There are many misconceptions about the use of tanks in 1945, same as any other period of the Great Patriotic War. These myths muddle the characteristics of tanks, their application, and sometimes even introduce tanks that were not there at all. The final chapter in the series dedicated to myths on Soviet armour in the Great Patriotic War is dedicated to this period.
Dead or alive
The IS-6 is one of the least studied tanks of the late war period. The project began semi-legally and had such a mixed reception that it was swept under the rug. The tank was initially supposed to compete with the Object 701, but it turned out that it didn't have enough armour. The tank then competed with the IS-2, but it was already clear that the tank was not suited for that by the fall of 1944. Its reliability in trials was poor, especially the reliability of the road wheels, which lasted only 200-300 km. Despite attempts to resolve these issues and Zh.Ya. Kotin's decision to send the tank to Moscow to show to the Soviet government, the IS-6's case was hopeless. It lost to its new competitor, the Kirovets-1, which then transformed into the IS-3.
|Some publications claim that the Object 253 burned up on its first outing and was not used any more, but factory #100 has a different opinion. This document fragment shows that the tank drove for 186 km in June of 1947 and 1025 km in total.
|ChKZ production figures tell a story on their own. There could have been no debut in Berlin.
|The IS-3 made its Berlin debut in September of 1945.
|Despite issues, the T-44 was the only Soviet tank in the late 1940s that did not go through a modernization program. Claims of poor reliability need to be examined in context.
|It's true that Soviet tank forces took considerable losses in the Battle of Berlin, but there are still many myths about how these losses came about.
|Sketch of IS-2 Panzerfaust netting. There were at least two different variants installed by different units.
|Staff of the NIBT Proving Grounds didn't consider the vehicle cramped or uncomfortable.
|The Gorohovets ANIOP also did not list any issues with the driver's station.
|GBTU plans for production in 1946-1950.
|152 mm M-31 gun. These cannons were earmarked for prospective heavy SPGs on first the IS-4 and then the IS-7 chassis.
Medium and heavy tanks were also interesting topics. The T-54 tank that entered trials in the spring of 1945 wouldn't have been accepted into production. If factory #183's design bureau was not suddenly repurposed for completely unrelated work, the T-54 could radically change in the summer of 1945. As for the heavy tanks, there was a rapid jump in requirements. The Object 257, the first tank to be called IS-7, already existed before that. By the fall of 1945 the tank evolved into a whole series of armoured vehicles, Objects 258-261. These were radically different from their predecessor. The tank became heavier, better protected, and gained a 130 mm gun. The third variant of the tank, Object 260, was selected for production. In other words, the Germans were badly outmatched even on the "paper front". The monsters that Soviet designers began to conceive in 1946 are a whole separate story. Compared to these tanks, German projects seem like children's toys.