First of all, we define as tank destroyers those tanks that mostly lack of turret. Most of them are one “block” with the exception of some as Hellcat, T30, M110E4 or British fv 183. Of course, the best definition of this type of tank is the one we can do for their function and so we say that their primary mission is to destroy other tanks. In fact, they are sort of motorized artillery. Although, obviously, they are sometimes used to support infantry operations, its main task is to ambush, hiding behind a bush, at an intersection or on a hill with the mission of awaiting the arrival of a column of enemy tanks and massacre it preventing its passing.
The famous German hero of World War II Michael Wittman started his career in the world of tanks commanding a stug III and came to destroy seven cars in a single combat operation.
As a measure of the usefulness of TDs comes to their ability to inflict damage on the enemy, we should not judge the tank destroyers like a useless piece of junk that “camps” until the battle is about to end and comes down from his limbo to lam enemies scraping the dishes that the others have left molars. A tank destroyer is for what it is.
Another clarification that should be done is in relation to the right place for a tank destroyer in the order of battle. Of course, we have to say it mostly depends on the vehicle we are talking about. Not all tank destroyers have comparable characteristics. Some are faster and some slower but heavily armored and shielded. Others are characterized by charging speed (as AT15) while others are feared by the massive damage of their shots as T30 or English FV. It is also highly variable penetration. But as a general rule, they all have very accurate guns.
Given these characteristics, it is easy to understand that its position in the order of battle will be in a second line or even further back depending on their armor. Assume the role of spearhead hardly enters the powers of a tank destroyer unless we speak of a grueling T95 or a M110E3 whose armor is almost impenetrable frontally (except with the increasingly widespread APCR ammunition. Hehe).
Do not get obstinate on holding your position. Move as detected and look for a refuge. As soon as your presence at that spot is no longer productive because the battle has shifted to another point on the map that your shots do not have access, move. Look for a new point.
In general, if your tank destroyer is small but does much harm (ISU FV215b type or 183), you should take a retracted position. As retracted as possible, but without forgetting that you have to control the largest portion possible of battlefield and you’re there to cover your teammates. Wait until the end to come to terrain and do it only if absolutely necessary.
If your vehicle has a good shiel, follow heavies. A Jgpanzer E100 or M110E4 must occupy a second line. Ensure a haven for your lower glacis and coverage on your sides and rear which are often the most fragile). The second line is very close mto heavy trucks, but not disturb then. Search an angle of shot that allows you to shot by advancing and then to resguardarte by receding on a stright line. Avoid going out at 90° angle from behind a corner or an obstacle. In Copperfied, for example, if you stay in the area of the crane, go up along the lower path which does not require you to risk out, turn and shoot. You have no turret, do not forget.
The toughest of tank destroyers, like T95, can, at any given time, occupy a first position to lead and give coverage to heavies or physically block a crossroads or bridge. But do not forget, Caesar, that you are mortal too. Watch out, premium ammunition is dramatically abundant. LOL.
Well, this is a long text and I am eventually going to write a book if I go on. I would love you to enrich this article with your comments and experiences if you are interested. I encourage you to share your vision with us.