Tank destroyer weapons could be either towed or self‐propelled. The towed weapons were 3‐inch artillery pieces pulled by half‐tracks. Self‐propelled tank destroyers had 3‐inch, 76mm or (late in the war) 90mm guns mounted on tank chassis within fully rotating, open‐topped turrets. These carried less armor and mounted more powerful guns than the standard M‐4 Sherman tank.
Tank destroyer units were trained to operate aggressively and en masse to destroy enemy armor. In combat, however, they were usually dispersed among front‐line units, where they provided their most valuable service as mobile artillery directly supporting the infantry. Paradoxically, U.S. tank destroyers that did encounter heavy German tanks were generally outgunned.
After World War II, the army decided that there was no functional difference between a tank destroyer and a medium tank. Thereafter, the tank destroyer's fire support and antitank missions were officially assigned to tanks. The last tank destroyer units were disbanded in 1946.
[See also Armored Vehicles; Weaponry, Army; World War II: Military and Diplomatic Course.]
Charles M. Bailey , Faint Praise: American Tanks and Tank Destroyers During World War II, 1983.
Christopher R. Gabel , Seek, Strike, and Destroy: U.S. Army Tank Destroyer Doctrine in World War II, 1985.
Christopher R. Gabel
"Tank Destroyers." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/tank-destroyers
"Tank Destroyers." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Retrieved October 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/tank-destroyers
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.