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Osprey New Vanguard 4 : Churchill Infantry Tank 1941-1951

The Churchill was undoubtedly one of the most successful British tanks of the Second World War. Although it suffered from being underarmed, a defect common to most British armoured vehicles of the period, it was nevertheless loved by its crews - its cross-country ability was unrivalled and it was less inclined to 'brew-up' from a direct hit than the Sherman. It was also adaptable. Modified Churchill's played a crucial part in the initial D-Day landings and in the subsequent advance through France. Armoured recovery vehicles, Crocodile flamethrower tanks and Royal Engineer AVREs capable of not only laying roads or carry a fascine or small box-girder bridge were all based on the Churchill, having been designed and produced in response to lessons leant at Dieppe: the effectiveness of these vehicles is shown by the far lighter losses of British forces storming ashore in France on 6th June 1944 when compared to those of their American allies, who had refused the British offer of these specialised armoured vehicles and suffered accordingly. Bryan Perrett traces the life of this slow-moving but effective and respected tank from its initial inception through till its eventual obsolescence. Its development, problems and strengths are all discussed, and its successful operation in a wide range of theatres looked at in detail. Organisation and tactics are also examined, as are the specialised variants of the tank. The different weapons on the various models of the Churchill are studied carefully, including the rather unusual 290mm muzzle-loading spigot mortar mounted on AVRE tanks, which fired a 40lb projectile known as 'General Wade's Flying Dustbin'. Illustrations by Peter Sarson and Mike Chappell.

    Contents
  • Development
  • Operational History
  • Organization and Tactics
  • Operation 'Jubilee'
  • Africa
  • Italy
  • North-West Europe
  • Burma and Korea
  • Variants

 

Osprey New Vanguard


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