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|?|||Following the Rule of "Infantry tanks" and just like the [[Matilda]], the Churchill is one slow moving warehouse, but despite that, its top guns boast excellent performance, and it has the thickest frontal armor for its tier. It's an exceptional defender, as it is capable of dealing with any tank that crosses its path up front. Unfortunately the Churchill I has its tracks exposed, increasing its likelihood of becoming tracked, which could potentially be lethal for this tank. It's very prone to artillery fire, and getting to cover will take some time. All of this makes the Churchill easy prey for flankers. Still, its armor and its excellent top gun make up for its defects and you will find some people prefer this tank to its Russian rival, the KV-1.||+|||Following the Rule of "Infantry tanks" and just like the [[Matilda]], the Churchill is one slow moving warehouse, but despite that, its top guns boast excellent performance, and it has the thickest frontal armor for its tier. It's an exceptional defender, as it is capable of dealing with any tank that crosses its path up front. Unfortunately the Churchill I has its tracks exposed, increasing its likelihood of becoming tracked, which could potentially be lethal for this tank. It's very prone to artillery fire, and getting to cover will take some time. All of this makes the Churchill easy prey for flankers. Still, its armor and its excellent top gun make up for its defects and you will find some people prefer this tank to its Russian rival, the KV-1.|
Revision as of 11:35, 10 June 2013
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[Client Values; Actual values in
|870920 HP Hit Points|
|38.45/3939.77/43 t Weight Limit|
- Commander (Radio Operator)
|300350 hp Engine Power|
|25.7/14 km/h Speed Limit|
|2022 deg/s Traverse|
|7.88.8 hp/t Power/Wt Ratio|
|177.8/63.5/50.8 mm Hull Armor|
|101.6/88.9/88.988.9/88.9/76.2 mm Turret Armor|
|50/50/60135/135/175 HP Damage|
|78/121/23145/202/38 mm Penetration|
|r/m 28.57 r/m 12.5 Rate of Fire|
See here, here, or here for more information.
See here, here, or here for more information.
See here, here, or here for more information.
See here, here, or here for more information.
▲1687.5 Damage Per Minute
With 50% Crew: 0.446 m
With 50% Crew: 0.446 m
|s 1.7 s 2.3 Aim time|
|3434 deg/s Turret Traverse|
|360° Gun Arc|
|-10°/+20°-4°/+12° Elevation Arc|
|265100 rounds Ammo Capacity|
|2020 % Chance of Fire|
|m 330 m 350 View Range|
|m 400 m 550 Signal Range|
The A22 prototype was built by Vauxhall Motors in the fall of 1940. The vehicle first entered mass production in the summer of 1941. Early modifications had no track fenders, a different fan, and a 3-inch howitzer in the hull. A total of 300 Churchill I tanks were manufactured.
Following the Rule of "Infantry tanks" and just like the Matilda, the Churchill is one slow moving warehouse, but despite that, its top guns boast excellent performance, and it has the thickest frontal armor for its tier. It's an exceptional defender, as it is capable of dealing with any tank that crosses its path up front. Unfortunately the Churchill I has its tracks exposed, increasing its likelihood of becoming tracked, which could potentially be lethal for this tank. It's very prone to artillery fire, and getting to cover will take some time. All of this makes the Churchill easy prey for flankers. Still, its armor and its excellent top gun make up for its defects and you will find some people prefer this tank to its Russian rival, the KV-1.
The Churchill I leads to the Churchill VII.
Modules / Available Equipment and Consumables
|Turret||Turret Armor (front/sides/rear)
|Turret Traverse Speed
|Chance of Fire on Impact
|VII||WS No. 19 Mk. II||450||40||21000|
|VI||WS No. 19 Mk. I||400||40||15000|
|VIII||WS No. 19 Mk. III||550||40||22000|
Pros and Cons
- Excellent top gun
- High RoF
- Very good accuracy with all guns
- Good HP
- Good Frontal Armour
- Vulnerable tracks
- Unsloped armor
- Upgraded turret has poor armor and no gun mantlet, though it does have slightly better gun traverse and view range
- Slow, low maneuverability
- Large tank, prone to be targeted by artillery
The Churchill I can be upgraded from either the Matilda or Valentine and has at stock, has a relatively similar style of play to the Matilda. It is a deadly tank in the hands of an experienced player. It excels in defending, blocking chokes, long range dueling, providing fire support or in the right conditions, leading the assault from the front.
