The Sherman Firefly was a World War II British variant of the American Sherman tank, fitted with the powerful British 17 pounder anti-tank gun as its main weapon. Originally conceived as a stopgap until future British tank designs came into service, the Sherman Firefly became the most common vehicle with the 17 pounder in World War II.
Though the British expected to have their own new tank models developed soon, British Major George Brighty championed the already-rejected idea of mounting the 17 pounder in the existing Sherman. With the help of Lieutenant Colonel Witheridge and despite official disapproval, he managed to get the concept accepted. This proved fortuitous, as both the Challenger and Cromwell tank designs experienced difficulties and delays.
After the problem of getting the gun to fit in the Sherman's turret was solved, the Firefly was put into production in early 1944, in time to equip Field Marshal Montgomery's forces for the Normandy landings. It soon became highly valued as the only British tank capable of defeating the Panther and Tiger tanks it faced in Normandy at standard combat ranges. In recognition of this, German tank and anti-tank gun crews were instructed to attack Fireflies first. Between 2100 and 2200 were manufactured before production wound down in 1945.
Dragon 1:35 Scale Model, assembled, painted and photographed by me.
The Soviet Tokarev Pistol was originally adapted in 1930 as the TT30 and put into productiona at Russia's Tula state arsenal. Then in 1933, some minor changes were made and the gun was renamed the TT33. It was produced in huge numbers at Tula, Izhvesk, and other Soviet arsenals, though it never completlely replaced the Nagant revolver during World War II. The TT-33 fired the 7.92x25mm pistol round, which had a bottlenecked case and was demintionally identical to the 7.63mm Mauser broomhandle round. The gun itself could be described in very rough terms as a greatly simplifed Colt M1911. The Tokarev was a semi-auto pistol, held 8 rounds, had no safety device other than putting the hammer at half cock for a marginal degree of safety. The 7.62x25mm round would penetrate well put not expand into the target. The Tokarev was replaced in Soviet service in 1951 by the Makarov. This drawing was done by colored pencil at somewhere around 80% full scale.