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Panzerknacker
06-25-2007, 11:37 AM
"This tank carring my name have more drawbacks that me" Winton Churchill 1941

All about this slow but sturdy british tank design.

http://img167.imageshack.us/img167/7695/churchilltank270ke3.jpg

Panzerknacker
06-25-2007, 11:51 AM
Development of the Churchill, the British Tank Doctrine

In the late thirties British tank doctrine identified three distinct roles for tanks these being classified as light tanks, intended for reconnaissance, cruisers for rapid exploitation of breakthroughs and Infantry tanks. Infantry tanks were to support the infantry providing covering fire, dealing with obstacles and fortifications etc. The primary requirement of such tanks was that they should be heavily armoured and that they were able to go everywhere the infantry went.


A22

The A22 can be viewed in many ways as a continuation of the A-20 Following Dunkirk it was realised that the static warfare that had been expected was not going to occur - at least not for some time and so the 'shelled area' concept of the A20 was abandoned.

However, a successor for the A12 and Valentine was still required and with this in mind the General Staff drew up a requirement for A.22. To implement this requirement the Ministry of Supply turned to Vauxhall who as we have already seen had previously been approached with regard to A.20 production.

Development work started in July 1940 and because of the urgent need to re-arm after Dunkirk, Churchill himself required that the new tank be ready for production the following March with 500 being ordered pretty much off the drawing board. The first prototypes were completed by December 1940 and the first 14 production tanks delivered at the end of June and despite missing the Churchill's target date this still represents a tremendous engineering effort.

The earlier Churchills were plagued by a whole host of problems such as tracks breaking and suspension units failing but given the incredible pace of development and the rush to get them into production this was perhaps inevitable. Despite the many component failures the design itself did prove to be quite robust with damaged vehicles often managing to limp back from their trials under their own power. As faults were identified and fixed a massive re-work program was introduced with Vauxhall engineers often being seconded to units in the field. Several times Churchill production was in danger of being the stopped but when push came to shove there wasn't any real alternative and new orders were placed.

A-22 prototype.

http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/GreatBritain/GB-A20.jpg


http://www.armourinfocus.co.uk

http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks

Nickdfresh
06-28-2007, 04:19 PM
I actually like the Churchill tank. It's quite distinctive and was effective in its intended role as a support tank. Definitely had a short life span as an effective MBT though...

Panzerknacker
06-29-2007, 09:02 AM
I think it would be extremely effective with at list 10 km/h more and a real armament.

http://img174.imageshack.us/img174/9819/churchill1sr3.gif

Mark VII characteristics.


http://i19.tinypic.com/63b4k1l.jpg



http://i7.tinypic.com/4pnki8h.jpg


Mark I, and the prime minister.

http://img227.imageshack.us/img227/4310/chucray0.jpg

Nickdfresh
06-29-2007, 02:38 PM
I think (as seemed to be the problem with upgrading British tanks like the Matilda) was that they were limited by the turret, and modifying the chassis to accept a larger turret with a larger gun was almost as time consuming as designing a new model...

Firefly
06-29-2007, 03:07 PM
Churchills served their purpose. The AVRE was a good variant. The 90mm armed Churchill was a great support tank. It was well armoured and could take some punishment and of course, the Crocodile was simply awesome in the flame role.

Panzerknacker
06-29-2007, 07:37 PM
Yeap, but the early varints Mk-I and Mk-II were extremely disbalanced...I mean a heavy armor but with a peashooter of 40mm wich was good for a 16 tons cruiser tank, but no for a 39 tons Churchill.

Mk-I , with a 2 pounder in cast turret nad 3 inches howitzer in the hull.

http://img180.imageshack.us/img180/7388/churchillxt2.jpg


Mark II, the same as Mk I but with the howitzer in the turret, and the O.Q.F 2 pounder antitank weapon in the front barbette with a very limited firing arc.


http://www.desertrat.brigades.btinternet.co.uk/Equipment/Armour/ChurchillMKIIcs.jpg



Mark I without the howitzer, a 7,92mm Besa instead.

http://img247.imageshack.us/img247/7061/churchilltankkz5.jpg

1000ydstare
06-30-2007, 11:15 AM
The Churchil "funnies". So called because they were specialised (and thus looked funny".

Good site here http://www.desertrat.brigades.btinternet.co.uk/equipment.htm

Of which this one has just taken my interest...

http://www.desertrat.brigades.btinternet.co.uk/Equipment/Armour/ChurchillARK.jpg

Never seen this varient until now.


Churchill ARK - This was a turretless Churchill with ramps at either end and along the body to form a mobile bridge. The Mark 1 ARK had 2' wide trackways over the tracks for vehicles to drive along and the vehicle would lower ramps by a quick release, while the Mark 2 ARK was an improvised version and crossing vehicles drove directly on the Churchill's tracks. There were two versions of the Mark 2, with one the 'UK Pattern' having wider trackways than the ARK MK 1 which were now 4ft wide and the 'Italian Pattern' which was the 'UK Pattern' tank, but used US ramps which were either 12' 3.5" (MK 2) or 15' 1" (MK 1) wide. These had no built-up trackways, with the vehicles tracks being used and these were produced by converting MK IIIs in Italy.

The AVRE has always been my favourite, mainly because of the description of the weapons projectile. The "dustbin" or "flying dustbin". I don't know why but I have images of a flying dustbin (for americans "garbage pale") flying throught the air, with it's bin lid just on and rubbish coming out from under the lid like streamers.

PTN

The current AVRE in service with the Royal Engineers (Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers) is NOT capable of bridging. It performs a variety of tasks but the AVLB or AVLAB (Armoured Vehicle Launched Bridge) is the Bridge layer.

Soon to be replaced with Titan and Trojan. 60 tonnes of boys toy!!!!

http://images.thesun.co.uk/picture/0,,2006510566,00.jpg

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2006/11/britTrankPA_600x397.jpg
Above is the Trojan (as in Trojan Horse, to get you inside the enemy camp),

In the bottom picture it is lifting Land Rovers out of the way with it's bucket/grab.


Trojan is able to plough through minefields, build trenches and dig defensive ditches, while Titan can lay a bridge over a 26 metre gap in just two minutes.

1000ydstare
06-30-2007, 11:18 AM
More yet.
http://img.dailymail.co.uk/img/galleries/trojantank/02_350x243.jpg

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/img/galleries/trojantank/03_350x228.jpg

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/img/galleries/trojantank/04_350x237.jpg

Titan is built on the same chassis.

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/img/galleries/trojantank/06_350x244.jpg

Panzerknacker
07-01-2007, 11:33 AM
Definately the britons wre the most dedicated people in the ww2 to produce special purpose tanks.


http://img145.imageshack.us/img145/6919/chuchmp2.jpg

Panzerknacker
07-05-2007, 09:09 AM
Churchills In action:

The operational debut of the Churchil was in the difficult terrains of the Dieppe beachs.
An extract from "Churchill infantry tank" by Bryan Perret/ Ospreys.


http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/5413/11et5.jpg



http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/87/22qe0.jpg


Cheetah, one of the Churchills III wich climbed the seawall and was engaged in fierce battle with the german gunners.


http://img87.imageshack.us/img87/4210/ddmy0.jpg

Panzerknacker
07-06-2007, 07:20 PM
Churchill 1 with the carpet device used in Dieppe.

http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/GreatBritain/GB-InfantryTank-Churchill-carpetdevice-TLC.jpg


Mark III with the carpet device completely shot up.

http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/5531/gbinfantrytankchurchillcarpetdevicedieppewc3.jpg



Churchills and LCTs in the jingle beach.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a137/Langnasen/DieppeAugust211942-SignalSer.jpg



Close up to the deep fording equipment in Churchills III.

http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/4714/dieppechurchill1ee5.jpg

rascman
07-11-2007, 02:47 PM
hi all, re Churchill Tank, there is a good book around, written by Bryan Perrett
entitled The Churchill.
My copy was published in 1974, so maybe not something to be found on a bookshop shelf, I got mine via ebay;

isbn no 0 7110 0533 8
pub by Ian Allen Ltd.

