Tank Destroyers

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Tank Destroyers are an interesting variant of armoured vehicles.
They are basically used just to kill tanks as they tend to have heavier cannon then tanks. They do not have turrets (although some American design's did) a lower profile. They as a rule can not fire while moving. To save weight they have thin armor on the rest and sides but thick armor.
They are used most often in defensive positions or ambushes.
During WW2 the US, Germany and the Soviets built and used them.
Today they are not generally used.
Where they effective. Certainly sometimes they were. Mark Felton has an interesting video on the Jadtiger which in English means hunting tiger.
The Jadtiger was to little and to late and we're not mechanically reliable but nonetheless for the brief period that they were used at the end of WW2 they were deadly to allied tanks.
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A good article on Tank Destroyers is "US Army Tank Destroyers failure or ... " National Interest.
US Tank Destroyers were not always loved by the top brass but they killed lots of Panzers. The British and Free French also used American Tank Destroyers with some success. Tank Destroyers were also used in the Korean War by the US Army.
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Here...


Modern....

In the video series tank chat the Elephant or Ferdinand was not a very reliable tank destroyer due to it poor transmission. It often broke down in the field. During the Battle of Kursk it didn't have machine guns and was vunereable to Soviet anti tank squads.
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Not sure exactly how the US M 10 tank destroyer isn't a tank it sure looks like one. It might of lacked as much armor as a tank.
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jgoodguy

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Not sure exactly how the US M 10 tank destroyer isn't a tank it sure looks like one. It might of lacked as much armor as a tank.
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IMHO Armor thickness.
M10
Armor 0.375 to 2.25 in (9.5 to 57.2 mm)
Sherman
Armor 12.7 mm (0.5 in) minimum
Up to a maximum of 177.8 mm (7.0 in) depending upon variant[3]
 

rittmeister

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IMHO Armor thickness.
M10
Armor 0.375 to 2.25 in (9.5 to 57.2 mm)
Sherman
Armor 12.7 mm (0.5 in) minimum
Up to a maximum of 177.8 mm (7.0 in) depending upon variant[3]
to be tank (obviously not in wwI) it needs a closed turret that can turn 360° which any historian worth their salt would know. again mark felton:

The Battle of Chaumont near Bastogne on 23 December 1944 is reputed to be the first appearance of the fearsome but flawed Jagdtiger or "Hunting Tiger", the largest tank used in WW2. Find out what happened when just four of these 71-tonne behemoths stopped General Patton's advance stone dead.
emphasis mine

somebody pops out badly researched vids
 

jgoodguy

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Looks to me the M10 designation was more or less arbitrary.
Doctrine
U.S. combined arms doctrine on the eve of World War II held that tanks should be designed to fulfill the role of forcing a breakthrough into enemy rear areas. Separate GHQ tank battalions would support infantry in destroying fixed enemy defenses, and armored divisions would then exploit the breakthrough to rush into the enemy's vulnerable rear areas. U.S. tanks were expected to fight any hostile tanks they encountered in their attack, but the mission of destroying massed enemy armored thrusts was assigned to a new branch, the Tank Destroyer Force. Tank destroyer units were meant to counter German blitzkrieg tactics. Tank destroyer units were to be held as a reserve at the corps or army level, and were to move quickly to the site of any massed enemy tank breakthrough, maneuvering aggressively and using ambush tactics (charging or chasing enemy tanks was explicitly prohibited) to destroy enemy tanks. This led to a requirement for very fast, well-armed vehicles. Though equipped with turrets (unlike most self-propelled anti-tank guns of the day), the typical American design was more heavily gunned, but more lightly armored, and thus more maneuverable, than a contemporary tank. The idea was to use speed and agility as a defense, rather than thick armor, to bring a powerful self-propelled gun into action against enemy tanks. Or more precisely, to use speed to deploy ahead of the attacking enemy, take up camouflaged and protected firing positions on their flanks if possible, and then open fire. If unable to destroy the enemy force or to force them to retreat, then speed and agility would be used to avoid enemy fire until the TDs could withdraw, preferably to move up and deploy for another ambush. Direct combat in the open against tanks was to be avoided whenever possible.
 

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IMHO Armor thickness.
M10
Armor 0.375 to 2.25 in (9.5 to 57.2 mm)
Sherman
Armor 12.7 mm (0.5 in) minimum
Up to a maximum of 177.8 mm (7.0 in) depending upon variant[3]
True it's a bit confusing because the M-10 looks like a tank but is not a tank.
US Army doctrine was that the M-10 and other tank Destroyers were not to charge ( per Wikipedia) or chase enemy tanks but with their superior (as if the time of their introduction in Spring 1943) cannon engage enemy armor at a distance and if overwhelmed retreat to another firing position.
In Italy and the Pacific Theatre with relatively few enemy tanks the M-10 was useful for fire support. With thin armor and an open turret they were vunereable to enemy infantry.
Overall the M-10 appears to have been successful although not so much against the latter heavier versions of the Tiger and Panther.
The M-10 late war was supplemented by the M-36 Tank Destroyer and very late in the war the M-26 Pershing Tank.
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Looks to me the M10 designation was more or less arbitrary.
Doctrine
U.S. combined arms doctrine on the eve of World War II held that tanks should be designed to fulfill the role of forcing a breakthrough into enemy rear areas. Separate GHQ tank battalions would support infantry in destroying fixed enemy defenses, and armored divisions would then exploit the breakthrough to rush into the enemy's vulnerable rear areas. U.S. tanks were expected to fight any hostile tanks they encountered in their attack, but the mission of destroying massed enemy armored thrusts was assigned to a new branch, the Tank Destroyer Force. Tank destroyer units were meant to counter German blitzkrieg tactics. Tank destroyer units were to be held as a reserve at the corps or army level, and were to move quickly to the site of any massed enemy tank breakthrough, maneuvering aggressively and using ambush tactics (charging or chasing enemy tanks was explicitly prohibited) to destroy enemy tanks. This led to a requirement for very fast, well-armed vehicles. Though equipped with turrets (unlike most self-propelled anti-tank guns of the day), the typical American design was more heavily gunned, but more lightly armored, and thus more maneuverable, than a contemporary tank. The idea was to use speed and agility as a defense, rather than thick armor, to bring a powerful self-propelled gun into action against enemy tanks. Or more precisely, to use speed to deploy ahead of the attacking enemy, take up camouflaged and protected firing positions on their flanks if possible, and then open fire. If unable to destroy the enemy force or to force them to retreat, then speed and agility would be used to avoid enemy fire until the TDs could withdraw, preferably to move up and deploy for another ambush. Direct combat in the open against tanks was to be avoided whenever possible.
Yeah that's from the Wiki article.
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A unique tank destroyer is the US Scorpion M-56 which was developed in the early 1950s. It was a self propelled light weight vehicle with very thin armor and a 90mm gun that was to be parachuted to support airborne troops against Soviet tanks.
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jgoodguy

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A unique tank destroyer is the US Scorpion M-26 which was developed in the early 1950s. It was a self propelled light weight vehicle with very thin armor and a 90mm gun that was to be parachuted to support airborne troops against Soviet tanks.
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M56 Scorpion - Wikipedia
The M56 Scorpion is an American unarmored, airmobile self-propelled anti-tank gun, which was armed with a 90mm M54 gun with a simple blast shield, and an unprotected crew compartment.


 

jgoodguy

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As far as I know the M-56 was never used in combat so we don't know how it would of cared over the then contemporary T-54.
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Never used as a tank destroyer.

Used against infantry and rebels.

My money is on the t-54
 
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