How does one counter the IS-3 in a 6.3-7.0 tank without HEAT or APFSDS?

This tank has been causing me a lot of trouble in both my US and Germany 6.3/.7 lineups. It’s not that its weakspots are small (they are VERY small) they are also extremely unreliable. This is actually a more difficult situation than the IS-4 which has a small but reliable driver’s hatch weakspot.

The hull front on the IS-3 is all but off-limits to any tank at this BR range without chemical or APFSDS ammunition, and the driver’s hatch is very unreliable - the turret ring tends to “catch” spalling from APHE, preventing it from injuring the turret crew. The 100mm plate infront of the gunner’s sight means that any APHE that would otherwise penetrate (like the Tiger 2’s 88m, or Super Pershing’s 90mm APHE) will instead pre-detonate before it can explode in the vehicle.

The only round I’ve found that works reliably is APCR, which can kill the gunner and commander in the IS-3, but his crew replacement time can beat the reload of the Super Pershing, T34 Heavy, King Tiger 105, and T95. Meaning you’ll likely lose the engagement anyway.

This tank seems undertiered compared to most other heavies near this BR range.

Flank and rear :)

Otherwise you don’t - HEAT and (very large caliber) APDS were the historical counters to very heavy armour.

Shoot it beneath the return rollers. Theres a flat plate there you can pen with a 76mm.

From the front, please…

Can’t flank an IS-3 easily in a Tiger 2 or T34 Heavy. You don’t really have the mobility for that.

There’s a small shot trap that pens the drivers hatch area.

Tried it tonight in a live-game as well as in the hangar. It’s not reliable at all. I’ll post a video later showing the problem.

Tough shirt then - without HEAT or much better AP you should avoid going head on at them, and your counter is to flank them!

It’s not reliable but it’s an option. Not every tank has to be easily destroyed from the front.

I can’t kill them at all if I don’t have HEAT/APFSDS, how is that “easy”?

I’ve killed IS-3s from the front with M4A3s, M26s, Panthers, Tigers. It’s not easy but it’s doable.

Shoot the barrel.

Nonsense - you can’t kill them FROM the FRONT - that is not the same as not being able to kill them at all.

If you continue to insist that somehow you must be able to kill them from the front then you are far too noob to be worth any further advice on!

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I shoot them from the front with the Ho-Ri using APHE. I have the armor to bounce them most times, but I either hit them in the barrel or shoot them right under the barrel where the driver is. It’ll either pen or lock the turret ring.

The other option is if you’re at a slight angle to them, shoot them between their front sprocket and hull.

Well the obvious thing is take the barrel out first then you have time aim or maneuver for cover.

What I do with the endless stream of uptiers I always seem to be on the low end of.

Spawn in a plane and bomb them, lol.

The Is3 is very low, and when you play tiger 2 you just have to stick to it in front and shoot at the turret ceiling, you will always kill it like that, t34 can do that too.

If you are tall or have a height advantage, you can shoot the rectangular plate over the gun on the turret. It’s a thin armor plate that’s removable for gun maintenance and is easy to pen.

At long range, if you don’t have heat, disengage by shooting smoke in its face and try to get closer/flank.

At close range, IS-3 has no neutral steering and slow turret slew rate. While it is aiming at you, shoot the muzzle brake and damage the gun, then track and flank it. Smoke the IS-3’s face as well if the machinegun can hurt you.


As someone who has had this problem myself, your best bet would be to knock its components out in this order: Gun, tracks. After that, if you can, go in for the kill.

Additionally, you don’t need APCR to damage it, aim for the cheeks of the turret (Those little parts near the gun mantlet.) with any round and it should go through and damage a lot of modules inside the vehicle.

As always, I will direct you to the Protection Analysis screen in-game for help in Identifying weakpoints.