Andy

Panzerknacker
07-12-2007, 08:04 PM
Thank for the tip, I have that, this is a good one too.

http://img366.imageshack.us/img366/2841/gggggpc1.jpg

rascman
07-13-2007, 04:59 PM
Cheers for that recomendation; have seen this one a few times on e bay, will have to secure myself a copy.

All the best,

Andy

Panzerknacker
08-05-2007, 02:19 PM
An early attemp to carry the 17 pounder in a self proppeled mount, the Churchill 3 inch gun carrier.

http://img338.imageshack.us/img338/2170/scan0001737x600ll4.png



http://img338.imageshack.us/img338/1033/scan0002800x489ki5.png

tankgeezer
08-06-2007, 01:43 PM
Hi P.K. even though the Churchill was not a favored tank, I cant bring myself to dislike it. just something about it, a good, familiar kind of homely.

Nickdfresh
08-06-2007, 03:39 PM
It almost looks like something that would be driven on the Somme, not the Western Desert...

tankgeezer
08-06-2007, 05:19 PM
Nick, I think thats why it is so appealing,,, it feels like a hold over from WW1 a time that put the "clank" in "tank".

Panzerknacker
08-17-2007, 09:41 AM
It almost looks like something that would be driven on the Somme, not the Western Desert...


:mrgreen:, the most definately agreed.


Churchill Flamethrower OKE

http://img355.imageshack.us/img355/1483/okedm4.jpg

The Churchill OKE was a early form of flamethrowing tank developed in 1942. Three Oke's went on Dieppe raid in August 1942 but all were destroyed before they could use their flame projectors.


The OKE flamethrowing tank was named after its designer, Major J.M. OKE, who has submitted his ideas towards the end of 1941. The design was basically for a Churchill tank fitted with the Ronson flamethrowing equipment, which had already been fitted successfully to carriers. A cilindrical tank containing the flame fuel was fitted at the rear, with a pipe from it leading along the left hand site of the hull, passing under the tracks by the air intake, and emerging between the front horns. There it was connected to a Ronson flame projector mounted in fixed elevation.

http://i9.tinypic.com/40k8w74.jpg

This design satisfied the General Staff specification that flame throwers should be mounted only on Infantry Tanks, and that theyshould be capable of installation in unmodified production tanks. The flamethrower's range was 40 or 60 yards.

The rear fuel tank was originally unarmoured, but by the time of the Dieppe raid it had been covered by a large armoured box. Both Peter Chamberlain, in an article in Airfix Magazine in September 1967, and John Reed, in the same magazine in October 1981, state that the equipment was jettisonable. While this may have been so in the OKE's original form, the addition of an armoured box would seem to make jettison impossible.
Three Churchills were converted by Lagonda Ltd. to take the OKEequipment: T32049, T68875, and T31862.


The first two were MK-II's built by Newton Chambers and Beyer Peacock respectively. The T31862 was a MK-III built by Birmingham Railway Carriage Company. (This does not tally with books dealing with the OKE, which say that all were MK-II's.) The three OKE's comprised 8 Troop of 14 Canadian Army Tank at Dieppe; all were lost in the operation. One OKE sank in deep water after leaving it's landing craft prematurely, and another damaged its fuel tank, having made a very heavy landing. It is extremely doubtfull wheter the third tank came within sufficient range of German positions tu uese its flamethroer. There is no evidence that any further OKE's were built.

Oke knocked out in Dieppe.

http://img181.imageshack.us/img181/8380/beetlezy2.jpg



http://henk.fox3000.com/churchill.htm

mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks

www.internetmodeler.com/2007/august/new-releases/book_Osprey.ph

rascman
10-11-2007, 01:52 PM
With respects to Kallinikos, the Churchill was not designed as an assualt tank, where the likleyhood of 'mixing it', with enemy armour was greater, but as an infantry support tank, hence its slow overall speed, etc.
In the early days of the war,(before Tiger,Panther, etc) -and the increased use of the 88mm as an AT gun, it along with others of its ilk could well have proven themselves a match, for enemy armour.

Unfortunatly, your answer, as history has shown, against the top German tanks, all Allied armour was vunerable.

Firefly
10-11-2007, 04:15 PM
As a support tank and a special I think it excelled. It could also take on any PzIV mark and win in an equal encounter. Let down by its speed it did have very good armour. Not a balanced vehicle by any means but certainly a workhorse.

Panzerknacker
10-12-2007, 09:01 AM
With respects to Kallinikos, the Churchill was not designed as an assualt tank


Obviously not but seems that "Kallinikos" is doing some spam lately.

Churchills in el alamein:

A small detachmet of Churchills Mark III took part in the second battle of El Alamein in late 1942.
There was some reserves to use this vehicle in the desert given his cooling system ( forced air) however the 6 tanks of the "KingForce" formation fought well destroying 5 tanks and 3 antitank guns.

Churchill In Kidney Ridge, the italian M-14 was destroyed by this tank.

http://i7.tinypic.com/4ggp4lv.jpg


Two churchill were destroyed by the german/italian defenses and one more was left damaged with his turret jammed. The british crew counted some 106 hits on his vehicles.

http://i15.tinypic.com/44rhv1c.jpg

Nickdfresh
10-12-2007, 09:31 AM
Little doubt that the Churchill was a very good, effective tank but with imitations...

Unfortunately it could net be upgraded quickly or easily enough....

Panzerknacker
10-14-2007, 11:51 AM
In fact neither british tank could be upgraded quickly or easily enough.

Dallas
11-10-2007, 10:42 AM
The Churchill was designed as an Infantry support tank. Not as a Cruiser tank. Infantry support tanks were heavily armoured slow moving vehicles designed to destroy ground fortifications (bunkers, MG positions etc) in support of attacking infantry troops. It was not designed for tank to tank combat. That was the job of the cruiser tanks which were less heavily armoured and therefore faster and more manuverable.

For what it was designed for it was an good AFV, however as with most British and US AFV's it was grossly under gunned.

Panzerknacker
11-10-2007, 04:24 PM
Not as a Cruiser tank. Infantry support tanks were heavily armoured slow moving vehicles designed to destroy ground fortifications (bunkers, MG positions etc)


How to acomplish that with a solid 40 mm or 57 mm steel shot is a matter of wondering, In Dieppe one Churchill had to ram a house in order to supress the german machinegun fire.

kallinikosdrama1992
11-11-2007, 07:34 AM
spam ? why you said that . i didn't do nothing

Firefly
11-11-2007, 09:04 AM
spam ? why you said that . i didn't do nothing

See PM...

Panzerknacker
04-06-2008, 06:39 PM
Churchill NA 75.

http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/GreatBritain/GB-InfantryTank-Churchill4NA75.jpg

This variant was a very complex convertion of a Sherman and main gun turret into a Churchill hull, not and easy task, but it had the advantage of the dual purpose 75 mm cannon.

http://www.track48.com/articles/research/na75/3779%20B3.jpg

It was used almost exclusively in the Italian campaing. For more information check this nice site.

http://www.track48.com/articles/research/na75/3779%20B3.jpg

Churchill
04-06-2008, 07:02 PM
On that picture and some others, I see two "windows" in the space between the tracks. Could you put two MGs in there, and not just one?

