Discussion in 'Western Europe 1943 - 1945' started by Martin Bull, Nov 29, 2007.
I've found this online:
doesn't look very right does it now. Or is 500 yards 1000 meters?
Tables from page 36 of Hayward's Firefly book
It seems penetrating power was not the problem, accuracy was.
500 yds is 457 meters....
.... and you're right..... that paints a pretty grim picture!
The accurancy of the 17pdr on the Comet is quoted to be more accurate than the Firefly. I don't know if this is due to the tinkering they had to do with the Sherman, or better optics on the Comet. Any info would be most welcome.
Comet gun is a different weapon Jaeger.
77MM HV. Derived from 17pdr with a Shortened breech arrangement & different ammunition.
And the accurancy was better right?
That figure seems very low since a lot more were available though I have no figures of my own even so there were a lot of other 17 pounder armed AVF's apart from the Achilles variant there were Archer and Wolverine.
The archer in paticular was a superb ambush weapon integrated with infantry it meant they had heavy AT support forward of the towed artillery its low profile meant it was a nightmare to spot and the weird layout with the gun pointing over the engine meant the gunners were protected by the engine block improving crew survivability.
The conversion of the M10 tank destroyer into wolverines by the removal of the 76mm and replacing it with a 17 pounder was a very successful upgrade mixed with Churchills they provided over watch at range whilst the churchills stopped any AVF's that closed the range.
Also there were some 200 Challengers it seems?!
"Unfortunately, due to some short sightedness no provision had been made for deep wading trunking and the A30 was unable to participate in the Normandy landings, the tank having to wait until ports had been secured and the Mulberry harbours completed. The Challenger, despite its high centre of gravity was liked by its crews as it was somewhat faster and more agile than the equivalently armed Sherman Firefly."
Cruiser Mk VIII Challenger - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"All Sherman equipped units used Firefly with one tank per troop (later two), while a similar ration was issued to Cromwell units due to the unavailability of Challengers. Eventually as Challengers became available some units operated a mix of 17 Pdr Shermans and Challengers or Challengers alone as their 17 Pdr support ."
THE OTHER CHALLENGER
did there actually where churchills with 17pdr? Ive heard something of a "Black Prince"...
If I'm not mistaken there were only five or six prototypes of this "Black Prince" style of Churchill tank produced before war's end, they were exceedingly slow, but their low gear ratios did allow them to serve well in the Korean war since they could really climb stuff.
Without doing any searches on the web, that is just the little I remember, but they weren't around on the field of battle in WW2.
I certainly shan't dispute that but - in Normandy ?
According to Chamberlain & Ellis, the ' Archer equipped anti-tank battalions of British armoured divisions in NW Europe from October 1944...' ( Britiish and American Tanbks Of WWII' p. 65 ).
Again, Chamberlain & Ellis state that conversion of M10s to Wolverines started in 'late 1944' (p.140 ) so, unless there's material to the contrary, it seems that the original point of this thread stands : the Allies didn't have very many SP 17Pr guns actually in Normandy.......
"By 31st May 1944, 342 fireflies had been delivered, the vast majority to Montgomery´s 21st Army Group for the D-Day landings."
From Sherman firefly vs Tiger by Stephen A Hart
By D-Day only some 124 M10s had been converted (out of 1000 planned), however the number of conversions post D-day increased and by the end of the year 816 M10s had been converted, 152 vehicles in November alone. The conversion started in April 1944.
" On 18 July, during Operation Goodwood, 11th Armoured Division lost 21 of its 34 Fireflies to enemy tank and anti-tank fire in just one day."
From Sherman Firefly vs Tiger
By Stephen A Hart
Language is everything. You should always compare like with like and 21 from 34 seems like a rather high ratio (75%)
This is the number of tanks out of action at the end of the 18th. All tanks damaged by any cause. A good number were not destroyed but were put back into service.
A good comparison would be that of sPzAbt 503 who had 45 Tigers that day. They list 13 as total losses. However if you take a like-for-like comparison with the Firefly figures and use the total of all Tigers damaged that day and out of action by nightfall it is 36 from 45 (80%).
Not too much between the 2 is there?
Another interesting fact. Much is made of the muzzle blast from the Firefly and it is said it was a huge handicap. However looking at the Panzertracts title on Panzerjaeger 7-3 by Jentz (page 7-209) you see reports on the '88' L/71 Hornisse (same as on the TII) throwing up huge dust clouds on firing and on a calm day vision was obstructed for at least 20 seconds!
It seems this blast problem was the same for all high velocity guns.
Fireflys and Shermans vs Tigers and Panthers discussion before.
The Americans had the M10 and M18, and they also supplied Allied troops with M10s. During the Battle of Arracourt, M18 Hellcats played a role.
Gosh a zombie thread...
This misses several points.
1. The task of killing tanks was not the main task of British and Canadian Armour. The model for defeating German armour was Alam Halfa and Medenine. The German armour was largely defeated in its attacks by anti tank guns supported by tanks. .
2. The Royal Artillery had a large anti tank arm. Each infantry division had an anti tank regiment with a mix of 6 pounder and 17 pounder anti tank guns. Each corps and armoured division had an anti tank regiment of twelve towed 17 pounder and twelve M10s (being up gunned to 17 pounders) Each of the three assault divisions had a mix of 6 pounder towed and M10 SP guns. The RA had around 750 x17 pounder or 76mm and 224 x 6 pounder anti-tank guns while the infantry had around 660 6 pounder guns. All of these could defeat Pz IV at any aspect and Pz V from the flank. In extremis the RA could call on around 200 x 3.7 inch heavy AA Guns,
3. According to a Regimental history, the M10 was a good SP anti tank gun, but the 17 pounder M10 was a terror. It killed anything it hit.
Ditto for the Americans.
Indeed, and the chief mistake made by the American's in the Tank Destroyer Command was organizing them solely as corps/army-level assets. Each division should have add an assigned TB battalion as a matter of course, with additional battalions assigned to the army for attachment to corps as needed. The second major error was retrogressing to towed guns at the insistence of General McNair, but with the acquiescence of the Tank Destroyer Command, even though they had spent a year and a half developing and training on SP TD guns.