A couple of good sourcing goods from china photos I located:
IS-two Soviet Heavy Tank. 1944.
Image by Peer.Gynt
Moscow, Kubunka Tank Museum. Jul 2009.
The Iosif Stalin tank (or IS tank, named after the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin), was a heavy tank developed by the Soviet Union throughout Planet War II. The tanks in the series are also often called JS or ИС tanks.
The heavy tank was designed with thick armour to counter the German 88 mm guns, and sported a principal gun that was capable of defeating the German Tiger and Panther tanks. It was mostly a breakthrough tank, firing a heavy high-explosive shell that was useful against entrenchments and bunkers. The IS-2 was put into service in April 1944, and was utilized as a spearhead in the Battle of Berlin by the Red Army in the final stage of the war.
Design and style and production
The KV series of Soviet heavy tanks was criticized by their crews for their low mobility, and lack of any heavier armament than the T-34 medium tank. In 1942, this issue was partially addressed by the lighter, quicker KV-1S tank. The KV series remained considerably more expensive than the T-34, with out getting higher combat efficiency. The heavy tank program was almost cancelled by Stalin in 1943. Nevertheless, the German employment of substantial numbers of Panther and Tiger tanks at the Battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943 changed Soviet priorities. In response, the Soviet tank business produced the stopgap KV-85, and embarked on the KV-13 design plan to generate a tank with far more sophisticated armour layout and a much more powerful principal gun. Because Marshal Kliment Voroshilov had fallen out of political favour, the new heavy tank series was named Iosif Stalin tank. The IS-85 prototype was initially accepted for production as the IS-1 heavy tank.
Two candidate weapons have been the A-19 122 mm gun and the BS-3 100 mm gun. The BS-three (later adopted on the SU-100 tank destroyer and the T-55 tank) had superior armour penetration (185 mm compared to 160 mm), but a much less helpful high explosive round. Also, the BS-3 was a comparatively new weapon in short supply. Excess production capacity existed for the A-19 and its ammunition. Compared to the older 76.two mm tank gun, the A-19 had extremely great armour penetration, similar to that of the successful 75 mm higher velocity gun mounted on the German Panther, and delivered three.5 occasions the kinetic power of the older F-34.
Following testing with each BS-three and A-19 guns, the latter was chosen as the major armament of the new tank, mainly simply because of its prepared availability and the effect of its big higher-explosive shell when attacking German fortifications. The A-19 used a separate shell and powder charge, resulting in a lower price of fire and decreased ammunition capacity, each critical disadvantages in tank-to-tank engagements. Nonetheless, the gun was quite strong, and whilst its 122 mm armour piercing shell had a lower muzzle velocity than equivalent late-issue German 75 mm and 88 mm guns, Soviet proving-ground tests established that the A-19 could penetrate the front armour of the German Panther tank [two], and it was as a result regarded as sufficient in the anti-tank role.
German Army data on the penetration ranges of the 122 mm A-19 gun against the Panther tank showed it to be a lot less efficient than the Soviets thought: the A-19 gun was unable to penetrate the glacis plate of the Panther at any distance, and could only penetrate the bottom front plate of the hull at 100 m. It was however the big HE shell the gun fired which was its primary asset, proving hugely valuable and destructive in the anti-personnel role. The size of its gun continued to plague the IS-two, the two-piece ammunition was hard to manhandle and quite slow to reload (the price of fire was only about two rounds per minute). Yet another limitation imposed by the size of its ammunition was the payload: a mere 28 rounds could to be carried inside the tank. [four]
The IS-122 prototype replaced the IS-85, and started mass production as the IS-two. The 85 mm guns could be reserved for the new T-34-85 medium tank, and some of the IS-1s constructed had been rearmed before leaving the factory, and issued as IS-2s.
The main production model was the IS-two, with the effective A-19. It was slightly lighter and more rapidly than the heaviest KV model 1942 tank, with thicker front armour and a significantly-improved turret design. The tank could carry thicker armour than the KV series, although remaining lighter, due to the better layout of the armour envelope. The KV’s armour was significantly less nicely-shaped and featured heavy armour even on the rear, while the IS series concentrated its armour up front. The IS-two weighed about the identical as a German Panther and was lighter than the German heavy tank Tiger series. It was slightly lower than each.
Even though the style was good for its time, Western observers[who?] tended to criticize Soviet tanks for their lack of finish and crude building. The Soviets responded that it was warranted considering the require for wartime expediency and the normally low battlefield life of their tanks.