Having good frontal armor, most shots from tanks under tier V will deflect off of the Churchill. Also the high hitpoints of the tank means that this tank will take tons of damage. This durability is made deadly when it is equipped its best gun, the 75mm Vickers HV. The gun has a high rate of fire, high accuracy, good damage and excellent penetration. This makes the Churchill the ideal tank when it comes to defending chokes, sniping or dueling at long ranges. Its armor and health are able to deflect or absorb damage, and its gun enables it to lay down highly accurate fire from breathtaking distances as well as target weakpoints when closer. It is possible for a low health Churchill to take on a full health medium tank of the same tier and destroy it.
So in order to make the best use of the Churchill, it should be positioned around cover such as rocks, buildings, other tanks, depressions and hills. From there, it can peek out to snipe at the enemy with impunity. When attacking, Churchill players should be wary of getting flanked, and use their frontal armor to absorb incoming fire. Angling is highly important when using the Churchill due to the unsloped armor. All players should angle at around 32 degrees to allow the tracks to absorb damage, but be careful because you will be grounded if you do so. In games in which the highest tier of tank is tier V, the Churchill can and should lead assaults with the support of its fellow tanks. However, in games tier VI and higher, the Churchill should relegate to the role of fire support or sniper, suppressing the enemy with its firepower to allow friendly tanks to push on. Its quick-firing and accurate gun should perform this role admirably.
Now the Churchill is by no means a invincible tank, and has many drawbacks that players can take advantage of. However, there are countermeasures Churchill players can use to cover their tank's vulnerability.
The first drawback most players would notice about the Churchill, are that its initial guns do poor damage and penetration compared to other tanks of its tier and while they do have a high rate of fire, players will still find this a nuisance. Luckily, this problem is solved when the player mounts the 75 mm Mk.V gun. Thus, players facing Churchills should take note of what gun the Churchill has, for the tank will perform very differently depending on the type of gun. A stock Churchill will perform quite poorly, but a fully upgraded Churchill will be an absolute menace to the lower tiers and can easily damage higher tiers.
The Churchill requires an upgraded turret to be compatible with its better guns. This turret has less armor compared to the original turret (though it does provides a better viewing range). Enemy players can take advantage of this weakness to target the Churchill's turret. Churchill players should employ cover, or evasive maneuvers so that their turrets can't be hit so easily. Wiggling the turret from side to side helps.
Another thing to be concerned about with this tank is its speed, which is abysmal. Once the Churchill player sets off in a certain direction, it will be rather difficult to change their path as the Churchill's top speed won't get them there in time. Instead, players should consider where their allies are going and where they can be of most use. Players should not pick long paths as the battle will be over before the Churchill can get to its destination. However, do not hesitate too much when deciding where to go initially or the battle will be over before you can support.
The Churchill also has poor maneuverability and very vulnerable tracks. The tank can't turn very well, which makes the Churchill very vulnerable to flanking. Lighter tanks facing Churchills should get it out into the open, then swarm and circle around it, firing flank shots into the tank, and attempting to take out its tracks. The turret, while having a decent traverse rate, will not be able to contend with multiple targets. The exposed tracks allow enemy tanks to paralyze the Churchill, allowing others to flank it or artillery to finish it off. Churchill players should be constantly aware of their surroundings and protect their vulnerable sides by finding cover, turning to face the enemy, or keep moving. If the Churchill player finds himself confronted with an enemy tank on a slope, use the slope to accelerate the Churchill's speed and turning ability, so that it can keep its front to the enemy. In short, never take a Churchill head on, Churchills should always take their enemies head on.
A final problem to the Churchill, is its size. While smaller than the T1 Heavy Tank, the Churchill has a wider bird's eye silhouette, allowing it to be a target for artillery. SPGs should focus Churchills defending choke points, even a glancing it on the Churchill's side will take out its tracks, leaving it a sitting duck and its slow speed means that an experienced SPG player can predict the Churchill's course. Churchill players should either pick spots that are hard for artillery to hit, or keep moving.
