tank destroyer us ww2

An M10 tank-destroyer in action near St. Note: The dates are for when the unit received the Hellcat. By these means, every component of the drivetrain, complete with bogies with VVSS, roadwheels, idlers and drive sprockets, return rollers and tracks, and the internal arrangement were kept the same. 5.88 without gun x 3.04 x 2.79 m (19’3″ x 9’11” x 9’2″), Ford GAA V-8, gasoline, 450 hp, 15.5 hp/t, 5 (driver, co-driver, commander, gunner, loader), Continental radial R-975-C4 9 cyl., gas. The ultimate American tank hunter of WW2. One of the most powerful ‘tank destroyers’ in WWII. It showed itself a formidable opponent for German tanks, largely on par with the British Firefly (also based on the Sherman). The first proper tank-destroyer was the M10 Wolverine, which featured the hull of the M4 Sherman tank and a new pentagonal turret. The M10 did not see much tank-to-tank action for the rest of the North African campaign, and instead was used as mobile fire support. As an attempt to improve the figure to fifteen degrees, the Army ordered that the track grousers and antiaircraft machine gun be stored on the rear of the turret. The prototype was further refined and ended as the 3-inch Gun Motor Carriage M10, earning the go ahead for production in mid-1942. There was an anecdote about an 86th Anti-Tank Regiment (XII Corps) British tank which had its turret crew killed and replaced three times, but the driver and tank itself remained safe. This successful conversion was followed by sixteen others. Restored M18 GMC Hellcat tank destroyer at the Military Odyssey event in southern England. Prototypes of these two vehicles were delivered to Aberdeen Proving Ground in April 1942, and the Army selected the T35E1 for further development on 2 May 1942. Soon after reaching production, it was realized that the barrel of the 3-inch gun M7 was too heavy,[7] to the point where it prevented traverse of the turret on a slope of more than four degrees. The 76 mm (3 in) gun soon proved to be not as effective as hoped against German armor, although a limited supply of high-velocity armor piercing ammunition did compensate to some extent. The T86 and T86E1 amphibious tank destroyers, as well as the T87 105 mm (4.13 in) amphibious Howitzer Motor Carriage, the T88 105 mm (4.13 in) Howitzer Motor Carriage and the Super Hellcat mounting the turret from the M36 turret were all tested, but none proceeded to production before war’s end. The M10 is often referred to by the nickname "Wolverine", but the origin of this nickname is unknown. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Or more precisely, to use speed to deploy ahead of the attacking enemy, take up camouflaged and protected firing positions on their flanks if possible, and then open fire. The M10 and M10A1 had a crew of five; commander, gunner, loader, driver, and assistant driver. Tank Destroyer information in the world. Although in short supply, they proved quite up to the task against any German tanks, including the latest evolution of the Panzer IV. Main gun was accurate up to 3000m and had a muzzle velocity more than 1000m/s.During the war, only 415 tanks were built. Mid-production M36 “Pork Shop”, U.S. Army, 2nd Cavalry, Third Army, Germany, March 1945. Panzer divisions would concentrate more … By November 1941, the Army requested a vehicle with a gun in a fully rotating turret after other interim models were criticized for being too poorly designed. Approximately 52 M10s were supplied to the Soviet Union through Lend-Lease. It … M36s were also purchased after the partition of India, seeing action on both sides in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. Already in Normandy, the threat of bocage ambushes urged the crews to improvise armored rooftops with panels cut out from enemy tanks. The tank-destroyer force was the Army’s response to the wild successes of German armor in Poland and France in 1939 and 1940. The prototype of the M10 was conceived in early 1942, being delivered in April of that year. No less than seven TD battalions operated there with M10s and M18s, but no M36s. Various handles were welded on these for fastening external storage. The armament consisted of an M1A1 76.2 mm main gun and a 12.7 mm Browning M2HBon top of the turret. The 1st Free French Army led by General De Lattre received dozens of M10s, operated in similar lines as US tank hunter units. It produced 450 horsepower (340 kW) at 2,600 rpm. The tandem engine produced 375 horsepower (280 kW) at 2,100 rpm. Throughout the long campaign in Italy, then through France and the Low Countries, the tank destroyer units had a number of moments to shine as tank destroyers; at Arracourt, in France, on September 19th 1944, the 704th TD battalion in support of the 4th Armored Division destroyed 15 tanks of the German 113th Panzer brigade while in a dense fog; during the Ardennes offensive on December 19th-20th 1944, 4 Hellcats of the 705th TD battalion supported an attack on the 2nd Panzer division. Production of the