|This page is about the British heavy tank Churchill III. For other uses, see Churchill (Family).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The Tank, Infantry, Mk IV, Churchill III (A22) (or just Churchill III) is a rank III British heavy tank with a battle rating of 4.0 (AB) and 4.3 (RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.55 "Royal Armour" along with the rest of the initial British Ground Forces Tree. Compared to its predecessor, the Mk.III has a more capable 6-pounder gun as its arsenal with its thick front armour.
Survivability and armour
The Churchill III is one of the best protected tanks at its battle rating. The tank has excellent frontal armour and can bounce several shots from tanks such as the Panzer III, T-34, M4 Sherman, and even the dreaded Panzer IV F2 if angled. However, the Churchill III has its limits. From the sides, the engine is easily damaged. The tank is also quite large and long and is a common target for bombers. Also, the sloped front part of the front armour is also weak, so the hull will need to be angled to be effective. It also has a machine gun weak spot on front. Some people do find their way around the armour and decide to shoot the turret or the turret ring. The lower glacis can sometimes be penetrated, but angling the tank can avoid that. Also, along with the Gun Carrier (3-in), it has thin roof armour and can easily be penetrated by rockets.
- Rolled homogeneous armour (Hull, Turret)
- Cast homogeneous armour (Driver view port, Machine gun area, Gun mantlet)
|Hull|| 89 mm Front plate
89 + 89 mm Front plate (MG Port)
38 mm (63°) Front glacis
76.2 mm (19°) Lower glacis
| 63.5 mm Overall side armour
76.2 mm Side hatch
38.1 mm Side edge
| 50.8 mm
25.4 mm (60-69°) Bottom
| 19.05 mm Front |
15.87 mm Rear
|Turret|| 89 mm (0-49°) Turret front
89 mm (0-30°) Gun mantlet
19.05 mm (77°) Roof area
|76.2 mm (0-47°)||76.2 + 7 mm||19.05 mm|
- Suspension wheels and chassis construction are 20 mm thick while tracks are 30 mm thick.
The tank is not very fast and does turn quite slowly. The reverse is not as great.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Modifications and economy
The gun on the Churchill is also excellent, as it has very high penetration and deals also very good damage for such a small calibre. A good trait of British guns is their high rate of fire, allowing the Churchill III to destroy several tanks quickly.
|57 mm 6pdr OQF Mk.V||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Shot Mk.5 HV||AP||115||111||93||75||60||49|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|Shot Mk.5 HV||AP||891||2.8||N/A||N/A||N/A||47°||60°||65°|
|85||82 (+3)||43 (+42)||22 (+63)||5 (+80)||1 (+84)||No|
- Racks disappear after all shells in the rack have been shot or loaded.
- Turret empty: 82 (+3) shells.
|Churchill III Optics|
|Which ones||Default magnification||Maximum magnification|
|Main Gun optics||x1.85||x3.5|
|Comparable optics||Pz.IV G|
|7.92 mm BESA|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
This tank can be effectively be played in a brawling style, going into the front lines. This tank, due to its excellent armour and gun, can even hold off an entire enemy flank with minimal backup.
In city maps, be careful not to expose the side armour as it is quite weak and the engine might get damaged. With its good gun, it can be as a support tank as well, in the second line destroying tanks. Angle the hull armour to maximize its effectiveness. When frontally angled, even the sides will be tough to penetrate.
There are some tanks that the Churchill III doesn't even need to worry about them penetrating the Churchill from the front, such as the Panzer III. Angling the armour will make the tank tough even against the high-penetration tanks like the Panzer IV F2, though these are still a big concern. When encountering these tanks with high-velocity cannons, it is advised to take cover, angle, or destroy them first. Shermans are not much threat since they won't really penetrate the Churchill armour, but sometimes they do.
Most enemy tanks are easy to deal with the 57 mm gun that can punch straight through. Despite the small calibre, it can create enough post-penetration damage to one-shot medium tanks if aimed properly.
Overall, the Churchill III is a very powerful Rank III vehicle that is capable of holding off an entire flank, while destroying tanks easily in quick succession. If the Churchill III is not in an up-tiered situation, it can effectively enter a battle and absorb all the enemy rounds which could've been fired at weaker teammates and either engage the enemy with the 57 mm cannon or let teammates return fire. Companion vehicles such as the Panzer IV F2, the 8,8 cm Flak 37 Sfl. and other German vehicles possess superior firepower compared to the other country vehicles in rank III (Except for other special TD's, such as the American M10 and British Achilles) and can in most cases hold their own.
Pros and cons
- Excellent armour profile in the front, sides, and gun mantlet that makes it immune to most small-calibre rounds
- Track and suspension profile on the sides has a tendency to absorb enemy shots, stopping them from hitting the armour
- Has access to the 57 mm QF 6-pounder Mk.V cannon with higher penetration than the Mk III cannon variant
- 57mm gun is very punchy for the rank, with access to a 132mm penetrating shell and a <4.6 second reload
- Firing the gun produces little recoil due to the the vehicle's mass
- Ability to pivot steer
- Can be a formidable asset on the battlefield when used properly, acting as a barrier against an enemy assault or charging forwards as a spearhead
- Exceptionally stable gun platform
- Slow speed and mobility - Will take a while to reach combat and can lose a lot of speed when making a sharp turn in motion
- Armour and gun are not sufficient against other heavy tanks or enemy tanks with high-velocity guns
- Armour consists of lots of flat sides and has a frontal weak point in the machine gun port, also roof armour is quite thin
- Has trouble scaling obstacles
- Ammo racks just below the turret, smart player will shoot there and will be lethal most of the time
- Priority target by planes due to size and bad reverse speed
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.
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 Gun Carrier (3-in), flamethrower tank, and an armoured recovery vehicle.
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 German side with no losses for the British. 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.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the vehicles;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
|Britain heavy tanks|
|Matilda||Matilda III · Matilda Hedgehog|
|Churchill||Churchill I · Churchill III · Churchill VII · Black Prince|
|Post-war||Caernarvon · Conqueror|
|Other||Independent · Excelsior|