Panzerknacker
04-07-2008, 07:12 AM
Probably but those are more useful as scape hatchs, its original purpose.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/threecounties/community/vauxhall/historic_gallery/historic4.jpg

Churchill
04-07-2008, 03:05 PM
People could fit through there? They looked a little small.

Panzerknacker
04-08-2008, 09:55 PM
Sure, it was better than the tiny scape hatches is the German panzers.

http://img219.imageshack.us/img219/5348/ddgh8.jpg

Churchill
04-09-2008, 05:10 PM
I see... scape hatches make the armour weaker, so the germans probably didn't want to weaken the overall turret strenghth...

Panzerknacker
04-10-2008, 06:33 PM
More or less so, eventually those turret doors were eventually deleted.

The most effective flamethrower tank of ww2 in action the churchill Crocodrile.

Drill

http://img138.imageshack.us/img138/92/churchillcrocodile01td4.jpg


Combat in Holland 1944, attacking infantry near a petrol station.

http://img329.imageshack.us/img329/2346/holandaur0.jpg

Panzerknacker
04-14-2008, 06:44 PM
More images of the Croc.

Training. The maximum range was about 80 % more than the german flammpanzers because the fuel was thicker and the pressure used much higher.

http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/6391/scan0003449x600du5.jpg


Another nice shot of the same vehicle in action in Northern europe.

http://img521.imageshack.us/img521/8564/nowy3copy11ds3.jpg

Panzerknacker
10-16-2008, 05:18 PM
The engineers Churchill.

http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/1512/img010kr6.jpg

patrick1974
10-18-2008, 05:24 AM
I find it one of the most beautifull tanks of WW2

Nickdfresh
10-18-2008, 06:54 AM
I think it is so ugly, it's beautiful. :D

From Aberdeen Proving Grounds:

Panzerknacker
10-18-2008, 08:33 AM
The Churchill was a powerful tool in the hands of the allieds when the time to expell the germans from Holland came, so I suppose that is the beauty seen by Patrick.
Otherwise the tanks is quite ugly but that doesnt take away effectiveness, just grace.

More images of the AVRE and its 290 mm spigot mortar.

http://www.dday-overlord.com/img/chars/char_churchill_avre.jpg


http://img185.imageshack.us/img185/7630/71856193dy4.jpg



http://img185.imageshack.us/img185/6094/ti02bu3.jpg


The device was reloaded by the muzzle, not very good under combat conditions, projectile weight 18 kg, range 100 yards.

patrick1974
10-18-2008, 12:48 PM
I think it is so ugly, it's beautiful. :D

From Aberdeen Proving Grounds:

That is a nice one.But my alltime favorite has to be the Sherman firefly:mrgreen:

Django
10-27-2008, 04:38 PM
IIRC the Churchills help proved their worth when they climbed a hill deemed impossible for Tanks in Tunisia and caught the dug in Italians and Germans by surprise thus helping the Brits to take that heavily dug in position......please correct me if I am wrong as I am going by memory which isn't what it once was :)

BTW I always liked the old school look of the Churchill, it certainly was unique!

Panzerknacker
10-27-2008, 05:13 PM
I think you are talking about the episodes of Mjerda valley.



BTW I always liked the old school look of the Churchill, it certainly was unique!


Agreed, despie the uglyness, it is appealing in some way.

http://img523.imageshack.us/img523/8650/ark4vd5.jpg

CliSwe
11-14-2008, 09:39 PM
I read somewhere that, given the choice, British tank crews would rather go to war in Churchills than in the more mobile, but vulnerable, Shermans. Apparently, the Brit vehicle was much roomier, better protected (of course), and easier to evacuate from. I guess crew comfort is a critical factor in an AFV's effectiveness, so the Churchill wins a lot of points there. And - in the infantry close-support role it was designed for - it was extremely effective.

Cheers,
Cliff

Terry_214
12-27-2008, 11:43 AM
I think the Churchill is a great tank.

Maybe a bit too slow and very under gunned initially, but it could take an 88 shell up to workable ranges.

Found its rel asweet spot as the basis for so many of Hobarts Funnies.

Panzerknacker
12-30-2008, 06:44 PM
Mechanical warnings on early Churchills:

http://i41.tinypic.com/2qbue5u.jpg

S.M.I.D
12-31-2008, 09:26 AM
I think the Churchill is a great tank.

Maybe a bit too slow and very under gunned initially, but it could take an 88 shell up to workable ranges.

Found its rel asweet spot as the basis for so many of Hobarts Funnies.

How can a tank thats slow and undergunned be great ? Panther was a great tank, a Tiger was a great tank, T-34-85 was a decent tank, Churchill was a total failure and not because of the mechanical issues either.

Churchill
12-31-2008, 02:20 PM
How many variants of the Curchill do you know about? Compare that number to the number of variants of the Panther, Tiger, and T-34/85. By variants, I'm not talking about Panzer V, ausf. A, Panzer V, ausf. B. I'm talking about the Crocodile/Crab type variants. The Churchill was an important platform for producing ARVs, something I don't recall seeing many of the T-34/85 or Tiger.

The few variants of the Tiger I know are the Jagdtiger, the Bergetiger, and the Sturmtiger. There might be an AA Tiger, but I can't remember the name at the moment.

Now, if you look at the Churchill variants, you will see that there are many, many more than the Tiger variants I've listed above.

Nickdfresh
12-31-2008, 02:43 PM
How many variants of the Curchill do you know about? Compare that number to the number of variants of the Panther, Tiger, and T-34/85. By variants, I'm not talking about Panzer V, ausf. A, Panzer V, ausf. B. I'm talking about the Crocodile/Crab type variants. The Churchill was an important platform for producing ARVs, something I don't recall seeing many of the T-34/85 or Tiger.

The few variants of the Tiger I know are the Jagdtiger, the Bergetiger, and the Sturmtiger. There might be an AA Tiger, but I can't remember the name at the moment.

Now, if you look at the Churchill variants, you will see that there are many, many more than the Tiger variants I've listed above.

^^ +1


To say the Churchill was a "failure" is a drastic overstatement when you don't consider its intent and role as a direct infantry support tank. The Churchill served within its role very well and it wasn't really designed with tank vs. tank combat in mind. To compare it to a Panther is a bit silly as it was a response to the T-34 and specifically designed to be a killer of other tanks rather than enemy infantry and battlefield emplacements. The only thing that prevented the Churchill for having a longer service life was, like most flawed earlier British tank designs, the narrow hull which prevented the mounting of a bigger turret and hence a better tank gun.

I'm sure they tried to affix a 17 pdr., but probably ran into numerous problems. This coupled with the fact that the 17 fit well on the Sherman and that they had a boundless supply of them spelled the end of the Churchill as a front line combat tank in Europe. But it was still ideal in the Pacific where its flamethrower variant was the bane of the Japanese...

S.M.I.D
12-31-2008, 06:30 PM
How many variants of the Curchill do you know about? Compare that number to the number of variants of the Panther, Tiger, and T-34/85. By variants, I'm not talking about Panzer V, ausf. A, Panzer V, ausf. B. I'm talking about the Crocodile/Crab type variants. The Churchill was an important platform for producing ARVs, something I don't recall seeing many of the T-34/85 or Tiger.

The few variants of the Tiger I know are the Jagdtiger, the Bergetiger, and the Sturmtiger. There might be an AA Tiger, but I can't remember the name at the moment.

Now, if you look at the Churchill variants, you will see that there are many, many more than the Tiger variants I've listed above.