M18 started on January 7th, 1943, when 1,000 units were ordered. The tank destroyer battalions in the Third Army claimed the destruction of 686 tanks and 238 self-propelled guns. There is no doubt that the open-top turret was not appreciated in winter, and both the lack of protection and firepower did not contribute to their popularity. M18 “Amazin Grace” from an unknown US Army unit in France, 1944. On flat ground, they were fast enough and able to manoeuvre around enemy tanks with ease. Notice the extra cal.30. M10 3in GMC from the 776th Tank Destroyer Battalion, Tunisia, March 1943. The Pacific War Online Due to the lightness of the turret and the frontal weight of the gun, two large counterweights were added to the rear basket. It combined thin but sloped armor with the M4 Sherman's reliable drivetrain and a reasonably potent anti-tank weapon mounted in an open-topped turret. In US service, the first engagements came in early 1943, in Tunisia. The Ford plants produced another 1,028 vehicles of the M10A1 variant (October 1942 – September 1943), and Fisher produced a further 300 turretless M10A1s used as artillery tractors, later converted as M36 Jacksons. The unique design of the hull hatches to clear the gun mantlet meant that the driver's view directly to the left side was obstructed. The sides received well-sloped flat armor plates with a “>” section, held in place, like the turret plates, by massive nuts. M10A1, late production version, unknown unit, France, summer 1944. There are a total of [ 72 ] Tank Destroyers entries in the Military Factory. A later conversion of this vehicle became the 105 mm Howitzer Motor Carriage M7, better known as the “Priest”. The prototype 3-inch Gun Motor Carriage T35 was given a standard 3-inch (76.2 mm) M7 gun and a circular open-top turret already produced for the early production M4A1 (later replaced by conventional turrets on these). An order for 500 was issued. The M10 proved unpopular in the Pacific due to its open turret, which left it vulnerable to Japanese close-assault antitank tactics. These were assimilated as SPGs, operated by Royal Artillery units, and saw service in 1944 in Italy and France (especially with the Canadians and Poles). However, the turret design was not a simple repeat of the sloped plates of the M10 but rather a thick casting with front and side slopes and a backwards recline. Fisher also completed a further 300 M10A1 hulls without turrets in January 1944 for direct conversion to M36 tank destroyers. Tank Destroyer Forces. The vehicle could carry 54 rounds. Notice the muzzle-less gun and absent add-on side armour plates M10A1, Normandy, summer 1944. Indeed, in September 1942, it was already foreseen that the standard 75 mm (3 in) M7 gun of the M10 was only efficient at short range (500 m) against the enemy vehicles. M18 Hellcat, Battle of the Bulge, winter 1944-45. I do not own the rights nor soundtrack of this video, which is displayed solely for educational purposes. The M10 carried 54 rounds of 3-inch ammunition, 48 of which were stowed in four racks in the sponsons, and 6 rounds in the upper rear of the turret. As the United States army entered World War II, it drew certain conclusions from Germany’s quick victories over Poland and France. Other operators included the Philippine Army (until the 1960s) and Turkey (222 donated, now long deactivated). A bustle acting as turret basket was welded on this casting to the rear, providing extra ammo storage (11 rounds) as well as acting as a counterweight for the M3 main gun (47 rounds, HE and AP). The triangular cast gun shield sported the thickest armor on the vehicle, 2 1⁄4 inches (57 mm). Some were little more than stopgap solutions, mounting an anti-tank gun on a tracked vehicle to give mobility, while others were more sophisticated designs. The secondary armament comprised a .50 (12.7 in) caliber M2HB machine gun in a ring mount (800 rounds), rotating 360 degrees, with manual traverse. Many US divisional commanders asked for their M10s to be replaced with fully armored tanks. Free French Forces M10 Sirocco, 2nd DB, taking part in the liberation of Paris, August 1944. Speed and agility were the hallmarks of this particular tank destroyer; these qualities came about from using a powerful engine and by keeping armored protection to a minimum. [27], Total M10 losses in the European Theater of Operations to all causes were 539.