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Bane of the heavy German armour, the Sherman Firefly was the British invention that mounted the powerful 17 pdr anti-tank gun in a Sherman V. It was the most powerfully gunned tank fielded by the Allies during World War II. An ordinary American-built Sherman modified by the British, the Firefly had the firepower that could finally match the awesome German tanks that had dominated Europe. 

This is a variant of the standard American M4A4 Sherman medium tank equipped with a powerful 17 pounder anti-tank gun. It soon became highly valued as the only British tank capable of defeating the Panther and Tiger tanks it faced in Normandy at standard combat ranges. In recognition of this, German tank and anti-tank gun crews were instructed to attack Fireflies first. Between 2100 and 2200 were manufactured before production wound down in 1945.

Often known as the 'Charlie' tanks in the field because of the 'c' denoting them as rearmed with the 17-pdr. There were enough of them by D-Day to issue 1 per troop, providing the British with a good answer to the threat of the German big tanks. This tank was specifically designed by the British to combat the Tiger was an important psychological boost to Allied forces. In recognition of this, German tank and anti-tank gun crews were instructed to attack Fireflies first. 

Like the P51 Mustang, the British Firefly represented a successful grafting of US manufacturing and English ingenuity.  It was widely used by British, Commonwealth, Polish and Czechoslovakian forces during World War Two.

The new episode of Inside the Chieftain's Hatch is dedicated to the Sherman VC "Firefly" tank. In the first part, Nicholas Moran will examine the tank's exterior and talk about how the designers managed to combine the small turret of the Sherman with the 17-pounder gun.

In the second episode of the "Inside the Chieftain's Hatch" dedicated to the Sherman VC Firefly, Nicholas Moran will look inside the vehicle, examine the crew positions, and talk about how you could tell who the Firefly crewmen were in parades.


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