Tank Craft 12, Tank Destroyer, Achilles and M10, British Army Anti-Tank Units Western Europe 1944-1945

This series is aimed at the model maker but contains much information and unique imagery of interest to any one learning about armoured vehicles. This new book provides an excellent set of images with concise text in review of the M10 and its Achilles version in British Army service. – Highly Recommended

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NAME: Tank Craft 12, Tank Destroyer, Achilles and M10, British Army Anti-Tank 
Units Western Europe 1944-1945
FILE: R2844
AUTHOR: Robert Brown
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, Tank Craft
BINDING: soft back 
PAGES: 64
PRICE: £14.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Armour, battle tanks, tank destroyers, gun tanks, tracked vehicles

ISBN: 1-52674-190-3

IMAGE: B2844.jpg
BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y4rlvd5c
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION:   This series is aimed at the model maker but contains much 
information and unique imagery of interest to any one learning about 
armoured vehicles. This new book  provides an excellent set of images with 
concise text in review of the M10 and its Achilles version in British Army 
service. – Highly Recommended

The design of armoured vehicles advanced very rapidly during WWII. Initially, 
the British fielded some very capable vehicles that could resist German fire and 
break a panzer advance if deployed in adequate numbers. The Germans were less 
well-prepared because Hitler thought he had at least four more years to develop new 
weapons and was surprised to find that Poland was a German invasion too far for 
Britain and France. That resulted in the German Army being largely equipped with 
light tanks in 1939 as the first medium tanks, Pkw III and Pkw IV, started to reach 
the Panzer Divisions in small numbers.

In the latter stages of WWII some very powerful tanks began to join the Panzer 
Divisions. These were able to brush off shells from Allied tanks and able to engage 
them beyond the range of their smaller guns. There was a limit to how far the Allies 
could depend on large numbers of less capable tanks that were produced by US 
factories in huge volumes. That led to efforts to equalize the situation by up-gunning 
existing designs and finding creative ways of improving arms and armour.

The most capable Allied design of WWII was the British Centurion tank that arrived 
too late for the end of the war. That meant that although some British designs were 
reaching units, they were generally in very small numbers and the basic Allied tank 
was the Sherman that was known on both sides as the 'Tommy Cooker' because 
German Tigers and Panthers stood off and turned them into blazing wrecks with 
some ease. However, the US production system was too well established to make 
new designs a viable option, leaving only creative modification of the basic M3 and 
M4 chassis.

The problem facing designers was that a tank hull faced a challenge in up-gunning 
and the gun manufacturer faced challenges in bringing forward new more powerful 
guns. This was largely a matter of the dynamics of trunnion distances and turret ring. 
The fudge was to dispense with the traditional turret and employ either an open 
barbet or follow the German concept of placing the gun directly into the hull with 
limited traverse, elevation and depression. That allowed more powerful guns to be 
mounted but placed operational constraints on the modified hulls.

The M10 was a self-propelled anti-tank gun, originally mounting the US 3in gun 
and further up-gunned by the British who replaced it with the 17pdr Firefly gun 
which was also applied to some British Sherman battle-tanks with great success. 
The 17pdr proved able to defeat even the Tiger II armour. Adding armour was 
more difficult because of added weight and the field practise was to mount spare 
wheels and track links on the outside of the vehicle, both as valuable spares and to 
make the armour more resistant.

The M10 was more flexible than a German SPAT because the barbette offered good 
traverse and reasonable elevation and depression but the open barbette left the crew 
exposed to shrapnel from air bust shells. The Canadians added armoured plate 
overhead to their M10/Achilles as a part solution to this deficiency.

This book has some outstanding illustration with a detailed review of available 
model kits and specialist components to enhance a standard kit. This caters for the 
modeller and adds to the photographs and text that makes this a so much more 
versatile book to appeal to a very much wider readership.