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"Ic versus Vc Firefly numbers" Topic

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09 Jun 2019 1:15 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "Ic versus Vx Firefly numbers" to "Ic versus Vc Firefly numbers"

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Comments or corrections?

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP09 Jun 2019 4:02 a.m. PST

I have seen a link on here that suggested there was only one Ic Firefly in the Allied OOB on D-Day itself. I recall (but haven't kept) other online sources suggesting that within a month or two there were very many more of the Ic type. They are not hard to find in footage, for example, although quite a lot are Ic hybrid.

Is it reasonable to infer that Is and Vs or if you will, M4s and M4A4s were shipped over and then converted to 17-pounder spec on a whatever-is-to-hand basis? So that the lone Ic on D-Day was followed by Ic, Ic hybrid and Vc later?

Relatedly did these 75mm Shermans arrive with the 75mm gun? Or were they earmarked for conversion and shipped without it? If the former, what was done with all the spare 75mm guns removed from converted Fireflies? this latter is just curiosity, whereas the previous wonderings may affect force composition…

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP09 Jun 2019 4:06 a.m. PST

Damn, that should be Ic versus Vc in the heading….

Lion in the Stars09 Jun 2019 4:30 a.m. PST

Wiki says that all the tanks were converted, none were built from scratch with the 17pdr. So all were apparently shipped over with a 75mm and converted in the UK. link

No clue what happened to the 75mm guns, unless they got borrowed for use on Churchill turrets?

Col Piron09 Jun 2019 5:12 a.m. PST

No clue what happened to the 75mm guns, unless they got borrowed for use on Churchill turrets ?

Only the NA75 used the Sherman gun , the rest had the Ordnance QF 75 mm .

Starfury Rider09 Jun 2019 6:03 a.m. PST

All I can offer is that from late January 1945 the 21 Army Group AFV returns showed a preponderance of Ic to Vc in British formations.

If I remember right the figures produced by Peter Brown used to be available on the internet, taken from RAC reports for the end of June 1944 and likewise end of December 1944. I think there's some mention of October 1944 figures 'somewhere' as well.

Also in the distant past there was a very detailed website on both Sherman 17-pdr and Challenger tanks, but I've no idea if it's still around or retrievable.


Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP09 Jun 2019 11:32 a.m. PST

@ Gary

We may well be remembering the same source. I had a feeling there were quite a few more Ic than Vc, the inference being that in raising the incidence from 1 Firefly in 4 to 2 in 4, it was mostly M4s being converted.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP09 Jun 2019 1:02 p.m. PST

As a starting point this is always good for June 44

Walking Sailor Supporting Member of TMP09 Jun 2019 4:36 p.m. PST

Peter Brown's figures link

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP10 Jun 2019 2:39 a.m. PST

@ Marc

Ta, that was the link I recalled 2 x Ic, 276 x Vc, with the Ic found only in the Polish formation.

Starfury Rider10 Jun 2019 6:20 a.m. PST

I was sure Peter Brown's figures for Dec44 showed 17-pdr gun tanks by subtype. Below are some illustrative figures from the partial AFV returns available;

13 Jan 1945; British formations only

7th Armd Div; 51 Ic + 12 Vc
11th Armd Div; 45 Ic + 35 Vc
Gds Armd Div; 30 Ic + 27 Vc
8th Armd Bde; 70 Ic + 29 Vc
29th Armd Bde; 22 Vc
33rd Armd Bde; 60 Ic + 20 Vc

At this date 4th Armd Bde was part of 11th Armd Div, while 29th Armd Bde was beginning the (as it transpired aborted) switch to the Comet.

24 Mar 1945; British formations only

7th Armd Div; 45 Ic + 12 Vc
11th Armd Div; 2 Vc
Gds Armd Div; 35 Ic + 21 Vc
4th Armd Bde; 24 Ic + 52 Vc
8th Armd Bde; 75 Ic + 21 Vc

At this date 11th Armd Div was (finally) on the Comet and 33rd Armd Bde was working in the LVT role.

05 May 1945; British formations only

7th Armd Div; 29 Ic + 7 Vc
11th Armd Div; Nil
Gds Armd Div; 17 Ic + 29 Vc
4th Armd Bde; 49 Ic + 23 Vc
8th Armd Bde; 71 Ic + 12 Vc
33rd Armd Bde; 53 Ic + Nil Vc

All told by 5th May 1945 the British Armd Divs and Bdes in 21AG had 219 Ic and 71 Vc 17-pdr tanks with units.


Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP10 Jun 2019 8:14 a.m. PST


Thanks, that's what I remembered. I think this gives one permission to include pretty much whatever proportion of Ic to Vc Fireflies one likes.

I didn't know the 11th gave up all its Firefies when it switched to Comets, but of course, as those had the quasi-17-pounder 77mm they wouldn't have any obvious need to hang on to any Fireflies.

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