Archer spg tank-killers?

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MarkF617
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Re: Archer spg tank-killers?

Post by MarkF617 » 14 Oct 2018 15:25

Sheldrake said:
[The 17 Pdr M10 could be used as an assault gun.quote]

This was the reason crews liked the Archer. British self prepelled guns were manned by the Royal Artillery and were expected to follow an attack and be in cover ready to help repel the inevitable German counter attack. This is what the Archer was designed to do and it could do well. Although the M10 could also do this just as well as it looked like a tank it was sometimes treated as one by senior infantry and armour officers and sent into assaults where their thin armour was inadequate. M10 crews hated this, not only was it dangerous but they had not been trained to do this. Archers, due to tbeir design, would never be asked to do this. They were self propelled anti tank guns and were perfectly suited to do this job.

Thanks

Mark.
You know you're British when you drive your German car to an Irish pub for a pint of Belgian beer before having an Indian meal. When you get home you sit on your Sweedish sofa and watch American programs on your Japanese TV.

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Don Juan
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Re: Archer spg tank-killers?

Post by Don Juan » 09 Nov 2018 13:16

From the war diaries I have seen, the Archer does seem to have knocked out or destroyed a reasonable number of enemy tanks and SPG's in the limited time it was operational. There is even an instance of a Panther being knocked out by a single round of 17 pdr APDS, which seems to indicate that this round could sometimes be accurate. The number of German tanks and SPG's destroyed by M10's and Achilles seems to have been really quite substantial, and much larger than is generally supposed. I think the M10/Achilles might well be the most underrated weapon of the war.

The Archer did have some advantages over the M10/Achilles, the most often cited being that it had a lower profile and was thus easier to disguise, and that the rear facing gun meant that the vehicle could be driven out of position quickly in an emergency. The lack of a turret on the Archer was seen as an advantage by some commanders in Italy in that it discouraged it being used as a tank. There are quite a few examples in that theatre of the M10 being successfully used to support infantry advances in a tank-type role. This obviously led to the anxiety that the role of the anti-tank regiments was creeping into areas that it shouldn't. The major disadvantage of not having a turret was the inability to switch between disparate targets without moving the vehicle.

In NWE the Archer was provided to AT Regiments in infantry divisions, with the Achilles serving the AT Regts in the Armoured Divisions. Generally, those regiments who switched from towed guns to the Archer were quite happy with it, while the regiments that switched from the Achilles to the Archer were more dubious.
"The demonstration, as a demonstration, was a failure. The sunshield would not fit the tank. Altogether it was rather typically Middle Easty."
- 7th Armoured Brigade War Diary, 30th August 1941

Delta Tank
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Re: Archer spg tank-killers?

Post by Delta Tank » 09 Nov 2018 14:15

Don Juan,

Why would a unit switch from the Achilles to the Archer?

Mike

Gary Kennedy
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Re: Archer spg tank-killers?

Post by Gary Kennedy » 09 Nov 2018 15:21

The D-Day 'Assault Divs' (3rd Br, 3rd Cdn and 50th) had M10s for the landing. They were still using them into early 1945 before converting onto the Archer and towed 17-pr format. I know 50th had left by late 1944 but their Atk Regt (102) was moved to 15th Div and took it's M10s with it in Dec44.

Gary

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Don Juan
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Re: Archer spg tank-killers?

Post by Don Juan » 09 Nov 2018 15:24

There were a couple of AT regiments that were redeployed from Italy to NWE iirc, and the equipment change was as a result of that. In Italy itself, where AT regiments had to take what they were given, some regiments operated both M10's and Archers at certain junctures, although in most cases the M10's were of the 3" variety.

One thing I discovered is that some AT regiments in Italy used a small number of towed 2 pounder guns with Littlejohn adaptors - I didn't even know such things existed.
"The demonstration, as a demonstration, was a failure. The sunshield would not fit the tank. Altogether it was rather typically Middle Easty."
- 7th Armoured Brigade War Diary, 30th August 1941

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