A22 Churchill Mk.VII

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General info

The Churchill Mk.VII in the Garage.

The Infantry Tank Mk IV A22F "Churchill" Mk VII (or just Churchill Mk VII) is a Rank III British infantry tank with a battle rating of 4.7. It was introduced in Update 1.55 "Royal Armour" along with the rest of the British Ground Forces Tree. The definitive British heavy tank with up to 152 mm of frontal armour, the Churchill can present itself as a stone wall against an enemy force.

The main purpose, usage and tactics recommendations

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator


General play style

A lumbering beast made of pure steel, the Churchill Mk.VII is the epitome of a "walking giant" that you do not want to be in front of. With 152 mm of armour, it is one of the most heavily protected tanks in Rank III, even if its firepower seems pitiful for such a tank.

Vehicle characteristics

Tactics

The Churchill Mk.VII is a slow and maneuverable turtle, you're not going to break any speed records with this, but rest assured that if the frontal armour is facing toward the enemy, most of their shells are not able to penetrate the front of the hull and turret. The 75 mm gun provided may not be able to easily take on some of the tanks you may encounter at the rank, but with the great degree of protection, you can leisurely take your time picking out the weaknesses of your enemy to deal precise blow as you hear their rounds bounce off of your frontal armour. Side armour of the hull and turret is considerably thinner and are the largest weaknesses on the Churchill. The turret is completely bare and a hit could incapacitate the entire turret crew, losing half of your total crew. A hit in the hull is a hit or miss, but it seems that a hit there is also likely to instead hit your tracks and suspensions, which would mitigate the round if it caught it. The rear of the vehicle is also vulnerable, but if an enemy is able to come around and smack the Churchill up its behind...it probably wasn't your day anyways.

Specific enemies worth noting

Germany
German tanks always pose a threat. From about BR 3.0, almost every German tank is armed with the long barrel 75mm gun, which can penetrate the Churchill MK.VII from the front with APCR (unangled). Even worse, you may face dedicated SPGs such as the Dicker Max with its 105mm gun. When using Pzgr.rot it will be absolutely deadly and will slice through your armour. Also, the Panzer IV/70(V)/(A) a terrifying threat. They carry the same gun as the Panther and will be able to easily penetrate you under 1000m. Luckily, common German tanks like the Panzer IV can be easily penetrated by your 75mm gun. The same cannot be said for their tank destroyers: the Hetzer, Stug IV, Jagdpanzer IV/48 and the Panzer IV/70(V)/(A). They have thick, sloped armour and will easily bounce your hits.


USSR
Russian tanks can be very difficult to deal with. Tanks in the T-34 line have sloped armour and are highly mobile. Early models with the 76mm gun will not be able to penetrate you. They will try to go around the sides and to your rear. The T-34-85 is more of a threat, but even the 85mm gun will not be able to penetrate your frontal armour unless aimed at your machine gun port. The SU-85 is less of a threat with slightly less mobility and no turret. The thing about the Russians is that they love their big guns, in particular the KV-2 and the SU-152 with their massive 152mm howitzers. Their HE shells alone will prove devastating to the Churchill, which has very thin top armour. Expect your game to very suddenly end when you come across either of these vehicles.

The Russians also have very effective heavy tanks. You can come upon some rather awkward stalemates when facing vehicles like the KV-1 ZiS-5. You will struggle to penetrate their armour and they will struggle to penetrate yours. This is a common situation with the Churchill Mk VII. It is important to have back up so that you can soak up damage for your teammates with more powerful guns, and to protect you from being overwhelmed if the KV brought more tanks to flank you. You may also encounter IS-1s which you will struggle to deal with. Russian tanks are frustrating to deal with. Their armour is sloped and you will often have to aim for weak spots with your 75mm gun. If the armour is not sloped, it is usually too thick to penetrate. This is easier said than done in some circumstances.

Japan
As a whole, Japanese tanks are easier to deal with. Their armour is quite thin and usually quite easy to penetrate. Tanks to note are the Chi-To and Chi-Ri II. They can penetrate 155mm of armour at 100m, which is just enough to get through your frontal armour. The Na-To is also a threat with its APCR, which can penetrate you frontally under 500m. Finally, the low tier Ho-Ro is dangerous, with its powerful 150mm howitzer, but not many people will be using it at this tier.

