Photo ID: British M10 Tank Destroyer in Normandy

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by EKB, Sep 14, 2021.

  1. The narrow gauge railway line ran east to west (or rather WNW) from Ouistreham to Luc-sur-Mer. See:
    Chemins de fer du Calvados — Wikipédia

    After strolling along the beach to Exit 23 and back, Mapham left the beach via Exit 18 (Lane 4), today's boulevard de la 3e Division d'Infanterie Britannique, and turned right (west) along rue de l'Amiral Wietzel (D514), then rue du Docteur Turgis to the intersection with what was then called La Brèche d'Hermanville.
    ceolredmonger and EKB like this.
  2. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    I was told that when the negatives were developed any photo they did not consider good enough was simply thrown away and the numbering sequence (done in The UK) is not always sequential. There are gaps(in some cases very big gaps) and if there was a film photographer present (and it seems there nearly always was) you can screen-grab and work out a rough movement chart. If you caption your photo collection and make it searchable by photographer (which I failed to do from the start) you can save yourself a lot of hard work!
    ceolredmonger likes this.
  3. Mapham's photos are a good example of what you're saying, Michael.

    Although his photos shot on 6 Jun 44 may be quite easily sorted into the following rough groups, from which a chronological order is logically deduced:
    - on/from the LCT
    - along the beach and nearby
    - on the second lateral
    - at La Brèche Xrds
    - further on
    finding the chronological order within these groups is much more delicate, if at all possible, except for most of those on the lateral, where identifiable landmarks show a clear progression from east to west.
    Negative numbers are best ignored, because they are all over the place, with small groups of contiguous numbers obviously shot at similar locations, but with completely alien numbers also shot there.
  4. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    I apologize for my idle speculation. I've just checked Mike Starmer's booklet for Northwest Europe and Dick Taylor's Warpaint Volume 4. It's clear these were only to be on the front of the vehicle.
  5. A correction: although B5082 shows Exit 18, it was shot from its intersection with D514, and other shots show that Mapham was already on D514 in his Carrier before (west of) this intersection. So he must have left the beach via another Exit, probably Exit 23 where he took B5087 (about half way up the Exit).
    His path might thus have been a more linear one, i.e.:
    - lands opposite Exit 18
    - moves east to Exit 23
    - leaves beach via Exit 23
    - turns right on rue de l'Amiral Wietzel (D514) then rue du Dr Turgis until La Brèche Xrds
    - turns left (south) towards Hermanville village inland
    EKB likes this.
  6. EKB

    EKB Member

    B5078 : B5088.jpg

    Picture B5078 illustrates why the M10 in picture B5088 pulled onto the railway bed to advance further west; because the road was clogged with humanity and equipment. The AFV circled in red appears to have passed over the tracks. Still, I wonder if the action scene in picture 5088 was staged. In other photos from this series the men seem relaxed all the way through the La Bréche crossroads.
  7. EKB

    EKB Member

    I just realized that picture B5038 is the La Bréche crossroads from a different camera angle, with the photographer facing east. Note the downed utility pole at the intersection, also visible in photos B5036 and B5037.

    Mapham took pictures B5040 and B5041 at the intersection. Then he walked about 50 yards west and made photo B5038. Then he crossed the street and photographed the two French civilians and the British MP (B5043).
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2021
    Chris C likes this.
  8. Maphams's D Day photos grouped by location and thus probably also chronologically:

    Neg No B-
    5111 - 5112 LCT
    5113 - 5114 Beach Exits 18-21
    5089 - 5096 Beach CHEETAH Exits 21-22
    5085 - 5086 Beach Exits 21-22
    5087 Exit 23
    5088 M10 2nd lateral
    5078 - 5084 2nd lateral
    5035 - 5044 2nd lateral & La Brèche
    5027 - 5029 La Brèche
    5018 - 5019 Hermanville village - N part
    5024 Hermanville village - S part (Grande Rue)
    5023 South end of Hermanville village
    5025 - 5026 not sure
    5020 - 5022 South of Hermanville - Croix Rose
    5030 - 5034 road, M7
    5045 - 5048 field, M7

    These groups/sub groups probably correspond to nine rolls of films, with one (5018-5026) seriously mixed up.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2021
  9. EKB

    EKB Member

    The mist is nearly dissipated in photo B5080. Are these vehicles in the same column that turned south across the rail line in picture B5078?
  10. Yes, very probably. At least they are at the same location, but the vehs in the first photo might have moved and have been replaced by others, because we have no idea of how much time separates the two photos.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2021
  11. EKB

    EKB Member

    Spent some time looking at air photos but could not find one with enough resolution. Can you tell from this vintage 3D briefing model where is the La Bréche crossroads, and where is the road seen in picture B5080.

