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Churchill I

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 {{TankData {{TankData
?|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.
?the Churchill I can also lead to the Churchill gun carrier and is the only tank that can lead into it however it costs a large amount of experience to research it (as much as a tier 7 tank). +
? +
  
 |Gallery= |Gallery=

Revision as of 11:35, 10 June 2013











































































Churchill I

AnnoGB08_Churchill_I.png
Battle Tier
1234567891011
Overview
Mouse over "
Well, the ones further down, of course.
" for more information
[Client Values; Actual values in
Specifically, the mismatch in crew values caused by commander's 10% crew skill bonus. Outside of a crew of 1 commander only, 100% crew is a fiction. The client values, given for 100% crew, will normally be taken into battle with 110% crew skill members aside from specific functions, causing their actual performance to deviate from the expected client value. These differences are taken into account in tooltip boxes.
]
340,000  Credits Cost
870920 HP Hit Points
38.45/3939.77/43 t Weight Limit
Crew
  1. Commander (Radio Operator)
  2. Driver
  3. Gunner
  4. Gunner
  5. Loader
Mobility
300350 hp Engine Power
25.7/14 km/h Speed Limit
2022 deg/s Traverse
7.88.8 hp/t Power/Wt Ratio
NoNo Pivot
Armor
177.8/63.5/50.8 mm Hull Armor
101.6/88.9/88.988.9/88.9/76.2 mm Turret Armor
Armament







{{#ifeq:ARMOR_PIERCING_CR|ARMOR_PIERCING||



{{#ifeq:HIGH_EXPLOSIVE|ARMOR_PIERCING||


AP/APCR/HE







{{#ifeq:ARMOR_PIERCING_CR|ARMOR_PIERCING||



{{#ifeq:HIGH_EXPLOSIVE|ARMOR_PIERCING||


AP/APCR/HE
Shells




















30/1200/15




















100/2800/56
Shell Cost
50/50/60135/135/175 HP Damage
78/121/23145/202/38 mm Penetration



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28.57 r/m 

Standard Gun

Reload Times
Nominal: 2.1 s
50% Crew: 2.6 s
75% Crew: 2.27 s
100% Crew: 2.01 s
Rammer: 1.81 s
Vents: 1.97 s
Both: 1.77 s
Both and BiA: 1.73 s
Both and Max Crew %: 1.66 s

See Crew, Consumables, or Equipment for more information.



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12.5 r/m 

Standard Gun

Reload Times
Nominal: 4.8 s
50% Crew: 5.95 s
75% Crew: 5.19 s
100% Crew: 4.6 s
Rammer: 4.14 s
Vents: 4.5 s
Both: 4.05 s
Both and BiA: 3.96 s
Both and Max Crew %: 3.8 s

See Crew, Consumables, or Equipment for more information.
Rate of Fire






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1428.5

Standard Gun

Using Shell Type 1 (50 Damage):


Theoretical Damage Per Minute
Nominal DPM: 1428.5
50% Crew: 1153
75% Crew: 1320.5
100% Crew: 1490
100% Crew
Vents: 1523.5
Rammer: 1655.5
Both: 1693
Both and BiA: 1730.5
Both and Max Crew %: 1805.5

Advantageous Damage Per Minute
First-shot DPM: 1478.5
50% Crew: 1203
75% Crew: 1370.5
100% Crew: 1540
100% Crew
Rammer: 1705.5
Vents: 1573.5
Both: 1743
Both and BiA: 1780.5
Both and Max Crew %: 1855.5

See here, here, or here for more information.

Standard Gun

Using Shell Type 2 (50 Damage):


Theoretical Damage Per Minute
Nominal DPM: 1428.5
50% Crew: 1153
75% Crew: 1320.5
100% Crew: 1490
100% Crew
Vents: 1523.5
Rammer: 1655.5
Both: 1693
Both and BiA: 1730.5
Both and Max Crew %: 1805.5

Advantageous Damage Per Minute
First-shot DPM: 1478.5
50% Crew: 1203
75% Crew: 1370.5
100% Crew: 1540
100% Crew
Rammer: 1705.5
Vents: 1573.5
Both: 1743
Both and BiA: 1780.5
Both and Max Crew %: 1855.5

See here, here, or here for more information.