[28]. Postwar modifications included a folding armored roof kit to provide some protection against shrapnel, but also later fitting of a hull ball mount Browning cal.30 machine gun on the co-driver’s position and the new M3A1 gun. The partial roof on the front third of the turret opening was 3⁄4 inch (19 mm) thick. The main armament was a 76 mm (3 in) M1A1, M1A1C or M1A2 gun with 45 rounds. With 192 gallons of gasoline, this gave a 240 km (150 mi) range on roads with a top speed on flat ground of up to 48 km/h (30 mph). One tactical theory was that the two towed batteries would form a gun line, while an M10 battery remained mobile on each flank to drive or lead enemy tanks to the static gun line. 3 inch Self Propelled Gun M10, unknown British artillery unit, Italy, mid-1944. British 17pdr SP Achilles Ic, Italy, 1944. Late Gun Motor Carriage M36, Belgium, December 1944. Direct combat in the open against tanks was to be avoided whenever possible. After US entry into World War II and the formation of the Tank Destroyer Force, a suitable vehicle was needed to equip the new battalions. A postwar study alleged that the 39 TDs battalions knocked out no less than 1,344 German tanks and assault tanksuntil the end of the war, while the best battalion claimed 105 Germans tanks and TDs. The armor and turret were completely new. Born of a desperate need to counter the mechanized might of the so-called blitzkrieg, tank destroyer doctrine involved the pooling of anti-tank weapons into . This unit served on the 3rd Belorussian Front in 1944, taking part in summer campaigns in Belorussia, the Baltic, and East Prussia. Front (turret) 76 mm /0 ° The second prototype, T35E1, used the M4A2 chassis and had a new pentagonal turret with flat, sloped sides, frontal beak and inverted rear slope. This also led to the creation of the Tank Destroyer Force, a dedicated reserve unit embracing a new doctrine. In addition, between October and December 1944, 187 conversions of standard Medium Tank M4A3 hulls into M36s were performed at the Grand Blanc Arsenal. The 17pdr SP was used by the British, Canadian and Polish armies in Italy and northwest Europe. [21] They served first in Italy, then in France and Germany. Seek, Strike, and Destroy your opponents with this Hellcat of a U.S. tank destroyer! The mild steel parts weighed 2,400 pounds. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Rear (turret) 44,5–130 mm / 0 ° M10 GMC, Tunisia, April 1943. The Tank Destroyer force was created as a mobile GHQ antitank reserve in 1941. The M10 tank destroyer was an American tank destroyer of World War II. The only variant of the M18 to see production and combat was the T41/M39 armored utility vehicle, used as a turretless personnel or cargo carrier and as a gun tractor. Two battalions of tank destroyers did see service in the invasion of the Philippines using Hellcats. He was provided with a second periscope at the edge of the hull for this purpose. Side (hull) 19–25 mm / 0–38 ° These were produced by the Fisher Tank Division (General Motors), Massey Harris Co., American Locomotive Co. and Montreal Locomotive Works (chassis) and hulls by the Grand Blanc Arsenal. For combat use, the 3-inch Gun M7 could fire five types of ammunition: The M79 AP shot could penetrate 92 mm of homogeneous armor angled at 30 degrees from the vertical at 1,000 yards. The engine noise and smoke could attract enemy fire, especially in close quarters, where the M10 was vulnerable due to its thin armor and open-topped turret. Not designed for these roles, the M18 nevertheless did excellent work supplementing the artillery of these infantry divisions. The rear upper hull plate was used for storage of the vehicle's pioneer and maintenance tools: a 5-pound (2.3 kg) axe, a 5-foot (1.5 m) crowbar, a mattock handle and head, a double-sided 10-pound (4.5 kg) sledgehammer, and a track tensioning wrench. In addition, specialized semi-independent TD battalions ceased to be used and the M36s (the TD doctrine had been discredited meanwhile) were now operated within mechanized groups, fighting alongside infantry.Indeed at the time of the attack of the Siegfried lines, the M36 was used in close proximity of the troops and proved quite useful with HE shells against German bunkers. Although fielded much earlier for training, the first M36 in organic tank hunter units, in accordance with the US TD doctrine, arrived in September 1944 on the European Theater of Operations (also at the insistence of Eisenhower that regularly had reports about the Panther). The 17-pounder was of a similar bore to the 3-inch gun M7, but was longer and used a larger propellant charge; it had far superior armor penetrating capabilities. Military Photos. The British Achilles 17 pdr conversion was, in this way, quite successful. The original concept called for battalions to be concentrated in tank destroyer brigades and groups for employment en masse against an armored threat. ‘ I would say ‘pound-for-pound, the German JagdPanther = “WHY” ? Italy also received some postwar, deactivated in the 1960s. Tank destroyer units were to be held as a reserve at the corps or army level, and were to move quickly to the site of any massed enemy tank breakthrough, maneuvering aggressively and using ambush tactics (charging or chasing enemy tanks was explicitly prohibited) to destroy enemy tanks. They also converted several other chassis for this role and pressed many new specialized models into action. The army then changed their request to a vehicle mounting a 57 mm (2.24 in) gun, thus the designation changed to the T49 57 mm Gun Motor Carriage. The M7 gun weighed 1,990 pounds. M10 