M10 Tank Destroyer
An M10 Tank Destroyer, firing its main cannon
|Role||Medium Tank Destroyer|
|Upkeep per Minute||-10.36|
|Produced By||Tank Depot|
|Primary armament||M7 3-inch Anti-Tank Cannon|
|Max. Speed||6.8 m/s|
The M10 Tank Destroyer, nicknamed "Wolverine" by the British, is an anti-tank vehicle fielded by the American army in Company of Heroes. Clad in good medium armor and sporting a large armor-piercing cannon, the M10 Tank Destroyer uses its surprising speed to flank and destroy enemy tanks. Though less sturdy than an M4 Sherman, it is still a medium tank capable of withstanding some firepower, and is better than the Sherman at knocking enemy tanks out, especially by attacking their rear armor. M10 Tank Destroyers can provide a mobile anti-vehicle defense, but are better used making powerful offensive strikes against the enemy as part of an armored assault group.
With the construction of the Tank Depot in the late stages of the game, the Americans gain access to three different tanks to facilitate their final offensive operations - each with its own unique specialty in combat. The M10 Tank Destroyer represents the decidedly anti-vehicle end of the spectrum, providing a fast mobile gun platform designed to flank and destroy enemy tanks.
The M10 Tank Destroyer is constructed at the Tank Depot for the cost of 300, 55, 6, making it one of the cheapest medium tanks in the game. The tank is based on an M4 Sherman's chassis, but with a considerably-modified turret: open-topped and sporting a very large 3-inch (76mm) cannon, firing armor-piercing shells.
Due to the changes made to its turret, the M10 Tank Destroyer is significantly different from an M4 Sherman tank. On the up-side, the vehicle is lighter and thus faster, capable of outrunning and outmaneuvering enemy tanks - and even lighter vehicles - with great ease. The turret itself also rotates rather quickly, further making flanking maneuvers simpler to accomplish. On the down-side, this open-topped turret lacks the heavy armor on the M4 Sherman's turret, making the vehicle about twice as vulnerable to enemy anti-tank fire.
The M10 Tank Destroyer can provide a very good anti-tank defensive patrol for the late mid game, or even earlier if a rush for the Tank Depot has been made. However, the M10 Tank Destroyer only truly shines during offensive operations, where it provides the anti-tank firepower lacking in regular M4 Shermans. M10 Wolverines and M4 Shermans are expected to work in very well-coordinated groups, with each tank having its own specific role. The M10's role in this is to flank enemy tanks while they are busy engaging a Sherman, and attack their weaker rear or side armor.
The M10 Tank Destroyer relies on one single weapon: its M7 3-inch Anti-Tank Cannon, installed in a free-rotating turret. This is an accurate, fast-firing weapon, though relatively weak compared to other Anti-Tank guns in the game.
M7 3-inch Anti-Tank Cannon
The M7 is a long-barreled cannon, firing armor-piercing 76mm shells. Installed on the M10 Tank Destroyer's light, fast-rotating turret, its greatest benefit is the vehicle on which it is installed, which can bring it quickly to a good firing position on the enemy's flanks or rear. Although penetration of frontal armor is possible(with lesser chances), it is not advised to attack enemy tank frontally, because M10 Tank Destroyer in most cases won't be able to survive fire exchange.
The M7 AT Cannon has great accuracy, capable of reliably hitting most targets at up to 45 meters of range - short for an Anti-Tank gun, but still useful in most tank battles.
Each shell hitting its target will deliver a basic 112.5 points of damage. The gun has a damage bonus against several Axis tanks, including the Panzer IV, Panther, Tiger and King Tiger. Unfortunately it causes reduced damage to Hetzers. Penetration is almost guaranteed against most medium tanks, but to make the most out of this cannon it's advised to fire at the enemy's rear armor, where penetration is absolutely guaranteed against any vehicle. After all, the M10 Tank Destroyer is built almost entirely for this purpose. But due to the thin armor plate of the wolverine it cannot get the job fully done despite its penetration values against German tanks.
