A worthy addition to the extremely popular Images of War series from Pen & Sword. The author, an armour preservation specialist has delivered a beautifully researched and illustrated book, many illustrations being in full colour. – Very Highly Recommended
NAME: Images of War, M36/M36B1 Tank Destroyer, Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives FILE: R2891 AUTHOR: David Doyle PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword BINDING: soft back PAGES: 121 PRICE: £14.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War II, World War 2, World War Two, Second World War, armour, tank killer, gun tank, post war history, 3in gun, 90mm M3, up- gunning, specialist armour, standard components
IMAGE: B2891.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y58nqazf LINKS: DESCRIPTION: A worthy addition to the extremely popular Images of War series from Pen & Sword. The author, an armour preservation specialist has delivered a beautifully researched and illustrated book, many illustrations being in full colour. – Very Highly Recommended The development of armoured warfare, from the early ponderous trench breakers of WWI, was rapid in the 1930s and 1940s. Although the tank destroyer was made obsolete at the end of WWII, it has soldiered on in armies through into the 21st Century. The problem faced by all the countries engaged in WWII was that technological development and the development of tactics was so rapid that it made development of new counter weapons vital. This was never more true than in the case of armoured fighting vehicles. However, there were several constraints to be addressed. Although the Germans developed tactics for lightning war with a combination of armour, mechanized infantry, artillery and close air support, their initial AFVs were less effective than British and French armour. Had the Allies brought their armour together, early in WWII, as the British did in 1940 at Arras, they would have been able to deal effectively with the German Panzers. Their lack of focus allowed the Germans to storm ahead and then begin introducing much more effective new models. A war of development then unfolded as tanks became bigger, heavier, faster, better gunned and more heavily armoured, with the final German designs, the Panther and the Tiger I and II, being formidable AFVs that were more than a match technically for the Allied designs in the closing stages of WWII. Both sides had soon begun development of specialist tanks as a way of cutting time to introduction by adding to existing chassis and hulls. The tank destroyer and the assault gun enabled the Germans to keep older designs of gun tank effective in specialist roles. By moving away from the new standard of a tank with a main gun in a turret that had up to 360 degrees rotation and generous elevation and depression of that main gun, it became practical to increase frontal armour significantly and add a much more powerful gun in a vehicle with a low silhouette. This was at the expense of traverse, elevation and depression, requiring the vehicle to be turned onto targets when they were outside the movement of the main gun. The US armoured developers took a different approach with their tank destroyers, retaining the main gun and turret combination, initially modifying hulls, keeping existing wheels, track and suspension, but adding a more powerful gun. Initially they used a 3in gun that was more effective than the main guns fitted to the Sherman tank which was being produced in enormous volumes. The British adopted this new AFV and replaced the guns in many of their Sherman gun tanks and tank destroyers with the highly effective 17 pounder gun that had enabled them to take on even the Tiger II successfully. This book recounts the story of the M36 in text and pictures. The M36 was built on M4A3 hulls but constructed for the purpose rather than taking existing hulls and adapting them. A decision was also taken to use a diesel engine which was a step forward in reducing the fire risk that had earned the Sherman gun tank the nickname of “Tommy Cooker” because German hits frequently caused the Sherman to burst into flame. The 3in gun of the M10 tank destroyer had soon been outclassed and the M36 was to be equipped with the 90mm M3 gun. This gun was mounted in a similar open turret to that used on the M10 but it was a new and larger turret to match the requirements of the more powerful gun. As with the M10, the open turret provided no crew protection from air-burst shells Although the M36 became obsolete as tactics changed at the end of WWII, it was supplied to allies and smaller friendly armies, serving on operationally into the 21st Century. Examples also exist as museum exhibits and as gate guardians.