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M-10 Tank Destroyer

Tank Destroyers were specialized units designed to engage and destroy enemy armor, opening the way for Allied tanks to exploit the gaps. During WW II, tanks did not have sufficient firepower for this task leading to the concept of a separate tank destroyer platform. The M-10 (standard nomenclature 3-inch Gun Motor Carriage, M10) was built on the chassis of the M4A1 Sherman diesel tank with an M7 3-in. gun in an M5 mount placed in the pentagonal welded turret. To balance the turret for the weight of the gun, 3,600 pounds of counterweights were attached to the top, rear of the turret. 4,993 M-10 Tank Destroyers were produced at the General Motors tank arsenal during WW II, beginning in September 1942.

The M-10 Tank Destroyer was also equipped with a .50 cal. machine gun. The 30 ton vehicle was powered by twin General Motors 6-71 diesel engines, reaching a road speed of 25 mph.

The M10A1 Tank Destroyer used the chassis of the M4A3 Sherman medium tank, powered by the Ford GAA gasoline engine. The M10A1 was the base vehicle for the M-36 Tank Destroyer, standardized in June 1944. The M10A1 Tank Destroyer without a turret was equipped and used as an artillery tractor, designated Full-track Prime Mover, M35 in this configuration.

A British modification of some of their late-model M10s, equipped with a heavier gun, the Mark 5 17-pounder, was designated the Achilles IIC by the British and was used during the later months of World War II in Europe.

See also the M-36 Tank Destroyer.

Today in WW II: 25 Oct 1943 American and New Zealand troops land at Mono and Stirling, Treasury Islands, south of Bougainville [25-27 Oct].  More 
25 Oct 1944 First operation by the Japanese Kamikaze Special Attack Force: 55 kamikazes strike 7 carriers and 40 other ships, sinking six, off Leyte, Philippines.
25 Oct 1944 Battle off Samar [Leyte]: US Admiral Sprague skillfully prevents a loss to the stronger Japanese force under Japanese Admiral Kurita.
25 Oct 1944 Battle off Cape Engaño (Leyte): lopsided naval battle resulting in the loss of most of Japanese Northern Force to US Admiral Halsey's carrier planes and battleships [25-26 Oct].
25 Oct 1944 Soviet Red Army enters Kirkenes, the first town in Norway to be liberated from the Germans.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

M-10 Tank Destroyer Photos

Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the M-10 Tank Destroyer at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup:

M-10 Tank Destroyer of the 645th TD Bn, 45th Division (7th Army), pushes through a roadblock, Lembach, France, 14 December 1944.
M10 Tank Destroyer of the 818th Tank Destroyer Bn., supports 5th Infantry Division troops, near Fountainebleau, France, 23 August 1944. Soldier in foreground is carrying a bazooka.
A truck mounted crane lifts the barrel of an 8-inch gun from its transport wagon, ready for transfer to its carriage, ETO, circa early 1945.  Full-Track Prime Mover M35 to the left, produced as a variant of the M10 Tank Destroyer.
Armor supporting the 30th Division:  744th Tank Bn. M24 Chaffee light tank on left, M10 Tank Destroyer from 823rd TD Bn. in center, with knocked out German vehicle at right.  Kirchhellen, 25 Mrach 1945.
M-10 Tank Destroyer carrying soldiers of the 45th Division enters Bourg, France, 4 September 1944. Retreating Germans abandoned the town about 4 hours earlier, taking all the bicycles with them.
The M10 Tank Destroyer was introduced in Tunisia after the Kasserine f ight. The chassis was that of the General Sherman tank, the gun having a higher velocity than that of comparable Allied tank guns. The first time it saw action was in thevicinity of Maknassy during the middle of March 1943. The village of Maknassywas occupied by U. S. forces on 22 March 1943.

M-10 Tank Destroyer Photo Gallery

M-10 Tank Destroyer
M10 Tank Destroyer.

M-10 Tank Destroyer at 4th Infantry Division Museum, Ft. Hood, TX, 2 December 2005
M-10 Tank Destroyer at 4th Infantry Division Museum, Ft. Hood, TX, 2 December 2005. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.

M-10 Tank Destroyer at 4th Infantry Division Museum, Ft. Hood, TX, 2 December 2005
M-10 Tank Destroyer at 4th Infantry Division Museum, Ft. Hood, TX, 2 December 2005. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.

M-10A1 Tank Destroyer at 4th Infantry Division Museum, Ft. Hood, TX, 2 December 2005
M-10A1 Tank Destroyer at 4th Infantry Division Museum, Ft. Hood, TX, 2 December 2005. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.

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