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Sherman Firefly Vs Tiger: Normandy 1944 (Duel) [Paperback]

Stephen A. Hart
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

10 Sep 2007 Duel (Book 2)
The German Tiger heavy tank was a monster of a machine that dominated the battlefields of Europe. One of the most feared weapons of World War II, the Tiger gained an aura of invincibility that was only shattered by the introduction of the Sherman Firefly during the summer of 1944. Designed by the British to combat the Tiger, the Sherman Firefly was based on the American M4A4 Sherman, but was fitted with a powerful 17-pounder gun which made it a deadly opponent. This book describes the design and development of these two opponents, analyzing their strengths and weaknesses, assessing their tactics, weaponry and training. Gunsight artwork puts the reader 'inside' the tanks during famous battle scenarios, in a victory of superior Allied numbers, tactics and engineering.

Frequently Bought Together

Sherman Firefly Vs Tiger: Normandy 1944 (Duel) + Panther vs Sherman: Battle of the Bulge 1944 (Duel) + Panther Vs T-34: Ukraine 1943 (Duel)
Price For All Three: £32.47

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Product details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (10 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846031508
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846031502
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 18.4 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 448,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Written by Stephen A Hart, this 80-page paperback contains textual and visual details of the German Tiger and the British Sherman Firefly, thanks that battled it out in Normandy in 1944. the book compares each machine's strengths and weaknesses and evaluates the tactics, weaponry and training involved." -Sue Brettingen, "Model Retailer" (March 2008) "The German Tiger heavy tank dominated the battlefields of Europe and was one of the most feared weapons of World War II. "Sherman Firefly vs. Tiger" describes its design and deployment, with chapters offering plenty of technical construction information and analyzing strengths, weaknesses and the use of these tanks in war tactics. It's an excellent survey recommended for any library strong in the mechanics of World War II." -"The Bookwatch" (December 2007) ..".Stephen A Hart, senior lecturer at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, tells how the British sought to counter the already proven superior firepower and armor of the German Tiger I heavy tank by installing a high-velocity 17-pound cannon in the American-built M4 Sherman medium tank... After providing technical details, [the] book discusses crew training and tactics, profiles one or two outstanding operators of each tank and then shows how they performed against one another in combat. Enhanced by photos and artwork, including views of the interiors and through the gun sights, the Duel series is sure to spark debate among Buffs." -Jon Guttman, "Military History Magazine" (January/February 2008) "Overall it is a fascinating and detailed look at these two combatants and a shift in the constantly changing 'one upmanship' of military hardware. It is a book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading and I can most highly recommend this one to you." -Scott Van Aken, "modelingmadness" (September 2007) "This, in my opinion, is an excellent book for anyone who wants to go beyond the nuts and bolts of a vehicle and look at its actual use in combat. It de

About the Author

Dr Stephen A. Hart is senior lecturer in the War Studies department, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Prior to this, he lectured in the International Studies Department at the University of Surrey, and in the War Studies Department, King's College London. He is the author of Montgomery and the "'Colossal Cracks': The 21st Army Group in Northwest Europe 1944-45 "(Praeger, 2000), and has co-authored - with Russell Hart - several popular histories of the German Army in the Second World War. The author lives in Surrey, UK.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth buying but too short! 3 Dec 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Considering that there are so few books on the Sherman Firefly I suppose it's churlish to complain when one does appear. The main problem is that while definitely worth buying, the book's pretty short. After a brief overview of the Firefly and Tiger it concentrates primarily on one engagement in Normandy, where German Tiger ace Michael Wittman's career came to a sudden end as his unit of Tigers blundered into an ambush by tanks of the 1st Northants Yeomanry and were knocked out by one Firefly gunner, trooper Joe Ekins (who like every other allied soldier serving during the war had never heard of Wittman). This the book portrays as THE definitive encounter between Tiger and Firefly, almost as an excuse for not bothering to cover any of the other encounters between the two types that took place during the war.

