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The ISU-152 was a self-propelled gun that was used by the Soviet Union during World War II.


It had a W-2-IS engine that was capable of propelling it at speeds of up to 37 km/h. For mobility, the ISU-152 used a torsion bar suspension system and had a 4 speed forward, 1 speed reverse transmission. It also had a five-man crew and an armament that consisted of a single 152 mm howitzer and an optional anti-aircraft 12.7 mm DShK machine gun. Approximately twenty rounds of 152 mm ammunition could be stowed inside the vehicle which oftentimes required the ISU to be constantly resupplied by truck in the field.[1] Notably, a small hatch could be found just above the road wheels of the vehicle that allowed ammunition to be loaded directly into the tank instead of carried all the way to the top of the superstructure. However, in combat, the sheer weight of each shell limited the effective rate of fire to about two or three rounds per minute. Armor thickness varied, though was generally better than the type’s predecessor, the SU-152. For example, the frontal armor plate behind the gun mantlet was 75 mm thick while the rear armor was 60 mm.

The total weight of the ISU-152 was about 41,800 kilograms while its total length was 9.0 meters. Being based on the IS series chassis, the ISU-152 also had some mechanical changes from the previous SU-152. Regardless, the ISU-152 retained the previous type’s “Zveroboy” or “Beast Killer” reputation for being able to reliably eliminate most German armor with a single shot. While the 152 mm shell did not always penetrate German armor, the blast force was often enough to either rip the turret completely off or destroy critical components such as the barrel.[2]



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