The Road to Berlin game event ends on Monday, 18 May, so there's still time for one last push to earn its main reward— the powerful VII IS-2 shielded . Each Stage of the event you complete will entitle you to a 25% discount on the 6,000 it takes to purchase this tank, and finishing all four Stages will allow you to get it for free!
The differences between this tank and the regular IS-2 are its screens and Premium status, allowing it to earn more credits and experience in battle. But first, let's start off with a little history.
Assault Vehicle 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 the D-25T gun could not only penetrate armored machine-gun cupolas (which were invulnerable to 85mm guns), but it could tear through the load-bearing brickwork of old buildings.
It was no surprise that these vehicles soon became prime targets for their enemies, who tried to stop these Soviet heavy tanks as quickly as possible.
By the end of the war, German soldiers were equipped with handheld 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 that the wire-mesh screens seen on German Pz.Kpfw. IV tanks were a reliable means of 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. For example, buildings in Berlin that were to become fortified defense points 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 handheld grenade launchers were DShK machine guns 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 all fairness, it is worth noting that since handheld grenade launchers weren't extremely effective, 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 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 that SPG hits will be 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 experience in battle, and accepts crews from any Soviet heavy tank without penalties.
If you haven't earned enough Victory Points to redeem the IS-2 shielded yet, what are you waiting for? Head into battle and charge down the Road to Berlin to earn this formidable Soviet Premium heavy tank!