Due to the armor-piercing nature of the shells, their blast radius is very small, rarely causing damage to anything but the struck target. Accuracy also suffers greatly against infantry, though the cannon still stands some chance of sniping exposed infantrymen at most ranges. Nonetheless, this is not an anti-infantry cannon by far.
Finally, one of this weapon's greatest qualities is its speed - both firing speed and rotation speed. The M7 AT Cannon will fire one shell every 4.2 seconds, considered fast for an anti-tank weapon. If it manages to flank an enemy tank, it may even survive an exchange of shells thanks to this. Furthermore, the turret in which this weapon is installed rotates rather quickly, so the vehicle can easily slip into a flanking position and begin blasting away its enemy's rear armor with haste. It may even be able to run circles around a slower tank, keeping its own turret trained on the enemy while the enemy's turret struggles to keep up.
Like all other American units, the M10 Tank Destroyer obtains Veterancy points by killing enemy units. It receives 100% of the experience value of each unit it kills. Once it has accumulated a sufficient number of Veterancy points, it will automatically advance to the next level, gaining the related bonuses immediately.
American units do not share Veterancy points with one another. To receive points, the unit must personally kill an enemy unit.
At each Veterancy level, the M10 Tank Destroyer gains a specific set of bonuses as listed below. These bonuses are cumulative with each other.
|Level 1 Veterancy:
|Level 2 Veterancy:
|Level 3 Veterancy:
The M10 Tank Destroyer strikes an interesting balance in the wide array of Tanks, Tank Destroyers and Anti-Tank guns available to all the different factions. Instead of excelling in firepower (like stationary AT guns, e.g. the 17 Pounder AT Gun or 88mm Flak 36 AT/AA), or sporting heavy armor (like the Jagdpanther tank), it combines these traits together into a single, more "general-purpose" vehicle.
As a tank, about as well-armored as a Cromwell, it is relatively well-protected and can easily throw itself into combat without worrying too much about being destroyed. It is possible to use the M10 as a stop-gap anti-tank vehicle, before an up-gunned M4 Sherman can be fielded. As an anti-tank cannon, it sports a powerful gun that poses a serious danger to other tanks. Its speed allows it to react to dynamic combat situations with ease, outflank enemy units with surprising agility, and retreat when things go sour.
On its own, the M10 Tank Destroyer can only hunt other, smaller vehicles than itself. It cannot stand up to an enemy tank alone. So on offensive maneuvers, the M10 Tank Destroyer relies on heavier vehicles like the M4 Sherman to engage the enemy and soak up their firepower, while the M10 Tank Destroyer charges into a flanking position to quickly destroy the enemy from the rear. Defensively, the tank is somewhat useful as a mobile Anti-Tank gun - capable of holding back enemy armored assaults when properly supported.
Defensive Anti-Tank Warfare
Given its speed and powerful cannon, the M10 Tank Destroyer is a great unit for providing mobile defensive patrols against enemy vehicles. It can quickly react to any armored assault or vehicle infiltrations along your defensive lines.
Keep your M10 Tank Destroyer(s) moving slightly behind your front lines. Make sure they are spread out well enough so that each M10 can quickly reach a firing position to rain down fire on enemy armor. The M10 must work closely with your defending infantry and Machine Gun Emplacements, as they will take care of enemy infantry while the M10 takes care of vehicles. The anti-infantry units will also keep enemy troops from flanking and destroying the M10, as it has no weapons to defend itself against such units.
If the enemy assault is considerable in size, consider pulling in several M10 Tank Destroyers to fend them off. If you have more than two such units, use the extra ones to flank around the enemy and trap them in a pincer. Remember that the M10 doesn't have excessive range, and has to come pretty close to the enemy in order to fire. This puts it at risk, so flanking maneuvers are often easier to perform than a frontal defense.
In the Armored Corps
For most American players, the late-game assault group is comprised of several M4 Shermans accompanied by M10 Tank Destroyers. Together, these two units make up the American Armored Core. They interact very well with one another during combat actions, and are considered very difficult to stop.
