Dragon DRA60260 Captured Sherman Firefly Mk. VC Medium Tank - Unidentified Unit, Germany, 1945 (1:72 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 M4 Sherman medium tank was regarded by many as the workhorse of the US Army during World War II. In fact, virtually all of the Allied armies employed the Sherman in their armed forces, including the British, who developed an upgunned variant called the "Firefly". Eleven different US plants manufactured six basic models of the Sherman, and by June 1944 over 49,234 battle-ready vehicles had been produced. While it was no match for the German Panther or Tiger tanks, the Sherman soldiered on, using its weight in numbers to wrest control of Europe from the Wehrmacht.
Early Shermans mounted a 75mm medium-velocity general-purpose gun. Later M4A1, M4A2, and M4A3 models received the larger T23 turret with a high-velocity 76mm gun M1, which traded reduced HE and smoke performance for improved anti-tank performance. The British offered the QF 17 pounder (76.2 mm) anti-tank gun with its significant armour penetration but a significant initial (later rectified) HE shortcoming to the Americans but the US Ordnance Department was working on a 90mm tank gun and declined. Later M4 and M4A3 were factory-produced with a 105mm howitzer and a new distinctive mantlet in the original turret. The first standard-production 76mm-gun Sherman was an M4A1 accepted in January 1944 and the first standard-production 105mm-howitzer Sherman was an M4 accepted in February 1944.
This title represents a Sherman Firefly VC seen in German service in 1945. As the war wore on and Germany’s industrial might could no longer keep pace in terms of tank production, captured Russian and Allied tanks were sometimes put into service as a matter of desperation or expediency. Sold Out!
Length: 3.25 inches
Width: 1.5 inches
Release Date: January 2007
Historical Account: "Dragon's Fire" - Beginning in 1938, the German Army used large numbers of captured equipment to augment their own arsenal. Beute Panzerkampfwagen ("Booty Panzers") were gathered at special collection points, where they were examined to see if they could be of any use to its new owners. If possible, useful tanks were taken to factories where they were repaired and/or modified then painted in distinctive German colors and markings. In May 1940, some of the foreign/captured tanks were pressed into service with specially formed tank units belonging to Panzer or Infanterie Divisions then used in a variety of roles, particularly reconnaissance. Some units, such as Panzer Abteilung 216 occupying the Channel Islands, and 7th SS Freiwillingen Gebirgs Division "Prinz Eugen" deployed to the Balkans, were equipped completely with captured equipment.
Although most of the foreign tanks were eventually converted into weapons carriers, some were converted and armed with captured weapons including Soviet 76.2mm ZIS-3 and F-22 guns. Many were converted into supplementary vehicles such as artillery tractors, while others were used for training purposes and/or internal policing duties in occupied territories (Polizei Panzerkampfwagen). Many were used as target practice or were simply handed over to Germany's allies to flesh out their armored formations. Other captured tanks, such as the inimitable Soviet T-34, were immediately pressed into service by German forces who recognized the tank for its superior design and excellent mobility.