The Churchill Tank Discussion Thread (under moderators beady eyes)

#21
No arguments there, all through from the first innings tanks were to support infantry. Percy Hobart did try to change things. He even wrote a book on it. The Germans read it, "ooh that's a good idea". British went nope won't work, Our Percy got pushed out of the way. (Lance Corporal in his local Home Guard unit).
That's a hell of a deal. Retired 2-star does his bit as a lance jack.

Churchill has him recalled. Within a year he is General Officer Commanding, 11th Armoured Division.

"Oi, Percy, there's a signal 'ere. Says "LCpl Hobart is promoted Maj Gen, effective immediately".

"Splendid. Tell that impertinent Cpl White that I'll be having his balls for earrings forthwith".
 
#22
IMG_20190425_170516.jpg

CO, 2nd Battalion Royal Tank Corps.
Heinz Guderian, was influenced and toured British Armour in the early 30s.
1938 Hobart was sent to Egypt to form Mobile Force (Egypt) which later became 7th Armoured Division.
Sacked into retirement by Wavell in 1940 due to bad information emanating from the War Office. Someone really didn't like him.
He did join LDV, but recalled by Churchill in 1941. Trained 11th Armoured Division was about to be retired again but Churchill halted it and Wavell gave him 79th Armoured (Experimental) Division RE.
And the rest as they say is History. He passed away in 1957.
IMG_20190425_170516.jpg
 
#25
Question for tankies and REME types.

Why did the Churchill have so many small road wheels? Even compared with the Sherman next to it, the Churchill seems to have just about twice as many. Modern tanks only have 6 or so per side. There must have been a reason why it was designed that way.

I remember making an Airfix model of one as a kid, and it were a right bastard to get them all lined up :)

Nice MX5 ;)
 
#26
The Churchill had legendary cross-country performance. It got to places that other tanks didn't.
According to chap who seemed to know far too much about such things to be healthy, it's because of the inevitable legacy thinking in the design spec: we want a heavy infantry tank optimised for ploughing through mud, wire & generally crossing very bad terrain without getting bogged, doing some serious trench crossing and blowing static shit up along the way.

So lots of small wheels, tracks projecting far forward for trenches and obstacles, originally to have weedy gun in turret and something to lob big HE shells in hull.

As ever, designed to fight the last war all over again.
 
#27
According to chap who seemed to know far too much about such things to be healthy, it's because of the inevitable legacy thinking in the design spec: we want a heavy infantry tank optimised for ploughing through mud, wire & generally crossing very bad terrain without getting bogged, doing some serious trench crossing and blowing static shit up along the way.

So lots of small wheels, tracks projecting far forward for trenches and obstacles, originally to have weedy gun in turret and something to lob big HE shells in hull.

As ever, designed to fight the last war all over again.
Yes and no. We weren't alone. The Germans' Panzer IV was also originally an infantry-support vehicle.

There was a lot of doctrinal stuff that didn't survive first encounter with the enemy, on both sides. Tanks, for instance, weren't meant to fight tanks. Tank-destroyers would fight tanks. The Germans' 'anti-tank tank' was intended to be the rather lighter Panzer III.
 
#29
Question for tankies and REME types.

Why did the Churchill have so many small road wheels? Even compared with the Sherman next to it, the Churchill seems to have just about twice as many. Modern tanks only have 6 or so per side. There must have been a reason why it was designed that way.

I remember making an Airfix model of one as a kid, and it were a right bastard to get them all lined up :)
Small wheels does three things. One is that you can have more wheels which spreads the weight out better. Another is that because the wheels are smaller they and their suspension take up less room, allowing extra space within the hull without making the tank wider (which matters when loading onto rail cars and clearing bridges). Notice how there is a hatch in the side of the hull. The third is that small wheels weigh less than big ones, saving overall vehicle weight.

The disadvantage of small wheels is that they limit how fast the vehicle can travel, as there is more wear on the wheel rims and the suspension tends to have less travel.

So it comes down to a compromise which depends on the conditions you expect the tank to operate under.

The Valentine had a combination of large and small wheels which was considered to give a good compromise between both for a vehicle of that size.

Have a look at the German Pz IV by the way, it also has lots of small wheels, just not as small.

In those days engine, transmission, and overall metallurgical technology did not allow for a tank which could do everything. The result was that there were heavy or "infantry" tanks with heavy armour but less mobility to break through enemy lines and to stop enemy attacks, and medium or "cruiser" tanks with less armour but more mobility to exploit the openings the heavy tanks made. The KV, Tiger, and Churchill were the former, and the T-34, Pz IV (later versions), Cromwell, and Sherman were the latter. The Americans got their heavy tanks to the battlefield only at the very end of the war and in limited numbers. Italian and Japanese industry were not up to the task of heavy tanks.

After WWII more powerful engines and stronger transmissions allowed both tasks to be combined in a single type, giving us the MBT.
 
#32
Question for tankies and REME types.

Why did the Churchill have so many small road wheels? Even compared with the Sherman next to it, the Churchill seems to have just about twice as many. Modern tanks only have 6 or so per side. There must have been a reason why it was designed that way.

I remember making an Airfix model of one as a kid, and it were a right bastard to get them all lined up :)
@cent05zr70 one for you?
 
#35
Enough with the car shite already. Back to why the tanky-thing had lots of little wheels:-

You can just imagine being on the defending/receiving end of that. Feeling worried, but reasonably secure that there’s no way the tanks can get off the beach due to your mighty anti tank wall, when you see a tank without a turret driving off the boat, straight up to the wall and think to yourself “what the bloody hell is that...” before watching another tank drive straight up over the top. Run away!
 
#39
I've mentioned it in the Modeling thread, at the moment on youtube the Tank Museum are running the Workshop Diary's. At the time of writing, they have a Churchill mklll in for a major service. Not much different that an Armoured Wksp would do. Engine/gearbox pack out check, for oil leaks and service running gear. The Bedford design engine is a flat 12, which also happens to be one of the first engines designed for a Tank.
 
#40
Question for tankies and REME types.

Why did the Churchill have so many small road wheels? Even compared with the Sherman next to it, the Churchill seems to have just about twice as many. Modern tanks only have 6 or so per side. There must have been a reason why it was designed that way.

I remember making an Airfix model of one as a kid, and it were a right bastard to get them all lined up :)

If you Google "Tank Encyclopedia" then Churchill tank you will get your answer It was mainly tailored for large trench crossing and to enable minimal possible ground pressure.
One of the most tedious jobs for the driver was having to grease gun each wheel on both sides
24 grease nipples on each side. and this was just the bogie wheels .
 

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