Ersatz M10

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This page is about the mocked up German Panther tank Ersatz M10. For other versions, see Panther tank (Family).
Ersatz M10
GarageImage Ersatz M10.jpg
ArtImage Ersatz M10.png
Ersatz M10
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The Ersatz M10 was built with the purpose of mimicking the American M10 tank destroyer. It was a result of a German plan during the Operation Watch on the Rhine. The plan consisted of sabotaging American and British forces as much as possible before the "Battle of the Bulge". The plan required the use of German soldiers armed and fitted with American and British gear, captured Allied tanks, jeeps, APCs, and trucks. However with very short time to prepare, low supplies of captured gear and other issues, the Germans disguised their Panther tanks to look like American M10 Tank Destroyers. Although in the greater scheme of things the operation was not successful, as no important areas were occupied, the Ersatz M10 did manage to cause paranoia in Allied forces, making them unable to safely identify Allied M10s from disguised Panthers from a distance, resulting in several friendly fire incidents. However, these incidents were not enough to change the course of the battle.

It was introduced in Update 1.75 "La Résistance" as a reward for the 2017 "Festive Quest" event. The Ersatz M10, performance wise, is the same as a Panther Ausf. G in terms of armour layout but with the automotive power of the Ausf. A. The tank packs a powerful 75 mm KwK 42 cannon and has very good armour protection at the front of the turret but especially in the hull, thanks to its sloped armour design. The vehicle suffers from a poor turret rotation speed and a very mediocre reverse speed of only 4 km/h, which is not enough to retreat during dangerous situations. With the ammo stacked at the sides of the vehicle, carrying just the minimal amount is recommended to avoid ammo detonation. The poor reverse speed requires this tank to be played cautiously: sniping at long ranges or advancing with allied coverage is a good way of using this vehicle. It is also possible to shoot while on the move even in uneven terrain, although it might require some skill, thanks to the suspension of the tank, that allows for relatively smooth driving when compared to other tanks around its BR.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Hull80 / 50 / 40
Turret100 / 45 / 45
Crew5 people
Visibility125 %

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
  • Structural steel (Ersatz)
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides (Slope angle) Rear (Slope angle) Roof
Hull 80 + 3.5 mm (55°) Front glacis
50 + 7 mm (56°) Lower glacis
50 mm (30°) Top
41.5 + 3.5 mm Lower
40 + 3.5 mm (24°) 17 mm
Turret 100 + 3.5 mm Turret front
100-120 + 3.5 mm Gun mantlet
45 + 3.5 mm 45 + 3.5 mm 15 mm


  • Suspensions wheels and tracks are 20 mm thick.
  • Wheels are interleaved and can provide layered 20 mm armour.
  • Belly armour front part is 18 mm thick while the back part is 15 mm thick.


Speedforward / back
AB51 / 4 km/h
RB and SB46 / 4 km/h
Number of gears7 forward
1 back
Weight45.3 t
Engine power
AB1 145 hp
RB and SB600 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB25.3 hp/t
RB and SB13.2 hp/t
Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 51 4 45.3 930 1,145 20.53 25.28
Realistic 46 4 531 600 11.72 13.25

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
AB2 096 Sl icon.png
RB2 315 Sl icon.png
SB3 088 Sl icon.png
Crew training10 000 Sl icon.png
Experts320 000 Sl icon.png
Aces800 Ge icon.png
Research Aces1 050 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 120 / 180 / 210 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 172 / 172 / 172 % Rp icon.png
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Mods new tank filter.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Improved Parts
Mods extinguisher.png
Improved FPE
Mods tank reinforcement ger.png
Crew Replenishment
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support


Main armament

Ammunition82 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
9.6 → 7.4 s
Vertical guidance-8° / 18°
Main article: KwK42 (75 mm)
75 mm KwK42 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 82 -8°/+20° ±180° N/A 19.04 26.35 32.00 35.39 37.65 9.62 8.51 7.84 7.40
Realistic 11.90 14.00 17.00 18.80 20.00


Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
PzGr 39/42 APCBC 192 188 173 156 140 126
Sprgr. 42 HE 13 12 11 11 11 11
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
PzGr 39/42 APCBC 935 6.8 1.2 14 28.9 48° 63° 71°
Sprgr. 42 HE 700 5.74 0.2 0.1 725 79° 80° 81°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the Panther G (identical).
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
82 80 (+2) 74 (+8) 62 (+20) 50 (+32) 38 (+44) 26 (+56) 22 (+60) 12 (+70) (+78) (+81) No


  • As they are modeled by sets of 2 or 3, shells disappear from the rack only after you fire all shells in the set.
  • Right side empty: 50 (+32) shells.
  • Both sides empty: 22 (+60) shells.

