Allied TDs

This article provides information on the tank destroyer vehicles used by American Forces during WWII.  Modified versions of these units were used by the other Allied countries as well.  The design of the vehicles was based on the U.S. Tank Destroyer Doctrine and the understanding we had of the German tank tactics at the time.  German tank forces were thought to attack swiftly and in large numbers, therefore, the TD design was thought to need to be highly mobile and fast.  Due to the need for a quick solution, the M3 GMC was created, marrying the already proven M3 Half-Track with the 75mm gun.  The M10 GMC, which was based on the M4 Sherman chassis, was another hurried attempt to create a unit with the needed armament and speed to meet the challenge. Only with the design of the M18 GMC was the intent of the doctrine fulfilled.  The M18’s top road speed of 45mph and its 76mm armament was thought to satisfy the need but it was the creation of the M36 GMC, and its 90mm gun, that provided the ability to meet the German tank threat head-on.

The Comparison Chart link below provides specifications for each of the U.S. units:

Comparison Chart –    M3, GMC (Gun Motor Carriage)
                               M6, GMC (Gun Motor Carriage)
                               M8, Armored Car
                               M10, GMC (Gun Motor Carriage)
                               M18, GMC (Gun Motor Carriage)
                               M20, Armorer Utility Car
                               M36, GMC (Gun Motor Carriage)
                              *M5, Towed 3″ gun 

*Note: Specifications not included in the chart.

The McManus Collection – The photos contained in this Gallery were donated to the Tank Destroyer Association, by Norm McManus, who served on the Tank Destroyer Board, at Camp Hood, Texas. The collection includes mainly shots of the T70, which was later standardized as the M18. There are also a number of early war prototypes and weapons that never went into production. Although many of the shots are Signlal Corps photos, Norm dug the negatives out of the trash, so they are not available from any other source. Provided courtesy of the Tank Destroyer Association by L. L. Gill, TDA Historian. 


The following images provide a basic idea of the design of a particular tank destroyer unit vehicle.  As you can see, not all personnel within a TD unit served inside what most would recognize as a tank destroyer.  Reconnaissance vehicles, trucks, jeeps and even motorcycles were part of the normal complement of motorized vehicles used within a battalion.  Although not covered in the comparison chart, the towed battalions utilized the 3″ gun towed behind the M3 Half-Track.  The characteristics of the 3″ gun can be seen in the specifications of the M10 GMC.

The Photo Galleries, following each of the example images, provide additional views and configurations of the base unit.


M3, GMC (Gun Motor Carriage) – Link to Photo Gallery



M6, GMC (Gun Motor Carriage) – Link to Photo Gallery


M8-Armored-Car RH 3-4 View

 M8, Armored Car – Link to Photo Gallery



 M10, GMC (Gun Motor Carriage) – Link to Photo Gallery


M18 Tank-Destroyer---RH-3-4-View

 M18, GMC (Gun Motor Carriage) – Link to Photo Gallery



 M20, Armored Car – Link to Photo Gallery


M36 GMC RH Side

 M36, GMC (Gun Motor Carriage) – Link to Photo Gallery


M5 Towed 3 Inch gun Edit

M5, Towed 3″ (76.2 mm) Gun – Link to Photo Gallery