Wolverine. However, the M10 was still insufficient, so an order went out for a tank destroyer designed from the ground up to hunt and destroy tanks. According to the army’s “Seek, Strike, Destroy” doctrine, these battalions were to be kept under the control of upper echelon headquarters, in order to respond quickly to mass Panzer attacks. High quality Tank Destroyer gifts and merchandise. M36 GMC, December 1944, en route to the battle of the BulgeDuring the Battle of the Bulge, the 7th AD was engaged, with its M36s, at St Vith with success, despite artillery shelling and wood splinters, or the presence of snipers in these woody areas. The French also acquired some postwar, which were found in action in the 1st Indo-China war. The idea was to use speed and agility as a defense, rather than thick armor, to bring a powerful self-propelled gun into action against enemy tanks. In addition to serving with the United States army, the Hellcat also served with the armies of Taiwan, West Germany, and Yugoslavia (until the 1990’s). Tank destroyer, a highly mobile lightly armoured tank-type vehicle that was used to fight tanks in World War II.Tank destroyers tended to have relatively thin side and rear armour, and the gun was mounted in an open turret or in a casemate that had only a limited traverse.This made tank destroyers lighter, faster, and easier to manufacture, but it also rendered them more vulnerable to enemy fire. The 1700 M10A1s received a gasoline Ford GAA engine and were based on the M4A3 chassis. It is possibly a postwar invention. M36B1: Conversion on M4A3 hull and chassis. Although Buick was contracted to build 8,986 Hellcats for the US army and Lend-Lease recipients, only a total of 2,507 vehicles were produced, with production ceasing in October 1944. In general, the open-top turret was not seen as a problem since US Army doctrine of use in close support included infantry walking alongside the vehicles to counter enemy infantry tactics. The Free French received at least 227 M10s, 155 of them through Lend-Lease. This new gun can be recognized by its muzzle brake and bore evacuator. The M62 APCBC/HE-T shell was capable of penetrating 88 mm of homogeneous armor angled 30 degrees from the vertical at 1,000 yards. Until then, one of the vehicles used as such was the T12 GMC, a conversion of the M3 half-track with a shielded M1897A4 75 mm (2.95 in) gun. The staff at Aberdeen Proving Ground was worried that the armor of the T35E1 was too thin, and so bosses for appliqué armor panels were added to the hull sides, glacis, and turret sides. This gun was also used by the M26 Pershing. Indeed, against the threat of a possible Chinese intervention and use of the IS-2 heavy tank, a Panther was first tested without success, and M36B2s were sent instead with the RBCEO and custom modifications (roof plates and additional .30 cal) in 1951. This new test vehicle was designated the 3-inch Gun Motor Carriage T35E1. Production was assumed at General Motors Fisher Tank Arsenal in Grand Blanc, Michigan (4,993 M10s and 375 M10A1s from September 1942 to December 1943). Most of the vehicles converted were the 3in SPM M10 Mk II, as the "duck bill" counterweight better balanced the heavy gun. In practice, UK batteries were frequently separated in Normandy, M10s being seconded to British tank brigades equipped with Churchill tanks armed with the general purpose 75 mm gun just as were British 17 pounder conversions. [14][15] On 10 July 1944, the 899th Tank Destroyer Battalion blunted a German counterattack by the Panzer Lehr Division near Le Dézert and destroyed 12 Panthers, one Panzer IV, and one Sturmgeschütz III in a fierce two-day battle, most of it taking place at ranges of less than 200 m. Due to the initial shock of encountering heavy German tanks, further changes were made in the tank destroyer force in late September 1944. Later in the war, M4A2 (diesel versions) were also converted as B2s. By 1944, the M10 had started to lose the edge against the Panthers and Tigers, until HVAP rounds were supplied, and even then they had to find weak points and maneuver around the German tanks to be effective. When entirely closed there was a gap above the turret allowing the crew to still have a good peripheral vision. This was particularly apparent by the end of 1944 and the Battle of the Bulge, when the German Panzerschreck and Panzerfaust teams began to take a toll. Two-tanks batteries of these were often seconded to British tank brigades equipped with Churchill tanks. They were first used at Kwajalein, in February 1944. A secondary cal.50 (12.7 mm) machine-gun was mounted on top, both for AA and ground defense. These were designated M36B1 and rushed to the European Theater of Operations to combat alongside regular M36s. Meanwhile, a set of wedge-shaped counterweights weighing 3,700 pounds total was designed by Fisher. The commander sat on a folding seat at the right rear. The Tank Destroyer board began to examine several hundred Ordnance Department prototype proposals for a tank destroyer