Difference between revisions of "Churchill Mk III"
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Revision as of 19:21, 30 May 2019
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|This page is about the heavy tank Churchill Mk III. For other uses, see Churchill (Disambiguation)|
The Infantry Tank Mk IV A22 "Churchill" Mk III (or just Churchill Mk III) is a Rank III British heavy tank with a battle rating of 4.0 (AB/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.
The Churchill III is one of the best, if not the best, tanks at Rank III. The tank has excellent frontal armour. You can bounce several shots with this tank. Tanks such as the Panzer III, T-34, M4 Sherman, and even the dreaded Panzer IV F2 if angled. Very few tanks can deal with you effectively from the front, such as the M10 or Achilles. The gun on it is also excellent, as it has very high penetration and also very good damage for such a small caliber. A good trait of British guns is it's high rate of fire, allowing you to destroy several tanks quickly. It rarely sees dangerous tanks like the SU-85 or Jagdpanzer IV's.
However, the Churchill III has its limits. The tank is not very fast and does turn quite slowly. 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, you need to angle to be effective with it. It also has a machine gun weak spot on front. The reverse is not as great. Some people do find their way around the armour and decide to shoot your turret or your turret ring. The lower glacis can sometimes be penetrated, but angle your tank to avoid that. Also, along with the 3 inch Gun Carrier, it has thin roof armour and can easily be rocketed.
Survivability and armour
- 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.
|Weight (tons)|| Add-on Armour
|Max speed (km/h)|
|Engine power (horsepower)|
|Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
|57 mm OQF 6-pounder Mk.V|
|Turret rotation speed (°/s)|
|Mode||Stock||Upgraded||Prior + Full crew||Prior + Expert qualif.||Prior + Ace qualif.|
|Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Stock||Prior + Full crew||Prior + Expert qualif.||Prior + Ace qualif.|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration in mm @ 90°|
|Shot Mk.5 HV||AP||113||109||92||74||60||48|
|Ammunition|| Type of
Mass in kg
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass in g
| Normalization At 30°
|Shot Mk.5 HV||AP||883||2.8||N/A||N/A||N/A||-1°||47°||60°||65°|
|85||68 (+17)||51 (+34)||34 (+51)||17 (+68)||1 (+84)||Yes|
Turret empty: 68 (+17)
|7.92 mm BESA|
|Capacity (Belt capacity)|| Fire rate
| Horizontal |
Usage in the battles
This tank can be effectively be played in a brawling style, going into the front lines. This tank, due to it's excellent armour and gun, can even hold off an entire enemy flank with minimal backup. In city maps, be careful not to expose your side armour as it is quite weak and your engine might get damaged. With it's good gun, it can be as a support tank as well, in the second line destroying tanks. Angle your armour to maximize it's effectiveness. When frontally angled, even the sides will be tough to penetrate. Many tanks will struggle penetrating you. There are some tanks that you don't even need to worry at all penetrating you from the front, such as the Panzer III. Angling your armour will make you even tough against the high penetration Panzer IV F2. However, be aware of higher penetration tanks. The M10 is a worthy mention as most of the time it might be able to penetrate your armour. The far deadlier Achilles can penetrate your front with little effort. Thus, it is advised to take cover, angle, or destroy them first. Shermans are not much threat since they won't really penetrate your armour, but sometimes they do. They are easy to deal with as your 57 mm gun can punch straight through. Your 57 oddly does a lot of damage for a 57 mm gun. It can one shot Panzer III's, and sometimes Shermans if you aim correctly. 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.
Pros and cons
- Excellent frontal armour.
- Almost immune to small caliber guns.
- Well armoured sides.
- Good Mantlet.
- Has access to the 57 mm QF 6-pounder Mk.V cannon. It differs from the Mk. III variant found on the Crusader Mk.III, Valentine Mk.IX and Cromwell I in that it has higher penetration (127mm max).
- Tracks are so big, that they will sometimes absorb shots from the side
- It's size eliminates any recoil from the gun, making it easy to fire a second shot without losing any accuracy.
- Ability to pivot steer.
- Large suspension sides have side hits more likely to break tracks than penetrate the hull.
- Incredibly hard to dislodge or destroy when properly angled.
- Works well as the spearhead of an assault when capturing a point, absorbing damage.
- Good acceleration.
- Will lose a lot of speed when making a sharp turn in motion.
- Has difficulties engaging another heavy tanks.
- Up-gunned Panzer IVs are a major threat.
- Poor mobility when compared to other heavy tanks from other nations.
- Terrible reverse speed.
- Boxy armour, although still thick.
- Has trouble scaling obstacles.
- Very slow, will take a lot of time just to reach the combat zone from spawn points.
- Frontal 50 mm weakspot (Machine gun port).
- Roof armour is somehow thin.
- Ammo racks just below the turret, smart player will shoot you 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 3 inch Gun Carrier, 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.
An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- other literature.
|Britain heavy tanks|
|Infantry tanks||A1E1 Independent · Matilda III · A.33 Heavy Assault Tank "Excelsior" · Churchill Mk I · Churchill Mk III · Churchill Mk VII · A.43 Black Prince|
|Post-war||FV 221 Caernarvon · Tank Heavy Gun Conqueror Mk 2|