The Road to Berlin game event ends Sunday, May 17 at 05:00 PT | 07:00 CT | 08:00 ET. Let's take a closer look at one of the main rewards — the IS-2 shielded. You can receive it for free by completing four (4) Stages of the game event. Each Stage completed provides a 25% discount on purchasing the tank. The IS-2 shielded costs 6,000 Gold in the game client.
The differences between this tank and the regular IS-2 are its screens and Premium status, allowing it to earn more Credits and XP in battle. But first, a little history.
Assault Tank of the Soviets
Thanks to the devastating power of its 122 mm gun, the IS-2 played a pivotal role during the final stages of World War II by proving effective at staging city assaults. A single HE shell from its D-25T gun could not only penetrate armored machine-gun cupolas (that were invulnerable to 85 mm guns), but it could tear through the load-bearing brickwork of old buildings.
It was no surprise these vehicles drew the attention of an enemy that strived to stop these Soviet heavy tanks as quickly as possible.
By the end of the war, German soldiers were equipped with hand-held grenade launchers of various designs, each one proving a cheap and somewhat effective anti-tank weapon.
The Armored and Mechanized Forces HQ notice from January 25, 1944 stated the wire-mesh screens seen on German Pz.Kpfw. IV tanks were a reliable defense against HEAT shells and mines.
Tanks in the City
Tanks proved highly vulnerable on the narrow city streets as even a Volkssturm militiaman was able to knock out a heavy vehicle. Buildings in Berlin that were to become fortified defense points, for instance, had their window openings closed off with bricks. The brickwork typically left two embrasures through which small arms and anti-tank grenade launchers could be fired.
The best defense tanks had against troops with hand-held grenade launchers were DShK machine gun and infantry escorts.
But there was a shortage of machine guns, and infantry escorts could be cut off by enemy fire. In such situations, tanks could be saved by screens. There were at least two types of screens that were employed situationally in separate units, and they differed in design and placing.
In fairness, it is worth noting hand-held grenade launchers weren't extremely effective, so screens were a rare sight. Out of the 419 IS-2 tanks knocked out in April 1945, anti-tank grenade launchers accounted for just 39 vehicles, with only 12 of them damaged irreparably.
Do Screens Work in the Game?
Based on its characteristics, the IS-2 shielded is similar to the researchable IS Tech Tree tank, although its mobility is somewhat inferior due to weight of the screens. So what are the screens good for?
They can protect the vehicle from HEAT shells and lessen the damage of HE shells. Screens provide a good advantage over enemies that lack APCR shells. The screen thickness may be 5 mm, but even that is enough to stop a 152 mm HEAT shell from an SU-152.
Another bit of great news is SPG hits are less noticeable due to the screen on the turret.
The tank features a streamlined glacis that adds an extra 30-40 mm of effective armor to the upper glacis plate, while the most vulnerable spot — the driver's hatch — is covered by a screen, making it a pretty hard target.
Aside from that, it's the same, good old IS with high damage per shot and the ability to upset even Tier IX vehicles. Thanks to its Premium status, the IS-2 shielded earns more Credits and XP in battle and accepts Crews from any Soviet heavy tank without penalties.