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Sherman Firefly III by WormWoodTheStar Sherman Firefly III by WormWoodTheStar
Having witnessed the massacre of Sherman tanks in North Africa and Southern Europe from the hands of Germany's newest designs, British designers decided that if they cannot up-armour their Lend-Lease Sherman tanks, they'll at least make them able to fire back at German Panthers and Tigers. The gun of their choice was indigenous Ordnance Quick Firing 17 pounder. Interestingly, the gun was rotated by 90* to fit inside the turret. While it was just barely larger in terms of caliber (76,2 mm) than standard Sherman gun (75 or 76 mm), the muzzle velocity of its projectiles was much higher, and the shells were designed for anti-tank role from start, unlike American Sherman's 75s and 76s, which were good for firing anti-personnel and anti-building shells, but not anti-tank ones. That's how Sherman Firefly, one of the best Allied tanks of WWII, was created. Fireflies could fire back at German tanks and cause serious damage to them, sometimes forcing them to retreat. While Sherman Firefly was still pretty vurnerable to German 75 mm and 88 mm guns, Allied tankmen felt much more confident in Fireflies than standard M4s. Polish Army in the West also used these tanks.

This tank is in running condition. It was brought to Poland from Belgium, but I don't know if it was used by Poles during World War II. All I know is that it was used as a target on shooting range and when it was brought to Poland it looked like a cheese grater. Thanks to the effort of Artur Zys' company, which greatly helped in renovation of such vehicles as StuG IV, SdKfz 6 or BTR-152, it was possible to restore the Firefly to the running order. It'll stay in Poznan until it is moved to Gdansk Museum of Armament in 2014 or so.
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SirMauser Featured By Owner May 30, 2015  Student General Artist
seems the gun mantlet is missing...
WormWoodTheStar Featured By Owner May 30, 2015
Indeed, it lacked the gun mantlet when it was shipped to Poland and so replacement was found so far (and probably won't be soon, because the tank was transfered to the World War II Museum in Gdansk).
Commander-Dominic Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2015
Nice shot.
aq13ed Featured By Owner May 20, 2014
What is meant by he first sentence "Having witnessed the onslaught of Sherman's . . ." ?
WormWoodTheStar Featured By Owner May 21, 2014
I think I used incorrect word there. What I ment was that the Shermans did not perform well in tank-on-tank combat early on and their designers saw the need to up-arm them. They did so with long-barelled 76 mm and the 17-pdr guns. They were much more accurate on long distances than the 75 mm gun (which was primarily made to fire high explosive shells) and could fire both AP and HE rounds. Other than that Sherman was a pretty good machine and their performance was hindered more by flawed tactics than the tank itself.

(if I ever move my lazy a$$ and finish the description of my 1/72 Sherman model I'll try to debunk some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding the Sherman tank, such as its alleged "flammability" or that it clashed with Tigers and Panthers on daily basis and had to sacrifice 7 tanks to destroy one German Panzer).
Blitzkriegoperative Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
The Firefly is my favourite Sherman.
WormWoodTheStar Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
If I could get a Firefly turret on M4A1 version's hull it'd be my most definitely favourite American tank. Though the Israeli version M50 Super Sherman with 75 mm high velocity gun derived from Panther tank is pretty sweet as well.
aq13ed Featured By Owner May 20, 2014
There should be no problem with putting a modified Sherman Firefly turret on an M4A1 hull.  The turret rings were all the same on either the cast hulls or the welded hulls of the M4, M4A1(Continental engine), M4A2(GM diesel engine), M4A3(ford GAA engine), M4A4(Chrysler engine with slightly longer hull to make room for the engine) M4A5(place holder for Canadian manufacture), M4A6 (Caterpillar diesel, few made before the war ended) that were built with the smaller turret.  Most Firefly's were based on either the M4A3 or the M4A4 hulls because they were the most numerous hull designation lend leased to the British.  The 75mm gun was removed and the turret made bigger for the 17 pounder gun.   I have not read where they changed the turret ring but if so it would still be possible to mount one on the M4A1 as easily as any other hull.  Records are not exact as too the total number of Fireflys modified or of what hull designation or how many were given back to the USA, so just about anything is possible, except for the Jumbo Sherman because it already had the larger turret.  Though for logistics the British likely changed out the American 76 for their 17 pounder in the Jumbo's.  I have seen no data on this but seems reasonable.

