Forces of Valor 80064 British M4 Sherman Firefly Medium Tank - "ALLAKEEFEK", 4th County of London Yeomanry (the Sharpshooters), Villers Bocage, France, 1944 [D-Day Commemorative Packaging] (1:32 Scale)
"The only way you can win a war is to attack and keep on attacking, and after you have done that, keep attacking some more."
- General George S. Patton Jr., January 1945
The Sherman Firefly was a World War II British variant of the American Sherman tank, fitted with the powerful British 17 pounder anti-tank gun as its main weapon. Originally conceived as a stopgap until future British tank designs came into service, the Sherman Firefly became the most common vehicle with the 17 pounder in World War II.
Though the British expected to have their own new tank models developed soon, British Major George Brighty championed the already-rejected idea of mounting the 17 pounder in the existing Sherman. With the help of Lieutenant Colonel Witheridge and despite official disapproval, he managed to get the concept accepted. This proved fortuitous, as both the Challenger and Cromwell tank designs experienced difficulties and delays.
After the problem of getting the gun to fit in the Sherman's turret was solved, the Firefly was put into production in early 1944, in time to equip Field Marshal Montgomery's forces for the Normandy landings. 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.
Pictured here is a 1:32 scale replica of a British M4 Sherman Firefly Medium Tank that was nicknamed "ALLAKEEFEK", which was attached to 4th County of London Yeomanry (the Sharpshooters), then deployed to Normandy, France, during 1944. Vehicle comes in D-Day Commemorative packaging.
Pre-order! Ship Date: January 2015.
Length: 7.5 inches
Width: 3.38 inches
Release Date: ?
Historical Account: "If it Doesn't Fit, Force It" - The concept of fitting a 17 pounder gun into a Sherman tank had initially been rejected by the Ministry of Supply's Tank Decision Board. Although the British Army had made extensive use of the American-built Sherman tank, it was intended that a new generation of British tanks would replace it in the anti-tank role. First there was the Cromwell tank, which was expected to use the Vickers High Velocity 75mm gun; this gun would have had superior anti-tank performance to the US 75mm and 76mm guns that were mounted in the Sherman. The second was the A30 Challenger which was based on the Cromwell but with the even more powerful 17 pounder gun. These two tanks - and their successors, the Comet and the Centurion, which were already on the drawing board - were to have replaced the Sherman in British service, and so the prospect of spending time and money mounting a 17 pounder on the Sherman was not seen as desirable.