So you built a tank that was supposed to be a countermeasure to the Nazi heavy stuff, disovered it sucked and gave it to Hobart, it actually reinforces my point.

You could stick a flail or a flamethrower on any tank, Sherman, Grant, Cromwell, thats not a big deal.

mkenny
12-31-2008, 07:03 PM
So you built a tank that was supposed to be a countermeasure to the Nazi heavy stuff,

I wonder how an Infantry tank that entered Unit service in July 1941 was supposed to be an answer to a Panther ( mid 1943) or Tiger ( end of 1942)?

disovered it sucked and gave it to Hobart, it actually reinforces my point.

And what tanks served in :
6th Guards Tank Brigade
31st Tank Brigade
34th Tank Brigade

9 Regiments of Churchill tanks, some 550 in total.

Churchill
12-31-2008, 07:06 PM
You could stick a flail or a flamethrower on any tank, Sherman, Grant, Cromwell, thats not a big deal.

Yes, you could, but that's not the point.

Hobart took your so-called "failures" and turned them into prized vehicles that could do more than your average Sherman, even with the same attatchments added to it.

S.M.I.D
12-31-2008, 07:51 PM
Yes, you could, but that's not the point.

Hobart took your so-called "failures" and turned them into prized vehicles that could do more than your average Sherman, even with the same attatchments added to it.

Not really, any tank with the same equipment would do the same, its not like a flail was some complex bit of eq.

Panzerknacker
01-01-2009, 09:11 AM
I must say that until 1943 when the british infantry tactic and tank support were properly development amd coordinated no british infantry tank was completely sucessful.

The firts flail mine clearer was intalled in the Matilda scorpion.

By the way anybody knows why this guy was banned ?

http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/3148/escalandofl4.jpg

flamethrowerguy
01-01-2009, 10:56 AM
By the way anybody knows why this guy was banned ?

Sure, he started the day and his membership reasonably. But then:
http://ww2incolor.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8604

Anyway, meanwhile it's obvious to the staff that he was a past-time troll redux (and no, neither female nor from Australia this time).

Churchill
01-01-2009, 01:01 PM
(and no, neither female nor from Australia this time).

Dang it, I just lost 10 WW2Bucks...:(:mrgreen:

Panzerknacker
01-01-2009, 05:22 PM
Sure, he started the day and his membership reasonably. But then:
http://ww2incolor.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8604

At list he tried to put some humour into the forum :mrgreen: Very true some of the russian army remarks.


Churchill Mark IV using the old british trench crossing device, the fascine.

http://i44.tinypic.com/2s1lmyw.jpg


http://i40.tinypic.com/28nz1h.jpg


http://i41.tinypic.com/2dabmg8.jpg


http://i42.tinypic.com/vcz9xi.jpg

Nickdfresh
01-01-2009, 10:05 PM
At list he tried to put some humour into the forum :mrgreen: Very true some of the russian army remarks.


Churchill Mark IV using the old british trench crossing device, the fascine.

http://i44.tinypic.com/2s1lmyw.jpg


http://i40.tinypic.com/28nz1h.jpg


http://i41.tinypic.com/2dabmg8.jpg


http://i42.tinypic.com/vcz9xi.jpg

He's a nutbag on his third user-ID...

Churchill
01-01-2009, 10:10 PM
Churchill Mark IV using the old british trench crossing device, the fascine.

http://i44.tinypic.com/2s1lmyw.jpg


http://i40.tinypic.com/28nz1h.jpg


http://i41.tinypic.com/2dabmg8.jpg


http://i42.tinypic.com/vcz9xi.jpg

Must have been a bumpy ride...:mrgreen:

CliSwe
01-02-2009, 01:15 PM
They wouldn't be allowed to do it these days. All we hear about is OH&S, Duty Of Care, Manual of Military Safety, etc. Those are terrific shots, PK - well done.

Cheers,
Cliff

CliSwe
01-02-2009, 01:28 PM
What I really meant to write (except I was so amazed at Panzerknacker's photos) was that the Churchill really did everything it was asked to do. You design a tank for a specific purpose, then you task it accordingly. The confused thinking which put the 2pdr on this tank, was soon overcome by some very bright British REME officers, who found a way to fit the desired 75mm weapon into the Churchill. I'll post the link at some later stage, but Operation Whitehot was a triumph.

Cheers,
Cliff

CliSwe
01-02-2009, 01:33 PM
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.track48.com/articles/research/na75/Churchill%2520MK1VA%2520BEFORE.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.track48.com/articles/research/na75/index.html&h=313&w=480&sz=40&hl=en&start=13&um=1&tbnid=GN7lpvVXwofLqM:&tbnh=84&tbnw=129&prev=/images%3Fq%3D75mm%2BChurchill%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%2 6safe%3Doff%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DG

I've no doubt some board members have seen it before, but - I hope the foregoing provides some good reading on the subject.

Cheers,
Cliff

Nickdfresh
01-02-2009, 02:16 PM
What I really meant to write (except I was so amazed at Panzerknacker's photos) was that the Churchill really did everything it was asked to do. You design a tank for a specific purpose, then you task it accordingly. The confused thinking which put the 2pdr on this tank, was soon overcome by some very bright British REME officers, who found a way to fit the desired 75mm weapon into the Churchill. I'll post the link at some later stage, but Operation Whitehot was a triumph.

Cheers,
Cliff


I believe I've read in the past that mounting of the 2 pdr. was the result of a shortage of any other guns being available after the Fall of France...

Panzerknacker
01-02-2009, 03:47 PM
Must have been a bumpy ride...




They wouldn't be allowed to do it these days. All we hear about is OH&S, Duty Of Care, Manual of Military Safety, etc. Those are terrific shots, PK - well done.



Thank you, the Churchill despite being slow was quite acrobatic, its climbing capabilities ( thanks to a a very good engine torque and gear relation) was superb.


What I really meant to write (except I was so amazed at Panzerknacker's photos) was that the Churchill really did everything it was asked to do. You design a tank for a specific purpose, then you task it accordingly.

After 1943, in earlier dates it was pretty much troubled like everyother british tank.

leccy
02-15-2009, 01:42 PM
Have a read through

Through Mud And Blood
Infantry/Tank Operations in World War II
1975
ISBN 0 7091 4822 4

By Bryan Perrett

This goes some way to explaining the tactics and thinking behind the Matilda I and II, Valentine and Churchill as well as why they and the thinking behind them lasted so long.

It may surprise and inform some detractors from the I Tanks. It gives the plus and minus points of the vehicles and the crews and Troops who relied on them, including when attempts were made to use other tanks in the I tank role.

Whitworth Torpedo
03-18-2009, 01:01 PM
Hello, does the armour of the churchill not get bolted onto a 13mm or 15mm steel frame and thus would it not gain up to that 15mm in overall armour protection?/!

psc945
07-20-2009, 12:49 PM
Have been to Gayle Mill in Hawes (Wensleydale) and they used to be a testing area for the churchill tanks, prior to D-Day landings. Aparently 20 to 30 tanks would be tested at a time and they climed over the wall into the lake and slowly worked their way out to the shallow end as they would at Normandy, shoot a few rounds off into the hillside and off, ready for action.
Have you any info or any more pictures of the tanks 'waterproofed' for dropping off the main landing craft into the sea to attack the Normandy beaches.

Paul C

Panzerknacker
08-08-2010, 01:03 PM
Excellent Footage of the Churchill Flamethrower, yes in my video channel, who else ?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7wR1XKRUvA

leccy
08-08-2010, 04:33 PM
I have read accounts by Churchill AVRE crews on D Day where they worked in conjunction with the Crocodiles to knock out the bunkers.

