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Sherman Firefly
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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Michel_Krauss
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:34 pm
Post subject: Re: Sherman Firefly

Well there is an big difference in the upgrading of the various weapons used in the different countries between 1942 (Africa landings) and 1944 (D-day)

The Russians upgraded their weapons in the tanks or developed new ones to defeat the heavier German armour
The T34/85, ISU-152, ISU-122, IS-2, etc where all developed mainly in response to the German Tiger

The Germans mainly upgraded their weapons in the tanks or developed new ones to defeat the heavier Russian armour to expected to appear
They had already some nasty suprises in the past, with Russian armour

The British, they did not realy standarised
However they dropped the ones that became obselete, like the Valentine and the Crusader, and replaced it with others
The upgrading of the weapons was not an real succes, except for the 17pdr on the Sherman

The US army had the know-how and the capable weapons available to defeat German armour
The 3in or 76mm AA gun, on which the 76mm tank gun was based, was capable with the MV it had to defeat German armour
The breech was modified to fit inside an tank, that made sense
However the barrel was made shorter because it was sticking out to far Shocked
With reducing the barrel length, the profit of the high MV was lost

The upgrade of the suspension was only something on the side
It did not improve the performance of the gun

When you build in an WW2 76mm Sherman gun into an modern M1A1 Abrams you still can not defeat the armour of an German Tiger or Panther
The only benefit you will have is mobility and armour protection

Concerning priorities of the several services and theaters
The demands of the different services was in all nations, not an typical problem for the US

About the several theaters
True the US (and UK) also had the pacific to operate in and this was not so for Russia or Germany
However the Japanese tanks where not the problem to defeat, no matter if an 75mm or an 76mm was used

The 76mm was developed to defeat the German armour and it failed in doing so

Michel

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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:05 pm
Post subject: Re: Sherman Firefly

- Michel_Krauss

Concerning priorities of the several services and theaters
The demands of the different services was in all nations, not an typical problem for the US

Michel


Sorry to disillusion you, but this is just plain wrong.

I recommend you do some additional reading. Regarding this point above, you might want to start with "Marines Under Armor" by Kenneth W. Estes, COL. (ret.), in particular the relevant chapters concerning the campaign in the Pacific. There was enormous friction between the Army and the USMC regarding the allocation of the limited resource of equipment.
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Michel_Krauss
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:51 pm
Post subject: Re: Sherman Firefly

Doug,

sorry if you are disappointed, however it's true

When 2 (or more) different branches have to use, or want to use, the same equipment and have to co-operated with each other:
- they will disagree with each other about allmost everything

Mainly because they have different requirements for the equipment and there are different needs of the amount of equipment

That has been during WW2, has been before WW2 and still is today
And that is not an problem that is typical to the US, because of the marines and the army

Found the book on Google books, will read it
Perhaps I will learm something new Mr. Green

Michel

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bsmart
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 8:02 pm
Post subject: Re: Sherman Firefly

Michel

As you stated only the U.S. and U.K had to deal with the requirements of a worldwide war. The need to defeat German armor was only part of the tasks that U.S. and U.K. tank designors had to worry about. The users in teh Pacific and Southern Asia saw no need to spend time developing heavier tanks with more powerful guns. If anything they wanted development time spent on ways to transfer tanks from ships to beaches, fight in jungles and cross wide, deep rivers.

On top of that the U.S. was commited to supplying vehicles to many of the allies, some of whom had requirements that differed from the U.S. Army. And it did matter if a 75mm or a 76mm was used. When working in the tight confines of Pacific jungle a long barreled 76mm was not acceptable. Having a short barreled gun that wouldn't get hung up on nearby trees demanded a short barrel weapon.

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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:42 pm
Post subject: Re: Sherman Firefly

- Michel_Krauss
Doug,

sorry if you are disappointed, however it's true

When 2 (or more) different branches have to use, or want to use, the same equipment and have to co-operated with each other:
- they will disagree with each other about allmost everything

Mainly because they have different requirements for the equipment and there are different needs of the amount of equipment

That has been during WW2, has been before WW2 and still is today
And that is not an problem that is typical to the US, because of the marines and the army

Found the book on Google books, will read it
Perhaps I will learm something new Mr. Green

Michel


Actually, it was precisely typical (and very much so) in it's application to different priorities to the USMC and the Army...from no less a source than Gen. George C. Marshall, the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, who openly wondered (and I paraphrase) if any of the necessary warfighting equipment that was considered necessary to the Army prosecuting the war would even be available, after he had finished supplying the USMC (as they were clearly in the fight in the PTO first and had most immediate needs for that equipment). When the Army CoS wonders if the material he needs will be available to him, you have to accept that this is a problem typical of the U.S. Armed Forces from the outset of the war. Everybody was jockying for weapons systems, means of production, aircraft engines, etc. for the perceived needs of all the services...all the time while trying to meet the needs of our lend-lease partners while trying to keep them afloat. U.S. production means were substantial, but not limitless, and this problem was not solved before the end of the war.
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bialy-r
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:37 am
Post subject: Re: Sherman Firefly

Sherman Hybrid Ic – Monument for the fallen of the 3rd Airborne Artillery Regiment in the 1982 war, Cordoba (Argentina)

carrosdecomb.blogspot....alera.html
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the_shadock
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:48 pm
Post subject: Re: Sherman Firefly

- bialy-r
Sherman Hybrid Ic – Monument for the fallen of the 3rd Airborne Artillery Regiment in the 1982 war, Cordoba (Argentina)

carrosdecomb.blogspot....alera.html


very well spotted, Rafal !!