The British used the Sherman because it was much better than anything they had at the time.  Particularly the Crusader and Cromwell which were just steel murder boxes.  There are some pretty good documentaries on YouTube about tanks.  Look up 'Tankies, Tank Hero's of WWII' produced by the BBC, very good information.  

The Jumbo Sherman or Super Sherman M4A3(76)E2, M4A3E2W, M4A3E8 M4A3(76)E8W hulls were the only ones that were different.  The M4A1-6 designation did not indicate an improvement in the design but different location of production and different engines.  With the exception of the Jumbo or Super Sherman.  These were larger all around and had better armor protection along with the long 76mm gun well capable of standing up to a MkV Panther. 

Changes in the breed are better tracked by the E1-8 designations.

The only other big change was the suspension indicated with a W in the designator.  Again there is an exception because the M4A3E8 were mostly produced with the wider tracks but some were not but then later modified.  Most models of the Sherman had Verticle Volute Spring Suspension or VVSS as seen in this photo with the narrow tracks.  The wider tracked Sherman's have Horizontal Volute Spring Suspension or HVSS.  They look very different.  The wider tracks were developed to increase cross country performance along with supporting the greater weight of the larger Sherman's but was also modified to the smaller Shermans.  

Even after the war when many Shermans were modified to have the wider tracks the hull and turret ring was still the same.
WormWoodTheStar Featured By Owner May 21, 2014
I think the 1st Polish Armoured Division used Sherman Composite, with front of the cast hull and the back of the welded one. The ring diameter was not changed, but it caused some problems with turret design (the gun's breech was much bigger than before and the gun had to be rotated to fit it inside).

I have watched "Tankies..." already, it's one of the better documents out there. But surprisingly the documentary which busted the most of the Sherman myths was... Russian one. Now I think we all agree that Russian sources often tend to be biased or distorted, but it seems the Russian tankmen thought well of the Sherman tanks they recieved, seeing it as most of all reliable, but also well-armoured and with adequate firepower - and this is a testimony from Eastern Front, where it was much easier to come across a Tiger or Panther (the Western Front had a secondary meaning for the Germans and the most numerous vehicles there were tank destroyers). The documentary is aviable here, it still mentions some of the Sherman myths (such as its high silhouette - in fact I have seen a Sherman standing next to a T-34 in Polish Army Museum, Warsaw, and the Sherman is not that much higher than the T-34/85; it's just its hull compromises of much of its silhouette), but it's worth watching.
aq13ed Featured By Owner May 20, 2014
Wait a minute.  Got ahead of myself there.  The M4 should not be on the above list as it is in the first paragraph, second sentence.  The M4 had the same track return rollers as used on the M3 Grant/Lee.  One of the changes to the M4A1-6 versions was moving the roller to the back of the boogie wheel supports and a skid bar added.  This was to increase the support of the track.  The turret ring remains the same as does the rest of the tank in either the cast hull or welded hull types.  However since the M4's were mostly used up by the end of the Italian campaign it is not likely any were modified into Firefly's.  
Wingnut55 Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012
interesting picture.
12jack12 Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nice photo :thumbsup:

It looks like my Firefly, but your's is a bit bigger :nod: [link]
WormWoodTheStar Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012
Just a bit :XD:
artlovr59 Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012   Photographer
Very nice for re-enactments. Yes, the Firefly was quite something!
c4mper Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2012
Ależ kapitalne ujecie !!! pozazdrościć tylko, piękne kolory...
WormWoodTheStar Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2012
Czasem z fotografowaniem jest jak z pielgrzymką do Częstochowy - jak nie klękniesz, to nie ma sensu :XD:
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Submitted on
September 29, 2012
Image Size
310 KB
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Camera Data

Shutter Speed
10/8000 second
Focal Length
7 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Nov 30, 1999, 12:00:00 AM
GIMP 2.6.11