AETIUS my friend, put aside the tankie propaganda "the best anti-tank weapon is another tank."AETIUS 1980 wrote: ↑20 Sep 2021 15:52We must admit that the use of the TM.10 in the first phase of the landing remains a mystery to me. Certainly versatile machines, designed for the "hunt" of armored vehicles, there are only a few fragilities left making it unsuitable for this type of direct engagement on the beach. Its lack of superior protection is a real vulnerability to mortars, not to mention its armor. The armament deployed on the points of support does not guarantee him any chance of survival (even against a gun of 2.5 cm Pak 113 (f), then against a 5 cm KwK L/60 ......). Should we see a desire to possess at all costs a means of fighting in ambush against the German armored vehicles? The closest are also equivalents (platoon of Marder I/Sdk.fz.135 of the 1./Pz.Jg.Kp.716 (Sf) on Crésserons) and will not be deployed in direct confrontation. Then comes the question of those owned by the 21.Pz.Div and then in the Falaise sector.The Allied chain of command had probably estimated the minimum time required to respond to this threat, which must be diluted in view of Allied coverage and maritime support. It can be suggested that the fear of seeing a Salerno or Anzio-Nettuno renewed has fueled the need to have anti-tank training from the first wave, although it is a tactical counter-use! We can clearly see the traffic jam caused on the beach in the middle of the weak corridors drawn between mines. These bottlenecks of strangeness will limit the deployment of entities in constituted level which will have repercussions on the means available in the hands of the management of the 3rd Inf.Div to succeed in its various missions.
British army doctrine was to kill tanks with anti tank guns - as at El Alamein, Medennine pass, and as would come to pass in Normandy at Bretteville and Op Epsom.
The British anticipated strong counter attacks by German armour on D Day and their infantry would need their anti tank guns. The establishment of the anti tank regiments of infantry divisions was for a mix of towed equipments: 17 pounder, towed by Field Artillery Tractors and 6 pounders towed by universal carriers.
Universal carriers were seriously underpowered, its engine had about the same power output of the economy versions of a small family car. Their across country performance was described by a senior gunner as paralytic. Bogged infantry 6 pounders was one of the causes of traffic jams on the pre D Day exercises. The FAT was un-armoured and unsuited to operations in the battle area.
The M10 was chosen to equip the anti-tank regiments of the assault divisions on D Day. It could be used in the surf and mounted on tracks was less likely to bog down. Its armour was enough to protect the detachment from bullets, and from splinters from mortar bombs and artillery rounds.
The RA liked the M10 and had confidence in its capabilties. SP anti tank guns were not supposed to be used as tanks, but to engage enemy armour from ambush positions. The Gunners did not seem to suffer as much from from the Tiger phobia that afflicted British and American armour. One regimental history notes that "The 3 inch SP was a good anti-tank gun. The 17 pounder SP was a terror. There was no enemy tank that could not be penetrated by a 17 pounder" B troop of 41 Anti tank battery's M10s accounted for two of the ten tanks lost by KG v Oppeln to B Squadron Staffordshire Yeomanry on Periers Ridge. One M10 was knocked out, killing the No1 Sgt Mitchley. In practice the M10 was also used as an assault gun when no other armour was available - as shown in the photograph.
Besides the eight M10s, from I troop 45 and G troop 67 anti tank batteries, three more troops of artillery AFVs also landed at 08.10 - just before the Sword Beaches were considered suppressed. These were A and C Troops of 218 Light AA Battery, each equipped with three 40mm bofors SP crusaders, and G Troop 322 battery, equipped with three triple 20mm cannon mounted on crusader tanks. These were unarmoured mountings. It may be significant that German defensive fire dropped shortly after the landing of an additional fifteen well armed AFVs on Sword beach.