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clausb
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:20 am
Post subject: Re: Sherman Firefly

The problem with poor HE ammunition for the 17-pdr and the 76mm could easily have been solved by developing an HE round with thinner walls, fired at a lower velocity. The Germans did this from day one with the 7,5cm KwK 40 L/43 (later L/48) and that round contained about the same amount of explosive as the Us 75mm HE round. Possibly, a slight modification of the existing 75mm HE might have sufficed.

The British actually developed first a low velocity version of the original 17 pdr HE round and later - possibly post war - developed two different High Capacity rounds with more HE filler than the orginal.

So developing a good 17 pdr or 76mm HE round can hardly have been a significant technical problem, so the reason those two guns did not have a good HE round in WWII must be found elsewhere.
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Roy_A_Lingle
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:02 pm
Post subject: Re: WIP wait to look at.

Hi Folks!

Sorry I am so late to join in.

Maybe these photos might help some.

Below is a 1942 issued M2 treadway floating bridge. This bridge was designed to carry the M2 medium tank during the mid 1930s. The M3 Lee and the early M4s pushed the limits of this system. Note how close the outside edges of the M4 is to the edges of the treadways.
Note how the water level is over the top of the pontoons and parts of the saddles are in the water. This was the equipment the Chief of Engineers was concerned about. This was the system his engineers had to work with. Priority for steel for larger saddles and rubber for larger pontoons was low on the totom pole for the engineers.

This%20is%20the%20heavy%20M2%20treadway%20with%20larger%20saddles%20and%20pontoons%20that%20large%20quanties%20only%20started%20reaching%20the%20ETO%20in%20late%201944.%20The%20heavier%20and%20longer%20saddles%20and%20larger%20pontoons%20also%20required%20larger%20and%20heavier%20trucks%20to%20transport%20this%20equipment.%20All%20needing%20room%20on%20the%20available%20shipping.%20The%20treadways%20have%20been%20moved%20outward,%20but%20not%20by%20that%20much.%20Still%20a%20tight%20fit%20for%20the%20M4E8's. Below%20is%20the%20problem%20the%20Chief%20of%20Engineers%20had%20with%20sending%20the%20T-26%20to%20the%20ETO.%20That%20bridge%20has%20been%20modified%20so%20the%20tracks%20would%20not%20damage%20the%20equipment%20along%20the%20outer%20edges%20of%20the%20deck.%20Anyone%20who%20has%20ever%20driven%20a%20tracked%20vehicle%20will%20understand%20this%20is%20just%20asking%20for%20trouble.

Four comments about the 76 gun tanks.
1. On June 6, 1944, there was a large number of 76mm tanks in storage in England. Not one single tank battalion commader wanted to replace his 75 gun tanks with the 76 prior to D-Day. The excuss given later was there wasn't time to retrain on those tanks. After the US Army started running into a larger numbers of Panther tanks than Army level intell expected did those same commanders started asking for those 76 guns tanks setting back in England. By now the fighting is all out in France and those battalion commanders who could not find the time in England found the time to retrain in France after the landings.

2. The proof testing of the 76mm AT ammo was flawed. Ike was told as late as June that the 76 AT ammo would go through the front hull of a Panther tank. It was only after the troops started using it that it was learned it could not do the job per the claims of the ordinance corps.

3. The 76mm HE round. Major case of could have, should have. Facts are the tankers did NOT like the one that was available, therefore, they didn't like the 76. They were not thinking about killing German tanks with their tanks. See comment below on doctrine.

4. Between the breakout and the start of the Battle of the Bulge. General Abrams who is one of the best known US tank battalion commanders in the ETO. His tank, Thunderbolt 6 was a 75mm M4. As a battalion commander he could pick the type of M4 he wanted. His Commanding Officer had to order him to use a 76mm M4 (Thunderbolt 7 a VVSS). My point here is that there was a MAJOR lack of end users asking for better tank guns. See comment below on doctrine.

If you look at the T-26 program, only the final version of the program was equiped with a 90 mm. All the others still had the same 76 the Sheman had. Before the Air Forces gained air superiorty on the battelfield, priorty of 90mm gun barrels went to air defense for the M-1 and M-2 90mm AAA weapon systems.

A study of the deployment of the first 40 T-26s (untested and not approved for issue) to the ETO shows that was the best that could have been done after the problem had been learned the hard way in June of 1944.


A study of the M6 heavy tank will also show the lack of interest in heavier tanks prior to the battles of June 44 in France.

