Tankers !!! The Yankees are coming !!!!
I'll show you guys a project that I really enjoyed building because originated in an actual photo. It all started when I stumbled on this picture:
|Troops and vehicles awaiting orders. Notice the upper right corner...|
In the photo, there is a M10 with a M1 dozer blade installed on the snout. And I had never seen this variant before ....But as the M10 used the same chassis as the M4 Sherman, the adaptation of the dozer was not impossible. I enlarged the photo to see more details of the vehicle and the presence of an armour roof in the M10 open turret has been detected.
|M10 with armour roof in the turret . See arrows...|
|M10 with armour roof|
Now there is only one option: build the beast!! But first, as always, we will make a historical report ....
The M10 tank destroyer, formally 3-inch Gun Motor Carriage, M10 was a United States tank destroyer of World War II based on the chassis of the M4 Sherman tank. It was numerically the most important U.S. tank destroyer of World War II and combined a reasonably potent anti-tank weapon with a turreted platform (unlike the previous M3 GMC, whose gun was capable of only limited traverse). Despite the introduction of more-powerful types as replacements, it remained in service until the end of the war. Some of those replacements were in fact modified and/or rebuilt from the M10 itself.
It was christened the Wolverine by the British, although unlike other vehicle names such as the M4 Sherman, the name was not adopted by American soldiers, who called it TD (from Tank Destroyer, a nickname for any tank destroyer in general) beyond its formal designation.
US combined-arms doctrine on the eve of World War II held that tanks should be designed to fulfill the infantry support and exploitation roles. The anti-tank warfare mission 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 enemy tank breakthrough, maneuvering aggressively to destroy enemy tanks. This led to a requirement for very fast, well-armed vehicles. Though equipped with turrets (unlike most tank destroyers of the day), the typical American design was more heavily gunned, but more lightly armored, and thus more manoeuvrable, 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. The 3-inch Gun Motor Carriage T35 was the prototype of the M10. It was equipped with a 3-inch (76.2 mm) gun in a new sloped, circular, open-topped turret, developed from the Heavy Tank T1/M6 turret, and mounted on an early-production Medium Tank M4 hull.
|3inch GMC T35 prototype|
This prototype was further developed by sloping the hull, using an M4A2 chassis, and replacing the circular turret with a pentagonal version; this model was designated 3-inch Gun Motor Carriage T35E1. In June 1942 the T35E1 was finalized as the 3-inch Gun Motor Carriage M10 and ordered into full production.
|M10 3inch Gun Motor Carriage|
A British variant, designated "17pdr SP Achilles", was developed by mounting the successful 17-pounder anti-tank gun in a modified turret. The 17-pounder was of a similar bore, but had far superior armor penetration capability. It was used by the British, Canadian and Polish armies in Italy and North-West Europe.
|17pdr. SP Achilles|
The M10 used a Medium Tank M4A2 chassis (M10A1s used M4A3 chassis) with an open-topped turret mounting a 3" gun M7. This gun fired the Armor Piercing M79 shot that could penetrate 3 inches of armor at 1,000 yards at 30 degrees from vertical. Other ammunition carried throughout its service life included the Armor Piercing Capped Ballistic Cap (APCBC) M62 projectile, High Velocity Armor Piercing (HVAP) M93 shot, and Armor Piercing High Explosive (APHE); 54 rounds of 3-inch ammunition were carried. The rear of the turret carried two large counterweights which gave it a distinctive shape. The main shortcoming of the M-10'x 3 inch cannon was its APHE round, which was the round most commonly used for engaging tanks. The 3 inch APHE round was based on the naval 3 inch round and had a small charge in the rear of the round which was supposed to explode after penetration of the targeted tank's armor plating. Unfortunately it was discovered that it exploded on impact or shortly thereafter, causing the round not to penetrate. It is still a puzzling mystery as to why this problem was never addressed with a better base fuse or by deleting the small HE charge in the rear of the round. This was also the problem with the towed version of the 3 inch cannon, the M-5, in the antitank role.