Early IS-2s can be identified by the ‘stepped’ front hull casting with its small, opening driver’s visor. The early tanks lacked gun tube travel locks or antiaircraft machine guns, and had narrow mantlets.
Later enhanced IS-2s (the model 1944), had a more quickly-loading version of the gun, the D25-T with a double-baffle muzzle brake and much better fire-handle. It also featured a easier hull front without having a ‘step’ in it (using a flat, sloping glacis armour plate). Some sources named it IS-2m, but it is not to be confused with the official Soviet designation IS-2M for a 1950s modernization. Other minor upgrades incorporated the addition of a travel lock on the hull rear, wider mantlet, and, on really late models, an antiaircraft machine gun.
In late 1944 the design was upgraded to the IS-3. This tank had improved armour layout, and a hemispherical cast turret (resembling an overturned "soup bowl") which became the hallmark of post-war Soviet tanks. Although this low, hemispherical turret may possibly have made the IS-3 a smaller target, it also imposed serious penalties inside the tank by drastically diminishing the operating headroom, specifically for the loader (Soviet tanks in basic are characterized by uncomfortably tiny interior space compared to Western tanks). The low turret also limited the maximum depression of the main gun, given that the gun breech had small room inside the turret to pivot on its vertical axis. As a outcome, the IS-three was significantly less capable to take advantage of hull-down positions, a tactic at which Western tanks had been better suited. The IS-3’s pointed prow earned it the nickname Shchuka (Pike) by its crews. It weighed slightly much less and stood 30 cm decrease.
The IS-3 came too late to see action in World War II. Even though some older sources claim that the tank saw action at the end of the war in Europe, there are no official reports to confirm this. It is now generally accepted that the tank saw no action against the Germans, even though a single regiment may have been deployed against the Japanese in Manchuria.
In 1952, a additional improvement was place into production, the IS-ten. Due of the political climate in the wake of Stalin’s 1953 death, it was renamed T-10.
In the mid-1950s, the remaining IS-2 tanks (largely model 1944 variants) were upgraded to keep them battle-worthy. This upgrade developed the IS-2M, which introduced fittings such as external fuel tanks on the rear hull (the basic IS-2 had these only on the hull sides), stowage bins on both sides of the hull, and protective skirting along the prime edges of the tracks. IS-3 was also slightly modernized as IS-3M.
The IS-two tank initial saw combat in the spring of 1944. IS-2s had been assigned to separate heavy tank regiments, normally of 21 tanks each and every. These regiments have been used to reinforce the most important attack sectors throughout key offensive operations. Tactically, they had been employed as breakthrough tanks. Their part was to help infantry in the assault, using their big guns to destroy bunkers, buildings, dug-in crew-served weapons, and other ‘soft’ targets. They were also capable of taking on any German AFVs if essential. As soon as a breakthrough was achieved, lighter, more mobile T-34s would take more than the exploitation.
The IS-three 1st appeared to Western observers at the Allied Victory Parade in Berlin in September 1945. The IS-3 was an impressive development in the eyes of Western military observers, the British in distinct, who responded with heavy tank styles of their own.
By the 1950s, the emergence of the main battle tank idea – combining medium tank mobility with the firepower of the heavy tank – had rendered heavy tanks obsolete in Soviet operational doctrine. In the late 1960s, the remaining Soviet heavy tanks were transferred to Red Army reserve service and storage. The IS-two Model 1944 remained in active service a lot longer in the armies of Cuba, China and North Korea. A regiment of Chinese IS-2s was offered for use in the Korean War, but saw no service there. In response to border disputes among the Soviet Union and China, some Soviet IS-3s have been dug in as fixed pillboxes along the Soviet-Chinese border. The IS-three was utilized in the 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary and the Prague Spring in 1968.
During the early 1950s all IS-3s were modernised as IS-3M models. The Egyptian Army acquired about 100 IS-3M tanks in all from the Soviet Union. During the Six Day War, a single regiment of IS-3M tanks was stationed with the 7th Infantry Division at Rafah and the 125th Tank Brigade of the 6th Mechanized Division at Kuntilla was also equipped with about 60 IS-3M tanks. Israeli infantry and paratrooper units had considerable difficulty with the IS-3M when it was encountered due to its thick armour, which shrugged off hits from standard infantry anti-tank weapons such as the bazooka. Even the 90mm AP shell fired by the principal gun of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) M-48A2 Patton tanks could not penetrate the frontal armour of the IS-3s at typical battle ranges. There were a number of engagements between the M48A2 Pattons of the IDF 7th Armoured Brigade and IS-3s supporting Egyptian positions at Rafah in which several M48A2s were knocked out in the fighting. Regardless of this, the slow rate of fire, poor engine functionality (the engine was not effectively suited to hot-climate operations), and rudimentary fire control of the IS-3s proved to be a significant handicap, and about 73 IS-3s had been lost in the 1967 war. Most Egyptian IS-three tanks were withdrawn from service, though at least a single regiment of IS-3 tanks was retained in service as late as the 1973 October war. The IDF itself experimented with a few captured IS-3M tanks, but found them ill-suited to quick moving desert tank warfare these that were not scrapped had been turned into stationary defensive pillbox emplacements in the Jordan River area.
