From the Vault: ARMOR article on Soviet Heavy Tanks

IS-3Today we present an article from the July-August 2002 issue of ARMOR magazine titled “Red Star – White Elephant?”  This article, written by Stephen “Cookie” Sewell, casts a critical eye on post WW2 Soviet heavy tank design, in particular the IS-3 and T-10.  Sewell notes that much of the information he is basing his conclusions on comes from research done after the collapse of the Soviet Union.  In the 1990s, access to the Soviet era archives opened up, allowing a new generation of Soviet armor authors to research and write.  Many of these names show up in the bibliography of this article, including Svirin, Baryatinskiy, and Kolomiets.  Unfortunately for western audiences, these Russian author’s works have not, for the most part,  been published in English.


  1. tomgoff1 says:

    Is it just me?
    I can never read any of these articles because they are too small. It’s necessary to do some contorted jiggery-pokery to turn individual pages into a scalable document that can be magnified (zoom+) sufficiently to be readable. I don’t have the time to do this for each and every page. Is it possible to turn these into PDFs instead?


    • When you click on a picture, there should be a “view full size” button in the lower right hand corner. At least, when looking at the site on a desktop computer. Are you viewing with a mobile device? The issue with PDF is that I then have to convert the files into the format and find a place to host it. With the armor article, you can just download the original issues from the government website, I’ll start including those links. I’ll see what I can do about PDF for some of the other articles, the British reports on Soviet armor I posted last week really could use some PDF conversion.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the response. I usually only use laptops these days and there is no “view full size button” on my screen. Anyway, I appreciate all the work you do in making these documents available . They are very interesting. It’s just a darn shame I can’t read them without a magnifier!


  2. Author has a fare amount of inaccurate information, which is understandable judging by the list of outdated sources. Even the KV-1 tank on the first page is incorrectly identified. In fact it is the early 1942 production vehicle, and not “model 1941”.


    • Hi Alex, thanks for stopping by. As far as I know, Cookie Sewell is still active writing about tanks. In particular he writes quite a few book and model reviews over at the Missing_Lynx forum.


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