Standard Gun

Using Shell Type 3 (60 Damage):
With wholly penetrating hits

Theoretical Damage Per Minute
Nominal DPM: 1714.2
50% Crew: 1383.6
75% Crew: 1584.6
100% Crew: 1788
100% Crew
Vents: 1828.2
Rammer: 1986.6
Both: 2031.6
Both and BiA: 2076.6
Both and Max Crew %: 2166.6

Advantageous Damage Per Minute
First-shot DPM: 1774.2
50% Crew: 1443.6
75% Crew: 1644.6
100% Crew: 1848
100% Crew
Rammer: 2046.6
Vents: 1888.2
Both: 2091.6
Both and BiA: 2136.6
Both and Max Crew %: 2226.6

See here, here, or here for more information.






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1687.5

Standard Gun

Using Shell Type 1 (135 Damage):


Theoretical Damage Per Minute
Nominal DPM: 1687.5
50% Crew: 1362.15
75% Crew: 1560.6
100% Crew: 1760.4
100% Crew
Vents: 1799.55
Rammer: 1956.15
Both: 2000.7
Both and BiA: 2043.9
Both and Max Crew %: 2133

Advantageous Damage Per Minute
First-shot DPM: 1822.5
50% Crew: 1497.15
75% Crew: 1695.6
100% Crew: 1895.4
100% Crew
Rammer: 2091.15
Vents: 1934.55
Both: 2135.7
Both and BiA: 2178.9
Both and Max Crew %: 2268

See here, here, or here for more information.

Standard Gun

Using Shell Type 2 (135 Damage):


Theoretical Damage Per Minute
Nominal DPM: 1687.5
50% Crew: 1362.15
75% Crew: 1560.6
100% Crew: 1760.4
100% Crew
Vents: 1799.55
Rammer: 1956.15
Both: 2000.7
Both and BiA: 2043.9
Both and Max Crew %: 2133

Advantageous Damage Per Minute
First-shot DPM: 1822.5
50% Crew: 1497.15
75% Crew: 1695.6
100% Crew: 1895.4
100% Crew
Rammer: 2091.15
Vents: 1934.55
Both: 2135.7
Both and BiA: 2178.9
Both and Max Crew %: 2268

See here, here, or here for more information.

Standard Gun

Using Shell Type 3 (175 Damage):
With wholly penetrating hits

Theoretical Damage Per Minute
Nominal DPM: 2187.5
50% Crew: 1765.75
75% Crew: 2023
100% Crew: 2282
100% Crew
Vents: 2332.75
Rammer: 2535.75
Both: 2593.5
Both and BiA: 2649.5
Both and Max Crew %: 2765

Advantageous Damage Per Minute
First-shot DPM: 2362.5
50% Crew: 1940.75
75% Crew: 2198
100% Crew: 2457
100% Crew
Rammer: 2710.75
Vents: 2507.75
Both: 2768.5
Both and BiA: 2824.5
Both and Max Crew %: 2940

See here, here, or here for more information.
Damage Per Minute


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0.36 m 

With 50% Crew: 0.446 m
With 75% Crew: 0.389 m
With 100% Crew: 0.345 m
With BiA: 0.338 m
With BiA and Vents: 0.33 m
Maximum possible: 0.317 m

For more details, see Crew


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0.36 m 

With 50% Crew: 0.446 m
With 75% Crew: 0.389 m
With 100% Crew: 0.345 m
With BiA: 0.338 m
With BiA and Vents: 0.33 m
Maximum possible: 0.317 m

For more details, see Crew
Accuracy


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1.7 s 

With 50% Crew: 2.106 s
With 75% Crew: 1.839 s
With 100% Crew: 1.63 s
With GLD: 1.482 s
With BiA: 1.594 s
With BiA and Vents: 1.559 s
With both and GLD: 1.418 s
Maximum possible: 1.359 s