mounting a 3-inch gun, initially focusing the most interest on two: Meanwhile, as the final design developments of these two tank destroyers were underway, the Ordnance Department became dissatisfied and by November 1941 had issued an additional specification for a tank destroyer with a 3-inch gun in a rotating turret. There were a number of variants tested using the chassis of the Hellcat. Soviet M10 GMC, Northern Front, summer 1944. This did not solve the balance problem, and on 21 December 1942, triangular "quick fix" turret counterweights made of lead, mild steel, or cast iron were authorized. ROCA (Republic of China Army) M36 on display at the Chengkungling museum. Glacis front hull 38–108 mm / 0–56 ° They were judged as faster and more agile than the M26 but still much better armed than lighter tanks like the M24 and, some years after, the M41. In May 1943, an azimuth indicator and gunner's quadrant were added to the M10. 7 talking about this. It needed a staggering two minutes to rotate a full 360 degrees. Ease of maintenance came from the engine being mounted on steel rollers, which permitted quick removal and replacement. In July 1943, the appliqué armor bosses on the hull sides and turret were dropped from production. The engine of the M10A1 was the Ford GAA, an 8-cylinder derivative of an ill-fated V-12 aircraft engine project. Hellcat from the 805th Tank Destroyer Battalion in Italy, 1944. "A tank armed with a 76-millimeter gun was a world-beater in 1941, but by 1945 was a pop-gun in a tank-versus-tank duel." There are a total of [ 42 ] WW2 Tank Destroyers entries in the Military Factory. French M10s were operated along similar lines as US tank destroyer units, although initially with five vehicles per platoon instead of four. The M10 initially lacked any provision for indirect fire. Officially, it was named “M36 tank destroyer” or “90 mm Gun Motor Carriage M36” by the ordnance and US Army at large. In the Italian campaign, as in northern Europe, the M10s were normally attached to infantry or armored units as infantry support or mobile artillery, more so the latter because of the general lack of German armor in that theater. All the materials we receive are digitized and available to read online or download. The grouser racks and indirect fire equipment were often retrofitted to earlier vehicles. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. By fall 1943, with its M5 and M9 competitors being eliminated from the design competition and their production contracts cancelled, the M10 was to become the United States' primary tank destroyer of the early war period. In UK service, one M10 in the 86th Anti-Tank Regiment (XII Corps) in Normandy drove back out of action three times with the turret crew dead. Production of the two models ran from September 1942 to December 1943 and October 1942 to November 1943, respectively. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'tanks_encyclopedia_com-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_7',110,'0','0'])); After their first encounters with the Soviet KV-1s and T-34s, the German Army was poised to revise its tank design and take immediate action to bolster their firepower and protection. The 17-pounder conversions were designated various ways, with a "C" suffix added on to the "M10" designation, or called "17pdr M10". After appropriate changes to the hull and turret were made, the modified version was selected for production in June 1942 as the 3-inch Gun Motor Carriage M10. The sides and rear of the upper hull featured angled extensions or covers over the upper run of track. The latter, in addition to their roof-mounted add-on armor folding panels, also had an upgraded M3 main gun with a muzzle brake. French M36B2 “Puma” of the Régiment Blindé Colonial d’Extrême Orient, Tonkin, 1951. A tracked tank-hunter was already improvised and tested on the M3 Lee chassis. The gunner, on the left side of the gun, normally stood to operate it, but he was also provided with a folding seat. The hull ball-mounted machine gun on the co-driver’s side was a postwar addition to all surviving M36s, and later an M3A1 90 mm gun (shared with the M46 Patton) was mounted instead of the 90 mm M3. After the early, soon obsolete M10 Wolverine and the superfast M18 Hellcat, the US Army needed a more powerful gun and better armored vehicle to hunt down the latest developments in German tanks, including the Panther and Tigers. The last 300 vehicles received the new M1 76 mm (3 in) gun, which had better muzzle velocity and could fire heavier ammunition. The Hellcat accomplished great speeds (50 mph, or 80 km/h) due to its extremely light armor which was never more than one inch thick (25 mm). Hellcat from the 249 MAC Division, Republic of China, 1980s. Rear (hull) 19–25 mm / 0–38 ° It also had a crew of five men and it had a 3 speed forward, 1 speed reverse transmission. US 5th Armored Division M36 & Personnel near Schriefersmühle, Germany - March/April 1945.

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