Tiger V Firefly

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paul.mercer
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Tiger V Firefly

Postby paul.mercer » Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:57 pm

Gentlemen,
having watched a TV program recently where a Sherman Firefly ambused and defeated Tiger tank commanded by the famous Micheal Wittmann I was curious to know whether or not the Firefly was considered by the allies as the equal of the Tiger both in armour and firepower. It appears that the shot that killed the Tiger was taken at very close range of around 150 yards, would it have made a difference if the range had been further as I understand that the 88mm of the Tiger had better penetration and longer range as well as stronger armour?

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frontkampfer
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Re: Tiger V Firefly

Postby frontkampfer » Thu Oct 30, 2014 1:34 am

A Sherman is still a Sherman. If a Tiger had the drop on it any great distance then it would have brewed up as they were prone to if hit - JMHO
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Re: Tiger V Firefly

Postby Steve Crandell » Thu Oct 30, 2014 6:18 am

The British 17lb AT gun used in the Firefly was the most powerful anti-tank gun available to the allies in WWII. It had better penetration than the US 90mm gun on the M26. It was capable of penetrating the armor of the Tiger or Panther at most common battlefield ranges, so it made a huge difference when it was introduced. Eventually about half of all British Shermans had this gun. Unfortunately, US tanks didn't have it.

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Re: Tiger V Firefly

Postby MikeBrough » Sat Nov 01, 2014 9:33 am

I don't have my original sources to hand (they're upstairs and I'm a lazy beggar) but I recall that the 17-pounder firing APDS rounds had better penetration than the German 88, especially the version mounted on the Tiger. I think the APDS round was slightly more inaccurate than the standard APCBC round at long ranges but, if it hit, it killed.

The 88 was eventually produced in a longer-barrelled version (the L71?) but I can't remember whether that made its penetration better than the 17-pounder with APDS.

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Re: Tiger V Firefly

Postby tommy303 » Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:45 am

Actually the discarding sabot 17-pdr round was found to be less accurate at long range and the small penetrator only kicked up a small amount of dirt if it missed, making observation of fall of shot difficult. These two facts led to the round being used at mostly 1000 yards or less. As with many specialized types of ammunition, the APDS rounds were in short supply, with the average allotment per tank being only around 5 or 6 rounds until very late in 1944. The 8,8cm Kwk 43 of the King Tiger, firing APCBC, had considerably better penetration than the 17-pdr's APCBC, as would be expected of a heavier projectile at similar velocities. The 17-pdr did have superior penetration with APCBC rounds compared to the lower velocity 8,8cm KWK 36 of the Tiger I.

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Re: Tiger V Firefly

Postby Steve Crandell » Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:06 am

What does APCBC stand for?

OpanaPointer
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Re: Tiger V Firefly

Postby OpanaPointer » Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:58 am

Steve Crandell wrote:What does APCBC stand for?

armour-piercing capped ballistic cap

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Re: Tiger V Firefly

Postby Steve Crandell » Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:20 pm

OpanaPointer wrote:
Steve Crandell wrote:What does APCBC stand for?

armour-piercing capped ballistic cap


Thanks :)

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aurora
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Re: Tiger V Firefly

Postby aurora » Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:17 pm

I understand that a regiment of 3.7" AA guns were used to great effect against enemy tanks at the Siege of Tobruk-this weapon was never again allowed to be used in an anti tank role
Can anyone throw some light on this issue ? ? ? :shock:
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tommy303
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Re: Tiger V Firefly

Postby tommy303 » Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:44 pm

the 3.7-in AA could be used in an anti-tank role, and was authorized to do so in emergencies, such as when about to be over run, but on the whole the weapon was not well suited to anti-tank use. For one, it was about 2000kg heavier than the German Acht-Acht, making it a difficult weapon to move around and site. Secondly, at low angles of fire, the 3,7-inch was hard on its recoil system and mounting, leading to excess straining. Generally, command control of the 3.7 AA units was normally exercised at Corps level or higher and there was something of a fear, that if the guns were handed over to divisional level command for anti-tank work, the AA units might never get them back; this was certainly a case with the 88's in North Africa where forward units borrowing them from the Luftwaffe Flak battalions, stripped off the flak control equipment to make them lighter and more mobile, but now completely unsuited to AA use. While the siege of Tobruk was one of the few times the 3,7 was used extensively in an AT role, the situation was such that their use there was an emergency where every gun was needed to defend the vital port from German assaults.