The AVRE would use its Petard to crack open the bunker and the Croc would then flame it to kill the crew. (Some accounts had them following a flail to get near enough).

For an armoured vehicle with many failings the Churchill managed to serve until near then end of the 60's in the RE Armoured regiments.

Uyraell
08-08-2010, 09:42 PM
Hello, does the armour of the churchill not get bolted onto a 13mm or 15mm steel frame and thus would it not gain up to that 15mm in overall armour protection?/!

The framework of the chassis was 13 to 15 mm thick, yes. However: it was in mild steel, or face-hardened at best meaning it was useless, as armour and is therefore never calculated as being more than part of the over-all weight of the vehicle.
The use of homogenous armour for the Churchill did reach the point of developmental discussion, but never** took place either in prototype development or further. Part of the reason for this is that the research on homogenous armour for the Churchill saw it's fruition in the Tortoise, 6 of which were built and saw some testing post-war.

**Slight qualification, here: "never took place" in the sense of the Churchill was "Clad in" Armour, not "Built from" as the Tortoise later was, and to which process the data from the Churchill research contributed heavily.

Kind and Respectful Regards, Uyraell.

Panzerknacker
08-09-2010, 05:04 PM
I have read accounts by Churchill AVRE crews on D Day where they worked in conjunction with the Crocodiles to knock out the bunkers. The AVRE would use its Petard to crack open the bunker and the Croc would then flame it to kill the crew. (Some accounts had them following a flail to get near enough). For an armoured vehicle with many failings the Churchill managed to serve until near then end of the 60's in the RE Armoured regiments.

That is correct but the Crocodile seems devastating enough even by itself, teh flaming liquid coudl penetrate bunkers by gun/ machinegun apertures.

Beside the psichological effect on the bunker crew of being surrounded by flames...hmmm, nasty.

jungleguerilla
08-09-2010, 11:04 PM
Churchill tank can't go toe-to-toe with Strong German Tank Hunters and Heavy Tanks in my opinion. The Jagdpanther can destroy it in 1 Hit. It's because it's easy-to flank the Churchill. Good thing it remains an Infantry Tank only.

Nickdfresh
08-10-2010, 08:10 AM
Churchill tank can't go toe-to-toe with Strong German Tank Hunters and Heavy Tanks in my opinion...

It was never meant too, at least not after 1942...

leccy
08-10-2010, 01:33 PM
The I tanks were never meant to fight other tanks. Their role was to support the infantry by taking out strong points as a result a fast speed was not needed but strong armour was.
An initial failing was the 2 pounders fitted to the second generation I tanks (Matilda II, early Valentines and Churchills) had no HE round so relied on the machine guns, or special close support variants. (Matilda I's had a .303 vickers only or a 0.5 vickers in the 'Troop Leaders' supposedly to give it some sort of armour penetrating ability).
The ability to take a huge punishment and still keep going made them a very welcome asset for the infantry. The Churchills ability to go where other tanks could not surprised quite a few German soldiers. Later tactics included the I tanks towing forward the Infantrys 6 and 17 pounder AT guns so they could be ready to repel the inevitable counter attack.

The tactics of the hunting panzers was not to stalk an enemy tank but to lie in wait and ambush. Due to their weight and size they were not actually that much more maneuverable in combat than the I tanks if at all. Likewise with the German Heavy Tanks some of which did fall prey to Churchills with their puny 6 pounder.

Uyraell
08-10-2010, 09:52 PM
The I tanks were never meant to fight other tanks. Their role was to support the infantry by taking out strong points as a result a fast speed was not needed but strong armour was.
An initial failing was the 2 pounders fitted to the second generation I tanks (Matilda II, early Valentines and Churchills) had no HE round so relied on the machine guns, or special close support variants. (Matilda I's had a .303 vickers only or a 0.5 vickers in the 'Troop Leaders' supposedly to give it some sort of armour penetrating ability).
The ability to take a huge punishment and still keep going made them a very welcome asset for the infantry. The Churchills ability to go where other tanks could not surprised quite a few German soldiers. Later tactics included the I tanks towing forward the Infantrys 6 and 17 pounder AT guns so they could be ready to repel the inevitable counter attack.

The tactics of the hunting panzers was not to stalk an enemy tank but to lie in wait and ambush. Due to their weight and size they were not actually that much more maneuverable in combat than the I tanks if at all. Likewise with the German Heavy Tanks some of which did fall prey to Churchills with their puny 6 pounder.

You make a good point, which itself raises the ways in which the opposing forces employed their armour.

Essentially, after 1942 the Germans tend to adopt "wait and snipe, then run and snipe again" tactics, and much of their post 1942 armour (certainly pretty much everything from 1943 onwards, with the exception of the self-propelled artillery) reflects plainly this tactical policy.

By stark contrast, the Russians were employing what amounted to swarm tactics, and crushing by weight of numbers.
Not a great surprise, it being that the Russians chose a few useful designs and simply kept producing vast numbers of them, having sufficient manpower reserves to be able to afford mass tactics.

The British and Americans essentially set themselves between the extremes of the Germans and Russians, neither fearing to seek out the enemy to bring him to battle, nor fearing to mass on focal points and attack with weight of numbers (augmented, it has to be admitted, by sumptuous reserves of Tactical Airpower, which was usually not available to the Germans) when necessary.
Similarly, Allied production of armour and the crews to man it reflects this tactical policy, for all that the Official Field Manuals and various other official documents laid-down policy that differed from the way things were done on the battlefield.

Kind and Respectful Regards Leccy, Uyraell.

Panzerknacker
08-12-2010, 04:32 PM
By stark contrast, the Russians were employing what amounted to swarm tactics, and crushing by weight of numbers.
Not a great surprise, it being that the Russians chose a few useful designs and simply kept producing vast numbers of them, having sufficient manpower reserves to be able to afford mass tactics.

That was the "deep battle" concept.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_zG188n-BtEs/SxaqIR965bI/AAAAAAAAAXg/QtsVRwjerb4/s400/sdkfz10+deja+atras+a+un+churchill+en+rusia.jpg

Uyraell
08-13-2010, 05:35 AM
That was the "deep battle" concept.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_zG188n-BtEs/SxaqIR965bI/AAAAAAAAAXg/QtsVRwjerb4/s400/sdkfz10+deja+atras+a+un+churchill+en+rusia.jpg

With some reservations, I'm inclined to agree.
The issue I have is that elsewhere on this forum the very existence of "Deep Battle" as a concept has come into debate, notwithstanding the many historical references to it. Reference the "Tukachevsky Affair" thread.

That "Deep Battle" or a modified form thereof came into employment in the RKKA after 1942 is not in debate, as far as I'm concerned.
I'm interested in where the concept as it came to be used might well depart from the concept as originally promulgated.

That the Russians took a very wise strategic decision in choosing a few simple, reliable designs and maintaining the production of them, operating tactically according to what those designs could achieve on the battlefield, is an admirable thing.
It also stands in sharp contrast to the UK maintaining a policy of diversity of purpose in its' armoured vehicles, which policy the Churchill Tank represents in so many ways.

It was simple good fortune that the basic Churchill chassis was so adaptable to the large number of roles it was later to fulfill: I would argue that despite the vehicle having successes in combat, it was in fact largely a failure as a battle tank, as was much of the British armour until the very late arrival of the Comet, which even then was inadequate by the time it was deployed.

Kind and Respectful Regards Panzerknacker my friend, Uyraell.

