The Tankograd blog has posted a new article examining the history of the Soviet T-10 heavy tank. The authors of the piece engage is a bit of myth-busting, putting forth their opinions on the vehicle. All in all, an entertaining read.
During the final years of the Great Patriotic War the Red Army’s generals had perfected combined arms operations utilizing withering artillery fire and the devastating salvos from Shturmoviks to create decisive combined arms attacks that smashed through enemy lines.
The weapon of choice for these assaults was the Joseph Stalin 2 or JS-2, an impregnable tank that marked a complete departure from its predecessors. It also foreshadowed the possible terrors of the next Great War when the Soviets had to duke it out against the Allies in Central Europe using main battle tanks on battlefields sown with radiation.
The Joseph Stalins were the antithesis of the earlier T-34’s. Despite the latter’s fame they suffered greatly from German tanks, aircraft, and anti-tank guns, not to mention their own mechanical and ergonomic faults.
The Joseph Stalin had better armor than the heaviest German tanks, had a larger main armament, larger dimensions, greater range, and better everything. Its only shortcomings were an uncomfortable interior and a 600 horsepower diesel engine whose mobility issues Soviet engineers never completely solved. This is why succeeding iterations like the Joseph Stalin-3 and 4 were never popular with the Red Army.
A spectacular success on the battlefield, more than 6,000 JS-2, 3, and 4’s were built and kept as the Red Army’s most lethal tanks during the early Cold War years. Clearly a favorite of their bloodthirsty namesake, when he passed away in 1953 the most recent and last iteration of this near-invincible lineage became the T-10.
Spacious and extremely heavily armed, it was the most atypical tank ever made in the Soviet Union. Yet it never enjoyed the same success as its cost-efficient (and weaker) replacements the T-55 and the T-62.