Doctrine, championed by Gen McNair, Commanding Gereral of Army Ground Forces (he answered only to Gen. Marshall), had a MAJOR impact on limiting the upgrading of tanks. As late as D-Day he was still in favor of TOWED anti-tanks guns to deal with German tanks. He reportly said "Give tankers bigger guns and they will go tank hunting". A volition of HIS Tank Destoryers ONLY fight enemy tanks. This doctrine which was drilled into all tankers and tank unit commanders during the war. It was only after the war and the results of lessons learned that the highest levels of the US Army accepted the fact this doctrine was wrong. That acceptance resulted it the disbandment of the Tank Destroyer Command and all that equipment declared obsolete and surplus. This doctrine WAS the NUMBER ONE problem that delayed more fire power and better protection from reaching the field. All the other excuses could have been over come if the WILL was there. The WILL was just NOT THERE in the right places.

There are MANY details that caused the Sherman to be the tank the US fielded. In the end, in the hands of fast learning US and UK tankers, the Sherman was the best tank on the western side of the ETO. I understand that Soviet tankers who had M4A2/76s learned to use they very well also. The history of the Sherman is a major example of a path once chosen, is very hard to change once travel on it has started.

All of this from one who a long time ago and before hanging out here also felt that the Sherman was the worst tank ever.

In the end, the Sherman and the T-34 won WWII with help for all the other AFVs that where fielded, not the Panther and not the Tigers.

Sgt, Scouts out!

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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:48 am
Post subject: Re: Sherman Firefly

Good to hear from you, Roy!

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Roy_A_Lingle
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:21 pm
Post subject: Re: Sherman Firefly

Hi Doug!

Good to hear from you, Love this thread. Reminds me of the way AFV News was a long time ago. We were learning a lot back then.

Sgt, Scouts out!

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bialy-r
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 2:05 am
Post subject: Re: Sherman Firefly

Sherman Hybrid Ic ?

in Cordoba (Argentina)

www.network54.com/Foru...+Sherman--
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piney
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 5:04 am
Post subject: Re: Sherman Firefly

Boy, hadn't noticed this thread, much more like the old days, dueling pistols at twenty paces. OK time for me to get into the line of fire.

A lot of changes had to made to the Sherman to use the 17 pounder
"
It was W.G.K. Kilbourn, a Vickers engineer at the time working for the Department of Tank Design, who transformed the prototype into the tank that would serve the British forces from D-day onwards. The first thing Kilbourn had to fix was the lack of a workable recoil system for the 17-pounder. The 17-pounder travelled 40 in (1.0 m) back as it absorbed the recoil of the blast. This was too long for the Sherman turret. Kilbourn solved this problem by redesigning the recoil system completely rather than modifying it. The recoil cylinders were shortened to allow the turret to take the gun and its recoil, and the new cylinders were placed on both sides of the gun to take advantage of the width of the Sherman's turret rather than be hindered by its height.

The gun breech itself was also rotated 90 degrees to allow for loading from the left rather than from on top. The radio which was mounted in the back of the turret in British tanks had to be moved. An armoured box (a "bustle") was attached to the back of the turret to house the radio. Access was through a large hole cut through the back of the turret.

The next problem encountered by Kilbourn was that the gun cradle, the metal block the gun sits on, had to be shortened to allow the gun to fit into the Firefly, and thus the gun itself was not very stable. Kilbourn had a new barrel designed for the 17-pounder that had a longer untapered section at the base, which helped solve the stability problem. A new mantlet was designed to house the new gun and accept the modified cradle. The modifications were extensive enough to require that 17-pounders intended for the Firefly had to be factory built specifically for it.

Kilbourn had to deal with other problems. On the standard Sherman tank, there was a single hatch in the turret through which the tank commander, gunner and loader entered and left the tank. However the 17-pounder's larger breech and recoil system significantly reduced the ability of the loader to quickly exit from the tank if it was hit. As a result, a new hatch was cut into the top of the turret over the gunner's position. The final major change was the elimination of the hull gunner in favour of space for more 17-pounder ammunition, which was significantly longer than the 75 mm shell and thus took up more room.
"

so it's not just a drop in the new gun and go, and you lose the hull MG that could be vital fighting infantry.

Regarding The Tiger's and Panther's. They were not mechanically reliable enough to meet US standards. Something like 40 % were lost due to breakdown. What good is a superior gun if you can't get it to the fight?

I think the policy of having a less powerful gun, but having it always available makes more sense then not having a gun 40% of the time.
OK open fire

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bialy-r
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:39 am
Post subject: Re: Sherman Firefly

- bialy-r
Sherman Hybrid Ic ?

in Cordoba (Argentina)

www.network54.com/Foru...+Sherman--


Any help ? is that/was a Firefly ?
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the_shadock
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:31 am
Post subject: Re: Sherman Firefly

- bialy-r
Sherman Hybrid Ic ?

in Cordoba (Argentina)

www.network54.com/Foru...+Sherman--


Sherman Ic hull with a normal 75mm turret (doesn't have the British loader's hatch beside the commander's cupola).

P-O

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