In its combat debut in Tunisia in 1943 during the North African campaign, the M10 was successful as its M7 3-inch gun could destroy most German tanks then in service. The M10's heavy chassis did not conform to the tank destroyer doctrine of employing very light high-speed vehicles, and starting in mid-1944 it began to be supplemented by the 76mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 "Hellcat". Later in the Battle of Normandy, the M10's gun proved to be ineffective against the frontal armor of the newer German Tiger and Panther tanks unless firing HVAP rounds, but was effective against the most common tanks such as the Panzer IV medium tank and other lighter vehicles and self-propelled guns. Tank Destroyer units had been supplemented with 90mm towed guns in partial anticipation of heavier German tanks, but their lack of mobility made employing them difficult. By the fall of 1944 the improved 90mm Gun Motor Carriage M36 'Jackson" began to arrive in Europe as well.
|90mm GMC M36 'Jackson'|
In the Pacific war, US Army M10s were used for infantry support but were unpopular due to their open-topped turrets, which made them more vulnerable than a fully enclosed tank to Japanese close-in infantry attacks.
Approximately 54 M10s were supplied to the USSR though their use by the Red Army service is largely unrecorded. The M10 also equipped units of the Free French Army; one M10 named 'Sirocco', part of the Régiment Blindé de Fusiliers Marins composed of French sailors, famously disabled a Panther on the Place de la Concorde during the liberation of Paris. British M10s were designated as (Gun) 3 inch Self Propelled Wolverine (3in SP Wolverine) or "M10 3 in SP" and as with all British self-propelled guns were operated by Royal Artillery units. They saw action in Italy and France, many being upgunned with the more effective 17-pounder gun (as the 17pdr SP Achilles) from 1944 onwards.
The M10's open-topped turret theoretically left the crew vulnerable to artillery and mortar fire as well as infantry close assault, especially in urban combat and wooded areas, but this was more not considered a major flaw as American infantry carried significant support firepower when supporting the vehicles in the type of combat that made them most vulnerable. Morevever, the open topped turret gave the vehicle excellent visibility which was valuable to a vehicle that was tasked with finding enemy armored vehicles and other targets. The open top also made escape easier when the vehicle was hit and improved communications with accompanying infantry. By the end of the war its armor was clearly too thin to provide protection from the newer German tanks, anti-tank guns and infantry anti-tank weaponry.
In the final analysis the M10's service, although it was clearly not a superior weapons system in Europe in 1944-45, nonetheless, in the tactical environment in which it fought, proved to be useful, effective, and survivable enough to maintain unit strengths through replacement and repair.
Ten German Panther Ausf G tanks were modified to look like M10's (Ersatz M10) in the Ardenne's offensive.
|Panther Ausf G Ersatz M10|
|3-inch Gun Motor Carriage M10|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Weight||29.6 metric tons|
|Length||6.83 m (w/ gun)|
5.97 m (w/o gun)
|Crew||5 (Commander, (3×) gun crew, driver)|
|Armor||9 to 57.2 mm|
|3" (76.2 mm) Gun M7|
|.50 cal Browning M2HB machine gun|
|Engine||General Motors 6046 Twin Diesel 6-71|
375 hp (276 kW)
|Suspension||Vertical Volute Spring Suspension (VVSS)|
First of all, I did this drawing (based on George Bradford's drawing...) of the vehicle, to guide me during the building.
For this project, I will use these two kits: The M10 from AFV Club and the dozer from Verlinden. The big advantage is that the kit of AFV is the late M10, ie, with the armoured roof.
The AFV kit building is easy and smooth, by the book;
|M10 hull. Notice the interior, painted and ready...|
|driver and co-driver seats|
The building of Verlinden dozer is easy. The M10 used the same suspension of the M4 Sherman.
|dozer rack - left view|
|dozer rack - right view|
|testing the dozer with her arms|
The building of the hydraulic lines and her armour. The lines passes through the right headlight hole, like in the M4 Sherman.
|building the hydraulic lines|
The M10 side by side with my M4A1 dozer, for comparison matter:
|metal gun in the M10|
After the painting, the best part: markings. I always use future to prevent silvering.
|stars in the beast|
And the M10 dozer ready for action:
|M10 GMC with dozer|
|M10 GMC dozer with M4A1 dozer|
|M10 GMC with dozer - left side|
|M10 GMC with dozer - rear view|
|M10 GMC with dozer - right side with Kojak, for size comparison|
|M10 GMC with dozer - right side|
|Kojak approves !!!|
Well, Gents...See you, later!!