A few days ago we posted about a new video by World of Tanks Nicholas “The Chieftain” Moran talking about US WW2 tank destroyers. For those looking for some written background on the Tank Destroyer story, the blog War is Boring has posted a competent write up of the history of this US Army Branch during WW2. The information in this piece will probably be familiar to anyone with a decent knowledge of US Armor history.
The tank-destroyer force was the Army’s response to the wild successes of German armor in Poland and France in 1939 and 1940. Panzer divisions would concentrate more than a hundred tanks on a narrow front, overwhelming the local anti-tank weapons of defending troops and rolling deep into enemy lines.
In 1941, the Army concluded that it needed mobile anti-tank units to intercept and defeat German armored spearheads. Towed anti-tank guns took too long to deploy on the move and it was difficult to guess where the enemy would concentrate for an attack. Instead, self-propelled anti-tank battalions would wait behind friendly lines.
When the German armor inevitably broke through the infantry, the battalions would deploy en masse to ambush the advancing tank columns.