Counter-tactics

Do not attempt to fire at the Churchill Mk VII at the front (unless you have a high penetration shell for your cannon). There is absolutely no benefit of attempting to kill the Churchill Mk.VII from its front without aiming for thinner sides or weak points, that 152 mm of armour will chew up shells like nothing. The saving grace is that the Churchill has a gun that belongs to Rank II and a low top speed so it is possible to out maneuver it in the terrain. Flank the tank to get a good shot on its vulnerable side armour. Kill the turret crew to immobilize their firepower, then move in for the kill.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Great frontal armour (152mm).
  • Even stronger when angled properly.
  • Decent 75 mm gun.
  • Ability to pivot steer.
  • Large suspension sides have side hits more likely to break tracks than penetrate the hull.
  • Additional armour that helps a lot.
  • Pretty much impervious by small caliber shells.
  • Can soak a lot of damage.
  • Very good at being an actual 'tank'.
  • Very good at spearheading an assault, drawing fire and soaking up damage for weaker allies with stronger guns to eliminate foes.
  • Very hard to dislodge when hulled down or given enough support.

Cons:

  • 75 mm shells has no explosive filler, and limited fragmentation upon penetration.
  • Armour construction is rather unsloped on the sides and rear, requiring angling to work the best as possible.
  • Large tank in terms of length.
  • Speed is maxed out at 20 km/h. Watch out for air strikes.
  • Frontal 50 mm weakspot (the machine gun port both on the hull and the turret).
  • Underpowered engine render this tank unable to scale obstacles properly.
  • Terrible Reverse speed.
  • Requires good coordination with team to be at full potential.
  • Unable to deal a lot of damage.
  • Roof armour is thin.
  • Very vulnerable to flanking.
  • Ammo racks below the turret tend to cause catastrophic damage from side penetrations.

Specifications

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator


Armaments

1 x 75 mm QF Mk.V cannon (84 Rounds)
1 x 7.92 mm BESA machine gun (9,350 Rounds)

Main armament

1 x 75 mm QF Mk.V cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 84 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -12°
  • Gun Elevation: 20°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 14.3°/s (Stock), 19.8°/s (Upgraded), _._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), _._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), _._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reload Rate: 6.5s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 75 mm QF Mk.V cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 84 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -12°
  • Gun Elevation: 20°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 14.3°/s (Stock), 16.8°/s (Upgraded), _._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), _._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), _._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reload Rate: 6.5s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 75 mm QF Mk.V cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 84 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -12°
  • Gun Elevation: 20°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 14.3°/s (Stock), 16.8°/s (Upgraded), _._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), _._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), _._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reload Rate: 6.5s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
Ammunition
Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 90° Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay
in m:
Fuse sensitivity
in mm:
Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
Ricochet:
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 0% 50% 100%
M72 Shot 110 109 92 76 62 51 AP 619 6.3 N/A N/A N/A -1° 43° 30° 25°
M48 Shell 8 8 8 8 8 8 HE 463 6.3 0.4 0.5 666 +0° 11° 10°
M61 Shot 93 91 84 75 67 61 APCBC 618 6.8 N/A N/A N/A +4° 42° 27° 19°
Ammo Racks
Ammo rack of the Churchill Mk.VII
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
Recommendations Visual
discrepancy
84 68 (+16) 51 (+33) 34 (+50) 17 (+67) (+83) Turret empty: 68 (+16) Yes

Secondary armament

  • 1 x 7.92 mm BESA machine gun (coaxial)

Crew

  • Commander
  • Gunner
  • Loader
  • Driver
  • Assistant Driver

Total: 5 Crew members

Armour

Armour Type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Machine gun port, Driver's hatch, Turret)
Armour Front Sides Rear Roof
Hull 152 mm (1°) Front plate
57.15 mm (66-67°) Front glacis
139 mm (24°) Lower glacis
102 mm Machine gun port
95 mm 50.8 mm (1°) Top
25.4 mm (64°) Bottom
15.875 mm
Turret 152 mm (1-20°) Turret front
152 mm (1-54°) Gun mantlet
95.25 mm 95.25 mm (0-1°) 20 mm
Armour Sides Roof
Cupola 152 mm 20 mm

Notes:

  • Suspension wheels are 20 mm thick while tracks are 30 mm thick.