Machine guns

Ammunition3 000 rounds
Belt capacity150 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate900 shots/min
Main article: MG34 (7.92 mm)
7.92 mm MG34
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 3,000 (150) 900 N/A N/A

Usage in battles

The Ersatz M10 can be played by its mobility or its firepower, along with its frontal armour, in a movement battle or a sniping battle. Both actions can be interleaved for a flexible fighting style on the battlefield.

The Ersatz M10's basis of a Panther has a rather high top speed for its weight, along with its stable suspension, and so it can be used to get towards locations not typically expected of a vehicle of its calibre. It can be decided to move up to the direct front of the fighting or the flank locations.

Moving up front favors an assault/brawling style of fighting and so the mobility, armour, and firepower is emphasized to resist surprise encounters in the front and take down defenses quickly and efficiently. A benefit the Ersatz has over its fellow BR 5.7 Panther D is its fast turret traverse, making reactions to enemies much faster. Make sure allies are present as the Ersatz's side armour are very weak to enemy flanking fire and the relatively slow reload rate would desire an additional gun to protect the Ersatz during these down times. Be very cautious when moving up in enemy territory as the Ersatz's poor reverse speed will make extraction from a dangerous situation nigh-impossible, with the more preferable action being a fighting last stand in the worst case scenario.

An Ersatz moving through the flanks will put it into a prime location for sniping fire away from enemy focus, while utilizing distance as a secondary protection against enemy fire, which could lose enough penetration to not go through the front glacis.

The Ersatz's 75 mm gun is powerful enough to use in a sniping manner, with a small shell drop-off by distance that gives range estimation a smaller margin of error. As such, while the allies push up towards an objective, the Ersatz can stand back in an overwatch position and look out for enemy tanks that are approaching. The Ersatz can then use its long reach to attack these enemies as they are more focused on allies than the far-off Ersatz. Even in cases when the 75 mm will not penetrate, it can provide cover fire so that the enemy would not risk moving in fear of being nailed by a high-velocity 75 mm shell. Standing far would also be able to make the most of the front armour with the aforementioned penetration drop by distance. However, beware that the enemies would then try to target the turret and knock out the gun or turret crew.

There are a number of vehicles to take caution of in enemy sides.

At its BR, the American mediums of M4 Shermans are not too hard to defeat, but the 76 mm guns are powerful enough to penetrate the turret front through the flat sections or the gun mantlet. The M4A3E2 (76) Jumbo can resist the 75 mm from the front, but weak points like the transmission, machine gun port, and hull sides are targets to shoot to destroy. The M18 Hellcat is a definite worry as their fast speed and play style would favor attacking the Panther on its flanks. It would also have access to the APCR ammunition which can increase its lethality if the enemy player knows how to use them. At higher BR, the American heavies of T29 and T34 are of higher concerns due to their great front armour and high firepower that can penetrate through the Ersatz's front armour. Without access to APCR ammunition, the Ersatz can't exploit the flat gun mantlet on those two heavy tanks, resorting to very clever placements in the turret with the default APCBC or the front lower glacis for a frontal encounter.

Any British tank that fires APDS can penetrate the upper glacis. The 17 pounder can sometimes go through the lower glacis at shorter ranges too. Any standard AP or APHE shell of a calibre above the 80-90 mm range (aka 100 mm and above) will penetrate the Ersatz M10 anywhere frontally.

Pros and cons


  • Excellent mobility and top speed.
  • Fantastic 75mm gun. Has great accuracy, fire rate, penetration, and damage potential.
  • Strong frontal armour.
  • Has an additional 3.5 mm of spaced armour encasing the entire tank.
  • Additional steel plates can screen the prominent turret weak points from easy targeting by the enemy
  • The removal of the commander's cupola removes a potential weak spot when going hull-down.


  • Still suffers from the terrible reverse speed of normal Panthers
  • Even with the additional armour plating, the side armour is still incredibly thin
  • Doesn't have access to APCR rounds
  • Massive size for a vehicle designed to mimic an M10. Smart sim players will easily be able to tell the two apart
  • Not within the matchmaking range of the actual M10, hard to mimic a tank which is not in the match


Operation Griffin

During the planning of Unternehmen Wacht am Rein (Operation Watch on the Rhine) in late 1944, the battle plan for the offensive that would later become famous as the "Battle of the Bulge", SS-Obersturmbannführer Otto Skorzeny, an SS commando most famous for his break-out of Benito Mussolini from Allied captivity in September of 1943, came up with a plan to sabotage Allied forces by infiltrating their ranks with men disguised as American and British soldiers equipped with captured Allied weapons, vehicles and equipment to cause mass confusion and paranoia behind Allied lines. The plan was approved immediately, and given the code name "Unternehmen Greif (Operation Griffin).