For more details, see Crew or Equipment


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2.3 s 

With 50% Crew: 2.849 s
With 75% Crew: 2.488 s
With 100% Crew: 2.205 s
With GLD: 2.005 s
With BiA: 2.157 s
With BiA and Vents: 2.11 s
With both and GLD: 1.918 s
Maximum possible: 1.839 s

For more details, see Crew or Equipment
Aim time
3434 deg/s Turret Traverse
360° Gun Arc
-10°/+20°-4°/+12° Elevation Arc
265100 rounds Ammo Capacity
General
2020 % Chance of Fire






330 m 

With 50% Crew: 259.3 m
With 75% Crew: 294.7 m
With 100% Crew: 330 m
With Recon and Situational Awareness: 346.7 m
With Coated Optics: 363 m
With Binocular Telescope: 412.5 m
Maximum possible: 472.4 m

For more details, see Skills or Equipment






350 m 

With 50% Crew: 275 m
With 75% Crew: 312.5 m
With 100% Crew: 350 m
With Recon and Situational Awareness: 367.7 m
With Coated Optics: 385 m
With Binocular Telescope: 437.5 m
Maximum possible: 501.1 m

For more details, see Skills or Equipment
View Range


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400 m 

With 50% Crew: 314.3 m
With 75% Crew: 357.2 m
With 100% Crew: 400 m
With 100% Signal Boost: 480 m
When affected by 100% Relaying: 440 m
Maximum possible: 575.6 m

For more details, see Skills or Equipment


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550 m 

With 50% Crew: 432.1 m
With 75% Crew: 491.1 m
With 100% Crew: 550 m
With 100% Signal Boost: 660 m
When affected by 100% Relaying: 605 m
Maximum possible: 791.4 m

For more details, see Skills or Equipment
Signal Range
Values are Stock - click for Top


V

AnnoGB08_Churchill_I.png

340000

The Churchill I is a British tier 5 heavy tank.

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

Modules

Ico_gun_alpha.png

Guns

Tier Gun Penetration
(mm)
Damage
(HP)
Rate of fire
(rounds/minute)
Dispersion
(m/100m)
Aiming time
(s)
Weight
(kg)
Price
( Credits)

IV OQF 3-inch Howitzer Mk. I 38/100/23 175/110/60 16.67 0.51 1.9 116 30000
IV QF 6-pdr Mk. III 105/170/30 75/75/100 27.27 0.43 1.9 400 27000
V QF 6-pdr Gun Mk. V 110/180/30 75/75/100 27.27 0.41 1.9 450 35000
V 75 mm Gun Mk. V 91/144/38 110/110/175 20 0.42 1.9 500 45000
VI 75 mm Vickers HV 145/202/38 135/135/175 12.5 0.36 2.3 591 50000
IV QF 2-pdr Mk. X 78/121/23 50/50/60 28.57 0.36 1.5 130 6000

Ico_turret_alpha.png

Turrets

Tier Turret Turret Armor (front/sides/rear)
(mm)
Turret Traverse Speed
(deg/s)
View Range
(m)
Weight
(kg)
Price
( Credits)

IV Churchill I 101.6/88.9/88.9 34 330 7200 4300
V Churchill III 88.9/88.9/76.2 34 350 7500 7500

Ico_engine_alpha.png

Engines

Tier Engine Engine Power
(hp)
Chance of Fire on Impact
(%)
Weight
(kg)
Price
( Credits)

IV Meadows D.A.V. 300 20 724 9000
IV Bedford Twin-Six 350 20 1531 11000

Ico_suspension_alpha.png

Suspensions

Tier Suspension Load Limit
(т)
Traverse Speed
(gr/sec)
Rmin Weight
(kg)
Price
( Credits)

IV Churchill I 39 20 B/2 8150 4050
V Churchill III 43 22 B/2 8150 8500

Ico_radio_alpha.png

Radios

Tier Radio Signal Range
(m)
Weight
(kg)
Price
( Credits)

