Soviet tank building made a long leap during the Great Patriotic War, especially when it came to heavy tanks. For various reasons, Soviet medium tanks continued to use a pre-war chassis, but heavy tanks went through a revolutionary transformation. There was also competition among heavy tank designers, at times rougher than that of their German counterparts. The result of this competition was a rapid jump in development of heavy tanks. Development split into three directions by the summer of 1944. The first was ChKZ's Object 701, the second was the Object 252 (IS-6) developed at experimental factory #100. This was a grassroots initiative. Finally, the third direction was modernization of the IS-2 tank. Interestingly enough, factory #100 was tasked with a modernization of the IS-2, but after they started working on the IS-6 the task was given to ChKZ's SKB-2 design bureau.
|Object 701. Its front hull was considered optimal in 1944, but penetration trials showed otherwise.
|Pike nose on the Valiant tank. For some reason, the British ignored this very good idea.
|IS-2U tank model, November 1944. This tank was the first to use the "pike nose".
|The Kirovets-1 had a different hull. Later, the idea with a welded section that carried the observation ports and driver's hatch migrated to the IS-4.
|The first reworked Kirovets-1, aka IS-3. It used the upper front hull of the IS-2U tank.
|An 88 mm shell struck the welding seam directly. As you can see, it held.
|Results of 122 mm sharp tipped shells striking the front of the IS-3's hull. No penetration.
|Origins of the IS-7 visualized. Above is the improved IS-6 tank, below is the Object 257, the first IS-7 tank.
|Experimental Object 730. This was the last Soviet heavy tank with a pike nose.
|The Object 277 heavy tank had a cast front hull that was somewhat reminiscent of the pike nose.
|Pike nose on an experimental AMX 50b. Later the French also moved to casting.
|Swedish take on the pike nose concept. Landsverk did not take the easy way out and made a curved upper front plate. This made production more difficult, but there was no seam.
|The American tank on a pike nose. The Heavy Tank T48/M103 was the first to receive this type of hull.
The pike nose is not presently in use, but that is likely temporary. History moves in cycles, and it's possible that the dual slope front hull can return someday. This solution has its upsides and downsides and should not be disregarded.