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These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. A portion of the proceeds from this purchase will support Tank Encyclopedia, a military history research project. All the best, Lucian. On one occasion, a Churchill scored a lucky hit in the turret ring of a Tiger tank, jamming the turret. Mass production of the 6-pounder gun was not expected to start until October of 1941, but the tanks had to be built as soon as possible. Another way of hiding your tank was to change its shape. Churchill Mk.II “Saurian”, 43rd Royal Tank Regiment, 33rd Armored Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. This model was then shipped to the Vauxhall factory at the end of June 1940. Haha, never mind I’ve just seen its already here. Changing the engine of a Churchill tank using an 'Atherton jack', at the Royal Army Ordnance Corps workshops at Mill Hill in London, 15 March 1942. This was the typical armored vehicle of the Royal Engineers, equipped with the Petard, a 290 mm (11.41 in) Spigot mortar, which fired an 18 kg (40 lb) warhead and had a practical range of 137 m (150 yards). The Churchill 3″ Gun Carriers were issued to brigade anti-tank companies briefly, in the UK, including in a Canadian unit, but never left the UK as Gun Carriers. The rest of the vehicles would follow and scale a seawall with help from the engineers. Only the rare Tiger II and Jagdtiger surpassed it on this matter. The range was 150 yards (137 m), firing one-second bursts. Its concept and overall layout hailing from the trench warfare of World War I, the Churchill was conceived as a successor of the Matilda infantry tank, and therefore the priority in its design was armour protection; while initially not a priority, firepower was gradually improved in the various variants, culminating on the Mark VII with a 75 mm gun. Access to the inside was performed through two side hatches, round or squared. Two other periscopes were fitted on the hull, over the hull gunner and driver positions, both of them being provided with roof exit hatches. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. Frost, of Mexia, Texas, is a Churchill Centre Governor, Trustee and Associate (the only individual who is all three). The suspension was fitted under the two large "panniers" on either side of the hull, the track running over the top. This renders it tricky to determine, in the study of photographic evidence, if the tank was of one the upgraded types, or a late “regular” one. Definitely not, as several regiments are documented as having Churchill 1CS in N Africa, and even into the Italian campaign. When firing armor-piercing capped (APC) rounds at face-hardened armor plate these are the test results: 500 yrds. Thanks for the offer though! The air needed to cool the engine was drawn from the fighting compartment, dragging gun fumes through air cleaners when opening a flap between the two compartments. The vehicle first entered mass production in the summer of 1941. The comment may refer to after the Tunisian campaign, not before, when most CS tanks in the Med were replaced by Mk.V before the campaign in Italy. Armed with the 2-pounder cannon and a coaxial 7.92-mm-MG-Besa-machine gun and a 3-inch howitzer (76.2 mm) at the front of the hull. The last evolution came with the Mk.VII. We can offer you some ads on our website on certain articles if it would help convince you. At the opposite spectrum compared to the nimble Cruisers, with their Christie-style suspensions, the Churchill was a kind of “back to basics” and had a suspension system only tailored for large trench crossing and impassable or extremely muddy terrain. Merritt, the Woolwich Arsenal Tank Design director. These had various shapes during production, the early type being the “cylindrical” style. High quality Churchill Tank gifts and merchandise. The last use of the Churchill in military service. It kept the same engine and drivetrain. All older version were withdrawn and shipped back to Great Britain for an overhaul. This was basically a Mk.IV for close support, with a 95 mm (3.74 in) howitzer and 47 rounds. Like the Churchill I, but the 3-inch howitzer in the font hull was replaced by a second Bes… The engine of a Churchill tank, Base Borden, Canada. What is the reference to the Churchill II being called the 1A? The late Churchills were the most heavily armored, best armed, but also the slowest of the entire series. The tracks had to be long enough to allow large trench crossings, including anti-tank ditches. Buy this T-Shirt on Gunji Graphics! – TE Moderator. It is unclear what Churchill version was used, but it seems likely it was a Mk.III. It has been fixed! Will the Black Prince have an illustration added? The Germans send 10 Tigers or whatever it was, we sent ~300 Churchills Three of the tanks were modified to carry flamethrowers and five were equipped to lay canvas “carpet” on the beach. This allowed the tank to be steered by changing the relative speeds of its tracks. Hey Mark! When firing armor-piercing capped (APC) rounds at face-hardened armor plate these are the test results: 500 yrds. It was a basis which could serve for many other purposes, like the mine-flail version, explosive carrier, fascine carrier, brideglayer, etc. By the time the Mark VII was operational in 1943, the frontal armor had reached a staggering 6 in (152 mm), while the minimal thickness (bottom) was raised to 0.98 in (25 mm), with sides up to 102 mm (4 in). The Vickers Tank Periscope Mk.IV was soon adopted. Most, or at least enough, of these problems were overcome so that the tank gave good service right up to the end of the European war. The Churchill’s Bedford was a specifically built twin engine in an opposite horizontal configuration, mated on a common crankshaft. 