- For the Steel Division II unit see SD2:Beute Firefly
Beute Firefly is a German Tank unit. It is a captured British Firefly pressed into service by the Germans. Indeed, its stats are exactly the same as the Fireflies fielded by the British, the Canadians and the Polish, the only difference being the Beute Firefly’s lack of HE shells and the fact that it can be deployed in phase A. It is incredibly effective at defeating Allied armour during this stage, as only a few rare Allied anti-tank units can pierce its frontal armour in this phase.
The ubiquitous M4 Sherman medium tank evolved from the M3 Lee medium tank pressed into service as a stop-gap model in 1941. Designed by the U.S. Army Ordnance Department, the tank built upon proven technologies developed for American tanks of the 1930s, combining them with British experiences in tank design. The result was a versatile, reliable, and cheap tank much like the Soviet T-34.
The M4 entered service in late 1942, outperforming its older sibling in every aspect, the Sherman went on to become one of the most widely produced armored fighting vehicles of World War II. It was well armored, relatively fast, and cheap to produce, becoming the backbone of Allied armored divisions across the world and a major element of the Lend-Lease program for the Soviet Union. Nearly 50 000 tanks were produced before production ended in 1945 and were used across the world.
The M4A4 is a sub-designation indicates a Sherman equipped with 75 mm M3 L/40 gun and Chrysler A57 multibank 30-cylinder "cloverleaf" petrol engine.
The Firefly conversion combined the powerful Ordnance Quick-Firing 3-inch (76.2mm) 17-pounder anti-tank gun inside a revamped turret with the versatile Sherman chassis, giving Allied forces a tremendous advantage in combat with the Axis. The 17-pounder was capable of reliably destroying Panthers and Tigers in combat.
Officially, the conversion was identified by appending c to the hull designation (i.e. M4 was the Ic, M4A1 IIc, M4A2 the IIIC, M4A4 the Vc etc.) The Firefly or Mayfly nickname was given to it by tank crews and soldiers, due to its highly visible, distinctive muzzle flash.
The Beute adjectives identifies a captured Firefly pressed into Nazi service.
200 points is a sizable investment in a tank that may or may not pay off for the 12. SS-Panzer. Its lack of HE shells means that it is only capable of destroying vehicles. Two main factors to take into consideration is the terrain and the enemy you’re facing. Open terrain is where the 1200m range of the Beute Firefly truly shines. Coupled with a Beute Cromwell to deal with soft targets at equal range, the Firefly can very well reign supreme. The composition of the enemy battlegroup also matters a lot. If you’re facing armoured divisions such as the US 3rd armoured and the 2e blindée, the answer is obvious. However, if you are in for a bout with veteran paratroopers and airplanes, then the Beute Firefly will be considerably less effective. The player should also know what effective answers the enemy player can come up with so as to proceed with extra caution. For example, the French can field one M10A1 tank destroyer in phase A, British paratroopers from 6th airborne can deploy one captured Pak 40 and the Indianhead division might make use of its single 76mm anti-tank gun.
Nevertheless, the Beute Firefly is an incredibly potent tank early on and when properly used can wreak havoc on the enemy without the Allied player being able to respond effectively to the threat. However, a lost Beute Firefly means 200 points lost that could have been spent on units of lesser value but that could’ve been of more use.