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Captured British Sherman "Firefly" in German service

Article about: And here is that Panther Don't our chaps look happy Mind you, driving around in a Panther with all those Typhoons and Thuderbolts about must have been a tad dangerous. I'd have painted the b

  1. #21

    Default Re: Captured British Sherman "Firefly" in German service

    Wow, my great uncle Joe would go spare if he seen those pictures! He was a gunner in the Shermans. He landed on D-Day + 1 and went right through France, Holland, Belgium and Germany.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Captured British Sherman "Firefly" in German service

    Firefly was the name given to Shermans fitted with i believe the British 17 pounder anti tank gun. This was the only Anglo- American afv which had a weapon fitted that was capable of taking on a tiger or panther at a less than suicidal range and knocking it out. Fireflys did for Mr Wittman in his tiger from ambush, i believe 3 or 5 were destroyed or disabled at the same time. I have also read that 2 British officers visited this site in 1945 to see if anything could be learn't about tank tactics. An examination of the tiger revealed that there were still body parts in them.
    There has been a debate about the effectivness of allied armour since ww2. There were complaints from servicemen at the time which were raised in the House of Commons by a labour M.P, only for the matter to be hushed up.
    The allied armour which went to Europe in 1944 was designed for combat in the desert in 1942, when its opponents were mk 3 and 4's, a decision had to be made as to what was required allowing for the design and manufacture of sufficient tanks to be done. Its a shame really that the T34 wasn't copied but that was a secret Stalin wouldn't have parted with.
    Whatevers said and done it still required great courage to get into one of these things day in day out , having seen the results of a brew up, knowing that the vehicle was inferior to your enemies.
    As for the model i can well imagine firefly crews, whose vehicle was easily indentifed because it was the only sherman with a muzzle brake, wanting to disguise it. Knock out the firefly, 1 per troop, and the rest of the shermans were easy prey.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Captured British Sherman "Firefly" in German service

    Quote by adrian stevenson View Post
    hi guys, i thought this was an interesting photo showing several shermans in german service. Note the use of many balkan crosses to advertise it was under german service. There is also a lot of spare track mounted to "up armour" the vehicle. The "firefly" was the most effective sherman to see service with the british forces. It mounted the very efective british made 17prd gun. The middle sherman tank is also a "firefly".

    Note also the captured british airborne jeep on the right with "wh" number plate on the front bumper. It carries the spare wheel from a british airborne trailer too.

    Cheers, ade.
    leusderheide, amersfoort 1945, there will be some info about these tanks and my reprint booklet about panzer kompagnie 224 in holland, which probably will be out in february 2010

  4. #24

    Default Re: Captured British Sherman "Firefly" in German service

    Here are the 2 photos of Cuckoo I have found,the side one you can just read the name at the bottom of the turret behind their feet.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #25
    Colin MacGregor Stevens

    Default Re: Captured British Sherman "Firefly" in German service

    The photo at the start of this thread of the Firefly and British airborne jeep in German markings is a Canadian Army photo and the original is in the Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Photo # PA115009 The photo is in the public domains (i.e. no longer copyrighted).

    The Valentine tank is likely one of the Canadian made 1,420 Valentine tanks on a contract for the British. Canada received 30 for training purposes and the remaining 1,390 went to the USSR as aid. One of these training valentines is at CFB Borden Museum.

    One of the Canadian Valentines was found in soft ground in the USSR and salvaged and is now on display at the Canadian War Museum. It had bogged and sunk during a battle while still in Soviet use. I have uploadeda photo I took of the interior of the Canadian/USSR Valentine. They have preserved it "as found" - just washed off.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #26

    Default Re: Captured British Sherman "Firefly" in German service

    Hi Colin, welcome to the forum! Nice to have you here.

    Thanks for the pic.

    Cheers, Ade.

  7. #27

    Default Re: Captured British Sherman "Firefly" in German service

    very interesting, thanks for showing Ade.

  8. #28

    Default Re: Captured British Sherman "Firefly" in German service

    Hello-interesting model kit Firefly-dummy guns were common on tanks being used for other roles like the Lee/Grant 'Canal Defence Light' variant but I have never seen one like that-tactically it makes little sense to have the 17 pounder facing away from the action while exposing the weaker rear turret armour to the most likely side where enemy fire would come-an alternative camouflage scheme was developed by the British artist Rex Whistler while he was serving in the Guards Armoured division 1944 in France-a paint scheme on the barrel that made it look like a standard 75mm from a distance side on. As to the captured Fireflys, 'Dragon Armor' models make several prebuilt & painted 1/72 scale examples including the one with extra track lengths draped over it. The idea of using a captured Panther with the skies filled with Allied fighter bombers, lots of Allied armour & A/T guns capable of knocking it out around plus the Jerries as well-it seems like a complicated but sure way to commit suicide.

  9. #29

    Default Re: Captured British Sherman "Firefly" in German service

    speaking of deception, that would have been funny to set up one of these unguarded in a field, and then id love to see the face of the german gunner who blows it up literally to shreds
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  10. #30

    Default Re: Captured British Sherman "Firefly" in German service

    where have all these inflatable tanks gone too???...has any museum obtained one for display?...

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