Difference between revisions of "Churchill Mk VII"
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Revision as of 19:22, 30 May 2019
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|This page is about the British heavy tank Churchill Mk VII. For other uses, see Churchill (Family).|
The Infantry Tank Mk IV A22F "Churchill" Mk VII (or just Churchill Mk VII) is a Rank III British heavy tank with a battle rating of 4.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.55 "Royal Armour" along with the rest of the initial British Ground Forces Tree. A lumbering beast made of pure steel, the Churchill Mk.VII is the epitome of a "walking giant" which you do not want to have staring down at you. 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.
Survivability and armour
- Rolled homogeneous armour
- Cast homogeneous armour (Machine gun port, Driver's hatch, Turret)
|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
|Turret|| 152 mm (1-20°) Turret front
152 mm (1-54°) Gun mantlet
|95.25 mm||95.25 mm (0-1°)||20 mm|
|Cupola||152 mm||20 mm|
- Suspension wheels are 20 mm thick while tracks are 30 mm thick.
If you are using vehicle below 4.7 BR do not attempt to fire at the Churchill Mk VII at the front (unless you have a very high penetration shell for your cannon). There is no benefit of attempting to penetrate 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 low top speed, so it is possible to outmanoeuvre it in the terrain. Flank the tank to get a good shot on its weak side armour. Eliminate the turret crew to immobilise their firepower, then move in for the easy points.
Side armour of the hull and turret's sides and flat parts of frontal armour are the most significant weaknesses on the Churchill, as their effective thickness is much lower. It is also technically possible to penetrate the roof if an enemy tank's profile is high enough. The turret is entirely bare, and a hit could disable the entire turret crew, losing half of your total crew. For this reason, Churchill VII needs armour and smoke upgrades as soon as possible.
A hit in the hull is a hit or miss, but it seems that a hit there is also likely to 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 can come around and smack the Churchill from behind, even with all the allies and smoke screens around, it probably wasn't your day anyway.
As with other Churchill tanks, a single rocket to the engine deck is often fatal for this tank due to the irremovable ammo racks.
It is also worth noting that installing additional track armour makes ammo rack weak spots extremely obvious for people who know about it, although anything below SPG grade cannon will likely fail to penetrate until the track gets destroyed by concentrated fire. However, the tracks are a must-have to bolster frontal hull and side turret armour, so this upgrade should be used regardless for their benefits.
The long leading tracks sometimes glitch out and fail to stop a shell which hits them from the front at flat angle, so it is entirely possible to get oneshotted through them even by AMX-13 (FL11).
For all these reasons, Churchill VII must always drive at an angle and slightly turn away it's turret from opponents after shot, and in Arcade mode it must always smoke up the battlefield, whether their teammates will be mad or not. Angling vehicle makes Churchill VII nearly invulnerable to vehicles below battle rating 5.0, while smoke screens blind opponents and make firing at weak spots and judging attack angle near to impossible, which prolongs tank's life significantly. To reduce amount of teammate's frustration generated by spamming smokes, you'll have to try to land them in such way, that teammates can still see something from the sides, but effectively disabling aim assist and direct sight between you and your enemy.
|Weight (tons)|| Add-on Armor
|Max speed (km/h)|
|Engine power (horsepower)|
|Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
|75 mm OQF 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°|
|Ammunition|| Type of
Mass in kg
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass in g
| Normalization At 30°
|84||68 (+16)||51 (+33)||34 (+50)||17 (+67)||1 (+83)||Yes|
Turret empty: 68 (+16)
|7.92 mm BESA|
|Capacity (Belt capacity)|| Fire rate
| Horizontal |
Usage in battles
The Churchill Mk.VII is a slow and manoeuvrable 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 at your BR and below. In up-tier, you really should avoid provoking enemy SPGs, as they can destroy or fatally cripple the tank, even when you are angled.
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 high 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. With the best ammunition, you can defeat even other heavy tanks without having to drive close to them.
If nothing else, Churchill VII can take a lot of smoke shells and make opponent's life much worse, by driving up to capture points and smoking down snipers and passages, then proceed to blind fire at those unfortunate enough to be close to it. No matter what, do not let enemy land a straight shot at you. In down-tier, they may struggle with you for a long time even if you got surrounded.
When encountering enemies, different considerations are to be made depending on the tank's nationality and what they bring to the battlefield.
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 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 penetrate you under 1000 m easily. 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.
Russian tanks can be tough enemies to take on. 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 useful heavy tanks. You can come upon some slightly awkward stalemates when facing vehicles like the KV-1 ZiS-5. You will struggle to penetrate their armour, and they will fight to penetrate yours. Stalemates are a common situation with 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.
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 rank Ho-Ro is dangerous, with its powerful 150mm howitzer, but not many people will be using it at this rank.
Pros and cons
- Great frontal armour (152 mm), pretty much impervious to small calibre shells
- Even stronger when angled properly, with large suspension sides having side hits more likely to break tracks than penetrate the hull
- Very good at being an actual 'tank' - spearheading an assault, drawing fire and being a shield for weaker allies with stronger guns to eliminate foes
- Very hard to dislodge when hulled down or given enough support, especially in down-tier and with additional armour, because it can soak up a lot of damage unless critically hit
- The 75 mm gun main gun is decent for close range combat and also can be armed with utility shells
- Able to smoke up entire battlefield in a matter of seconds if necessary
- Ability to pivot steer
- 75 mm shells have no explosive filler and cause limited fragmentation upon penetration - it is unable to deal a lot of damage per shot
- Upgraded ammo has still has less penetration than stock ammo on its predecessor
- Armour construction is rather unsloped, and tanks with APCR and similar shells can exploit it
- While additional armour reduces chance of penetration, it is still possible to remove it by continuous fire
- Frontal 50 mm weak spot (the machine gun port both on the hull and the turret)
- Extremely vulnerable to coordinated flanking, as penetrations to tank side typically cause catastrophic damage to ammo racks located below the turret
- Roof armour is thin - susceptible to air strikes and attacks from high ground or very tall tanks
- Large tank in terms of length compared to contemporaries
- Underpowered engine - tank is unable to scale obstacles properly, speed is maxed out at 20 km/h
- Terrible reverse speed
- Requires good coordination with team to enable full potential
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 on the World War I trench warfare. Thus the tank was needed to travel across unfavourable terrain and able to destroy enemy defences and infantry obstacles. As speed and heavy firepower were not taken with priority, the vehicle was to have two 2-pounder guns 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 the growing pressure of a German invasion of Britain. The designs were prepared in July 1940, and the 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 high that it must be carried out, with the expectation that the issues will be fixed during production. The Churchill tank suffered from an underpowered engine, weak armament, and mechanical problems. The weak weapon from a 2-pounder was replaced with the arming of a 6-pounder on the Churchill, but the other issues caused poor performance of the Churchill in the battlefield. The Churchill production was almost cancelled in favour 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. Twelve different kinds of tank variants were produced for combat roles, with 11 more variants in specific 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 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 defences. 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 noteworthy 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 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 crucial 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 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 up-armour and up-gun 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 specific bridge-layer variant staying 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 failure and by 1967, only one was still functional. All were retired in 1969, and one was preserved at the Curragh Camp.
Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.
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|
|Infantry tanks||Independent · Matilda III · Excelsior · Churchill Mk I · Churchill Mk III · Churchill Mk VII · Black Prince|
|Post-war||Caernarvon · Conqueror|