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
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
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.