production of the USSR, comrade Zernov
CC: GBTU TU Chief, Major General comrade Afonin
RE: hull machinegun on the IS-2 tank
Orders ##158ss and 244ss request the improvement of the front hull armour. This was done by straightening the hull front, increasing the thickness and slope of the front of the turret platform.
However, with the increase of the angle of the turret platform, the opening for the hull machinegun is stretched out. As a result, the right side armour is split (see attachment). Instead of being reinforced, this wall can be considered weakened.
Considering that the design of the machinegun does not allow for aimed fire, we are of the opinion that the presence of this machinegun does not justify the weakening of the hull that it creates.
We consider it necessary to get rid of the machinegun.
Chief Engineer of Factory #200, Nitsenko."