The British modification of the main medium-sized tank in the US army, the Sherman M4. It differed from American models mainly in that its 76mm gun was the Ordnance QF 17-pounder Mark IV. This became necessary when the new German Tiger and Panther tanks appeared on the battlefields.
The design for the new M4 gun was proposed in January 1943 as a reserve option in case the Challenger tank program failed to get off the ground. In the end, modifying the M4 into the Firefly received priority, which allowed the troops to use it during the Normandy invasion. In fact, the Sherman Firefly ended up being the only British tank that could engage the German Tiger or Panther on relatively equal footing.
Historical fact. The Firefly went into production due to the efforts of Major George Brighty and Lieutenant Colonel George Witheridge, who both served in the weapons training school of the Royal Armored Corps. If these two people hadn't championed the idea, the Firefly wouldn't have gotten underway.
|76.2mm QF 17 pounder;
Secondary: 12.7mm M2HB, 7.62mm M1919A4