Part of this plan included the formation of Panzer Brigade 150, a unit formed from all branches of the German armed forces. Originally, the request was made for fifteen tanks, twenty armoured cars, one hundred jeeps, forty motorcycles and one hundred and twenty trucks, along with 3,000 men and enough British and American weapons and uniforms to outfit them all.

Almost immediately, however, problems arose during the planning stage. First, Skorzeny had only five or six weeks to plan the operation, which limited his available forces and material considerably. Second, of the 3,000 men requested, only 2,500 men could be provided. Of that number, less than ten of them could convincingly speak English, the vast majority having only basic education in English through primary school classes, which they spoke with German accents and with no knowledge of British or American idioms or slang. Finally, there were numerous problems with equipment. Attacks on German rail lines meant that most of the requested equipment would be delayed until well past the deadline for the start of the operation, which greatly limited available supply of Allied material. Of the fifteen tanks requested, only two Shermans in poor condition could be found in time, and far fewer numbers of armoured cars, jeeps and trucks were sent to the brigade than the plan had originally called for. Communication problems had also caused Polish and Russian equipment to get sent to the brigade, which would be useless for infiltrating American and British lines.

One of the ways which the Germans made up for the lack of suitable Allied tanks was to disguise Panther tanks as M10 tank destroyers by removing their tall commander's cupolas with a flat two-piece hatch, applying sheets of thin angled metal to their hulls and turrets, painting them OD green and giving them U.S military identification marks, though nothing could be done about the Schachtellaufwerk suspension, which looked nothing like the VVSS system of the M10, the muzzle brake, which was needed to fire safely and did not appear on the M10 except for the British 17-pounder armed Achilles. These "Ersatz M10's" were intended to look convincing from a distance, allowing them to get in close and strike Allied targets before they could react. The Germans planned to get around the inevitable problem of friendly fire by having the tanks signal their true identities to friendly forces in a number of ways. These included keeping their guns aimed in the 9 o'clock position, the commanders and crew wearing colored scarves or removing their helmets, and identifying markers on the tanks themselves such as a yellow triangle, and flashing blue or red torch lights for identification at night.

Despite these numerous problems with material and manpower, Unternehmen Greif would proceed as scheduled on the 16th of December, 1944.

The Battle of Malmedy

The initial plan for the Ersatz M10's along with the rest of Panzer Brigade 150 was to advance behind the 1st SS Panzer Division, the 12th SS Panzer Division and the 12th Volksgrenadier Division until they reached the High Fens, a heavily forested plateau. At that point, they would move around the divisions and split into three units, with the aim of going behind enemy lines and attacking and holding the bridges over the Meuse river at Amay, Huy and Andenne before they could be destroyed by the Allies to halt the German advance.

However, for Panzer Brigade 150, Unternehmen Greif effectively ended before it even started. Massive traffic jams had formed during the initial stages of the battle, holding up the entire German offensive. Among these, the 1st Panzer Brigade was delayed and did not arrive in the assembly area for over two days, which meant that Panzer Brigade 150 was delayed from its objectives as well. Skorzeny realized that he no longer had the time required to complete his objectives and rather than continue with the doomed plan, he requested that his forces be used as a regular fighting force and used to take the town of Malmedy.

After several attempts to take the town, the Brigade was repelled by American forces and suffered heavy losses from American artillery strikes. Skorzeny was one of the battle's casualties, wounded by shrapnel from an artillery shell. One American soldier, Private Frances S. Currey of the 120th Infantry Division, would later receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for knocking out four of tanks with bazooka fire and anti-tank grenades, including at least one of these disguised Panthers, rescuing five of his comrades in the process. This would be the Germans only attempt at taking the town, and Panzer Brigade 150 would later be relieved, disbanded and replaced by the 18th Volksgrenadier Division on the 28th of December.

Despite Panzer Brigade 150's failure to achieve its objectives, the overall objective of Unternehmen Greif succeeded to a limited degree. Paranoia among Allied troops led to numerous friendly fire incidents, and false information by a captured commando of a plot to assassinate Supreme Allied Commander Eisenhower in Paris led to his brief confinement. Ultimately, however, this confusion and paranoia had little overall effect on the battle. Numerous damaged and abandoned Ersatz M10's were captured after the Battle of Malmedy and were evaluated by Allied intelligence. No records of what happened to these disguised tanks are available, though it can be reasonably assumed that the tanks were scrapped after their evaluations by the Allies, and no examples are known to have survived to the present day.



See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the vehicles;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg Aktiengesellschaft (MAN AG)
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