M10 Achilles

...a visual history of the U.S. Army's WW2 Tank Destroyer


Title:  M10 Achilles...

Author: David Doyle

Publisher:  Ampersand

ISBN:  978-1-944367-19-0

...a Visual History of the U.S. Army's WW2 Tank Destroyer


One more of this excellent series of landscape format soft-cover books by Ampersand Publishing.  The introduction is just one page, but gives some useful background on the M10.  An obvious anti-tank weapon is another tank, but the US Army was looking for something cheaper to produce, faster, agile, and powerful enough to be a mobile anti-tank weapon.  The solution came with mounting the 3in gin in an open top turret for the M10 GMC, Gun Motor Carriage.  Built in large numbers, 1700 of which were supplied to the British Army, who in turn up-gunned over 1000 of them with the 17pounder, creating the British operated Achilles.

In the 128 page book the first part covers the M10, while pages 96 to the end feature the Achilles variant.  It opens with a section of black and white archive photos that include the prototype and a number of shots showing the factories where they were being built, along with plenty of in-service shots, some of which are well known, but printed in a size and quality where there is lots of detail to be found, showing how the crew actually worked them in action.  It includes field modifications where 'roof' panels were added over the open turret roof to add a bit of extra protection.  A number of these offer some potential diorama inspiration for modellers.  They are then followed by a fine collection of modern, colour photos showing some restored examples, in detail both inside and out.  These include museum examples such as one in the French Musee des Blindes collection at Saumur, as well as US museums and privately owened examples seen at shows like War and Peace.  The interior colours and details are very useful for both the turret and the hull.

The second part of the book covers the British operated Achilles version, mounting the 17 pounder gun, and which also features the distinctive counter-weight that sits on the barrel, just behind the muzzle brake.  Again there are a couple of pages of archive pictures to start it off, then detail photos of preserved examples.  Interesting in that one of these has a white painted interior to the hull, while the other has an olive green interior to the hull, as well as the interior of the turret.  One of them also includes a good illustration of the ammunition stowage inside as well.

There are a choice of good kits available of both the M10 and the Achilles in 1/35, as well as in smaller scales, so this will be a welcome reference for modellers.