During offensive maneuvers, the M4 Shermans take the lead, with the M10 Tank Destroyers driving along their flanks, possibly supported by a second layer of lighter flanking vehicles like the M8 Armored Cars or M45 Quadmounts. When the M4 Shermans make contact with the enemy, assess the strength and composition of the enemy force quickly. If enemy tanks are involved, the Shermans' job is to establish a frontal engagement with the enemy, keeping them busy while the M10s make a flanking maneuver to attack the enemy from behind.
Two M10s flanking an enemy tank together will usually destroy it rapidly - hopefully before that target can cause any significant damage to the M4 Sherman engaging it from the front. If you need to buy extra time, use the Sherman's Defensive Smoke Screen to confuse the enemy and make his shots inaccurate.
Do not engage enemy tanks from the front using a single M10 Tank Destroyer. While it can survive a few shots from an enemy tank's cannon, it is not well-armored enough to win such a face-to-face confrontation. The only exception is when several M10 Tank Destroyers are engaging the same target from the front, in which case there's still some chance they might be able to destroy the enemy before it gets one of them. Again, if at all possible, always try to move one or more M10 Tank Destroyers to a flanking position to increase their Penetration chance. Keep alert, and withdraw your M10s if they are in any danger of being destroyed.
M10 Tank Destroyer vs. M1 57mm AT Gun
The two primary anti-tank cannons available to the Americans are the 57mm AT Gun and the M10 Tank Destroyer. They are very different from one another in combat properties and useful tactics.
The 57mm AT Gun is very vulnerable, being basically just an infantry unit. Slow to turn and move, it is largely incapable of flanking enemy units, let alone participate in heavy combat. Nonetheless, it has impressive range, a powerful punch, and a low consumption of Population Cap points.
On the other hand, the M10 Tank Destroyer is a fast vehicle, clad in armor, and easily capable of flanking and destroying enemy vehicles as part of a concentrated assault. Its gun, however, is weaker and has a shorter range. The unit also consumes twice as many Population Cap points as the 57mm AT Gun.
Some players contend that a fast-moving, armor-clad Tank Destroyer is preferable to the slow and vulnerable AT Gun. They argue that a single M10 Tank Destroyer can pretty much "fill in" for two 57mm AT Guns, making the difference in Population Cap consumption moot.
Other players will argue that fielding more 57mm AT Guns provides more deadly firepower, and that using the long-range firepower support of these cannons is preferable to risking an expensive M10 in flanking maneuvers.
The truth is that it's really up to personal taste and playing style. Your choice of Command Trees, the types of other units you have on the field, and the strength of your defensive line are usually very important factors in deciding whether to rely on one unit or the other, or to mix the two unit types into your arsenal.
Nonetheless, one thing can be said for sure: on defense, the 57mm AT Gun is often superior. On offense, the M10 Tank Destroyer often has the upper hand.
The M10 Tank Destroyer is not a well-armored tank. While its armor will occasionally deflect enemy tank or anti-tank fire, it is not nearly as survivable as an M4 Sherman, and cannot directly contend with enemy armor on its own. It will only take three or at most four shots from an Anti-Tank cannon to destroy the vehicle.
Nonetheless, the M10 Tank Destroyer is still a tank, which means that it does not suffer damage from small-arms fire or even machine-gun fire. This allows it to drive straight into infantry combat impeded, if this will give it a good flanking position against some enemy vehicle. It can also stand up to mortar fire quite well, and cannot be burned by flamethrowers, despite its open-top turret. As such, it could be used as an interim, temporary tank to be replaced by Shermans when they can be called.
Enemy anti-tank infantry, however, are a different matter. These do pose a serious threat to the M10 Tank Destroyer, for one critical reason: it has no weapons to use against them. The M10's only weapon, its M7 3-inch gun, is not accurate enough to kill infantry at any reasonable speed. It will be overwhelmed and destroyed with haste if another unit cannot be brought in quickly for support, or the M10 retreated to safety.
When assembled, in battle: