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The Tank, Infantry, Mk IV (A22) was a heavy British infantry tank used in the Second World War, best known for its heavy armour, large longitudinal chassis with all-around tracks with multiple bogies, and its use as the basis of many specialist vehicles. It was one of the heaviest allied tanks of the war. This series of tanks was named after Winston Churchill, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Minister of Defence at the time, and had been involved with the development of the tank as a weapon during the First World War.

Type Infantry tank
Place of origin United Kingdom
Service history
In service 1941 - 1952 (British Empire)[1]
Used by

United Kingdom

Soviet Union




Production history
Designer Harland and Wolff (A20)/ Vauxhall Motors (A22)
Manufacturer Vauxhall Motors
Produced 1941 to 1945
Number built 7,368 (all types together)
Variants See below,
Weight 38.5 t (37.9 long tons)
Length 24 ft 5 in (7.44 m)
Width 10 ft 8 in (3.25 m)
Height 8 ft 2 in (2.49 m)
Crew 5 (commander, gunner, loader, driver, co-driver/hull gunner)

Armour 16 to 102 mm (In the MK VII front armour 152 mm)


QF 2 pdr (early Marks)


2× 7.92 mm Besa machine guns
Engine Bedford horizontally opposed twin-six petrol engine

350 hp (261 kW) at 2,200 rpm

Power/weight 9.1 hp/tonne
Transmission Merritt-Brown 4 speed constant mesh epicyclic gearbox
Suspension coiled spring


90 km
Speed 15 miles per hour (24 km/h)


triple differential steering in gearbox


Churchill I (303) Equipped with a 2 pounder gun in the turret (150 rounds), and a coaxial Besa machine gun. There was a 3 inch howitzer in the hull (58 rounds). It was a tank that was noted for poor mechanical reliability. It was the main tank issued to the Canadian forces at Dieppe.

Churchill Mk II (1,127) Replaced the hull howitzer for another machine gun to reduce cost and complexity. Sometimes referred to as Churchill Ia.

Churchill Mk IICS (Close Support) Placed the gun in the hull and the howitzer in the turret, available in very limited numbers. Sometimes called Churchill II.

Churchill Mk III (675) The III was the first major armament overhaul of the series, eliminating the hull howitzer and equipping the tank with a more powerful 6 pounder gun (84 rounds). Unlike early versions, it had a welded turret.

Churchill Mk IV (1,622) The IV was the most numerous Churchill produced, and was virtually identical to the III, the largest change being a return to the less costly cast turret.

Churchill Mk V (241) A Churchill III / IV which was equipped with a close support 95 mm howitzer in place of the main gun (47 rounds).

Churchill Mk VI (200)

long with several minor improvements, it was produced as standard with the 75 mm Mk V gun. Few were built due to the near release of the VII and current upgunning of the III / IV.

Churchill Mk VII (A22F) (1,600 with VIII) The second major redesign from previous models, the VII used the 75 mm gun, was wider and had much more armour. It is sometimes called the Heavy Churchill. This version of the Churchill first saw service in the Battle of Normandy, and was re-designated A42 in 1945.

Churchill Mk VIII A Churchill VII which replaced the main gun with a 95 mm howitzer (47 rounds).

Refitted previous versions:

Churchill Mk IX Churchill III / IV upgraded with turret of the VII. Extra armour added along with gearbox and suspension modifications. If the old 6 pounder had been retained, it would have the additional designation of LT ("Light Turret").

Churchill Mk X The same improvements as for the IX applied to a Mk VI.

Churchill Mk XI Churchill V with extra armour and Mk VIII turret.

[[[Churchill tank|edit]]] Specialist vehiclesEdit

Churchill Oke (3) A Churchill II or III with a flamethrower. The Oke flamethrowing tank was named after its designer, Major J.M. Oke. The design was basically for a Churchill tank fitted with the Ronson flamethrower equipment. A tank containing the flame fuel was fitted at the rear, with a pipe from it leading to the mounting on the front hull to the left, leaving the hull machine gun unobstructed. There were three ("Boar", "Beetle" and "Bull") present at Dieppe which were quickly lost, and abandoned.

Churchill NA75 (120) Churchill III / IV with upgraded weaponry using the turret and mantlet from a destroyed or scrapped Sherman (known as NA 75 from North Africa where the conversions took place), or having their current gun re-bored to 75 mm (III* / IV (75 mm) ) (84 rounds). More IVs were modified than IIIs, and their performance is virtually identical to the VI. To fit the Sherman mantlet required cutting away the front of the Churchill turret before it was welded in place, then the mantlet slot had to be cut away to give sufficient elevation. The Sherman 75 mm gun was designed for a left hand loader and the Churchill in common with British practice had a right hand loader. The gun was therefore turned upside down and the firing controls adapted. [6]

Churchill AVRE (Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers)

A Churchill III or IV equipped with the Petard, a 290 mm Spigot mortar, throwing the 40 lb (18 kg) "Flying dustbin" with its 28 pound high explosive warhead; a weapon designed for the quick levelling of fortifications developed by MD1. The AVRE was designed after the Canadian defeat at Dieppe, and could also be equipped with numerous other attachments, such as mine flails, fascine rollers, explosive placers etc. Post war the Churchill AVRE was re-armed with a breech-loaded low velocity 165mm demolition gun which was less dangerous for the loader (the hull gunner) as he previously had to stick his head and torso out of the Spigot Mortar armed AVRE to load the Mortar. The crew of six are from the Royal Engineers, except for the driver which came from the Royal Armoured Corps. One of the RE crew is a demolitions NCO sapper who is responsible for priming the "Flying dustbin" and is also tasked with leading the crew when they dismount the tank to place demolition charges ("Wade" charges).

Churchill ARV (Armoured Recovery Vehicle) Mk I - A turretless Mk I with a jib. Mk II - A Churchill with a fixed turret/superstructure with a dummy gun. It was equipped for recovering other tanks from the battlefield. Mounted a front jib with a 7.5 ton capacity, a rear jib rated for 15 ton and winch that could pull 25 ton. Crew was 3 with enough room for the crew of the tank being recovered. Armament was single Besa machine gun.

Churchill ARK (Armoured Ramp Karrier) A turretless Churchill with ramps at either end and along the body to form a mobile bridge. The Mark 1 had trackways over the tracks for vehicles to drive along. The Mark 2 was an improvised version and crossing vehicles drove directly on the Churchill's tracks.

Churchill Crocodile (no more than 800[7])

The Crocodile was a Churchill VII which was converted by replacing the hull machine gun with a flamethrower. The fuel was in an armoured wheeled trailer towed behind. It could fire several 1 second bursts over 150 yards. The Crocodile was one of "Hobart's Funnies" - another vehicle used by the 79th Armoured Division. A working example can still be seen at the Cobbaton Combat Collection in North Devon.[citation needed]

Gun Carrier, 3in, Mk I, Churchill (A22D) (50) A fixed superstructure with the gun in a ball mount. Fifty were built in 1942 but none are known to have been used - the 17 pounder anti-tank gun gave the British the necessary firepower.

Churchill Flail FV3902 or Toad A post-war (1950s) mine-clearing flail tank built on a Churchill chassis.

Churchill Goat A chargelayer like the Double Onion device.

Churchill Great Eastern

A larger ramp than the ARK for crossing 60 ft. Ten built and two delivered in 1945 but not used in action.[8]Churchill Kangaroo Churchill hull converted to an APC.

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