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The Churchill Tank

Discussion in 'Allied Motorised Weapons' started by Jim, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Initially envisioned as a tank that would support infantry engaged in the kind of trench-style fighting seen in World War I, the Infantry Tank Mark IV Churchill evolved into a lighter, well-armoured fighting vehicle, variants of which were deployed throughout World War II.

    [​IMG]

    (1) MAIN ARMAMENT
    A variety of main weapons were mounted on top of the Mark IV chassis, including the QF 2-pounder and 6-pounder guns, the American 75 mm (2.95 in), shown, and 76.2-mm (0.3-in) cannon, and a 95-mm (3.74-in) howitzer.

    (2) TURRET
    Both welded and cast construction were used in the production of Churchill Mark IV turrets. The 75-mm (2.95-in) cannon fitted later required a 90-degree rotation for loading from the left because of the crew configuration inside the turret.

    (3) ARMOUR PROTECTION
    Original specifications called for armour of 16 to 102 mm (0.6-4 in). However, later versions, beginning with the Mk VII, increased to 25 to 152 mm (0.98-5.98 in).

    (4) HULL DESIGN
    The Churchill's hull was divided into four separate compartments, with the driver forward, the engine and gear-box compartments to the rear, and the fighting compartment and turret at the centre.

    (5) SUSPENSION
    The coiled spring suspension was contained under panniers on each side with 11 bogeys carrying a pair of 25.4-cm (l Ovin) wheels. The configuration allowed the tank to traverse difficult terrain with relative ease.

    (6) ENGINES
    A pair of 261-kW (350-hp) horizontally opposed Bedford twin-six petrol engines remained in service with the Churchill even after heavier armament and armour protection caused greater weight and slowed the tank from its relative top speed of 24 km/h (15 mph).

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    [​IMG]

    "All those things which we know are not as they should be will be put right. Fighting vehicles are urgently required, and instructions have been received to proceed with the vehicle as it is rather than hold up production."

    Churchill Tank manufacturer,
    Vauxhall Motors

    [​IMG]

    Country of Origin: United Kingdom [​IMG]
    Crew: 5

    Designers: Harland and Wolff (A20)/Vauxhall Motors (A22) Designed: 1939-42
    In Service: 1941-52
    Manufacturer: Vauxhall Motors
    Number Built: 7368 (all variants)
    Produced: 1941-45
    Gross Weight: 40.6 tonnes (44.7 tons)

    Dimensions:
    Hull Length: 7.65 m (25.2 ft)
    Length (gun forward): 7.65 m (25.2 ft) Width: 3.25 m (10.66 ft)
    Overall Height: 2.5 m (8.2 ft)

    Performance:
    Maximum Speed: 25 km/h (15 mph)
    Range, Road: 195 km (120 miles)
    Range, Cross-country: 100 km (60 miles)
    Ground Pressure: 0.92 kg/cm2
    Fording Capacity: 1 m (3.3 ft)
    Maximum Gradient: 30 degrees
    Maximum Trench Width: 3.05 m (10 ft)
    Maximum Vertical Obstacle: 0.75 m (2.5 ft) Suspension Type: Independently (coil) sprung road wheels

    Engine:
    Powerplant: 1 x Bedford Twin-Six horizontally opposed 12-cylinder petrol engine Capacity: 21.3 I (4.7 gallons)
    Output: 261 kW (350 bhp) @ 2200rpm
    Power/Weight Ratio: 8.85 bhp/tonne
    Fuel Capacity: 680 I (149.8 gallons)

    Armament and Armour:
    Main Armament: 1 x 75-mm (2.95-in) M2/M3 L/37.5
    Secondary Armament: 1 x 7.62-mm (0.3oin) M 1919A4 coaxial MG
    Ancillary Armament: 1 x 7.92-mm (0.31-in) Besa flexibly mounted MG; 1 x 7.7-mm (0.303-in) Bren LMG (optional)
    Armour Type: Homogeneous cast and rolled/welded nickel-steel Hull Front: 102 mm (4 in)
    Hull Sides: 76 mm (3 in)
    Hull Rear: 50 mm (2 in)
    Hull Top: 19 mm (0.8 in)
    Hull Bottom: 19 mm (0.8 in)
    Turret Front: 89 mm (3.6 in)
    Turret Sides: 76 mm (3 in)
    Turret Rear: 76 mm (3 in)
    Turret Top: 19 mm (0.8 in)

    Variants:
    Mark I: 2-pounder main gun.
    Mark II: 2-pounder main gun with hull-based howitzer. Mark III: 6-pounder main gun.
    Mark IV (NA 75): 75-mm (2.95-in) main gun and cast turret. Mark V: 25-pounder (95-mm [3.7 4-in] main gun).
    Mark VI (NA 75): 75-mm (2.95-in) main gun.
    Mark VII: 75-mm (2.95-in) main gun and 152-mm (5.98-in) frontal armour.
    Mark VIII: 95-mm (3.7 4-in) main gun.
    AVRE: Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers.
    Crocodile: Flamethrower Variant.
    Bridgelayer
    Ark
    Plough: Mine Warfare Vehicle.
    Snake: Bangalore Torpedo Vehicle.
    Light Carrot: Special wall demolition charges.
    AVRE/CIRD: Special mine-cleorinq wheels.
    AVRE Carpetlayer: For boggy ground.
    ARV: Armoured Recovery Vehicle.

    [​IMG]

    Early Churchill tanks were rushed into production and deployed without adequate field testing because a German invasion of Britain appeared imminent. Despite its hasty beginnings, the design eventually proved to be versatile as a platform for numerous, more heavily armed Marks and for specialized vehicles, which included such innovations as the flamethrower, bridging, personnel carrier, recovery, AVRE (290-mm [ll.4-in] spigot mortar), and others. The Churchill Mark IV (NA 75) began in North Africa as a field experiment, where the 75-mm (2.95-in) gun and mantlet of disabled American M4 Sherman tanks were installed directly into the hull of the Churchill. This proved successful and by the summer of 1944, more than 200 conversions were completed, many of these serving in Italy.
     
  3. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Cruiser Tank Mark VII, Cromwell IV (A27M), 2nd Northamptonshire Yeomanry, 11th Armoured Division, Aldershot, May 1944 [​IMG]


    This drawing shows a standard Cromwell IV in British olive drab at the divisional concentration area. At this stage it lacks its deep-wading equipment and, of course the so-called Normandy cowl. The 2nd Northamptonshire Yeomanry was created when the original regiment was duplicated in 1939. It became the divisional reconnaissance regiment of 11th Armoured Division in March 1943. As its title implies it operated under divisional orders and not as part of 29th Armoured Brigade. Even so it was generally regarded as the fourth armored regiment of the division. The main difference being that the divisional reconnaissance regiment was equipped with Cromwell tanks whereas the three regiments in 29th Armoured Brigade had Shermans. The 2nd Northamptonshire Yeomanry went into suspended animation in September 1944 and was replaced by 15th/19th Hussars.

    [​IMG]

    The divisional sign is a charging black bull with red embellishments, on a yellow ground. The figure for the divisional reconnaissance regiment in an armored division was "45" on a green and blue divided square.
     

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