This naturally leaves the reader feeling a little short changed. For instance so far as this book is concerned 'Tiger' means 'Tiger 1' tanks - there's no mention of King Tigers, let alone how Fireflies fared when the two types clashed (head on, a Firefly's only chance was to attempt to ricochet a shell off the underside of the gun mantlet and down through the thinner armour of the hull roof - risky!!!). Secondly despite all the pics of Wittman there isn't a photo of Joe Ekins. More bizarrely, despite the in depth examination of the action (not to mention modern day photos of the battlefield from pretty much all angles) the only known photo of Wittman's wrecked Tiger isn't reproduced, even though it's freely available on Wikipedia. This in fact is very surprising as a section of the book does discuss other units' competing claims as the killers of Wittman (the book probably correctly comes down in favour of Joe Ekins detailed account of what actually happened).
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little disapointing 3 Oct 2007
The title of this book is misleading. It is not a straight comparison of the Firefly & the Tiger rather it's a study of how the Firefly defeated the Tiger. Don't get me wrong this is not a bad book and has some very usefull information but the author is obviously quite partisan about the Firefly and knowing a little on the subject already I think his view is a little blinkered. None the less not a bad book and I am not sorry I bought it I just wish it had been a little more balanced.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book but on the short side 3 Sep 2008
By Carl
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book provides the usual technical details (armour thickness, speed of the machine etc) you would expect to find alongside information regarding the maintenance required, crew life and firing procedures etc

After giving several examples of excellent performances from each machine, for example relating the story of Otto Carius (over 150 victories) or Wilfred Harris (who destroyer 5 Panther tanks in one day) , the book then discusses in depth the German armoured counterattack during the initial phases of Operation Totalize - the main focus being the death of Michael Wittmann.

While Ashley Hart on the whole disagrees with Brian Reid on how Wittmann was killed he does provide an excellent insight on what happened and favours the famous Joe Ekins as being his killer. It would have been great to see the same level of detail used to cover this counterattack on other examples of the Tiger and Firefly engaging one another throughout the North West Europe Campaign and possibly Italy.

Regardless of the book being a bit on the short side there is allot of excellent information crammed into it and the plates, which support this text, are amazing!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Short and sweet 2 Jan 2008
Quite a good book, photos and diagrams are informative, and the Ekins/Wittman action is inspiring, however lacking in a few areas :
1. Tiger/Firefly technical specifications do not include basic data such as gun turret traversing speeds.
2. Daft typos/errors exist, eg. Page 8 states a 30 ton prototype featured 600mm !!! thick armoured plates - dont publishers proof read anymore?
Still, book is worth buying if you are a WW2 tank enthusiast.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too many errors 3 Aug 2013
Another disappointing book due to poor editing and the author's inadequate eye for detail:

Generally, the author refrains from identifying Sherman sub-types and implies that only the Sherman V (M4A4) was used for Firefly conversions, whereas about two-thirds of Fireflies were actually converted from the Sherman I (M4). More significantly, all the artwork in the book depicts Wittmann's Tiger I as having the early rubber-tyred road wheels, whereas Tiger `007' (not actually his usual mount) was a later-production type with steel road wheels; photographic evidence of the wreck is conclusive.

P. 5, this is a photo of a Sherman IC (M4).

P.6, the upper photo is of a Sherman VC (M4A4).

P. 7, the upper photo is of a Sherman VC (M4A4); note that the muzzle brake has not been properly fitted - the vents should lie vertically. The lower photo is also a Firefly VC (M4A4).

Pp. 14-15, the artwork depicts a Firefly VC (M4A4).

P. 16, photo caption, apart from thin armour the Challenger suffered from a very high silhouette and a propensity to shed its tracks.

P. 17, technically the Tiger I fired APCBC/HE ammunition, i.e. the round contained a small HE bursting charge to ensure lethal damage after penetration; western Allied AP rounds tended to be inert.

P. 23, a drawing of the 88mm HEAT round is missing.

P.26, note that in some British units, the fifth crew member was re-instated, as the Firefly's ammunition stowed in his (vacant) crew compartment was difficult to reach and the fifth crewman greatly assisted in routine maintenance and other tasks. See Mark Hayward, Sherman Firefly Medium Tank, Tiptree, 2001, pp.
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