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British Army Sherman Firefly tank

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British Army - Sherman firefly tank

Sherman Firefly tank

A Sherman Firefly tank advancing near St. Leger, France likely around August 17-25, 1944. Firefly versions are recognizable by the seventeen pound gun in the main turret with a muzzle break and counter weight at the end of the barrel.

Note the large bustle at the rear of the turret that stored the radio. Also, just barely visible above the radio is part of the second hatch on the top of the turret. Only the Firefly and the upgraded high velocity 76mm tank had two turret hatches. The second hatch in the turret was required because the larger seventeen pound gun made it impossible for the gunner to exit out of the commander's hatch.

Three hundred and forty-two Sherman Firefly tanks had been delivered to Montgomery's 21st Army Group for the D-Day landings. As a result, British tank troops were composed of three regular Shermans and one Firefly. The Sherman Firefly was only Allied tank in the D-Day landings with a gun powerful enough to knock out a German Panther tank at normal combat distances. By the end of August 1944, an additional five hundred-fifty more Sherman Firefly tanks were built. By February 1945, some two thousand Sherman Fireflies had been built.