Take note, that when cornering, or doing tight turns, the Churchill's tracks will be exposed long before its turret and gun, allowing enemies to potentially cause devastating damage on your exposed parts. Instead, players should take corners from far off the edge and angle themselves diagonally when taking the turn, this way it will be harder for hidden enemies to make a successful penetration due the high angle of the tanks tracks and mantlet, and will allow its gun to be exposed to inflict damage. This strategy is valid on all Churchill Tank Models.
- The WS-19 MkII radio carries over from the Matilda and the Valentine.
- If you came from the Matilda, you can equip the OQF 3-inch Howitzer Mk. I, otherwise you will need to research it, so you can equip it while you research the tracks and turret/guns.
- You will need to research the tracks next, because the 2nd turret + 6 pounder/75mm combination is too heavy for the original tracks.
- Research turret upgrade next, don't equip it unless you came from Valentine and already have the better guns (it is weaker than original turret).
- If you came from the Matilda, research the better guns and equip them together with the 2nd turret.
- Go from there.
There is some a ambiguity regarding whom the tank is named after. It may have been named after Winston Churchill, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Minister of Defence at the time, and had been involved with the development of the tank as a weapon during the First World War. Alternatively, and fitting in with other British tank names, it may have been named after John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, an ancestor of Winston Churchill and the leader of the British Army in the War of the Spanish Succession . Winston himself reportedly thanked the manufacturers for naming it after his ancestor. However, the duality in the attribution may also have been intentional.
Initially specified before the outbreak of the Second World War the (General Staff designation) A20 was to be the replacement for the Matilda II and Valentine infantry tanks. In accordance with British infantry tank doctrine and based on the expected needs of World War I-style trench warfare, the tank was required to be capable of navigating shell-cratered ground, demolishing infantry obstacles such as barbed wire, and attacking fixed enemy defences; for these purposes, great speed and heavy armament was not required.
The vehicle was specified initially to be armed with two QF 2 pounder guns each located in a side sponson, with a coaxial BESA machine gun. A third BESA and a smoke projector would be fitted in the front hull. The specification was revised to prefer a turret with 60 mm of armour to protect against ordinary shells from the German 37 mm gun. Outline drawings were produced based on using the A12 Matilda turret and the engine of the Covenanter tank. Detail design and construction of the A20 was given to the Belfast shipbuilders Harland and Wolff who completed four prototypes by June 1940. During the construction period the armament was reconsidered which including fitting either a 6 pounder or a French 75 mm gun in the forward hull. In the end a 3-inch howitzer was chosen. The A20 designs were short-lived however, as at roughly the same time the emergency evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk occurred. At 43 tons, with a 300 hp flat-12 Meadows engine, the A20 had limited power compared to the 18 ton Covenanter. This was a less serious limitation than it might appear, owing to the British distinction between the high-speed cruiser tanks and the slow-speed infantry tanks. Vauxhall were approached to see if they could build the A20 and one example was sent to Vauxhall at Luton to see if they could provide an alternative engine. To this end they developed a flat-12 petrol engine. For speed of production, this engine was based on a Bedford six-cylinder lorry engine, giving rise to its name of "Twin-Six". Although still a sidevalve engine, the engine was developed with high squish pistons, dual ignition and sodium-cooled exhaust valves in Stellite seats to give 350 bhp.
With France conquered, the scenario of trench warfare in Northern Europe was no longer applicable and the design was revised by Dr. H.E. Merritt, Director of Tank Design at Woolwich Arsenal, based on the combat witnessed in Poland and France. These new specifications, for the A22 or Infantry Tank Mark IV, were given to Vauxhall in June 1940. With German invasion looking imminent and the United Kingdom having lost most of its military vehicles in the evacuation from France, the War Office specified that the A22 had to enter production within the year. By July 1940 the design was complete and by December of that year the first prototypes were completed; in June 1941, almost exactly a year as specified, the first Churchill tanks began rolling off the production line. A leaflet from the manufacturer was added to the User Handbook which stated that it had great confidence in the fundamental design of the tank but that the model had been put into production without time for proper honing and that improvements would be made in time. “ ....Fighting vehicles are urgently required, and instructions have been received to proceed with the vehicle as it is rather than hold up production. All those things which we know are not as they should be will be put right... ”
The document then covered for each area of the tank affected, the fault, precautions to avoid the fault and what was being done to correct the problem.