CliSwe
08-14-2010, 02:20 AM
I'm a great admirer of the scholarship of Panzerknacker and Uyraell. It's an education to read their posts. Some personal thoughts of mine on the intricacies of British tank design and philosophy:
1. The War Office didn't want to know, so Churchill formed the Admiralty's Landships Committee to push the project through. Hence the old naval 6pdrs in the "male" tanks.
2. Once the tank became accepted as military hardware, the Cavalry wanted fast, light tanks to resume their earlier mounted reconnaissance role. Infantry wanted it to do exactly what it did in 1917, support them up to the enemy lines. To make the act even more entertaining, the Royal Artillery declared themselves the arbiter of tank armament, so that tank design went in three different directions at once, usually with inappropriate armament.
3. The Infantry tanks in France vs. the early Panzers, and in North Africa vs. Italian armour, were very successful in the direct anti-armour role. The British policymakers failed to notice that the Germans used their armour to lure enemy vehicles onto the anti-tank screen, and the 88mm claimed many victims in this way.
4. North Africa derailed British tank development to some extent because it was seen as ideal Cruiser tank country. All that was missing, was the ideal Cruiser tank.
5. The excuse used for not widening British turrets and hulls to take heavier guns like the 17pdr, was the inability of the railway loading gauge to handle such loads. Such bureaucratic chicanery didn't occur in Germany or the USSR, where people and their environment took second place to the war effort.
6. The 79th Armoured Division was perhaps the most eccentric - and successful - collection of specialised armour in the world. Having essentially failed in mainstream tank design, the Brits exhibited world-beating ingenuity in the invention of mine-flails, flame-throwing Crocodile tanks, bridge-layers, AVREs and many more.
7. Having arrived too late at the ideal Infantry tank in the Churchill, soon to be rendered obsolete by the Centurion, the Brits found the hull to be remarkably suited to all of the above specialised roles which played such a vital part after D-Day. So, on many levels, the Churchill can claim to have been a successful design. Fantasies such as "Churchill vs Panther/Tiger,etc", ignore the fact that armoured warfare had moved on by that time. Obstinate defences were simply surrounded, bypassed, blasted with air-strikes, or cut-off from resupply until they ran out of ammunition. Doesn't matter how good your tank is ... if the enemy has more tanks than you have shells, he's still going to be there and you can't do a thing to stop him. Just my random musings on the subject. Sorry if I've repeated points made previously in the thread, but the narrative would be incomplete without them.

Cheers,
Cliff

Uyraell
08-14-2010, 05:17 AM
I'm a great admirer of the scholarship of Panzerknacker and Uyraell. It's an education to read their posts. Some personal thoughts of mine on the intricacies of British tank design and philosophy:
1. The War Office didn't want to know, so Churchill formed the Admiralty's Landships Committee to push the project through. Hence the old naval 6pdrs in the "male" tanks.
2. Once the tank became accepted as military hardware, the Cavalry wanted fast, light tanks to resume their earlier mounted reconnaissance role. Infantry wanted it to do exactly what it did in 1917, support them up to the enemy lines. To make the act even more entertaining, the Royal Artillery declared themselves the arbiter of tank armament, so that tank design went in three different directions at once, usually with inappropriate armament.
3. The Infantry tanks in France vs. the early Panzers, and in North Africa vs. Italian armour, were very successful in the direct anti-armour role. The British policymakers failed to notice that the Germans used their armour to lure enemy vehicles onto the anti-tank screen, and the 88mm claimed many victims in this way.
4. North Africa derailed British tank development to some extent because it was seen as ideal Cruiser tank country. All that was missing, was the ideal Cruiser tank.
5. The excuse used for not widening British turrets and hulls to take heavier guns like the 17pdr, was the inability of the railway loading gauge to handle such loads. Such bureaucratic chicanery didn't occur in Germany or the USSR, where people and their environment took second place to the war effort.
6. The 79th Armoured Division was perhaps the most eccentric - and successful - collection of specialised armour in the world. Having essentially failed in mainstream tank design, the Brits exhibited world-beating ingenuity in the invention of mine-flails, flame-throwing Crocodile tanks, bridge-layers, AVREs and many more.
7. Having arrived too late at the ideal Infantry tank in the Churchill, soon to be rendered obsolete by the Centurion, the Brits found the hull to be remarkably suited to all of the above specialised roles which played such a vital part after D-Day. So, on many levels, the Churchill can claim to have been a successful design. Fantasies such as "Churchill vs Panther/Tiger,etc", ignore the fact that armoured warfare had moved on by that time. Obstinate defences were simply surrounded, bypassed, blasted with air-strikes, or cut-off from resupply until they ran out of ammunition. Doesn't matter how good your tank is ... if the enemy has more tanks than you have shells, he's still going to be there and you can't do a thing to stop him. Just my random musings on the subject. Sorry if I've repeated points made previously in the thread, but the narrative would be incomplete without them.

Cheers,
Cliff

My friend, your own scholarship is clearly not lacking.
Yours is a fine and erudite posting, which does add necessary and needed background to the topic.
It is a common failing of mine to think that information I have is similarly known to other people, and in fact I tend to expect that others know the same info I do. That can at times be a risky way to think, but `tis a habit I have to work to avoid.

I have books that very clearly show the (more often than not, extremely acrimonious) relationships between the various UK committees, Ministries and Commands.
The point most often made is that to the Armoured units on the battlefield, all was essentially in a state of fluxation, because (to over-simplfy a little) the state of Armoured vehicle Planned Procurment, Development, and research/trials essentially changed every 6 to 8 months, and by the time the word of said changes reached those on the battlefield, that word was already outdated by the latest policy decisions (which had yet to reach the by now jaded ears of the troops in the field).
The poor soldiers in effect never knew what they'd be given to go to war in, let alone when it would arrive, and knew it would most likely be inadequate in any case. No sooner would word reach the troops than another, often completely contradictory, decision would be made back in the UK.
Added to all this is the evil wrought by the Ministry of Supply, which in essence felt that whatever it gave the soldiers to go to battle with "would be good enough to do the job", when experience in the field (and the vast amount of corroboratory reports supporting that experience, which voluminous documentation seems to have been all but ignored in the UK, apart from the R&D boffins, who had no influence to exert on events) was in essence ignored or categorised as "exaggeration" by those secure in Britain and who would never have to face the enemy in combat.

In short, one has to feel a certain amount of compassion, as well as admiration for the fortitude of UK Armoured troops, who endured all the foregoing while still taking the battle to the enemy as best they might, inadequate and often downright-deadly-to-its'-own-crew tanks notwithstanding.

Kind and Respectful Regards Cliff my friend, Uyraell.

leccy
08-14-2010, 08:01 AM
A little bit of info about Kingforce and the Churchills second Battle (1st being Dieppe)

Churchill III tanks armed with 6 pdr's.

7th Motor Brigade, led by the Queen's Bays went into action as soon as the Northern Corridor had been cleared of mines. Good progress was made until coming under fire from enemy tanks, some of which were dug-in, defending a line located south of Kidney Ridge given the name Snipe. So effective was the defender's fire, the number of the Bay's tanks was reduced to just a dozen Shermans and Crusaders. The time had come for KingForce to go into action!

Led by Major King, Churchills went into action for the first time since the Raid on Dieppe. Everything considered, they acquitted themselves well despite Cpl Kelly Appleby's tank having to leave the field when its 6-pdr gun failed to return from the recoil position. Major King's tank, although it had been hit eight times without being penetrated, claimed hits on four Panzers. Of the six Churchills engaged, 2nd Lt. Appleby's tank (see photograph below) was destroyed after being hit in excess of fifty times, eight of which coming from "friendly fire." Later examination showed that the Churchill, despite all the hits, was only penetrated three times. Sadly, Appleby and three of his crew were killed, the one survivor being wounded. By day's end, the enemy having withdrawn their forces from the Kidney Ridge area, KingForce withdrew in order get the remaining five Churchills ready for whatever may lie ahead.

http://www.northirishhorse.net/tanks/Kingforce-2.jpg

While Kingforce was refitting, on 27th October, the Germans launched an attack, by 21st Panzers, in an attempt to recapture their lost positions. Stoutly defended, Kidney Ridge stayed in 8th Army's possession. The attack having failed, Field Marshal Rommel, who had returned from Germany, ordered his troops to take up defensive positions in and around the village of Tell el Aqqaqir. Removing the enemy from these positions proved to be KingForce's next task.
Once again, KingForce was called upon to assist Shermans of 7th Motor Brigade which had run into difficulty attacking the German defences. The Churchills ran into heavy fire, particularly from A/T guns. However, despite numerous hits none was destroyed. During the action Lt. Howard's tank was hit over thirty times but suffered nothing greater than a broken track. Two other Churchills were hit multiple times jamming their turrets, again without any penetration.

During the two actions Churchills of KingForce perfomed well, destroying five Panzers and three anti-tank guns, but its Churchills were no longer needed. With the enemy defences being overrun and the long Axis retreat westwards beginning, as it was obvious that the slow I-Tanks could not keep up. As a result, KingForce was ordered to makes its way back to Alexandria, which they accomplished on their own tracks, there to be disbanded.

Hopefully this action report gives a few people an idea of why the I tank idea was kept up for so long by the British, pity the main armament was not changed to 75mm earlier. The NA75 conversion proved that it could be done.

Uyrael I was almost going to comment that the meteor may not have had the torque to drive the heavy Churchill 'Doh it managed quite well the on heavier Centurion's'

Uyraell
08-14-2010, 08:50 AM
A little bit of info about Kingforce and the Churchills second Battle (1st being Dieppe)

Churchill III tanks armed with 6 pdr's.

7th Motor Brigade, led by the Queen's Bays went into action as soon as the Northern Corridor had been cleared of mines. Good progress was made until coming under fire from enemy tanks, some of which were dug-in, defending a line located south of Kidney Ridge given the name Snipe. So effective was the defender's fire, the number of the Bay's tanks was reduced to just a dozen Shermans and Crusaders. The time had come for KingForce to go into action!

Led by Major King, Churchills went into action for the first time since the Raid on Dieppe. Everything considered, they acquitted themselves well despite Cpl Kelly Appleby's tank having to leave the field when its 6-pdr gun failed to return from the recoil position. Major King's tank, although it had been hit eight times without being penetrated, claimed hits on four Panzers. Of the six Churchills engaged, 2nd Lt. Appleby's tank (see photograph below) was destroyed after being hit in excess of fifty times, eight of which coming from "friendly fire." Later examination showed that the Churchill, despite all the hits, was only penetrated three times. Sadly, Appleby and three of his crew were killed, the one survivor being wounded. By day's end, the enemy having withdrawn their forces from the Kidney Ridge area, KingForce withdrew in order get the remaining five Churchills ready for whatever may lie ahead.

http://www.northirishhorse.net/tanks/Kingforce-2.jpg

While Kingforce was refitting, on 27th October, the Germans launched an attack, by 21st Panzers, in an attempt to recapture their lost positions. Stoutly defended, Kidney Ridge stayed in 8th Army's possession. The attack having failed, Field Marshal Rommel, who had returned from Germany, ordered his troops to take up defensive positions in and around the village of Tell el Aqqaqir. Removing the enemy from these positions proved to be KingForce's next task.
Once again, KingForce was called upon to assist Shermans of 7th Motor Brigade which had run into difficulty attacking the German defences. The Churchills ran into heavy fire, particularly from A/T guns. However, despite numerous hits none was destroyed. During the action Lt. Howard's tank was hit over thirty times but suffered nothing greater than a broken track. Two other Churchills were hit multiple times jamming their turrets, again without any penetration.

During the two actions Churchills of KingForce perfomed well, destroying five Panzers and three anti-tank guns, but its Churchills were no longer needed. With the enemy defences being overrun and the long Axis retreat westwards beginning, as it was obvious that the slow I-Tanks could not keep up. As a result, KingForce was ordered to makes its way back to Alexandria, which they accomplished on their own tracks, there to be disbanded.

Hopefully this action report gives a few people an idea of why the I tank idea was kept up for so long by the British, pity the main armament was not changed to 75mm earlier. The NA75 conversion proved that it could be done.

Uyrael I was almost going to comment that the meteor may not have had the torque to drive the heavy Churchill 'Doh it managed quite well the on heavier Centurion's'

With the Meteor it's origin should be born in mind. The original had been a (by the time it was finalised) 1450 HP Merlin, de-rated to 600 HP as first applied to the Comet, and (from memory) initially 620, later 650 HP as applied to the Centurion.
As the M120 that same motor, now 680HP, is applied to the Conqueror, which at 65 tons dry weight has to be one of the heaviest-ever British vehicles to be actually fielded.
So, despite the initial impression one is almost seduced into taking regard the topic of torque, it is reasonably plain that the torque was sufficiently available, though at somewhat disproportionate cost in fuel economy in the later models of Meteor derivative, as compared to the original Comet/Centurion Meteor.

Returning briefly to the Merlin at 1450 HP for a moment, it should perhaps also be borne in mind that as the Merlin 66 it had had sufficient available torque to power JK535, a Spitfire contraprop prototype. This has relevance, because running a contraprop is demanding of far more torque than a plain prop.
Thus, the ancestry of the Meteor rather clearly demonstrates and foretells the torque issue.
Of somewhat more esoteric interest in the same vein is that the Merlin 66, a high-altitude engine, contributed rather more heavily to the Meteor than did the Merlin 46, or Merlin 32, both low-altitude Merlins, in theory more suited to a tank.
Again, the torque available from the Merlin 66 must have justified the preference over the other two, seemingly more logical choices.

Now, I admit I'm going by memory with a lot of this info, but I have some of it at first-hand, from an ex RAF Merlin mechanic, who clued-me-in that the Merlin 66 was in large part one of the parents of the Meteor, and that another heavy contributor was in fact the Merlin 23, as employed in the Lancaster.

I'm grateful that man took the time to talk to me when he did: much of what he told me has not been seen in print since, and probably never will be.

Kind and Respectful Regards Leccy my friend, Uyraell.

leccy
08-14-2010, 09:09 AM
I was at RAF Conningsby when they aquired some surplus Meteor engines for the BBMF. They assumed that since the Meteor was a modified Merlin development that they would be able to use them (merlin engines were getting very scarce and the Lancaster had chewed through a few).
I was told they were the wrong profile?? but that some parts were common enough to allow componants to be used to repair the merlins.

Our Cent 105 and 165 AVRE's used to be the bane of the fuel points with those thirsty meteor engines at a time when the brit army was trying to change to completely diesel. At least the Cents had a longer range than the Churchills they replaced in the 60's and 70's.

Uyraell
08-14-2010, 10:59 AM
I was at RAF Conningsby when they aquired some surplus Meteor engines for the BBMF. They assumed that since the Meteor was a modified Merlin development that they would be able to use them (merlin engines were getting very scarce and the Lancaster had chewed through a few).
I was told they were the wrong profile?? but that some parts were common enough to allow components to be used to repair the merlins.

Our Cent 105 and 165 AVRE's used to be the bane of the fuel points with those thirsty meteor engines at a time when the brit army was trying to change to completely diesel. At least the Cents had a longer range than the Churchills they replaced in the 60's and 70's.