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

Compatible Equipment

Low Noise Exhaust System Class 2 Medium Spall Liner Camouflage Net Class 2 Coated Optics Class 2 Experimental Optics Wear-Resistant Gun Laying Drive Improved Configuration Venting System Innovative Loading System Enhanced Gun Laying Drive Class 2 Improved Hardening Class 2 Additional Grousers Class 2 Modified Configuration Class 2 Improved Rotation Mechanism Class 2 Improved Aiming Class 2 Improved Ventilation Class 2 Binocular Telescope Class 2 Gun Rammer Class 2 Turbocharger Class 2 

Compatible Consumables

Automatic Fire Extinguisher Natural Cover Optical Calibration Aim Tuning Experienced Firefighters 100-octane Gasoline 105-octane Gasoline Manual Fire Extinguisher Pre-Battle Maintenance Vent Purge Large First Aid Kit Large Repair Kit Duty Comes First Shell Organizer Orderly Ammo Rack Focus on Target Pudding and Tea Increased Focus Small First Aid Kit Small Repair Kit Gearbox Intricacy Steady Hand Combat Course 


Player Opinion

Pros and Cons

Pros:


  • Excellent top gun
  • High RoF
  • Very good accuracy with all guns
  • Good HP
  • Good Frontal Armour


Cons:


  • 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


Performance

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.


Early Research

  • 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.


Suggested Equipment


Improved VentilationTank Gun Rammer Enhanced Gun Laying Drive Toolbox 


Gallery

Historical Info

The Tank, Infantry, Mk IV (A22) was a heavy British infantry tank used in the Second World War, best known for its heavy armour, large longitudinal chassis with all-around tracks with multiple bogies, and its use as the basis of many specialist vehicles. It was one of the heaviest Allied tanks of the war. The origins of the design lay in the expectation that war in Europe might be fought under similar conditions to that of the First World War and emphasized ability to cross difficult ground. The Churchill was rushed into production in order to build up British defences against a possible German invasion and the first vehicles built had flaws that ad to be overcome before the Churchill was accepted for wide use. After several Marks had been built a better armoured version - the Mark VII - entered service. The Churchill was used by British and Commonwealth in North Africa, Italy and North-West Europe. In addition many were supplied to the USSR and used on the Eastern Front.

Nomenclature

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.

Development history

A20

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.

A22

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.

Design features

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.