This hasty development had not come without cost though, as there had been little in the way of testing and the Churchill was plagued with mechanical faults. Most apparent was that the Churchill's engine was underpowered and unreliable, and difficult to access for servicing. Another serious shortcoming was the tank's weak armament, the 2 pounder (40 mm) gun, which was improved by the addition of a 3 inch howitzer in the hull (the Mk IICS had the howitzer in the turret) to deliver an HE shell albeit not on a howitzer's usual high trajectory. These flaws contributed to the tank's poor performance in its first use in combat, the disastrous Dieppe Raid in August, 1942.
Production of a turret to carry the QF 6 pounder gun began in 1941 but problems with the plate used in an all-welded design led to an alternative cast turret also being produced. These formed the distinction between Mark III and Mark IV. The poor performance of the Churchill nearly caused production to be ceased in favour of the upcoming Cromwell tank; it was saved by the successful use of the Mk III at the Second Battle of El Alamein in October 1942. The second major improvement in the Churchill's design, the Mk VII saw first used in the Battle of Normandy in 1944. The Mk VII improved on the already heavy armour of the Churchill with a wider chassis and the 75 mm gun which had been introduced on the Mk VI. It was primarily this variant, the A22F, which served through the remainder of war and was re-designated as A42 in 1945. The Churchill was notable for its versatility and was utilized in numerous specialist roles.
The hull was made up of simple flat plates which were initially bolted together and were welded in later models. 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. The suspension was fitted under the two large "panniers" on either side of the hull, the track running over the top. There were eleven bogies either side, each carrying two 10-inch wheels. Only nine of the bogies were taking the vehicle weight normally, the front coming into play when the vehicle nosed into the ground or against an obstacle, the rear acting in part as a track tensioner. Due to the number of wheels, the tank could survive losing several without much in the way of adverse effects as well as traversing steeper terrain obstacles. As the tracks ran around the panniers, escape hatches in the side could be incorporated into the design. These were retained throughout the revisions of the Churchill and were of particular use when the Churchill was adopted as the AVRE. The Bedford Vehicles engine was effectively two engines in horizontally opposed configuration ("flat twelve") on a common crankshaft. There were four Solex carburettors each on a separate manifold that fed three cylinders formed as a single cylinder head. The elements of the engine and ancillary components were laid out so they could be reached for maintenance through the engine deck covers. Air for the engine was drawn from the fighting compartment through air cleaners. Cooling air was drawn into the engine compartment through louvres on the sides, across the radiators and through the engine compartment by a fan driven by the clutch. This fan blew the air over the gearbox and out the rear of the hull. By opening a flap between the fighting compartment and the engine compartment this airflow could be used to remove fumes produced by firing the armament. The 1,296 cubic inch capacity engine was rated at 350 bhp at 2,000 rpm delivering 960 lb·ft (1,300 N·m) over an engine speed range from 800 to 1,600 rpm.
The gearbox featured a regenerative steering system that was controlled by a tiller bar instead of the more commonplace brake levers or a steering wheel. The tiller was connected with servo assistance, hydraulically to the steering brakes. The Churchill was also the first tank to utilise the Merritt-Brown gearbox, which allowed the tank to be steered by changing the relative speeds of the two tracks; this effect became more pronounced with each lower gear, ultimately allowing the tank to perform a "neutral turn" when no gear was engaged where it could fully turn on its own axis. There were final reduction gears, of the planetary type, in the driving wheels. The first turrets were of cast construction and were rounded in shape, providing sufficient space to accommodate the relatively small 2 pounder gun. To fulfil its role as an infantry support vehicle the first models were equipped with a 3 inch howitzer in the hull in a layout very similar to the French Char B. This enabled the tank to deliver a useful high-explosive capability while retaining the antitank capabilities of the 2 pounder. However, like other multi-gun tanks, it was limited by a poor fire arc - the entire tank had to be turned to change the aim of the hull gun. The Mk II dispensed with the howitzer and replaced it with a bow machine gun and on the Mk III, the 2 pounder was replaced with the 6 pounder, significantly increasing the tank's anti-tank capabilities. The tank underwent field modification in North Africa with several Churchills being fitted with the 75 mm gun of destroyed M4 Shermans. These "NA75" variants were used in Italy. The use of the 75 mm, which was inferior as an anti-tank weapon to the 6 pounder but better as an all-around gun was soon made standard on successive versions.
