- Paperback: 48 pages
- Publisher: Osprey Publishing (19 Aug. 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1841764698
- ISBN-13: 978-1841764696
- Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 0.5 x 24.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 402,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
M10 and M36 Tank Destroyers 1942-53 (New Vanguard) Paperback – 19 Aug 2002
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About the Author
Steven J. Zaloga was born in 1952, received his BA in history from Union College, and his MA from Columbia University. He has published numerous books and articles dealing with modern military technology, especially armoured vehicle development. His main area of interest is military affairs in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in the Second World War, and he has also written extensively on American armoured forces. Peter Sarson has produced graphic cutaways for many armoured vehicle publications, and is regarded as one of the world's great illustrators of military vehicles. Peter lives and works in Dorset.
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After reading this book, I feel it should have been titled "The M10 Tank Destroyer...Oh Yeah, And The M36 Too". While I had no idea before reading this book that M36 tank destroyers are mostly converted M10s and also are not officially called 'Jackson', the deployment history of the 90mm M36 series feels abbreviated. Like Zaloga's M4A3(76mm) Sherman 1943-1965 book, post-war use is sparse, with only a page and a quarter of text but several nice pictures and caption commentary filling in for the laconic state of the post-war section. I certainly would have appreciated more details on how some of these foreign customers of the M10 and M36 used them; instead, the nations are described in passing, such as the Western European allies, Egypt, South Korea, Pakistan, and Yugoslavia, with no unit descriptions or how they fared in battle. It really is unfortunate that considering the Zaloga quality of work of the development and deployment of the M10 76mm gun tank destroyer, the M36 90mm gun tank destroyer appears like an afterthought that was appended merely to flesh out a book about the M10.
To save weight, there was no turret top. Mistake. Made the crew vulnerable to granades and sniper file. Ironically,the turret was unbalanced, so they had to add counter weights of 3,000 pounds so it would rotate properly. Did't save much weight after all.
Another design feature - trade armor protection for speed. Did not work that way. US tank destroyers were sent in as tanks to support infantry. As usual, we put cannons on the destroyers that were no better than the M-4's until late 1944 when 90mm versions arrived.
This is a great book on a brief history of US tank development of the M-10 and M-36. A lot of important information, statistics and data is included. Numbers manufactured, dates, etc. Very good B&W photos, some line drawings. A good balance between a history book and a modelers book.
The author tucks away a neat factoid on the cover page - the M-36 commonly referred to as the "Jackson" was a post war name and not found in WW2 references by the Army or crew. Nor was the M-10 called the Wolverine. Intersting and shows how these small jems can suprise you with information you thought you already knew. I recommend this book.
Service use in all of the theaters they appeared in is dealt with in at least part. He explains their role as self-propelled artillery and (without great detail) how they encountered heavier German armor in Italy before June 1944 for example.
There is a tremendous amount of information I haven't found elsewhere. I just wish the author had done two things: (a) laid it out a little better. Likewise the wording could be better: rather than stating "The M10 cost $47,900, compared to $60,200 for the comparable M4A2 tank, a price difference of about 25 percent." it would have been clearer to state "..the M4A2 cost 25% more than the M10 or the M10 cost 80% of the M4A2." And I would have liked to see the costs associated with building M36 turrets and installing them on the three basic hulls (M10s without turrets; removing turrets from M10s; and on M4s).
And (b) done a lot more into the technical details, some of which are glaringly wrong. For example: Page 24 the Panther's glacis is 80-mm thick and sloped at 55 degrees it is roughly 140-mm/5.5-inches thick, not 85-mm and 185-mm thick. In "Panther Versus Sherman" he gets the thickness and slope right but somehow does the math wrong and comes up with 145-mm thick. But the gun table (as small as it is) indicating penetration is more accurate than some of the tables I've seen.
Compared to some of the similar books of their series this one has a lot of meat in it.
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