Dated: December 21, 2008
Please find a picture of an Armourfast Sherman conversion I recently completed. This is a US Firefly!
A pair of turrets were shipped over to the US (I guess in 1944) and the photo in the background is one of those turrets fitted to a late hull M4A3. During the autumn the US toyed with the idea of asking the Bristish to convert some of their Shermans into Fireflys. The idea was delayed into 1945, probably due to the new 76mm armed Shermans coming into the field and the T26E1s (later called pershings). The battle of the bulge soon re-ignited the need for more powerful tanks, and 160 conversions were proposed, 80 seem to have been carried out on M4, M4 hybrid, M4A3 early and late hulls.
The late hulls were preferred as the wet stowage racks seem to be adapted for both 75 and 76mm ammo, which made conversion for 17pdr ammo very easy (a 20 to 30% time reduction). The turret already had a second hatch which also saved time. The US used a bigger radio set than the British which demanded a turret extension greater than British army conversions. Delivery was made to the 1st and 9th armies (40 each) although none were assigned to combat units.
The model I have done uses the armourfast M4A3 (75) W kit almost entirely except for the gun and mantlet. The 17pdr and mantlet + radio box come from the Armourfast Firefly kit. The radio box was extended further by added 1/2mm plastic card. Overall quite a rapid conversion using standard armourfast parts.
Now he who submits paper panzers, had better be ready to face US paper fireflys.
Many thanks to John S.
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