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M10 Tank Destroyer vs StuG III Assault Gun

M10 Tank Destroyer vs StuG III Assault Gun Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review October 2013 Title M10 Tank Destroyer vs StuG III Assault Gun
Author Steven J. Zaloga Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2013 ISBN 9781780960999
Format 80 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $18.95


Combat experience changed tactical roles of the US M10 Tank Destroyer and German StuG III Assault Gun during World War II.

The StuG III – originally conceived as an assault gun for direct infantry support – developed into an effective tank destroyer.  The M10, by contrast, started as a tank destroyer – and morphed into an assault gun.  "By 1944," author Steven J. Zaloga notes, "both evolved into multipurpose AFVs" for armored support of infantry units.

That somewhat torturous tale dominates Osprey's M10 Tank Destroyer vs StuG III Assault Gun – 53rd installment in its popular "Duel" series.

Contents follow the publisher's proven prescription.  After an informative introduction to both vehicles, coverage moves from design & development through technical specifications to "combatants" – crews, equipment and units.

A strategic summary follows.  Zaloga's chronicle then culminates in an Oct 1944 case study of combat in Germany's Aachen sector.  There, and during war's final months, StuG IIIs and M10s repeatedly clashed in combat.

In the end, both vehicles exhibited manifest design drawbacks.  Nevertheless, assault guns and tank destroyers comprised 81% of Germany's armored forces in the west – but less than a quarter of their American adversaries' tank totals.

Wartime lessons powered postwar decisions.  And America almost completely abandoned tank destroyer concepts.  But Germany didn't: in 1960, it introduced the Jagdpanzer Kanone 90mm into service!

Photos, color illustrations, maps and tables supplement Osprey's informative text.  A selected bibliography – both primary and secondary sources – and index neatly wrap things up.

In typically masterful manner, Zaloga capably distills how combat exigencies affect battlefield operations.  And he views this through the prism of two key vehicles – the M10 and StuG III.  Read his illuminating account – and learn.


My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!