FIREFLY IN 22nd ARMD BDE

Discussion in 'Trux Discussion Area' started by JDKR, Jun 26, 2017.

  1. JDKR

    JDKR Member

    Anyone know why the Cromwell-equipped regiments (5 INNIS DG, 1 RTR, 5 RTR) in 22nd Armd Bde were equipped with Sherman Firefly rather than Challenger? Was it purely availability?

    best wishes

    John
     
  2. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Probably a combination of their late availability and the hassle of having to develop a waterproofing scheme for a tiny number of vehicles at the last minute, what with 7 Armd Div being committed to landing across the beaches.
     
  3. JDKR

    JDKR Member

    Many thanks. In the absence of any other evidence, I think I will go for availability. Only 200 Challengers were produced and it would seem that the 22nd Armd Bde regiments didn't make the cut. I like the hassle factor theory but I'm not sure it is correct as 8 KRIH, the divisional armoured recce regiment, was equipped with Challengers and these tanks would have need waterproofing. However, I'm not sure waterproofing was required as 7th Armd Div landed pm 6 June and so presumably was delivered onto the beach with no requirement for wading. Someone will know if this is correct!

    John
     
  4. Wessex_Warrior

    Wessex_Warrior Junior Member

    Hello All,

    I have to agree with Idler. According to "British Tanks in Normandy" by Fortin the 22nd Armoured Brigade units were all fitted with "deep wading equipment" for the landings even though many only landed in a few inches of water. Many pictures of tanks landing on the 7th June clearly show the modifications. The Challenger simply did not have suitable equipment available and on Page 84 he states that the addition of extra armour to protect the vulnerable turret ring which was not available until early 1944 and the fact that no Deep Wading Equipment had been made for Challenger meant that the tank did not appear on the Normandy front until August.

    Kind regards,

    Will.
     
  5. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    8H didn't have the Challengers at first and were without 17pr tanks for the first month or two. I think they were the first unit of 7 Armd Div to get them for that reason.
     
  6. JDKR

    JDKR Member

    And someone did....! Or, rather, showed I wasn't!
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
  7. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    263 Forward Delivery Squadron issued its first Challenger on 24 July, according to it's war diary, though that was to 5 R Tks, so I was wrong on that point! 8H didn't get their first one until 10 August.
     
  8. JDKR

    JDKR Member

    Yes, I should have remembered that Challenger only started to be delivered from late July. I am intrigued that 263 Fwd Del Sqn delivered its first Challenger to 5 RTR as the regiment had Sherman Firefly!
     

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