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Interesting photo of a Sherman Firefly
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 9:33 am
Post subject: Re: Interesting photo of a Sherman Firefly

- Dontos

An important note to that would be the wearing of vehicle protective helmets with 'ear phones'. There is a remarkable amount of hearing protection afforded to the crew by wearing the helmets.

It is still a 'deafening' profession. (The proof being my own hearing loss and constant 'ringing' in my ears after 21 years in and around tanks!)

Good point about the headgear. I now the "ringing feeling" from diring long trips on motorcycle, but luckily, that disappears after a day or so of rest. Smile

Claus B
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:29 pm
Post subject: Re: Interesting photo of a Sherman Firefly

In the book “Tank Tactics from Normandy to Lorraine� by Roman Jarymowycz there is a Canadian Analysis of Sherman Casualties for the period 6 June to 10 July in Appendix G. The final part of the study is entitled:

“Further Study of Tank Hit but not Penetrated and Remained in Action.�
Total Tanks inspected 124
Hits failing to Penetrate 83
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:19 pm
Post subject: Re: Interesting photo of a Sherman Firefly

very interesting...
i will try to get my hands on that book. i have many an inquiry... like of the tanks inspected, how many had follow up shots that did penetrate? what vehicles exactly where inspected and under what circumstances did they receive hits? etc.......
can i ask what else the study details?
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:59 pm
Post subject: Re: Interesting photo of a Sherman Firefly

Along similar lines, does this book go into platoon-level tactics, formations, etc?

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 11:26 am
Post subject: Re: Interesting photo of a Sherman Firefly

Hello Shawn, Neil,

The problem with most published studies like this is the lack of detail, and of context.

First the timing of the study would have being just after the fall of Caen and at about the time of the transfer of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division and the 2nd Armoured Brigade from the British 1st Corps to the 2nd Canadian Corps.

Most of the study deals with a detailed analysis of 45 Sherman casualties. The study doses not give the details as to where these tanks are located, or the details of how they became casualties. However, I suspect that these 45 tanks are most likely 2CAB Shermans located in the tank graveyard at Bray, and that they are “total losses�.

The last part of the study contains the information I posted in my previous post. Those 124 Shermans are most likely the ones which were in service with 2CAB at the time of inspection, on the 10th of July or soon afterwards.

So in total the study covers 169 tanks. There are a total of 148 hits reported with 62 penetrations and 86 hits which failed to penetrate.

What is missing from the study are those tanks which were KOed, but were recovered and under going repair.

As per the book in General, it seems to deal more with Armoured doctrine then with detailed unit tactics. It is of the vain that everything German and Russian is good, while everything allied is bad, with things Canadian being the very worst. There is a lot of interesting information presented in the book, but I strongly disagree with the authors analysis and conclusions.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 8:06 pm
Post subject: Re: Interesting photo of a Sherman Firefly

i am interesting in reading it. i think i will order it.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 10:15 pm
Post subject: Re: Interesting photo of a Sherman Firefly

My largest complained with Jarymowycz’s book concerns his treatment of the Goodwood, Cobra and Spring Operations. He, along with many others, treats these Operations as being separate and totally independent of each other. He also ignores the impact of the bad weather on their planning and conduct.

First you must remember that during the months of June and July, Montgomery was the commander of all allied ground forces in Normandy. He was not just the British commander, but he also commanded the Americans and Canadian troops. He commanded the 21st Army Group which consisted of Bradley’s 1st US Army and Dempsey’s 2nd British Army.

Montgomery’s Big July offensive consisted of three Operations; Goodwood and Atlantic, followed two days later by Cobra. This was similar to what Montgomery had done at El Alamein. His intent was to launch an attack at one end of his front to draw in the German reserves, and then launch a second attack at the other side of the front. The second attack was to be Cobra and was the main effort. Although few Americans will acknowledge this, Montgomery was just as responsible for Cobra as he was for Goodwood. The overall concept was Montgomery’s, with the detailed planning being done at the Army and Corps level. The real architect of Goodwood was the British VIII Corps commander O’Conner, and not Montgomery. It was O’Conner who wanted to use an armoured corps, and with Dempsey’s help, he sold the idea to Montgomery. The planned start of Goodwood and Cobra was to be the 17th and 19th of July. But because of the problems the Americans had in capturing St. Lo and in securing their start line, both operations were pushed back to the 18th and the 20th.

Goodwood started off well on the 18th and made deep penetrations into the German defences. Although the British suffered high tank losses, their causalities in personnel were relatively light by Normandy standards. Most of the British tanks that were lost were later recovered and returned to service. The Canadian Corps, in spite of heavy fighting, had achieved all of their Atlantic objectives; but was ordered to push beyond them to help secure the Goodwood objectives.

On the 20th the weather turned against the Allies. Cobra was postponed due to bad weather. The Air force would not bomb without good weather, and Bradley would not start Cobra without the bombers. The British and Canadians were encountering stiffening resistance and increasing numbers of counterattacks. Added to this were thunder storms and the non-start of Cobra. With all of this Dempsey (not Montgomery) ordered the end of Goodwood.

Bradley was hoping he could launch Cobra on the 21st, and thus was furious with Montgomery for stopping Goodwood on the 20th. But because of continuing bad weather reports, Cobra was pushed back to the 24th. Also on the 21st Montgomery gave instructions to Guy Simonds to plan for operation Spring to start on the 25th, the day after the new start date of Cobra.

Simonds has claimed all along that Spring was planned as a holding attack. It was to start just after Cobra and was intended to delay the movement of German troops against Cobra. If the Germans did shift their forces on mass to counter Cobra, or started a general withdraw towards the Seine River, then Simonds had two British Armoured Divisions available to exploit the situation.

On the 24th the allied air forces took off to carryout the bombardment to open Cobra. However, because of thick ground mists, the air forces cancelled the attack and ordered the bombers back to base. Some bombers did not receive the recall order and dropped their bombs. The allied commanders were worried that this false start of Cobra had tipped off the Germans as to their intentions. Also they did not know when Cobra would start, because it was depended on the weather.

The role of Spring was now to keep the German attention focused on the area south of Caen, and away from the American sector.

While the Americans were sitting on their duffs between the 20th and the 25th, waiting for the weather to clear, the Canadians were engaged in heavy fighting. The Germans had continued their counter attacks. Also, the Germans rushed additional troops and armour to the area south of Caen. Because of the bad weather there was little aerial reconnaissance conducted over the German positions while Spring was being planned.

Spring started at 2am on the 25th of July. The Canadians were attacking a numerically superior German force occupying strong defensive positions, with excellent fields of fire, and possessing a technical edge in equipment. Also, unknown to the Canadians, the area for centuries, had being a mining district. It was a rabbit warren of underground mine tunnels and shafts. The Canadian troops would clear an area, only to have the Germans reappear behind them, literally out of the ground. Also Spring was not well supported by the air force. Cobra started on the 25th. Most of the allied air power was used to support Cobra, and Spring got the leftovers.

That’s enough for now.
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