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aurora
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Re: Tiger V Firefly

Postby aurora » Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:11 pm

Quote
"if the guns were handed over to divisional level command for anti-tank work, the AA units might never get them back; this was certainly a case with the 88's in North Africa where forward units borrowing them from the Luftwaffe Flak battalions, stripped off the flak control equipment to make them lighter and more mobile, but now completely unsuited to AA use".

Tommy- if the Germans could and obviously did beg,borrow or steal 88mm flak guns; and customised them for the anti tank role-so too could the British with the 3.7""AA gun; but obviously AA Command had sufficient influence to ensure this was not done-despite the fact that there were hundreds of guns lying idle in the UK which could be put to great use in tank battles-I have heard this "dog in the manger " story before-but I am blessed if I can get to the bottom of it-3.7's were the AA's guns-End Of!!
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tommy303
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Re: Tiger V Firefly

Postby tommy303 » Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:29 pm

I suspect, part of the reason for not easily letting go of the 3,7's by higher command was that in the tank actions of 1942 the 6-pdr was making an appearance and this helped even the score between British AT units and the tanks of Rommel's Panzerarmee Afrika. The 6-pdr could deal with most German tanks deployed to North Afrika, and was a much more mobile and easily sited weapon than the 3,7in. It was followed in a year by the 17-pdr, keeping AT units competitive with German tanks. The 3.7in did see a considerable amount of service in the direct fire role against enemy ground troops during the Italian campaign, since its time fuzed HE shells were useful in the hilly terrain most frequently encountered in Italy.

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aurora
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Re: Tiger V Firefly

Postby aurora » Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:01 am

My thanks Tommy for your interest and input- which satisfies my interest in the subject of the 3.7" AA gun as an anti tank weapon.It may interest you to know (if you are not already aware)that the AA Command adapted and upgraded their guns to the naval 4.5" HA gun c.1944 to tackle the V1 or Doodlebug flying bomb attacks on London and the SE of England
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Jim

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tommy303
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Re: Tiger V Firefly

Postby tommy303 » Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:38 pm

Yes indeed. Stepping up in calibre was the logical choice for the AA defence of the British Isles, something the Germans had decided for their own Flak defences a bit earlier. As early as the Spanish Civil War, Luftwaffe studies indicated the calibre would have to be upped from 8,8cm to 10,5cm to cope with the expected newer generation aircraft which were stronger and could fly higher, and even as the new 10,5 was under development, further studies recommended a yet another increase to 12,8cm. Here I am referring to the static Flak defences rather than the mobile ones where the 8,8cm soldiered on quite well. I rather suspect the British were not spurred into the same AA calibre race as the Germans for the simple fact that the British Isles were not under the same intensive air war threat after 1941 and had more pressing needs to address at least until the V-weapon threat materialized in 1944.

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They stood and Earth's foundations stay;
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And saved the sum of things for pay.

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aurora
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Re: Tiger V Firefly

Postby aurora » Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:46 pm

Quote
"I rather suspect the British were not spurred into the same AA calibre race as the Germans for the simple fact that the British Isles were not under the same intensive air war threat after 1941 and had more pressing needs to address at least until the V-weapon threat materialized in 1944".

Seems I was quite wrong Tommy 1944 saw the introduction of the 5.25" naval??gun, the 4.5" anti-aircraft gun was an adoption of the 4.5" Naval gun, the naval gun was chosen as there was there was no prospect of the 4.7" being developed and put into production soon and as these guns were planned to be placed near naval bases ammunition supplies would be assured and so in 1938 the 4.5" anti-aircraft gun was approved for land service. Some guns were fitted with a mild steel shield and some guns were placed at the coast to be used in a dual anti-aircraft / coastal defence role. By 1944 the guns were being replaced by the 5.25" gun but the weapons were not declared obsolete until 1951.

4.5" Anti-Aircraft gun data
Weight of gun/breech 6,180lb
Total length 211.75"
Length of bore 45 cal
Rifling 32, 1/25
Elevation 0 - +80 degrees
Traverse 360 degrees
Weight in action 33,040lb
Rate of fire 8rpm
4.5" Anti-Aircraft gun ammunition data
HE Shell weight 58lb
Muzzle velocity 2,400fps
Max horizontal range 22,800 yards
Max ceiling 44,000 feet
Production of the 4.5" Anti-Aircraft Gun by year
Pre-War Sep-Oct 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 (May)
Guns 185 116 141 56 2 - - -
Mountings 156 115 182 21 - - - -
Platforms - - 14 4 1 - - -
Quo Fata Vocant-Whither the Fates call

Jim


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