Churchill tank file photo [6345]

Infantry Mk IV Churchill

CountryUnited Kingdom
ManufacturerVauxhall Motors Ltd., Luton, Bedfordshire, England
Primary RoleInfantry Tank

Contributor:

ww2dbaseThe Churchill tanks, formally designated as "Tank, Infantry, Mk IV (A22)", were an evolution of the infantry tank design that stressed on having heavily armored vehicles to support troops for trench warfare. The parent design, A20, was abandoned in 1940 after witnessing the German conquest of France, and a newly reworked A22 design was submitted in its place in Jun 1940. With the need to replace lost vehicles in the French campaign, the United Kingdom War Office accepted the new design almost immediately, requesting that it would enter production within a year. In Jul 1940, the design was finalized, and the first prototypes were built in Dec. Production began in Jun 1941.

ww2dbaseBecause Churchill tanks were designed to support infantry and not necessarily to battle other tanks, they were heavily armored with flat plates, which were not designed to deflect high-velocity tank gun rounds. The armor plates were bolted on and later welded. They had 11 bogies on each side, each carrying two 10-inch wheels; the great number of wheels meant that they could actually operate nearly normally even when some of the wheels became damaged in combat. They were the first tanks to be equipped with Merritt-Brown gearboxes, which allowed them to be steered by changing the relative speeds of the two tracks. They were each equipped with a light 2-pounder gun against enemy vehicles and a 3-inch howitzer to support the infantry.

ww2dbaseInitially, Churchill tanks were plagued with mechanical issues. The biggest problem was that the engines used was underpowered and unreliable, and the placement of the engines were so poor that crews found it difficult to access the engines for servicing. Some of the issues were address by the Churchill Mk III variant, introduced in Mar 1942, saving it from being discontinued in favor of the new Cromwell tanks. Among the improvements was the addition of the 57-millimeter 6-pounder gun, which was a vast improvement over the weak armaments as originally designed due to the role as infantry tanks. Most of the Churchill tanks built were of the Mk IV variant; the biggest change of this variant compared to the earlier tanks was the return to the cheaper-to-produce cast turrets. In 1944, the Mk VII variant entered combat on continental Europe; their 75-millimeter tank guns and even thicker (albeit still flat) armor made them powerful tanks, although since their engines were never upgraded since the start, mechanical troubles with the engines were still frequent. As infantry tanks, they were designed to be tough, as they were responsible to cross trenches and push away infantry obstacles such as barbed wires; as such, they were ideal candidates for jungle warfare in the South Pacific (though only a few were employed there by Australians) and as specialist vehicles (recovery vehicle, bridge-laying vehicle, "Hobart's Funnies", etc.).

ww2dbaseRussia received 301 Churchill Mk III and Mk IV tanks as part of the Lend-Lease Program.

ww2dbaseAfter the war, Churchill tanks remained in service as combat vehicles in the United Kingdom until 1952. One bridge-laying vehicle remained in service into the 1970s.

ww2dbaseIn 1948, Ireland rented four Churchill Mk VI tanks from the UK War Office for experimental reasons. They were purchased by Ireland in 1954. Three of them were inactivated before 1967, and the last one was inactivated in 1969.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

SPECIFICATIONS

Churchill I
MachineryOne Bedford twin-six gasoline engine rated at 350hp
SuspensionCoiled spring
Armament1x40mm QF 2pdr gun (150 rounds), 1x3in howitzer (58 rounds), 1x7.92mm coaxial Besa machine gun
Armor16-102mm
Crew5
Length7.30 m
Width3.00 m
Height2.80 m
Weight38.0 t
Speed24 km/h
Range90 km

Churchill III
MachineryOne Bedford twin-six gasoline engine rated at 350hp
SuspensionCoiled spring
Armament1x57mm QF 6pdr gun (84 rounds) in welded turret, 1x7.92mm coaxial Besa machine gun
Armor16-102mm
Crew5
Length7.30 m
Width3.00 m
Height2.80 m
Weight38.0 t
Speed24 km/h
Range90 km

Churchill IV
MachineryOne Bedford twin-six gasoline engine rated at 350hp
SuspensionCoiled spring
Armament1x57mm QF 6pdr gun (84 rounds), 1x7.92mm coaxial Besa machine gun
Armor16-102mm
Crew5
Length7.30 m
Width3.00 m
Height2.80 m
Weight38.0 t
Speed24 km/h
Range90 km

Churchill V
MachineryOne Bedford twin-six gasoline engine rated at 350hp
SuspensionCoiled spring
Armament1x95mm howitzer (47 rounds), 1x7.92mm Besa machine gun
Armor16-102mm
Crew5
Length7.30 m
Width3.00 m
Height2.80 m
Weight38.0 t
Speed24 km/h
Range90 km

Churchill VI
MachineryOne Bedford twin-six gasoline engine rated at 350hp
SuspensionCoiled spring
Armament1x75mm Mk V gun, 1x7.92mm Besa machine gun
Armor16-102mm
Crew5
Length7.30 m
Width3.00 m
Height2.80 m
Weight38.0 t
Speed24 km/h
Range90 km

Churchill VII
MachineryOne Bedford twin-six gasoline engine rated at 350hp
SuspensionCoiled spring
Armament1x75mm Mk V or Mk Va gun (84 rounds), 2x7.92mm Besa machine gun, 1x7.7mm Bren anti-aircraft machine gun, 1x2in
Armor16-152mm
Crew5
Length7.54 m
Width3.25 m
Height2.49 m
Weight40.0 t
Speed24 km/h
Range90 km

Churchill VIII
MachineryOne Bedford twin-six gasoline engine rated at 350hp
SuspensionCoiled spring
Armament1x95mm howitzer (47 rounds), 1x7.92mm Besa machine gun
Armor16-102mm
Crew5
Length7.30 m
Width3.00 m
Height2.80 m
Weight38.0 t
Speed24 km/h
Range90 km

Churchill NA75
MachineryOne Bedford twin-six gasoline engine rated at 350hp
SuspensionCoiled spring
Armament1x75mm gun (84 rounds; sometimes salvaged from damaged Sherman tanks), 1x7.92mm coaxial Besa machine gun
Armor16-102mm
Crew5
Length7.30 m
Width3.00 m
Height2.80 m
Weight38.0 t
Speed24 km/h
Range90 km

Churchill Crocodile
MachineryOne Bedford twin-six gasoline engine rated at 350hp
SuspensionCoiled spring
ArmamentFlamethrower; fuel towed in an armored wheeled trailer
Armor16-152mm
Crew5
Length7.54 m
Width3.25 m
Height2.49 m
Weight40.0 t
Speed24 km/h
Range90 km

Photographs

British Churchill tanks and landing craft burning on the Dieppe beach, France, 19 Aug 1942Dead Canadian soldier on the beach after the failed raid on Dieppe, France, Aug 1942; note Daimler Scout Car and Churchill tank in backgroundChurchill AVRE vehicle of 163rd Brigade, UK 54th Division, with fascine during ditch crossing exercises near Dunwich, England, United Kingdom, 14 Apr 1943Churchill AVRE vehicle with fascine, of UK 79th (Experimental) Armored Division Royal Engineers, 6 Sep 1943
See all 26 photographs of Infantry Mk IV Churchill Infantry Tank



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Infantry Mk IV Churchill Infantry Tank Photo Gallery
British Churchill tanks and landing craft burning on the Dieppe beach, France, 19 Aug 1942
See all 26 photographs of Infantry Mk IV Churchill Infantry Tank




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