The ␗ISU-152 is a rank III Chinese tank destroyer with a battle rating of 4.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.91 "Night Vision".
Survivability and armour
The ISU-152 is inadequately protected against most enemy tanks. The vehicle is armoured mainly with 90 mm of rolled homogenous armour (RHA), covering the sides, back and front glacis. The only thicker armour section (100 mm) covers the curved gun mantlet. Against tank guns, this level of protection is inadequate as the ISU-152's armour plates are all poorly angled and not thick enough. The giant gun mantlet and the hydraulic recoil housing might bounce some shells sometimes, especially when the ISU is bushed up and wiggling, but never count on that. However against SPAA the ISU has very good protection as most SPAAs' penetration are lower than 60 mm, and the ISU is protected by 60 to 90 mm of sloped armour all around the hull. The only possible weakness is the back of the fighting compartent, which is 60mm unangled. The top of the vehicle is armoured with 30 mm of RHA, meaning that most cannon-calibre aircraft projectiles will not penetrate it with ease.
In terms of survivability, the ISU-152's five crew members are somewhat spread out, meaning that with a frontal penetration by a small to medium calibre armour-piercing shell with explosive filler, the chances of an instant knock-out are smaller. The large gun breech can also block some shrapnel for the crew on one side. But with a side shot through the superstructure, or if a large-calibre AP shell with explosive filler penetrates, the crew are very likely to get knocked out instantly. The main weakness in the ISU-152's protection are its ammo racks. The vehicle has two large ammo racks (shells on the left side, charges on the right side) that sit directly underneath the side 90 mm RHA belts. This means that any shot that penetrates the side of the hull will likely cause an ammo rack detonation. The engine is located at the very rear of the vehicle, covered by fuel tanks.
- Rolled homogeneous armour
- Cast homogeneous armour (Gun mantlet)
|Hull|| 60 mm (75°) Front glacis
90 mm (31°) Lower glacis
|90 mm|| 60 mm (50°) Top
60 mm (39°) Bottom
|Superstructure|| 90 mm (29°) Front glacis
65 mm (7-69°) Gun mantlet case
100 mm Gun mantlet (0-45°)
|75 mm (14-15°)||60 mm (1°)||30 mm|
- Suspension wheels are 20 mm thick while tracks are 30 mm thick.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Modifications and economy
Recommended ammunition to bring is a combination of APHEBC and HEAT rounds. The APHEBC is great at vaporising average targets at the ISU-152's BR (eg. Pz.IV.H, Chi-Ri, M4A3, etc). The HEAT, on the other hand, is for heavy tanks when you are in a full uptier. For example, the frontal armour of M4A3E2, Panther A/D, and Churchill VII can all be easily penetrated with the shaped charge. HE shells can be very powerful and entertaining too, as they can knock out crew members of almost any vehicle, from thinly armoured to heavily protected, with the over-pressure. However such over-pressure will lose its effectiveness when the point of explosion is too far from the crew members, thus the HE shells require precise aiming and suitable position of enemy to really show its power.
Many players find the long reload of Soviet large-calibre guns very harsh. If one misses or fails to one-shot the target, they must wait for another half a minute reloading. However if one masters the trajectory and velocity of such guns, it can become very effective at one-shotting enemies. In most cases, after destroying a target there would be quite some time before the next target shows up, eliminating the disadvantaged reload time. Nevertheless, vehicles with this reload speed like the ISU-152 is definitely not suitable to hold down a line where multiple enemies are charging simultaneously.
The last aspect to overcome is the extremely poor gun depression of only -3 degrees. This requires the player to only fight on flat ground, preferably in an urban environment, to avoid having to hull down. In a hilly map (eg. Karelia) find spots where there is absolutely no slopes.
|152 mm ML-20S||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
| 11 (+9)
| 1 (+19)
- The ISU-152 (China) uses two-piece ammunition, composed of projectiles (yellow) and propellant bags (orange). Both have separate racks.