60 Churchills of several types took part in the landings, including three flame-thrower versions, a Bobbin version, demolition and bridging vehicles. This was the QF 3 inch (76 mm) 20 cwt anti-aircraft gun. Light tanks were intended for reconnaissance. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. During Operation Bertram in the months leading up to the second Battle of El Alamein in North Africa in September – October 1942 camouflage and dummy vehicles were used to deceive the Germans where the next attack was going to come from. The Churchill MK-V was a new close-support tank produced in 1943, intended to replace the remaining MK-I's, which had been retained for close-support purposes by virtue of their 3 inch howitzer armament. It could also have commemorated the instrumental leadership of Sir Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, and the head of the “Landship Committee”, the initiator of British tank development during the Great War. Mk.III/IV refitted with the new Mk.VII turret, transmission and suspension. The hull was split into four compartments: the driver's position at the front, then the fighting compartment including the turret, the engine compartment, and the gearbox compartment. Weight was correspondingly high at nearly 40 tons. Reworked Churchill Mk.I, North Africa, fall 1942. Churchill Mk.VII “Bert”, (unknown unit) with spare track links as additional protection. Simply put, when the very first copies rolled off the line in July 1941, the Churchill had been rushed without proper trials and corrections. The next action for the tank came in North Africa. By mid-1944, it was tested alongside the Sherman, with the Matilda already in service as a reference. Top speed was 15.5 miles per hour with a range of 90 miles, powered by a 12-cylinder Bedford engine at 350 horsepower. The early turret was relatively small compared to the hull, entirely cast, rounded, and wide enough to accommodate the commander and servants of the standard 2-pdr (40 mm/1.57 in) gun. I’m not sure of it… it was a bored 57mm QF 6 pounder, into a 75mm M2 or M3 type of US guns firing US ammo with less armor penetration but a more effective HE. See for example The British Armies in WW2 an Organisational History Volume 4, David Hughes, DA Ryan, S Rothwell, Nafziger (2002) ISBN 1-58545-085-5 pg.10 mentions 21st Tank brigade having 12x Churchill I CS. The A20 final design was approved and a contract order was signed for two prototypes, to be assembled by Belfast shipbuilders Harland and Wolff (original makers of the famous Titanic). The few that could not get off the beach had their tracks clogged or broken by the pebbles. Lucian, you’d better email me off forum, (457 m) = 89.6 mm; 1000 yrds (914.4 m) = 79.6 mm and 1500 yrds (1371.6 M) = 70.7 mm. 1) No Churchill Mk.1/II were sent to N Africa before Tunisia as the first sentence implies, they were all Mk.III, as you mention, in Kingforce. There were eleven bogies either side, each carrying two 10-inch wheels. Cruiser tanks were designed to speed through gaps in the enemy’s defenses and plunge deep into their territory, akin to the horse cavalry of an earlier time. The A20 British infantry tank design was a prewar General Staff specification, meant to be a replacement for both the Matilda and the recent Valentine. III/IVs were shipped via Murmansk (43 lost en route). Many were derived from earlier series, never upgraded to the Mk. The howitzer used in the early models of Churchill was a 76.2mm (3inch) as mentioned in the paragraph below. It criticized the Churchill as being weakly armed with obsolete, ineffective weapons, equipped with tracks that broke easily and armor plating of poor quality. Mark IV Churchill tank specification. The Churchill never mounted the 17 pounder gun,your information is incorrect. The last engagement of the Churchill came in Korea. Only 15 were able to get over the seawall and move inland to support the infantry as heavy German fire covered the beach. 42 of the vehicles were produced, they served with the Royal Engineers but were never used in a combat environment. The cooled air was blown through the radiators by a fan actioned by the clutch. Their most memorable action occurred at Kursk, when the 5th Guards Tank Brigade successfully counter-attacked at Prokhorovka. Being self-employed I give too much time away for free already. It had a coaxial Besa machine gun, another one replacing the former hull howitzer. Also the CDL variant of the churchill looked really intresting, never seen anything like that before, You are correct. Later, a copy of a German report on Dieppe was received by the British. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. The bow machine gun emplacement was also removed. This allowed the hull to extend within the tracks, so that the interior was more spacious, making the Churchill a prime candidate for modification into the many variants later seen. These cookies do not store any personal information. It consisted of two large explosive charges placed on a metal frame, that was laid on a concrete wall and exploded from a safe distance. “Churchill Mk.VI When unfolded, it spanned 65 ft (20 m). Churchill Mk.VII during the winter of 1945, western bank of the Rhine. These were simple flat armored plates, bolted to the steel chassis. These type of ships were called ‘Q’ boats. The most pressing problem, even more pressing after the first Mk.I/IIs arrived in North Africa, was the unreliability of the Meadows engine. I also have heard (and read) that a solid shot from one of the 6 pounder guns managed to destroy the elevation mechanism on the gun (presumably another lucky shot). The Churchill tank suffered from an under-powered engine, weak armament, and mechanical issues. This series was characterized by an early rounded turret with the 2-pdr QF standard gun, coupled with a 3 in (76.2 mm) hull howitzer. Twenty-seven more reached the beach, which was covered by small stones. Main armament: QF 75 mm (6 pounder) Mk III ROQF Secondary armament: two 7.92mm Besa machine guns. Would an engine with 730lb at 21” torque (ie ~1300 ft lbs) be ok for a 20 ton tank? One of the most famous versions of the Churchill, around 800 were built. The “Crocodile” became infamously known for its macabre efficiency, so much so that in some cases, the simple view of one rolling towards a blockhouse triggered a prompt surrender. No upgrades in armor. Churchill I is the first British heavy tank available in the game. Mounted in the hull was a 3-inch howitzer. The German town of Goch lay east of the Reichswald forest, a scene of heavy fighting for the British Army as it ground its way steadily into the heart of Germany. As customary, the radio compartment was fitted at the rear of the turret, with two antennae. Plagued by teething problems, they were relegated to training or reconverted into special versions. It was now designated the A22 and named for British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. 200 were built, but production was quickly swapped for the new VII, and the factory lines were then busy upgrading III/IV versions to the new standard.” These were conceived by officer engineer and inventor Cecil Vandepeer Clarke. For its part, the Churchill actually proved resistant to enemy antitank fire except for the tracks, which, besides being vulnerable to breakage from the stones of the beach, also fractured when directly hit by enemy shells. However, only 46 of the 510 ordered ever reached the ANZACS, as the order was canceled at the end of the war. Notice the late commander cupola fitted instead of the normal hatch. There is some ambiguity regarding whom the tank is named after. The top speed requested was only 10 miles per hour. The three vehicles were part of the first wave at Dieppe. The Mark 2 Sunshield was made of canvas stretched over a light steel tube frame. The two halves of the engine are clearly visible. The development of a gun mount alone did not solve all problems. But this was changed in 1942 (with the Mk.III), and the upper tracks were entirely covered by “catwalks”, while the ends received massive mudguards. 19 Mk. Churchill Mk.IV, cast turret, “A” Squadron, North Irish Horse, Tunisia, 1943. Later on, four Churchills decisively supported the defense led by the 1st Battalion, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, helping to maintain the Allied position there. With the Mk.III, the turret was enlarged, in order to house the bigger 6-pdr (57 mm/2.24 in). The Churchill tanks that were knocked out were hit on their track and suspension system. Of the many Churchill variants, two figured prominently in the tank’s first combat use. Most of the modified NA75s saw action there. The text has been modified, thank you for notifying us! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Churchill_tank#North_Africa. Although the Allies massively employed Shermans, the Churchill was always a welcome sight. Also relegated to the second line or reconverted. A second storage was added to the left side. It’s something I’ve thought about in the past (eg I really need to submit an article on the “No 2pdr HE” myth) but haven’t dared commit the time. 25th Tank Brigade’s 51st RTR had 6x Churchill I CS in Feb 1943 (Ibid, pg.12) Even then, a few Mk.1 appear to have been kept in service. The AVRE would hit the bunker, the massive charge doing substantial damage to the emplacement’s interior and hopefully inducing surrender. Meanwhile, Marshal Kesselring was sent to Tunisia with massive reinforcements, including the German brand new beast, the Tiger. A 10 feet large (3 m) canvas bobbin was carried at