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Driver's Handbook for the Churchill Infantry Tank
Designed to replace the Matilda II and Valentine, the Churchill tank was renowned for its ability to cross rough terrain and defeat obstacles, and one of the few Allied tanks that could compete with the German Panther and Tiger tanks. The Churchill’s design arose from the post-Blitzkrieg chaos of 1940. The fall of France and the defeat at Dunkirk made...
Designed to replace the Matilda II and Valentine, the Churchill tank was renowned for its ability to cross rough terrain and defeat obstacles, and one of the few Allied tanks that could compete with the German Panther and Tiger tanks. The Churchill’s design arose from the post-Blitzkrieg chaos of 1940. The fall of France and the defeat at Dunkirk made clear that mobility was to be of paramount importance to the British Army. An existing design was scrapped, and a new design designated A22 was awarded to Vauxhall, with orders that the tank needed to be in production by 1941. Powered by twin-six gasoline engines, the A22 / Mk. 1 Churchill used a new gear box that allowed it to be steered by the relative speed of its tracks. Capable of 15 mph, the tank had a range of 56 miles and armor from .63 to four inches thick, and carried a crew of five and a 2-pdr gun. The Mk I Churchill first saw combat at the Dieppe Raid, where its performance underwhelmed. Subsequent developments led to the introduction of the Mk. III, which featured a welded turret and a 6-pdr gun, and proved their worth at El Alamein. Eventually a Mk. VII would be produced, offering a 75mm gun, wider chassis and thicker armor (up to 6 inches). Heavily used by the British and Russians in WWII, the Churchill also saw service during the Korean conflict. This driver’s handbook was originally issued by Vauxhall Motors for the British Army in 1943. It provides information for the Churchill I, II, III and IV models, and includes operation and maintenance information.
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