The ISU-152 comes with a roof-mounted 12.7 mm DShK heavy machine gun. Like all heavy MG, this gun has adequate penetration that can go through most lightly-armoured vehicles such as the Sd.Kfz.234/2, Breda 501, T55E1, etc, giving the ISU-152 the ability to wipe those flankers out easily. The machine gun also has great elevation and horizontal traverse, being able to rotate around and aim up freely which is useful when targeting nearby aircraft. However its magazine of 50 rounds is very small, comparing to something like a M2HB, which leads to constantly disrupted fire. The depression angle of -5° is also insufficient to shoot at low obstacles in close proximity.
|12.7 mm DShK|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
The ISU-152 is a tank destroyer with a huge 152 mm cannon which can one-shot any target that it penetrates. In an uptier, the gun is equipped with a HEAT shell that has enough penetration to destroy even the most armoured heavy tanks. However, the gun comes with its drawbacks. Its reload time is long, shell velocity is low, and on top of that, shell drop must be accounted for when aiming. This makes aiming and leading at long ranges difficult--indeed, the ISU-152 is best at close and medium ranges.
The gun has a very small gun depression, which means that the ISU-152 is unsuited for hilly maps and for firing from behind ridgelines. Flat, urban terrain lets this vehicle use its gun to the greatest potential.
Of course, the ISU-152 is not a turreted vehicle, and this means that flankers such as the M18 Hellcat are extremely dangerous. Worse, the ISU-152 is quite sluggish in the mobility department. Repositioning in order to face an enemy takes a considerable amount of time, which means that it's necessary to keep a careful eye out for flankers, and to plan escape routes in dangerous situations.
As for armour, the ISU-152's protection is average. Its roof armour can protect against aircraft machine guns and some 20 mm cannons, and its side armour protects well against SPAA guns. However, the frontal armour is easily penetrated by many of the guns at this tier. And, the tightly-packed arrangement of the crew inside the vehicle means that being one-shot is not a rare occurrence in this vehicle.
Provided you have the HEAT shell unlocked, the ISU-152 is a exceptional machine to use in a full uptier and even beyond, with up to 250 mm of armour penetration. The HEAT shell on the ISU-152 is identical to the one on the Object 268, a BR 7.3 tank destroyer, with the same armour penetration stats to boot. With the extra silver lions obtainable from the "Rank does not matter" achievement, the ISU-152 may actually be more effective in a uptier then at the same tier.
With the introduction of volumetric shells, vehicles with large-calibre cannons are negatively affected, and that of course includes the ISU-152. The large calibre shells now will catch any obstacle in their flight path, and either ricochet away or keep flying after losing a significant amount of penetration, which is different from before where shells are just a pixel that can go through small gaps. This is especially obvious when shooting vehicles like the Tiger I, they have many edges and small slopes that will cause your 152 mm shells to bounce. Therefore you must ensure that your shell will land at an area without any obstruction (eg. shoot at the dead centre of a Tiger I's frontal hull where the armour is clear, instead of shooting right next to the MG port where the spherical port might bounce off the shell)
Enemies worth noting:
- Tiger H1 / E: the Tiger 1 can be quite hard to knock out if the wrong shell type is used. The ISU-152's APHE can easily go through a Tiger 1's frontal and side hull and take it out with a single shot, however most of the times they will attempt to angle the hull, which can bounce the APHE off. The turret is hard to penetrate and has many obstacles that the shell might catch therefore it is not recommended to target there. The 152 mm HEAT can easily pierce an angled Tiger's hull or even the gun mantlet, but given its poor post-penetration damage the ISU-152 may usually fail to one-shot the target. The HE shell, however, can knock out all its crew when hitting the right spot. It is recommended to target the lower parts of the turret where the explosion will be close to the thin roof armour of the hull. But be careful not to shoot at tracks, side skirts or anywhere far away from the crew, these areas will absorb the overpressure resulting in minimal crew damage.
- T55E1, Sd.Kfz.234/4: these vehicles are arguably fast and nimble, meaning they can easily flank an unaware ISU-152. The best solution against this type of vehicle might be HE. As they are turretless, they will usually attempt to circle around the ISU-152. Reverse and turn at the same time to point your gun at them while gaining some separation. Don't forget to also fire your 12.7 mm HMG at them, their armour cannot stop the bullets. If you cannot keep up with them and aim directly at them, an indirect shot of HE can also get the job done if the explosion is close enough. Fire a HE shell at the ground next to them, the overpressure and shrapnel are very likely to knock out some of their crew and modules if not straight up destroying them. Those wheeled vehicles' engines and transmissions are also poorly protected meaning you can expect to immobilise them. With them not able to move, comfortably load the next round to send them back to the garage. Obviously your APHE and HEAT can also destroy them effortlessly, but they require a direct hit which is sometimes impossible given the ISU-152's poor agility.