Engine & Mobility

Weight: 41.0 ton (+ 0.5t Add-on Armour)

Max Speed: 21.6 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 452 hp @ 2200 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 11.02 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 556 hp @ 2200 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 13.56 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 43°
Weight: 41.0 ton (+ 0.5t Add-on Armour)

Max Speed: 20.3 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 310 hp @ 2200 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 7.56 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 350 hp @ 2200 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 8.54 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 41°
Weight: 41.0 ton (+ 0.5t Add-on Armour)

Max Speed: 20.3 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 310 hp @ 2200 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 7.56 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 350 hp @ 2200 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 8.54 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 41°

Modules and improvements

As per usual,"Parts" and "FPE" should be the focus first for modifications to increase combat survivability. Everything else is fair game after you get those two.

History of creation and combat usage

Development

The General Staff specification A20 was implemented before World War II and was meant to replace the Matilda II and Valentine infantry tanks. The specification was based around the British infantry tank doctrine and with the expectation that the coming war would be based off the World War I trench warfare, thus the tank was needed to travel across unfavorable terrain and able to destroy enemy defenses and infantry obstacles. As speed and heavy firepower was not taken with priority, the vehicle was to have two 2-pounder gun on side sponson mounts with a coaxial machine gun, with another machine gun and smoke dischargers on the front hull, armour was about 60 mm on the turret. Four prototypes were made by June 1940 by Harland and Wolff. The front hull would see an upgrade in armament with a 3-inch howitzer during the prototype stages, the 43 ton tank had a 300 hp Meadows engine from the Covenanter tank and was made the tank underpowered. The A20 project was cancelled with the Battle of France, which saw the emergency evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk that left a majority of their heavy equipment behind.

The Battle of France proved that the coming World War II was not going to be a stagnant battlefield like the trench warfare from World War I. The entire concept had to be redesigned and was done so by Henry Merrit, the director of Tank Design at Woolwich Arsenal. His new concept, the A22 or Infantry Tank Mark IV Churchill, was given to Vauxhall Motors in June 1940. War Office requested that the A22 be ready to enter production within the year due to growing pressure of a German invasion of Britain. The designs were ready in July 1940 and the first prototypes were made by December of the same year, production soon followed in June 1941. The rushed development was acknowledged in the company to being the cause of many faults and defects in the tank, but the demand by the government was so great that it must be carried out, with the expectation that the issues will be fixed during production. The Churchill tank suffered from an under-powered engine, weak armament, and mechanical issues. The weak armament from a 2-pounder was fixed with the arming of a 6-pounder on the Churchill, but the other issues caused poor performance of the Churchill in the battlefield. In fact, the Churchill production was almost cancelled in favor of the Cromwell due to its issues, but its usage in the Second Battle of El Alamein proved its value and kept it in service.

The Churchill would carry on the rest of the war as one of the most versatile tank design in British service, serving in many specialist roles other than its tank role. Altogether, a total of 7,568 Churchill units produced from 1941 to 1945, with 5,968 as tanks.

Variants

The Churchill, used in a multitude of roles, is made into many different variants. 12 different kinds of tank variants were produced for combat roles, with 11 more variants in specialized roles ranging from armoured personnel carrier, a bridge-layer, mine clearer, a 3 inch Gun Carrier, flamethrower tank, and an armoured recovery vehicle.

Combat Usage

The Churchill tank was first used in the Dieppe Raid in August 1942. While it was really a test on how an opposed landing would work, the 60 Churchill tanks to support the Canadian units suffered from mechanical issues, and those that did work are not able to penetrate past the sea wall due to impassable defenses. None of the Churchill tanks that landed returned from the beaches and with a 70% casualty rate, the raid's attempt to establish a beachhead was a failure.

