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September 15, 2007
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Restored M4 Sherman by focallength Restored M4 Sherman by focallength
This is a nice example of a late production M4 Sherman tank. It has the newer suspension and wider tracks and the larger 76mm gun with muzzle brake. My significant other's late father was a gunner in a Sherman with the 4th Armored Division in Europe in WW2.
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:iconww2fighter:
Ww2fighter Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013
It's a firefly not a Sherman
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:iconfocallength:
focallength Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2013
No, it's a late production Sherman with a 76mm gun with a muzzle brake. My roommate's late father was a gunner in the Sherman and he confirmed this and I also checked my references. The Firefly has a 90mm gun with a longer barrel and a much different turret but they based it on the late production welded hull Sherman.
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:icon914four:
914four Featured By Owner May 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Nope, a Firefly is a US made Sherman with a British 17 pounder anti-tank gun, which is 3 inches or just over 76mm. I'm not an expert, and it's hard to tell from this angle, but the Firefly gun is a bit longer and had more of a punch against armour. The gun mantles are similar and this could be either, there was a lot of mix n match going on during production, although all Fireflies had two hatches atop the turret (I can't tell from this angle). Most Fireflies had dazzle camouflage on the end of the barrel to disguise them since they could take out a Tiger or a Panther and the Germans began targeting them more aggressively. Did you notice if it had a rotary engine or a V8? To my knowledge non of the Fireflies got the Ford engines.
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:iconfocallength:
focallength Featured By Owner May 5, 2014
You're right about the Firefly. The barrel was substantially longer and they had an addition on the back of the turret to counterbalance the longer barrel. This is definitely an M4A3E8 with a 76mm with a muzzle brake. So far as I know, the Firefly was exclusive to the British armored forces. They did have a program to put a 90mm on the Sherman in the US, but it was canceled and then revived after the experiences with German armor. The introduction of the Pershing negated the need to add the 90mm to the Sherman.
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:icon914four:
914four Featured By Owner May 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Well there was the M36 tank hunter which was a 90mm on a Sherman chassis, and they produced around 1800 of those if I recall correctly. The main reason I doubted this is an A3E8 is because there is no bellows visible on the gun mantle, as there is on the image in David Porter's Essential Vehicle Identification Guide; a quick search of Wikipedia shows a picture of an M4A3E8 at the Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armor, Fort Knox, Kentucky, and it has the same mantle as this image, which leads me to believe that the bellows may have been removed on both, or there may have been two variants of the M4A3E8. 
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:iconfocallength:
focallength Featured By Owner May 6, 2014
Not all of them had the bellows and it may have not been put on this example. There was only one factory variant of the M4A3E8, but there may have been plenty of field modifications. The bellows may have been removed in the field to ease maintenance and the fact that the canvas tended to rot in wet weather. The M36 was a tank destroyer, as they called them back then, but didn't have the heavier armor of the Sherman. The M36 was designed for "shoot and scoot" tactics. I've seen a lot of photos of the Sherman M4A3E8 without the bellows, which leads me to believe that the crews removed them in the field.
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:icon914four:
914four Featured By Owner May 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
That would make sense. As to the M36, in your original comment you'd said something about a Sherman with a 90, a description which the M36 sort of fits. :-)
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:iconfocallength:
focallength Featured By Owner May 6, 2014
What happened was there was a program started to upgun the Sherman early on but it was cancelled and then restarted after the invasion. It was strictly a test program. The M36 used the Sherman chassis, along with more than a few other adaptations, but was not a tank per se, rather a tank destroyer, which was designed to move in, destroy some tanks and then get out, since they didn't have the heavier armor plating. They were a stopgap measure until a tank that could go up against the Panthers was introduced, which was the Pershing, which was introduced late in the war but was very effective against the German armor.
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:iconjcapricorn:
jcapricorn Featured By Owner May 31, 2012
It what events this taken? Is it in anniversary of World War II?
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:iconfocallength:
focallength Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2012
It was taken at the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum's World War 2 Weekend in 2000. It's an annual event. The museum is located at the regional airport in Reading, Pennsylvania.
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