Pros and cons
- Deadly cannon provides superior one-shot capacity with any target upon penetration.
- Powerful HEAT penetrates up to 250 mm which is very effective in a full uptier. For example the early Centurions, Ferdinand, Tiger II H can all get penetrated with ease.
- Destructive anti-personnel effect of HE can knock out crew of almost all target.
- Fast reverse of -15 km/h allows flexible tactics and retreats.
- The huge gun mantlet and its complex armour layout is capable of deflecting quite some shells sometimes.
- 30 mm roof armour resists popular aircraft weapons well, like the 12.7 mm M2 with ground target belt and the MG 151.
- All-round protection provides good resistance against flanking SPAAs. The M19 / M42 are very common flankers.
- Roof-mounted 12.7 mm heavy MG rotates 360° around, allowing the ISU to fight back at a lightly armoured flankers even when immobilised.
- Long reload of more than 20 seconds and the rather curved trajectory demands very precise aiming, which isn't beginner friendly.
- Front armour is only 75 mm and is not well angled. Gets penetrated easily by common guns at the BR, like the 76 mm M1, 17 pdr, 75 mm and 88 mm.
- Closely packed crew all easily get killed when an explosive shell penetrates.
- Very inadequate gun depression of -3° combined with the sluggish mobility makes it only capable of fighting in urban (flat) areas, but never the hills.
- Turretless layout and the sluggish mobility makes it very vulnerable to surprise flankers, for example the infamous M18, T20, T25 and Puma.
- Gun breech often gets damaged while under enemy fire.
- 12.7 mm heavy MG has a very small magazine size (50 rounds). Reloads are constant.
Development of the ISU-152 already started alongside the SU-152, its predecessor. The SU-152 was based off the KV-1S tank, which itself is a lighter version of the KV-1 heavy tank. The vehicle, while highly praised in its performance, saw a need for modernization with the KV-1's phasing out of the Soviet's inventory and being replaced with the new IS heavy tanks. The modernization process began on May 25, 1943, with the goal of using the IS tank as the basis of the vehicle and also increasing armour protection alongside other improvements. Development began in July under Joseph Yakovlevich Kotin, a chief designer of Soviet heavy tanks, who worked alongside G. N. Moskvin as the main designer. The designing of the improved vehicle went on for a month before the first variant was ready, designated the IS-152. This was tested in September 1943, which revealed defects and deficiencies with the design, so it was redone into a second variant called Object 241 in October 1943. Trials began on Object 241, which was successful through the factory and state trials and adopted on November 6, 1943, as the ISU-152. Production began in December at the Chelyabinsk Kirovsk Plant, producing 3,242 units from then all the way until 1947, with 1,885 units made by the end of World War II.
The ISU-152 was the successor to the SU-152, retaining the same 152 mm ML-20S howitzer needed to destroy enemy fortifications in offensive operations. The vehicle was run on a torsion-bar suspension system from the IS tank chassis. The crew consists of four or five men in the vehicle, the optional crew member being a loader. The crew had external views through periscopes and two gun sights, a panoramic and a telescopic one. Crew communication was possible with an intercom system and a 10R or 10RK radio was available to communicate between vehicles. The crew had access to two PPSh submachine guns and grenades in the tank to defend themselves against infantry.
A drawback to the vehicle's design was the gun ammunition and internal storage. The large ammunition pieces were limited to about 20 rounds in the vehicle, and each round was extremely heavy and large that reloading the tank can take up to 40 minutes and lots of strength. Rate of fire was also reduced by the ammunition's heavyweight.
- Vehicles equipped with the same chassis
- Other vehicles of similar configuration and role
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- other literature.
|China tank destroyers|
|American||␗M8 HMC · ␗LVT(A)(4) (ZiS-2) · ␗M10 · ␗M36 · ␗M113A1 (TOW) · CM25|
|Soviet||␗SU-76M · ␗ISU-152 · ␗ISU-122 · ␗SU-100|