    Briefing Model Sword Beach 01.png
    Briefing Model Sword Beach 02.png
    Briefing model - Part of Juno & Sword Beaches (D-Day)
  12. See on this aerial oblique as posted by Arty here: D Day Landing Craft Markings
    Aerial photo 51988 AC- taken about 1630hrs 06Jun44 - Notes.jpg

    From this and the other info in this thread and on this forum you should be able to retrace Mapham's steps :D

    Original large photo here: p013132.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2021
  13. EKB

    EKB Member

    Briefing Model Sword Beach 01 copy 2.jpg

    USAAF Photo 51988 A.C..jpg

    I suppose this might be the location then.
  14. EKB

    EKB Member

    I'm drifting off topic a bit, but I just watched some restored IWM footage that raised some curiosities.

    Ouistreham 01 copy.jpg
    Presumably the light rail line through Ouistreham. On Duplex Drive Sherman No. 48, it appears that the storage bin on the back of the turret was missing during the landing and replaced on the fly. I thought these boxes were heavy. Were they made of metal or wood?

    Ouistreham 01 copy 2.jpg
    More scenes of the Chemins de fer du Calvados in Ouistreham, with the tracks sabotaged or battle-damaged in some places. Looks like DD Shermans No. 43 and 45 are closest to the camera.

    Sherman No. 10 BALACLAVA Landing on Sword Beach copy.jpg
    After enhancing a blurred video frame of a wading Sherman tank, this one might be No. 10 of RHQ 13th/18th Hussars. The images at the top are still photographs taken near Ranville (IWM / B5345) and aboard LCT 610 (IWM / B5110).

    LCT 790 (216) English Channel copy.jpg
    Video of the LCT mentioned in post #8.

    Last edited: Oct 11, 2021
    Juha, Chris C and Dave55 like this.
  15. Nope. It's simply that the part showing the binless ditched tank was shot after the other one, when it still had its bin on. :D
  16. EKB

    EKB Member

    Is the rail line to the right of No. 48 after it slid into the ditch? I thought that was beach grass and a sand dune on the left. Ah, well.
    As an aside, I wonder if the air photo with the Marauder has something to tell about the clash with 21st Panzer Division.
  17. EKB

    EKB Member

    Better quality overhead view of the point at which the M10s crossed the rail line, turning south.

    AIr Photo highway D514 south of Sword Beach.jpg
    AIr Photo highway D514 south of Sword Beach ZOOM.jpeg
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2021
  18. EKB

    EKB Member

    Some fairly dramatic combat photos of the M10 Achilles and Sherman Firefly, seen at Hill 112 and pulled from cinefilm A70 61-7 ...

    © IWM A70 61-7 M10 Achilles and Firefly night shoot A.jpg
    © IWM A70 61-7 M10 Achilles and Firefly night shoot B.jpg
    © IWM A70 61-7 M10 Achilles and Firefly night shoot C.jpeg
    © IWM A70 61-7 M10 Achilles and Firefly night shoot D.jpg
    © IWM A70 61-7 M10 Achilles and Firefly night shoot E.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2021
    Chris C and Owen like this.
  19. EKB

    EKB Member

    © IWM A70 61-7 M10 Achilles and Firefly night shoot F.jpg
    Maybe this image will inspire someone to do a full digital remaster of the original film, in 4K HD.

    © IWM A70 23-1 BARV passing M10 01.jpg
    Sherman BARV passing an M10 3-inch gun of 20th Anti-Tank Regiment. Both vehicles are marked for LCT load 211. The pile of equipment next to the sidewalk almost certainly belonged to the filmmaker, Sgt. O'Neill.

    © IWM A70 23-1 BARV passing M10 03.jpg
    After the BARV advanced about 100 yards, this still photograph was made by Sgt. Mapham. The photographers and movie camera types often traveled in pairs. The man standing across the street from the M10 is probably Sgt. O'Neill or his assistant, if he had one.

    © IWM A70 23-1 BARV passing M10 02 copy.jpg
    Same BARV and crew members, captured in the familiar LIFE magazine-style action poses of the 1940s.

    © IWM A70 19-2 Column of tank transporters loaded with M10s.jpg
    Column of tank transporters hauling M10s, somewhere in the U.K.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021

Share This Page