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Thread: US Army Tank Destroyers in WW2

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    Member SpeedyHedgehog's Avatar
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    Default US Army Tank Destroyers in WW2

    [FONT=Verdana]There were three primary US Army tank destroyers in WW2:[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]M10 A 3-inch (76.2mm) gun on an M4 Sherman chassis[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]M18 Hellcat 76mm gun, designed from the ground up as a TD[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]M36 A 90mm gun on M10 chassis, with a large counterweight on the back of the turret to compensate for the larger gun.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]M10s in Rome[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]M10 Battle of the Bulge[/FONT]
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    [FONT=Verdana]M10s Magdeburg, Germany[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana][FONT=Verdana][/FONT]
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana]M10 firing near St. Lo, June, 1944[/FONT]
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    [FONT=Verdana]M10 in the Pacific[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]M10 with hedgerow cutters near Normandy[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]M10 701st TD Bn, Italy, March 1945[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]2 M10s 893rd TD Bn Huertgen Forest[/FONT]
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    [FONT=Verdana]M10 Tunisia 1943[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]British Achilles (British M10 with a 17-pdr gun), east bank of the Rhine, March, 1945[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]Camp Hood[/FONT][FONT=Verdana], Texas Training Center for US Army Tank Destroyers[/FONT]
    Last edited by SpeedyHedgehog; 02-26-2010 at 12:37 AM.

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    Member SpeedyHedgehog's Avatar
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    Default US Army Tank Destroyers in WW2

    [FONT=Arial][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]M18 Hellcat 805th TD Bn[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]Crew of an M18 with Christmas turkey, Italy, 1944[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]M18, 824 TD Bn, Germany, 1 April 1945[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]M18, 824th TD Bn, Wiesloch, Germany, 1 April 1945[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]M36 near Cologne, Germany, 1945[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]M36, 703rd TD Bn, 3rd Armored Division, Battle of the Bulge[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]M36, Dudelange, Luxembourg, 3 January 1945[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]Members of Company B, 630th TD Bn, who lost their vehicles during the advance to Belgium take infantry positions covering Wiltz.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana]When I left Germany in 1986 we still had M60A3TTS tanks. Shortly after I left my old unit in 1st AD they got new M1A1s. A friend who took over from me as XO said that, during the 30 days between turning in the old tanks and getting the new ones, they referred to themselves as T W A Ts (tankers without a tank).[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]There were 3 versions of the Tank Destroyer force patch produced during World War II, with 4, 6 and 8 road wheels. The 4 wheel version is most common, as it was easier to produce.[/FONT]
    Last edited by SpeedyHedgehog; 02-25-2010 at 04:27 PM. Reason: censorship???

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    Senior Member Marmot1's Avatar
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    Interesting, thanks for posting. Do you have any info when tank destroyers were phased out and what happened to them?

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    Banned user Zeev's Avatar
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    What was the effectiveness of these tank destroyers against modern german tanks like tiger or panther? Did they contributed a lot to ennemy armor losses on the battlefield?

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    Senior Member J도so's Avatar
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    M36 had 90mm gun what could knock out all (not sure about Tiger II) german tanks.

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    TD's had fatal flaws in Design and Doctrine

    Thin Armor
    Open turret roofs making the crews vulnerable in Urban settings, to Airbursts and close in Infantry attack.
    No Co-ax or Hull MG's usually a roof mounted exposed M2HB*

    Doctrinally there were supposed to fight from ambush. Awaiting German penetrations, massing and ambushing the attackers from Multiple points. Of course we used them Offensively, we used them as Tanks (a role they werent suited for).

    Some were given to the ROK army in 1950's to fight in Korea, some sold to Yugoslavia, some to France. A few M36 were sent to Vietnam in 1949 to offset possible threats from Chicom IS tanks

    Heres some data on the M36

    http://afvdb.50megs.com/usa/90mmgmcm36.html

    * M36B1 excepted was a M36 Turret on a M4A3W hull which had the std M1919A4 hull gun

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    Senior Member LineDoggie's Avatar
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    There was also large numbers of Towed Tank Destroyer Bns which used the M5 3" Anti tank gun. (Infantry regiments used the M1 (57mm) anti Tank gun)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3_inch_Gun_M5

    you'll note it is based upon the 105mm Howitzer, M2.

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    Senior Member Marmot1's Avatar
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    AFAIK There is one M36 now in Poland. We "liberated" it from Iraq few years ago in bad shape but now it is restored.

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    Senior Member LineDoggie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmot1 View Post
    AFAIK There is one M36 now in Poland. We "liberated" it from Iraq few years ago in bad shape but now it is restored.
    Yeah its a Very rare M36B1. The Iraqi's captured some from Iran, we had some in Taji as well.

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    Senior Member Marmot1's Avatar
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    Here it is... more photos here
    http://www.mmszczecin.pl/blog/entry/...BBagania!.html
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    Member SpeedyHedgehog's Avatar
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    There seems to have been some problem with 3-4 of the photos in my first post. I THINK I solved it, but if not I'm assaulting Imageshack HQ with a tank destroyer .




    Both these pictures were labeled M36 on the website where I found them. The second TD appears to have the counterweight on the back of the turret, the first photo you can't really tell. But both the gun tubes APPEAR to have no muzzle brake. Every other picture I've seen of the 90mm gun had a muzzle brake on the end of the tube. Is it just the quality of the picture, or are they actually M10s???
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    Unicus Ac Immortalis II Dark Avenger's Avatar
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    They are both M36s. Just look at the turret which lacks the flat sloped side panels of the M10. As for the gun, the muzzle brake was a rather late war addition. Many tanks (76mm) and TDs (M18s and M36s) lacked muzzle brakes, but the M1A1C gun barrel was threaded to accept one (a thread protector was used when the muzzle brake was not fitted).

    Also, this thread would be lacking if mention was not made of the earliest Tank Destroyers that saw service in WWII:
    The M3 Gun Motor Carriage and the M6 Gun Motor Carriage.

    And finally, to add to Linedoggie's comments, self propelled TDs were infinitely more effective than towed ones, having a favorable kill/loss ratio when operating independently and an excellent ratio when integrated into a combined arms defense. Still though, the basic concept was rather flawed, as mentioned, in addition to the TDs guns - with the exception of the 90mm piece - having a rather lackluster performance due to the fact that they used a relatively light propellant charge, since US artillery design tended to favor longer barrel life and a heavier charge would mean faster barrel and chamber erosion.

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    Croatian homeland war museum on open in town Karlovac. we use them during our war for independence and with some money they can be again in use
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    Senior Member Atlantic Friend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linedoggie View Post
    Open turret roofs making the crews vulnerable in Urban settings, to Airbursts and close in Infantry attack.
    What was the point of open turrets, BTW? Faster ROF?

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    Senior Member Marmot1's Avatar
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    Cheaper, lighter - it was intended as a cheap countermeasure against enemy tanks, but instead were used in assault and then they suffered loses.

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