Hobby Master HG3424 US M10 Tank Destroyer - 601st Tank Destroyer Battalion, Italy, 1943 (1:72 Scale)
- Motto of the 601st Tank Destroyer Battalion
The M10 were, numerically, the most important US tank destroyer of World War II. In its combat debut in the North African campaign, the M10 was successful as its M7 3-inch gun could penetrate most German tanks then in service at long range. The heavy chassis did not conform to the tank destroyer doctrine of employing very light, high-speed vehicles, thus it began to be supplemented by the 76 mm Gun Motor Carriage M18 early in 1944. Later in the Battle of Normandy the M10's gun proved to be ineffective against the frontal armor of the numerous German Panther tanks encountered and by the fall of 1944 the improved 90 mm Gun Motor Carriage M36 was beginning to replace it, though it remained in service until the end of the war. In the Pacific, US Army M10s were used for traditional infantry-support missions and were unpopular due to their open topped turrets. The Japanese tactic of very close-in infantry attacks against US AFVs made the M10 much more vulnerable than a fully-enclosed tank.
Approximately 54 M10s were supplied to the USSR though their usage in Red Army service is largely unrecorded. The M10 also equipped units of the Free French Army; one M10 named "Sirocco", crewed by a regiment composed of French sailors, famously knocked out a German Panther tank on the Place de la Concorde in Paris. British M10s were designated 3 in SP, Wolverine and saw action in Italy and France, including some re-armed with the much more effective 17-pounder guns which gained the designation 17 pdr SP. Achilles.
The M10 had an open-topped turret that left it vulnerable to artillery and mortar fire and infantry assault especially in urban combat and forest areas, where a simple hand grenade could be tossed inside. By the end of the war its armor was too thin to provide protection from the new German tanks and anti-tank guns. The other main disadvantage of the M10 was its very slow turret traverse, the M10 did not have powered traverse and so the crew had to hand-crank the turret to traverse it, taking approximately two minutes to traverse 360 degrees. US tank destroyers fired much more HE than anti-tank ammunition, indicating that they were employed much like the tanks they were supposed to support.
A British variant, designated the "Achilles", was developed to mount the successful 17-pounder anti-tank gun in a modified turret. It was used by the British, Canadian and Polish armies in Italy and northwest Europe.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a US M10 Tank Destroyer that was attached to the 601st Tank Destroyer Battalion, then deployed to Italy during 1943.
Pre-order! Ship Date: August 2020.
Release Date: ?
Historical Account: "Forging Destiny" - The 601st Tank Destroyer Battalion was a battalion of the United States Army active during World War II. It was the first of the newly formed tank destroyer battalions to see combat, and the only one to fight as a "pure" tank destroyer force. It also has the unusual distinction of being one of the few American units to fight in all three major campaigns against Nazi Germany (North Africa, Italy and Northern Europe) and to have participated in four assault landings (Torch, Avalanche, Shingle and Dragoon).
Following the North African campaign, it re-equipped with M10 tank destroyers. It landed at Salerno with Operation Avalanche in September 1943, attached to the 36th Infantry Division; at the end of the month it was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division, with whom it would serve for the remainder of the war. With the 3rd, it landed at Anzio in Operation Shingle in January 1944, crossing the beaches virtually unopposed and taking up positions on the right of the beachhead. It saw action during the push to expand the beachhead and then the bitter defense against a German counterattack; on February 29th, it was employed as part of an active defense by the 3rd Division, repulsing attacks by three separate divisions. It entered Rome in June 1944.