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"Normandy and After - Churchill Tanks" Topic


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639 hits since 3 Nov 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Thresher0104 Nov 2018 7:00 p.m. PST

Interested in getting some Churchill tanks for the Normandy landings, and the slogs afterwards, during the Summer of 1944.

So, do I need Mk. VII tanks, Mk. VI, or others, for the majority of British and/or Canadian units in Normandy, and the adjacent regions?

Would Cromwell IVs be a better choice?

Primarily interested in armored units, though the foot troops probably need some tank support too, I suspect.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP04 Nov 2018 7:14 p.m. PST

Then you should get Cromwells and Shermans as the Churchills were primarily "infantry support" tanks.

Jim

Thresher0104 Nov 2018 7:51 p.m. PST

Yea, I thought that might be the case, but wasn't sure.

I'll still need some Churchills for the squaddies though.

Walking Sailor04 Nov 2018 9:12 p.m. PST

Armoured Divisions had three Armoured Regiments (Btns) of Sherman 75's (w/ one Firefly (17 pdr) per troop) and one Armoured Recce Rgt. (Btn) of Cromwells (w/ one Challenger per troop). exception: 7th AD was all Cromwells, with Fireflys in the AR's, and Challengers in the ARR. They were labeled Rgts. because they were Cavalry Rgts. converted from horse to tanks.
Churchills were in Infantry Tank Battalions of The Royal Tank Regiment (RTR). Mk. III's had round turrets, Mk. IV's had sharper edges. Both had 6 pdrs. Mk. V CS was a Mk. IV with a 95mm howitzer, Mk. VI had a 75mm gun. Land with three Mk IV's per troop and one Mk. VI. End the campaign with the reverse. The conversion was easy, it was done in the field. Unbolt the 6 pdr, bolt in a 75mm, and change the ammo racks, done. But keep the one 6 pdr for the better penetration. Each Tank Company also had two Mk. V CS tanks, usually the CO & XO. The ITB's supported the Infantry Divisions. The Mk. VII came later.
see: link
and: link

Martin Rapier04 Nov 2018 11:24 p.m. PST

Along with the tank brigades equipped with Churchills, infantry support was also provided by independent Armoured brigades equipped with Shermans.

So you can use Shermans in either Armoured Div or infantry support roles. Iirc the Canadians didn't have any Churchills, only infantry support Shermans (and their Armoured Div).

Keith Talent05 Nov 2018 3:22 a.m. PST

Churchill's are only present in 6th Guards tank brigade, 31st Tank Brigade and 34th Tank Brigade. All of which are independent brigades without a permanent divisional assignment. Also of course, in 79th armoured division, although there are very few (any?) normal gun Churchill's in the 79th.

Starfury Rider05 Nov 2018 3:58 a.m. PST

31st Tank Bde came under the auspices of 79th Armd Div post Normandy. 7 RTR was retained as a Churchill equipped unit and took part in the blockade of Dunkirk (with the Czech Armd Bde I think). 141 RAC had bene part of the Bde but was detached before Normandy when it became a Crocodile equipped unit. It rejoined the Bde upon the Bde moving to 79th Armd Div. 1 Fife & Forfar Yeo joined the Bde in Sep44 as the second Croc unit, 7 RTR returning in Feb45 as the third. All Crocodile equipped Churchill tanks retained their main gun armament (they lost the bow Besa for the flame projector).

Gary

Thresher0105 Nov 2018 10:29 a.m. PST

Thanks for all the info, and links.

I really appreciate it.

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