Historical Gallery

Sources and External Links

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Light Tanks ICruiser Mk. I IIM2 IICruiser Mk. II IILight Mk. VIC IIIValentine IIIStuart I-IV IIICruiser Mk. III IVCruiser Mk. IV VCovenanter VIA46 VICrusader VIIGSR 3301 Setter VIIIFV1066 Senlac VIIILHMTV IXGSOR3301 AVR FS XManticore
Medium Tanks IVickers Medium Mk. I IIVickers Medium Mk. II IIIVickers Medium Mk. III IVMatilda IVGrant IVAC 1 Sentinel VCavalier VValiant VSherman III VMatilda Black Prince VISherman Firefly VICromwell VIAC 4 Experimental VICromwell B VISherman VC Firefly VIIComet VIIICenturion Mk. I VIIIFV4202 VIIIChieftain/T95 VIIICenturion Mk. 5/1 RAAC VIIIChimera IXCenturion Mk. 7/1 XCenturion Action X
Heavy Tanks VChurchill I VExcelsior VIChurchill VII VITOG II* VIIBlack Prince VIIFV201 (A45) VIIICaernarvon VIIICaernarvon Action X IXConqueror XFV215b XSuper Conqueror XT95/FV4201 Chieftain
Tank Destroyers IIUniversal Carrier 2-pdr IVValentine AT IVAlecto VArcher VAT 2 VIChurchill Gun Carrier VIAchilles VIAT 8 VIExcalibur VIIChallenger VIIAT 15A VIIAT 7 VIIIGSOR 1008 VIIIAT 15 VIIICharioteer VIIITurtle Mk. I IXTortoise IXFV4004 Conway XFV215b (183) XFV4005 Stage II XFV217 Badger
Self-Propelled Artillery IILoyd Gun Carriage IIISexton II IIISexton I IVBirch Gun VBishop VIFV304 VIICrusader 5.5-in. SP VIIIFV207 IXFV3805 XConqueror Gun Carriage
Heavy Tanks
USA VT14 VT1 Heavy Tank VIM6 VIIKing Tiger (Captured) VIIT29 VIIIChrysler K VIIIChrysler K GF VIIIT26E5 VIIIT26E5 Patriot VIIIM54 Renegade VIIIT77 VIIIM6A2E1 VIIIT32 VIIIT34 VIIIT34 B IXAE Phase I IXConcept 1B IXM103 IXT54E1 XT110E5 XT57 Heavy Tank
UK VChurchill I VExcelsior VIChurchill VII VITOG II* VIIBlack Prince VIIFV201 (A45) VIIICaernarvon VIIICaernarvon Action X IXConqueror XFV215b XSuper Conqueror XT95/FV4201 Chieftain
Germany IVPz.Kpfw. B2 740 (f) IVDurchbruchswagen 2 VITiger 131 VIVK 30.01 (P) VIVK 36.01 (H) VIIVK 45.03 VIITiger I VIITiger (P) VIIIVK 100.01 (P) VIIIVK 168.01 (P) VIIIVK 168.01 Mauerbrecher VIIIVK 75.01 (K) VIIIE 75 TS VIIILöwe VIIITiger II VIIIVK 45.02 (P) Ausf. A IXE 75 IXMäuschen IXVK 45.02 (P) Ausf. B XE 100 XPz.Kpfw. VII XMaus XVK 72.01 (K)
France IVB1 VBDR G1 B VIARL 44 VIIAMX M4 mle. 45 VIIIAMX 50 100 VIIIAMX M4 mle. 49 VIIIAMX M4 mle. 49 Liberté VIIIAMX 65 t VIIISomua SM VIIIFCM 50 t IXAMX 50 120 IXAMX M4 mle. 51 XAMX 50 B XAMX M4 mle. 54
USSR VChurchill III VKV-220-2 VKV-220-2 Beta Test VKV-1 VIKV-1S VIKV-2 VIKV-2 (R) VIKV-85 VIObject 244 VIT-150 VIIIS VIIKV-3 VIIKV-122 VIIIS-2M VIIIS-2 shielded VIIIS-2 VIIIIS-3 VIIIIS-6 VIIIIS-6 B VIIIKV-5 VIIIKV-4 VIIIIS-5 (Object 730) VIIIIS-3A VIIIKV-4 Kreslavskiy VIIIObject 252U Defender VIIIObject 252U VIIIIS-M VIIIObject 703 Version II VIIIIS-2-II IXT-10 IXObject 777 Version II IXObject 257 IXObject 705 IXIS-3-II IXST-I XIS-4 XIS-7 XObject 260 XObject 705A XObject 277 XObject 279 early XST-II
China VIIIS-2 VIIIWZ-111 VIIIWZ-111 Alpine Tiger VIII110 VIII112 IXWZ-111 model 1-4 X113 XWZ-111 model 5A XWZ-111 Qilin
Japan IIIType 91 Heavy IVType 95 Heavy VO-I Experimental VIHeavy Tank No. VI VIO-I VIIO-Ni VIIIO-Ho IXType 4 Heavy XType 5 Heavy
Czechoslovakia VIIŠkoda T 45
Sweden VIIIEmil I VIIIEMIL 1951 IXEmil II XKranvagn
Italy VIICarro d'assalto P.88 VIIIProgetto CC55 mod. 54 VIIIBisonte C45 IXProgetto C50 mod. 66 XRinoceronte
Poland VII45TP Habicha VIII50TP prototyp VIII53TP Markowskiego IX50TP Tyszkiewicza X60TP Lewandowskiego
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