The next use of the Churchill was in North Africa during the Second Battle of El Alamein. At this point, the Churchills have been upgraded to the Mk.III variants with 6-pounders as their main armament. The detachment, code named "King Force", help supported the 7th Motor Brigade in their attack. The Churchills were fired upon by many German anti-tank weapons, but none were taken out with only one receiving note worthy damage. "King Force", as a test bed for the feasibility of Churchills operating in the desert environment, was disbanded with the establishment of the 25th Army Tank Brigade with the Churchills to see action in February 1943 in Tunisia. In the German offensive Operation Ochsenkpf, two Churchill Mk.III from the 51st Royal Tank Regiment came across an entire German transport column that they ambushed. The end result was a loss of twelve artillery pieces, 25 wheeled vehicles, two Panzer IIIs and 200 casualties on the British side with no losses. The Churchill also played a key role in the Battle of Longstop Hill, where Churchill tanks in the 48th Royal Tank Regiment faced off with Germany's newest heavy tank Tiger I. Though suffering losses, a lucky 6-pounder shot from the Churchill ended up jamming the Tiger's turret and turret ring that injured the crew, forcing them to abandon the tank. The Tiger tank was captured by the British for intelligence purpose on Germany's armoured forces. The Tiger Tank is named Tiger 131.

After the North African campaign, the Churchill began to see widespread usage in the British army as a support unit for the infantry. The Churchill saw much more operation hours than any other British tank in service. It was at this point that the Churchill Mk.III began a conversion into the 75 mm guns that were used on the American M4 Sherman tanks. These conversions, known as NA75, proved to be more efficient than the Shermans and were used more effectively. Some Churchills were also converted into close support vehicles with 95 mm howitzers as their main armaments. In response to the growing German anti-tank firepower in the later years of World War II, the Churchill tanks were also upgraded in armour by a large degree, though their engines were also upgraded to compensate for the additional weight. The Churchill Mk.VII, for example, has armour ranging up to 152 mm thick in the front, in comparison to the Mk.III 89 mm thick front hull. The Churchills also saw service in Europe during Operation Overlord. At the time, it was considered that the Churchill would become severely outdated with the growing tank technology, so an experimental program under specification A43, otherwise known as the Black Prince, to uparmour and upgun the Churchill. While this experimented seem fruitful, the development of more agile tanks with the same level of protection and armament such as the Centurion rendered the project obsolete.

The Churchills were also given out to the Allies to help combat the Axis forces. The Australian Army received a handful of Churchills for testing alongside the M4 Sherman with the Matilda II as the basis, to which proved that the Churchill was superior in jungle warfare. Of the 510 Churchills ordered by the Australians in the war, only 46 arrived in time and were not used in the Pacific War, the rest were cancelled with the end of World War II. The USSR also used the Churchills given by the British as part of the Lend-Lease act. 301 Churchills were sent, but 43 were lost to the sea by German naval forces. Of those that arrived, the Soviets gave the Churchills to the 5th Guards Tank Army in the Battle of Prokhorovka during the Kursk Offensive.

After World War II, the Churchill stuck around in the British Army until the Korean War, where the British sent the Churchill Crocodile Squadron (C squadron of the 7th Royal Tank Regiment) to Korea to fight with the Allied coalition. They fought as gun tanks in battle such as the Third Battle of Seoul. The Churchills were instrumental in some victories and were widely praised by both British and American forces and historians. After the Korean war, the Churchills remains in combat service until 1952, with the specialized bridge-layer variant stayin until the 1970s. The Irish Army also received three Churchill tanks in 1948 and another in 1949 as rentals until 1954, where they were purchased after trials with the vehicles. Despite running out of spare parts for the Churchill, the Irish Army took them in and experimented with using different engines to keep them functional, though this ended with a failure and by 1967, only one was still functional. All were retired in 1969 and one was preserved at the Curragh Camp.

Screenshots and fan art

Skins and camouflages for the _____ from live.warthunder.com.

Additional information (links)

[Devblog] A22B Сhurchill Mk.III and A22 Churchill Mk.VII (with developers answers)

References


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