"Germany 1945" photo autographed by FURY tankers
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An M4A3E8 "Easy Eight" Sherman leads an armored column into Germany in 1945. Configured with a 76mm gun, wet ammo storage, and an improved suspension, the "Easy Eight" was the most advanced Sherman variant to see combat in WWII.
This photo is autographed in black marker by two Sherman tank drivers in the "Hell on Wheels" 2nd Armored Division who also consulted on the film FURY: George Smilanich and Ray Stewart.
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A Sherman driver in the 2nd Armored Division, George spent three years in that role as he fought from Sicily, France, Belgium and into Germany, even earning the Bronze Star for when he pulled his incapacitated tank commander from their burning tank. In 2013, George was flown to Hollywood to sit down with an actor who would play a 2nd Armored Division tank commander. George recalled his first thought upon hearing of the invite, "I said, 'Who the hell is Brad Pitt?'"
As a 19-year-old Sherman driver, Ray's entry into combat began in June 1944 when his division, the 2nd Armored, entered the fray in Normandy. He fought with the men of "Hell on Wheels" on a 1,000 mile journey from Normandy through the occupation of Berlin in 1945. Along the way had two of his tanks destroyed in combat. In 2013 Ray was flown to Hollywood to help prepare the FURY actors to portray tankers from his division. “Brad Pitt’s a nice guy – all of them were all right,” he would recall in a newspaper interview. “We fought the war over again right in front of those movie guys. We looked around and saw them sitting there with their mouths open. They seemed sort of flabbergasted.”
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