Right after the Korean War, China attempted to reverse-engineer the IS-2/IS-3 as Type 122 medium tank. The project was cancelled in favour of the Type 59, a copy of the Soviet T-54A.
Type Heavy tank
Spot of origin Soviet Union
In service 1943–1970s
Used by Soviet Union, Cuba, China, North Korea, Egypt
Wars WWII, Hungary, Six Day War, Czechoslovakia
Designer Zh. Kotin, N. Dukhov
Designed 1943 (IS-2), 1944 (IS-3), 1944–45 (IS-4)
Manufacturer Kirov Factory, UZTM
Created 1943–45 (IS-two), 1945–47 (IS-three), 1945–46 (IS-four)
Quantity constructed 3,854 IS-2, 2,311 IS-3, 250 IS-four
Specifications (IS-2 Model 1944)
Weight 46 tonnes
Length 9.90 m
Width three.09 m
Height two.73 m
Armor 30–160 mm
armament D25-T 122 mm gun (28 rds.)
armament 2×DT, 1×DShK machine guns
Engine 12-cyl. diesel model V-2
600 hp (450 kW)
Energy/weight 13 hp/tonne
Suspension torsion bar
Fuel capacity 820 l
Operational variety 240 km
Speed 37 km/h
Evening @ Hou Hai
Image by Shaojin+AT
Image: HDR, boats on Hou Hai Lake surrounding by entertainments & souvenir retailer.
Place: Hou Hai Lake, Beijing. CHINA
Just 3 years ago, this leafy lakeside neighborhood north of Tiananmen Square attracted only park-goers, weekend fishermen, or ice skaters, depending on the season. Then, ex-concert cellist Bai Feng opened his No Name bar (that is how it came to be called it had no sign, but filled up via word-of-mouth), and the scene was set for a new generation of stylish establishments.
More than the past year, the Bohemian area has gone upscale, Yuppified, and emerged as the capital’s coolest neighborhood, with scores of bars, restaurants, and boutiques catering to the city’s smart set. Add to that the opening final fall of a cobbled strip of chic venues known as Lotus Lane, and Houhai appears ready to soar.
Of course, trendy districts come and go that’s the pattern of gentrification about the globe. But it applies right here only on the surface. Houhai, you see, has been hip for centuries.
Houhai and adjoining lakes Xihai and Qianhai— collectively known as the Back Lakes were dug out in the Yuan Dynasty (14th century) to berth barges from the Grand Canal, bringing goods from around China and beyond to the Emperor in his nearby Forbidden City. The proximity to the palace explains significantly of Houhai’s still-evident charm – the arched stone bridges, intricate animal sculptures on canal walls.
However, the distance from the palace was just as important in shaping life around the lakes. These Back Lakes quickly became a retreat, for courtiers, poets, painters. And a preferred of the masses.
"In Search of Old Beijing," a 1930s guidebook, describes the scene: "During summer months this "Sea" is a favorite resort of the reduced classes who come here in the thousands to take the air and to invest the day in the many tea-homes along its banks listening to the story-tellers, ballad singers or other musical entertainment."
China’s final emperor, Puyi, was born in a mansion nearby. Another siheyuan (courtyard home) was the longtime residence of Song Qingling, wife of Sun Yat-sen. Each are now museums, well-known stops on neighborhood rickshaw tours. Expansive gardens and ponds offer a taste of what life was like just before the Communists, who officially frowned on such extravagance.
But even Chairman Mao Zedong could not miss the allure of these lovely lakes. Mao held court in his compound, Zhongnanhai (Central and South Seas) named for the largest lakes, to the south of Hou Hai.
Decades on, Hou Hai claims some of the very best bites and cappuccinos in the capital. If only Mao could see the location now…
Supply from: www.gluckman.com/BeijingHouHaiLake.html
(Posted by a China Sourcing Agent)