the front of the leading Churchill AVRE, released to create a rolling path for the following vehicles. The idea for the Sunshield came from Commander-in-Chief Middle East, General Wavell. The surname was: Morell, not Lowell – captain Percy H. Morell. NIH Regt Assoc N.I. Early Mk.III from the 21st Tank Brigade, fall 1943. It is perhaps worth noting that both Jordan and Iraq had a company of 15x Churchill VII in service in the 1950s. Various weapons combinations were tried, ending with a 3 in (76.2 mm) howitzer. Would you be interested in joining our team and rewriting the Churchill article? Indeed, the legend was right, not the variant description. The Churchill’s beginning, however, was filled with development problems and design changes. In mid-1942, prior to the upcoming raid on Dieppe, Major J.M. The lesser-known update to the famous Second World War AVRE. Creator/User: Britain Denomination: Mark IV Churchill tank (A22). This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. The sub-Marks 1 and 2 had trackways either on the tracks or directly on the vehicle itself. It was armed with the Ordnance BL 6.5″ Mk I, later designated as the 165mm L9 Demolition Gun. Its purpose was to clear concrete bunkers and all kind of enemy fortifications and obstacles. This caused concerns when training drivers, but the unconventional system had advantages of its own. For “Armoured Ramp Carrier”, this turretless vehicle carried a folding bridge. If you would like to know more about the Churchill CDL, please see our article HERE. Maximum armor thickness was 102mm, quite thick for the early war period. 1127 delivered until mid-1942. One prototype was shipped to Vauxhall Motors, at Luton, to try to enhance its performance with a revised, lighter design, and more powerful engine. The turret, still hexagonal and angular, was partly cast and welded, asymmetric, and lengthened at the rear, to house a bigger 75 mm (2.95 in) gun. You was abel to whatch over all in seconds. The tank could turn entirely on the spot, which was a crucial capability given the size and weight of the hull. Beginning mass production in 1941, some 7'300 Churchills were built until 1945. A major modification, which was also called “heavy Churchill”, was two ton heavier, better protected than ever, with 152 mm (6 in) of frontal armor, and the new QF 75 (75 mm) gun. The Churchill was designed around the Bedford tank engine, a horizontally opposed flat 12. It was decided to finish development with some changes and get the tank into production. VII standard. The excellent motricity of the Churchill was proven once more during Operation Bluecoat (30-31 July 1944), while capturing a key position, Hill 309. Based on World War I experience, the Army believed the tank would need to be able to cross trenches, obstacles, and shell craters. The Churchill (A22 Infantry Tank Mk IV) was rushed into production in 1941, which led to a whole range of teething problems. Real tanks were similarly parked openly, far behind the front. All the engine components were ventilated around to provide easier access and maintenance inside the compartment. It was the main Allied flamethrower tank (in Europe), generally a Mark VII with a flamethrower replacing the hull Besa machine gun. Finally, the infantry tank was meant to move with the infantry and support its attacks. Two deflector bulges were welded on each side of this opening, to deflect incoming rounds from sensitive angles. The drive sprockets were planetary-type final reduction gears. The reason most of the Churchill tanks ended up on the beach at the end of the raid is because they were called back to be taken off. Only one tank had its armor penetrated. Just like its predecessor, it has an excellent armor (the thickest from among the tanks of the sixth tier) and a reliable cannon. It was, in 1941, the most heavily protected tank in the world (the Russian KV-1 being second). The small tailored turret had a dummy gun. If I doubled the sales of my MicroMark army lists and ten-fold increased book sales, then I could. Frantically working to produce the A22, Vauxhall designed a tank that sacrificed appearance for practicality. A pipe apparatus, with the tank fitted at the rear, was linked to the front left hull Ronson flame projector, leaving the right-hand hull machine-gun unobstructed. Required fields are marked *. The Churchill tank was one of the most produced British tank designs during World War II, with over 5,600 being built. Churchills of 51st Royal Tank Regiment, Italy, July 1944. They also saw heavy fighting in the Low Countries. The tracks ran all the way around the hull, reminiscent of World War I British tanks. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. However, by the time of the Tunisian campaign, the upgraded Panzer IV Ausf.F2 proved to have superior range and penetration power. It is a common myth that the Churchill tanks were stuck on the beach and could not cope with the shingle beach. When firing armour piercing capped ballistic capped (APCBC) rounds at face-hardened armor plate these are the test results: 500 yrds. German fire was heavy, and slowly the attackers were pushed back toward the sea. In the end, a compromise inspired by the French B1 was chosen, with a 3 in (76.2 mm) hull howitzer to deal with concrete fortifications, while retaining antitank capabilities with the standard 2-pounder (40 mm/1.57 in), mounted in the turret. The turret 2-pdr and the hull 3-in howitzer swapped places. The parallel development in British tank design were the Cruiser tanks, which were intended for more mobile operations. The A22 prototype was built by Vauxhall Motors in the fall of 1940. The only problem was that the armor was vertical, losing efficiency compared to a sloped one. The tracks were entirely unprotected. Jean Luc Castelli. The last wave of Churchills, still aboard landing craft offshore, was never sent in by the operation’s commander. Close-support versions of the Churchill placed the 3-inch howitzer in the turret instead of the 2-pounder. All orders are custom made and most ship worldwide within 24 hours. The front jib had a 7.5 ton capacity and had a counterweight at the rear. The A20 British infantry tank design was a prewar General Staff specification, meant to be a replacement for both the Matilda and the recent Valentine. The folded bridge spanned 60 feet and was deployed in seconds using rockets. Sally forth in with confidence in this Churchill tee. This was done with cratered terrain and deep trenches in mind. But weighing ten tons more and having the same old engine, its performances were mediocre at best. The original armor specifications called for 0.63 to 4 in armor thickness (16 to 102 mm), which was greater than that of the Matilda, and promised near immunity against most antitank guns of the time, or heavy shrapnel. There were two of them, one for the gunner, another for the commander, on each side of the turret, and, behind them, two half-door hatches. The smaller round side hatch reduced the stress on the armored plate. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. A furious deluge of fire greeted them, but the trio of tanks pressed on. Hi Lucian, I’d love to if I had the time! Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. The Churchill was designed as an infantry tank, with initial pilot models, designated A20, ordered soon after the start of the war in September 1939. The first major set of modifications. A famous offspring of this lineage, the A43 “Black Prince”, was an attempt to give the British Army a heavy tank capable of dealing, on equal terms, with its latest German counterparts, but had nothing to do with the early infantry tanks. Top speed was 15.5 miles per hour with a range of 90 miles, powered by a 12-cylinder Bedford engine at 350 horsepower. But even before that, a clever and resourceful officer, named Percy Lowell, managed to fit spare US-built 75 mm (2.95 in) guns inside the regular Churchill IV turrets, obtained from countless disabled Sherman tanks. It was modified to house an anti-aircraft 3 in (76.2mm) Mk.I gun, in a ballmount inside a 3.5 in (88 mm) thick superstructure. Not in any of the books I have since the 1980s. 12 men were needed to lift it. Purchase now ! Infantry tanks would have heavy armor to defeat antitank guns and a low top speed since they only needed to keep up with the walking pace of the foot soldiers. It was February 20, 1945. Around 200 Churchill Mk.IVs were upgraded to the NA 75 version with 75 mm (2.95 in) guns and mantlets of discarded or destroyed Shermans. The result, known as the “NA-75”, (…)” Only in 1942, when the real AT capabilities of the puny 2-pdr appeared blatantly inefficient against superior German armor, did concerns appear about upgrading the main armament, which also required a new turret. Engineers were supposed to remove these obstacles as well but things did not go according to plan. Churchill tank, the most successful British tank used in World War II. By that time, more modern tanks were in the final development stage, like the Centurion. The engine fumes were exhausted into two large side louvres, one of the most recognizable features of the Churchill. It was a MK IV Churchill with a Sherman’s 75mm cannon and mantlet. None of the tanks were recovered, and only a single man of the Calgary Regiment’s tank crews that went ashore returned to England. Just a small thing, according to wikipedia, only one received more than light damage, during the second battle of El Alamein rather than none. The “King’s force”, comprising six Mk.IIIs, decisively supported the 7th Motor Brigade, destroying many German antitank gun positions. Churchill tanks came in several specialized variants that could perform important tasks. Most of the Churchill tanks did get off the beach but could not get past some of the concrete tank traps. Just like the former, it incorporated typically trench-warfare features. It also gave the Gunners HE capability, as the standard 6-pdr lacked HE at the time. the Tiger I had around that Your North Irish Horse Tunisia Churchill is marked in yellow, the NIH were senior regt in each of the 3 Tank Brigades it was in during WW11, therefore Squadron markings were always in red.

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