American M10 Td With 17 Pounder In British Service

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by halfyank, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. halfyank

    halfyank Member

    I'm a modeler and there is a bit of debate on this vehicle. British military equipment always had a name, and not just a number. Lee, Grant, Stuart, Sherman, were all started by the British to describe American lend equipment. One vehicle was the M10 tank destroyer. Supposedly it was named the Wolverine in British service. Except there was also an M10 armed with the excellent 17 pounder anti tank gun. Many people believe it was called the Achilles.

    Can anybody verify from personal experience if British troops ever refereed to this tank destroyer as Achilles, or just 17 pounder Wolverine, or what?
     
  2. redcoat

    redcoat Senior Member

    Originally posted by halfyank@Jun 1 2005, 07:31 PM
    British military equipment always had a name, and not just a number. Lee, Grant, Stuart, Sherman, were all started by the British to describe American lend equipment. One vehicle was the M10 tank destroyer. Supposedly it was named the Wolverine in British service. Except there was also an M10 armed with the excellent 17 pounder anti tank gun. Many people believe it was called the Achilles.
    [post=34964]Quoted post[/post]

    The name Wolverine was given to unmodified M10 tank destroyers with the US 3inch gun in British service.
    The name Achillies was given to M10 tank destroyers modified with the British 17 pdr gun.

    http://www.wwiivehicles.com/usa/tank_destr...kdestroyer.html
     
  3. halfyank

    halfyank Member

    Thanks Redcoat for the site. I actually use it all the time, and I know what it has to say about the name Achilles. I also have other sources though that say it was never really called that, at least not during the war. I was hoping some vet here, Sapper perhaps, could say if they ever called it that during the war.
     
  4. redcoat

    redcoat Senior Member

    Originally posted by halfyank@Jun 3 2005, 05:46 PM
    I also have other sources though that say it was never really called that, at least not during the war.
    [post=34993]Quoted post[/post]
    Must be honest I don't know any vets who used any marks of the M10 in WW2.
    However it must be noted that the names Wolverine and Achilles were the names assigned to these tanks by the War Office, they weren't nick-names.
    The names would have to have been used officially in some way at least, in order to stop any confusion over ammo.
     
  5. Gerboa

    Gerboa Gerboa Desert Rat History

    Hi, I have been reading the War Diaries of 65th Anti-Tank Regt (Norfolk Yeomanry) and also those of its four Batteries. The Regtl Diaries and those for 260th A/Tk Bty refer to the 17 pdr armed M10 as a 'Mayfly' and not the Achilles.

    Has any one else heard this name used before? It might just be a local name or is it in the same series as the Firefly? Or like the codename of Swallow for Shermans when first deployed at El Alamein.

    Hopefully, I will be able to check out some other diaries from other M10 equipped units to see is they use the term Mayfly at any time.
     
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  6. Seroster

    Seroster Canadian researcher Patron

    I haven't seen that term before, myself, in the AT war diaries I've looked at.
     
  7. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Mayfly - yes, but from the same source.
    It's my opinion that Mayfly and the obviously-related Firefly were codenames for the conversions, perhaps even the conversion kits, rather than the vehicles per se.
    Firefly stuck better, perhaps partly due to the greater numbers, partly as tankies were used to named tanks; gunners were all about the gun.
    A significant quantity of 17-pr equipments were picked up directly from the factories by the units which is why I think the names might relate to their production.
     
  8. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Gunner Tours

    Not true.
    Official RA documents from 1944 call the M10 - the M10. This was regard less of the armament.

    Try 5.09 for an talk about names. He puts forwad the argument that Churchill liked tanks with names but some of the Gunner stuff was too boring. M10- Bofors SP - three types of Crusader SP AA - alphabet soup radars,
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
  9. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
  10. ceolredmonger

    ceolredmonger Member

    Wartime documents refer to M10 for both types. If differentation was needed they would be M10 and M10 17pdr. (punctuation varies a lot). They also don't differentiate between engine or turret types. I have seen M10 Wolverine and even Wolverine 17pdr. I have also seen the same reference to Mayfly. I have never seen a wartime reference to Achilles.

    They were issued to RA ATk regiments by Battery, initially one per Armoured Div. ATk Regt. When the M10 17pdr was issued it was by Battery again initially to Armd Divs. Infantry Divs. got the M10 76mm. General rule is no mixed units.
     
  11. Old Git

    Old Git Harmless Curmudgeon

    Idler you may well be right in that assertion and it's an idea that I've always ascribed to...at least since I discovered that there was a Morric LRC conversion, to mount a QF 6 pounder, which was also called a Firefly! Obviously it was rejected but it did exist at one stage!
     
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  12. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    DSC00421.jpg The other firefly mentioned above.
    Still intrigued if there's a picture of the Humber one out there.
     
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  13. Old Git

    Old Git Harmless Curmudgeon

    Yup, that would appear to be it, an odd looking beasty to be sure!
     
  14. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Gunner Tours

    My reading of the documents is that the British wanted all of the M10s to be armed with the 17 Pdr, but production was slow. The initial issue was 12 each to the Corps Anti Tank Regiments and to the Armoured Divisions deployed to Op Overlord by 31 May. Furtjher issues were to take place via Armoured Replacement Group and Ordnance. (RA 21 AG may 1944 appx A) 12 guns was a battery's worth, but there wasn't central direction that they had to be deployed in a single battery. Further replacements might be individual. A 17 pounder M10 might be issued to replace a 3"one. (RA 21 AG WD May 1944 Appx A)

    According to the Parham papers,the reason for the slow delivery of the 17 pdr M10 was an industrial dispute.
     
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  15. ceolredmonger

    ceolredmonger Member

    An apparent aberration for the purist type counters is that the first production 17pdr conversions were late pattern turret M10s straight from the Lend-Lease stockpile (vertical turret side rear). Only when the earlier turreted versions came back from units were they converted so appear late in the war or post war (some as Marshall plan vehicles converted in Canada). There is no British sub-type designation for these in either variant (despite attempts by model companies and forums)
     
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  16. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    The M10 with 17 pounder was definitely called the Achilles.

    The way this works is actually very simple. All AFV names were created by the Ministry of Supply. It was then up to the arm of service who used any particular AFV whether they adopted the Ministry of Supply's nomenclature or not.

    The Royal Armoured Corps always adopted the Ministry of Supply's nomenclature - hence you get Churchills, Comets, Cromwells etc.

    The Royal Artillery, who received the self-propelled guns, did not adopt the Ministry of Supply's nomenclature. This was because they viewed any SPG as primarily a gun, its vehicular mounting being of secondary importance. Hence, what the Ministry of Supply called the "Achilles", the RA called the "17 pounder, SP, M10", and what the Ministry of Supply called the "Archer", the RA called the "17 pounder, SP, Valentine".

    What the RA were being issued with, as far as they were concerned, were 17 pounder guns that happened to be on self-propelled mountings, the chassis of which could be one of several types.
     
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  17. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Thanks - good to finally know the source of such things. But did the MoS christen the Firefly/Mayfly?
     
  18. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    I have never seen a Ministry of Supply reference to either a "Firefly" or a "Mayfly".

    So my suspicion is that both these names are bogus, with the caveat that I have not pursued this matter exhaustively. so there is still a possibility that I could be surprised.
     
  19. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Mayfly and Firefly are contemporary names but as they're not official MoS nomenclature someone else must have coined them. My money is currently on the REME whose staff history, though lacking on Firefly, does have this on the subject of the M10:

     
  20. Seroster

    Seroster Canadian researcher Patron

    Idler, where can I read more about that? What's the staff history book?
     

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