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Question for the Sherman gurus...
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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Hanno_Spoelstra
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:10 pm
Post subject: Re: Question for the Sherman gurus...

The line is thin but clearly visible in my opinion: the starting point is the gun. Firefly is a popular name for the Sherman tanks converted with a 17-pdr AT gun. So, if no 17-pdr gun, the Sherman is not a Firefly.

Of course Trevor can use any set of rules to categorize his database. After people start swapping hulls, turrets, guns, engines, in my database I simple refer to those hodgepodge tanks as "Sherman", as they are nothing more than that. And for many people it is enough to see "a Sherman tank".

Hanno
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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:14 pm
Post subject: Re: Question for the Sherman gurus...

- Hanno_Spoelstra
So, if no 17-pdr gun, the Sherman is not a Firefly.


What about an original 17-pdr gun turret on top of an hull that spots none of the Firefly's unique features, like the revised ammo storage?
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Hanno_Spoelstra
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:12 pm
Post subject: Re: Question for the Sherman gurus...

- Massimo_Foti
What about an original 17-pdr gun turret on top of an hull that spots none of the Firefly's unique features, like the revised ammo storage?


That I would describe as "a Sherman" Wink

As a curator I would place a sign describing of which components this Sherman was made up of, and why. I would definitely not label this as a "Sherman Firefly" but a M4A(x) Medium Tank with a Firefly turret, or even, a turret with 17-pdr gun.
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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:34 pm
Post subject: Re: Question for the Sherman gurus...

- Hanno_Spoelstra
That I would describe as "a Sherman" Wink


You can't have it that easy, you know Laughing


- Hanno_Spoelstra
As a curator I would place a sign describing of which components this Sherman was made up of, and why.


These days we are lucky if we can identify "which", "why" often remains a question without an answer, just like the tank in "Museo Carristi". We know that after WW II the Italian Army assembled Shermans out of anything available. At one point some turrets were used for fortifications. Later spare hulls were mixed with other turrets just for display/preservation purposes (most likely the case for the Sherman in Bologna).

Again, my point is that any categorization is arbitrary, but categorization are a necessity, so we have to live with the trade-off.

Massimo

PS You still have to tell me if a Sherman Firefly should be considered american or british Mr. Green
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:36 pm
Post subject: Re: Question for the Sherman gurus...

Actually, the thrust of my original question: "For Fireflies that had the 17lb. gun changed (or never actually installed) is there a visual cue that says "Yep, that was intended to be, or was at one time, a "Firefly"?"

...was intended to help me distinguish all other Shermans that had been modified from Fireflies that had been modified...so the presence or absence of the 17 pounder in later years is not what I was hoping to have as a criteria. In particular, I'm trying to distinguish between Argentina's many "repotenciados" many, if not most of which originated as Fireflies. For the ones that didn't have that origin, I'm wondering how one would tell.
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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:41 pm
Post subject: Re: Question for the Sherman gurus...

That was indeed an interesting question Doug. But we failed to resist the temptation to side-track the thread... Sorry

Massimo
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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:45 pm
Post subject: Re: Question for the Sherman gurus...

Back to Doug's question. The original discussion around the Sherman in Rome was lost during a server crash here. But some comments are still available on Trevor's website and could help:
preservedtanks.com/Pro...4&Select=4

Massimo
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:01 pm
Post subject: Re: Question for the Sherman gurus...

- Massimo_Foti
That was indeed an interesting question Doug. But we failed to resist the temptation to side-track the thread... Sorry

Massimo


Dangerous thread swerves are just an everyday hazard at the DG. Laughing
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TrevorLarkum
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:21 pm
Post subject: Re: Question for the Sherman gurus...

- Hanno_Spoelstra
Trevor, we don't need curators' descriptions, they are notoriously bad as they don't wear anoraks like we do :lol:


True, but my point is that museums need to start caring about provenance, and that means starting with the serial number and researching a vehicle's history. It shouldn't be us doing their job for them. If it was an aircraft you can be sure they'd make more effort.


- Hanno_Spoelstra
A Firefly has a 17-pounder gun with all the amenities described above. So if someone re-converted a Sherman Firefly into another configuration, then the tank loses the "Firefly" tag (which is a nickname more than a proper designation, anyway).


To me the 'someone' is key. If a collector or re-enactor puts a Firefly turret on a standard Sherman I will record it as a standard Sherman, with a Firefly turret. If however the Italian or Belgian army puts a Firefly turret on a standard Sherman and it serves in that configuration then I record it as a Firefly (but an Italian or Belgian one, not a British one).


- Massimo_Foti

From what I can see Trevor's stance is "the hull rules", if the hull came from a Firefly, Trevor will flag it as a Firefly, basically, in the scenario above, he will pick the hull.


All other things being equal, yes that is correct. Hence the tanks I have recorded as Fireflies even though they no longer have a Firefly turret or 17pdr. However, that can be trumped (see the previous paragraph) - if a tank has served in an army as a Firefly (a Firefly turret on a different hull) then it's a Firefly. Even the first British Fireflies didn't have all the characteristics we now consider to indicate a Firefly, but they were Fireflies nonetheless.

Increasingly the best answer I am finding is to make clearer categories. Once I have more examples of a tank in the database I can make finer distinctions. In this case I will likely create categories for British, Italian and Belgian Fireflies, and the text will explain the characteristics in this case. For example, I am just getting to the point where I have started to do this with the M47 Patton with its Italian Service section.


- Massimo_Foti
Other may be facing even harder choices, for example, should we put Fireflies among american or british tanks? There no definitive answer to such a question...


This was a hard choice for me at one time and I agonised over it. I now absolutely define a tank by the nationality of its hull design, and have never regretted that move. For me the Firefly comes under Sherman tanks, which are under American tanks:

Preserved American Tanks: Volume 2

There are sections there for Fireflies, Ishermans, FL10s, etc. Having experience of writing about tank development it has become for me the only choice. When writing about the Firefly you need to have described the history and development of the Sherman, much less relevant is the history of British tanks. At first glance it may appear to throw up anomalies (e.g. the US M1917 and Soviet KS are in a chapter with the FT), but it very quickly makes perfect sense. My only regret is that I didn't follow it absolutely when I wrote Preserved German Tanks, and included the Hetzer, Marder I, etc. Now they would come under Czechoslovak and French tanks respectively.

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Preserved Tanks: PreservedTanks.com
Armour Archive: ArmourArchive.co.uk
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Tichenor
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:31 pm
Post subject: Re: Question for the Sherman gurus...

- Trevor
Once I have more examples of a tank in the database I can make finer distinctions. In this case I will likely create categories for British, Italian and Belgian Fireflies, and the text will explain the characteristics in this case.


This is going to be a hard nut to crack. As far as I know all the Firefly's in Belgium are original British build exempt maybe two ( the one in Leopoldsburg and a hull in Brasschaat). But even then there is no proof they where actualy rebuild after the war here in Belgium. But I have to say, some of the monuments here in Belgium are fore sure a mix of hulls and turrets (Hechtel, Hermeton-sur-meusse, Clermont, Mopertingen).

Michel
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TrevorLarkum
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:23 pm
Post subject: Re: Question for the Sherman gurus...

If so, I'll classify them as British and make note of differences and exceptions. I look forward to writing up Belgium - I had a lot of fun in my youth cycling round and visiting old tanks - but it won't be for some time yet.

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