Churchills made use of the Vickers Tank Periscope MK.IV. In the Mark VII, the driver had two periscopes as well as a vision port in the hull front that could be opened. The hull gunner had a single periscope as well as the sighting telescope on the BESA mounting. In the turret the gunner and loader each had single periscope and the commander had two fitted in his hatch cupola. The armour on the Churchill, often considered its most important feature, was originally specified to a minimum of 16 millimetres (0.63 in) and a maximum of 102 millimetres (4.0 in); this was increased with the Mk VII to a range from 25 millimetres (0.98 in) to 152 millimetres (6.0 in). Though this armour was considerably thicker than its rivals (including the German Tiger I tank, but not the Tiger II) it was not sloped, reducing its effectiveness. Earlier models were given extra armour by the expedient of welding extra plates on. On the Mark VII, the hull front armour was made up of a lower angled piece of 5.5 in (140 mm), a nearly flat 2.25 in (57 mm) plate and a vertical 6 inch plate. The hull sides, were for the most part, 3.75 in (95 mm). The rear was 2 in (51 mm) and the hull top 0.525 in (13.3 mm). The turret of the Mark VII was 6 in (150 mm) to the front and 3.75 in (95 mm) for the other sides. The turret roof was 0.79 (20 mm) thick. Plate was specified as IT 80, the cast sections as IT 90.
A22F The A22F, also known as "Heavy Churchill" was a major revision of the design. The most significant part was the use of welding instead of rivetted construction. Welding had been considered earlier for the Churchill but until its future was assured this was no more than testing techniques and hulls at the firing ranges. What welding reduced in the overall weight (estimates were around 4%), the thicker armour of the A22F made up for. Welding also required fewer man-hours in construction. The hull doors changed from square to round which reduced stresses. A new turret went with the new hull. The sides, which included a flared base to protect the turret ring, were a single casting while the roof which did not need to be so thick was a plate fitted to the top.
Since the engines on the Churchill were never upgraded, the tank became increasingly slower as additional armour and armament was equipped and weight increased; while the Mk I weighed 39,118 kg (40 long tons) and the Mk III weighed 39,626 kg, the Mk VII weighed 40,643 kg. This caused a reduction in maximum speed of the tank from its original 26 kilometres per hour (16 mph) down to 20.5 kilometres per hour (12.7 mph). The engines also suffered from many mechanical problems.
Another problem was the tank's relatively small turret that prevented the use of powerful weapons; definitive versions of the tank were armed with either the QF 6 pounder or the derivative QF 75 mm gun, both having reasonable powers against armoured and soft targets respectively but with limited performance against the other. Although earlier Churchills could outgun many contemporary German medium tanks, like the Panzer IV with the short-barrel 75 mm gun and the Panzer III's 50 mm gun, with its 6 pounder, and the thick armour of all Churchill models could usually withstand several hits from any German anti-tank gun, in late war Germans had 75 mm high-velocity cannons as their main armament and increased protection, against which the Churchills' own guns often lacked sufficient armour penetration to fight back effectively.
The Churchill had many variations, including many specialised modifications. The most significant change to the Churchill was that it was up-gunned from 2 pounder to 6 pounder and then 75 mm guns over the course of the war. By the war's end, the late model Churchill Mk VII had exceptional amounts of armour - considerably more than the German Tiger tank. However, the firepower weakness was never fully addressed. The Mark VII turret that was designed for the 75 mm gun was of composite construction - cast with top and bottom plates welded into position.It is important to note that, despite its weaknesses, the Churchill had a significant advantage that was apparent throughout its career. Due to its multiple bogie suspension, it could cross terrain obstacles that most other tanks of its era could not. This feat served well, especially during the fighting in Normandy particularly the capture of Hill 309 between the 30 and 31 July 1944 in operation Bluecoat conducted by VIII Corps.
Sources and External Links