17pdr SP M10 “Achilles” – British Tank Destroyer


17pdr M10 Achilles tank destroyer
17pdr M10 Achilles tank destroyer overlooking La Roche – photo 2016

The M10 “Achilles” was a British modified US M10 tank destroyer, which basically came down to a change over of the standard M7 main gun to the much more powerful Ordnance QF 17-pounder. The 17-pdr could penetrate some 140mm of armour at 500m and 131mm at 1,000m. At the front and sides of the hull additional 17-mm armor plates were welded on to increase its protection. The open turret was fitted with extra 20mm thick armor plates for extra protection against attacks from the air.

With it’s longer barrel the gun required a counterweight behind the muzzle brake, which gave it a distinct appearance compared to the standard M10. As the Germans quickly found out the effectiveness of the Achilles version in Normandy, attempts were made to camouflage the features.

17pdr M10 Achilles tank destroyer
17pdr M10 Achilles tank destroyer at La Roche-en-Ardenne, Belgium

A Monument at La Roche-en-Ardenne

This Achilles was placed here as a monument to commemorate the support of the 1st Northamptonshire Yeomanry to the 51st Highland Division in the liberation of La Roche-en-Ardenne, Belgium on January 11th 1945.

17pdr M10 Achilles tank destroyer
17pdr M10 Achilles tank destroyer front – photo 2016
M10 Achilles plaque la roche
17pdr M10 Achilles tank destroyer memorial plaque – photo 2016
17pdr M10 Achilles tank destroyer
17pdr M10 Achilles tank destroyer side – photo 2016
17pdr M10 Achilles tank destroyer turret
17pdr M10 Achilles tank destroyer turret close up – photo 2016
17pdr M10 Achilles tank destroyer
17pdr M10 Achilles tank destroyer back – photo 2016
17pdr M10 Achilles tank destroyer
17pdr M10 Achilles tank destroyer exhaust – photo 2016

Visit

The tank monument can be found along the N833 Northwest of the center of La Roche-en-Ardenne, Belgium.


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