This is where it gets very damned complicated, very damned fast, as regards the RR Meteor.
As I recall being told it: the casing of the Meteor is essentially Merlin 23, but the guts it holds is essentially Merlin 66.
Now, I'm no expert in this arcanae, but as I was told it: the combustion hemisphere of the Meteor, and the piston profile differ considerably in the early models, and vastly in the later models, from the respective Merlin antecedents.
The tank pistons would be next to useless, as would the major bearings: too heavy, wrong alloys in each case.
The crankshafts would be "tolerable" to employ, as would the upper scavenger rings, and the top piston ring.
The major nasty would be the heads. Again, different hemisphere contours relating to different piston head contours.

However: take a Packard Merlin head, and copy the contours from that, replace the Meteor piston with the Packard piston or close analogue, and a workable solution is devisable, though at considerable cost and effort.

Granted, one has then to almost undo the American production method related changes to the Packard Merlin to return it to being close to its' RR parent (then to cast and forge the "new-original" heads themselves), but ironcally that is a simpler task than undoing the changes made to the RR Merlin to enable production by Rover as the Meteor tank engine. Further irony: RR likely still have accurate records regarding the design changes to Merlin from RR to Packard. Neither Rover nor RR are likely to have accurate records of the changes as relate to Meteor. My ex RAF friend had in fact been one of a group of some 60 RAF personnel seconded temporarily to Rover to help establish Meteor production, get it underweigh. He describes Rover as having horrid record-keeping habits, the exact same criticism levelled at Rover by none other than Frank Whittle.

I don't know how much if any of this information would be of help to BBMF, but it might be simpler to obtain Packard Merlins, and re-jig the engine mounts to accept the Packard, as there were adapter kits issued for precisely that purpose.
Find or reproduce the mounting adapters and employ the Packards is by far the simpler solution.

Regardless all the above, it would be more than tragedy to see the day the BBMF Lancaster never flew again.
In light of this, I sincerely hope they do find a way to keep her airborne.

I'm somewhat surprised it was the 70's before the Churchill vehicles were replaced: I'd always read that took place in the early 60's at the latest.
As regards fuel economy: I don't think it could be argued that the Brits ever really worried about fuel economy in Tanks until the oil-price shocks in the early 70's.

Kind and Respectful Regards Leccy my friend, Uyraell.


Post-Script: Panzerknacker, My profound apology to you for having gone so very far off-topic.

leccy
08-14-2010, 12:29 PM
In the main they were replaced by the mid 60's with the bridgelayers (the last to go) starting in 1965.

The reason some served till the early 70's was the old nostalgia that happens, senior officers seem to think keeping an old bit of kit around adds character to the unit 'they don't have to work on the kit though lol'.

Uyraell
08-14-2010, 01:12 PM
In the main they were replaced by the mid 60's with the bridgelayers (the last to go) starting in 1965.

The reason some served till the early 70's was the old nostalgia that happens, senior officers seem to think keeping an old bit of kit around adds character to the unit 'they don't have to work on the kit though lol'.

... Ah, much is now understood.
Which begs me to ask: was the Churchill chassis that much of a pig/bastard to work on as has frequently been stated, or was that "bad press" the long-drawn out echo of the legacy of the early days of the Churchill when it acquired the reputation in the first place?

That the vehicle was rushed into service somewhat before it's early problems were ironed out is often mentioned.
However: that Vauxhall's had achieved in the 11 months they had had available remarkable things regarding the Churchill is totally overlooked.
Yes, the hydraulic tappets were initially unreliable on the Bedford Twin-Six. Yes, the fuel pump driveshaft was fragile and badly located, yes, the bearings in the transfer case were overworked and insufficiently robust, yes, the cooling fans were inadequate as was (iIrc) the fuel pump. Yes, as a result of all this, the vehicle frequently broke down and acquired a reputation for being fragile and unreliable.
A reputation from which it never really recovered.

Yet these were faults of design immaturity and time constraints rather than of the vehicle itself.

But, as one who (presumably) worked on the vehicle itself, I have to ask you Leccy:
Was that reputation unfounded?

What was your experience of working on the Churchill?

Kind and Respectful Regards Leccy my friend, Uyraell.

leccy
08-14-2010, 02:03 PM
Uyrael

Not quite my era I joined as a young sapper when the blokes that did work on the last Churchills were the Squadron Senior NCO's, WO's and the odd Commissioned Officer.

If we complained about working on our old vehicles (Centurion 165 AVRE as we had not got the 105 version at the time) we had the talk about how much of a pig the Churchill was to keep up with a Cent or Cheiftan equipped battle group. 60 mile range, 12mph top speed, heavy maintenance workload, lack of spares and to count ourselves lucky.

I was present to see the Cent 165 AVRE, the aquisition of ex RA FCO 105 gun tanks (classed as 105 AVRE), Cheiftan AVRE and left during the dawn of the Trojan AVRE. Although for most of the time I was but a Combat Engineer and not an Armoured Farmer.

Uyraell
08-14-2010, 08:46 PM
Uyrael

Not quite my era I joined as a young sapper when the blokes that did work on the last Churchills were the Squadron Senior NCO's, WO's and the odd Commissioned Officer.

If we complained about working on our old vehicles (Centurion 165 AVRE as we had not got the 105 version at the time) we had the talk about how much of a pig the Churchill was to keep up with a Cent or Cheiftan equipped battle group. 60 mile range, 12mph top speed, heavy maintenance workload, lack of spares and to count ourselves lucky.

I was present to see the Cent 165 AVRE, the aquisition of ex RA FCO 105 gun tanks (classed as 105 AVRE), Cheiftan AVRE and left during the dawn of the Trojan AVRE. Although for most of the time I was but a Combat Engineer and not an Armoured Farmer.

Many many Thanks Leccy, for your info above. :)

I have to say, I've very greatly enjoyed our conversation in this thread, and several others.

Again, you have rare info about the vehicles you did work with, Cent165, eg, and that too would be well worth a thread and read.

Kind and Respectful Regards Leccy my friend, Uyraell.

Panzerknacker
08-15-2010, 04:48 PM
4. North Africa derailed British tank development to some extent because it was seen as ideal Cruiser tank country. All that was missing, was the ideal Cruiser tank.



Well, I think the britons were close to the ideal cruiser desing, at list for 1941-43, that would be the Crusader with a reliable engine and a 50mm gun ( or 6 pounder for that matter) Unfortunately it had neither to face the panzerarmee afrika in that time.

CliSwe
08-16-2010, 08:44 AM
Good evening, Panzerknacker. I couldn't agree more with your opinion re. the "perfect cruiser tank". Even with all its shortcomings, the Crusader was such a cool-looking tank to begin with - with its elegant lines, it looked fast even when parked. Unfortunately, the 330hp Liberty was a faulty engine, with its exposed radiator drive chain plagued by sprocket-jumping due to buildup of dust and grit. Apparently, troopers took to suspending a watering-can over the chain to wash it clean of contamination. AFAIK, the Meteor was too big to fit the Crusader, so along came the Cromwell. The apotheosis of cruiser tank design, in my opinion, was the Comet. The Centurion was actually the British Army's first MBT, so I wouldn't class it as a cruiser. Sorry if all this is a bit OT - but it is a fascinating discussion nonetheless.

Cheers,
Cliff

Panzerknacker
08-16-2010, 05:01 PM
The cromwell was a good candidate but as you know it came too late, the panzers were no longer the mark III and IV but teh Panther and Tiger. The Churchill at list had some heavy armor, cromwell not even that.

Uyraell
08-16-2010, 08:29 PM
The issue I have with the Crusader is that it was, in essence, under armoured and under-gunned.
Such armour as it did have was brittle-faced, and not that well shaped.

The Meteor was never fitted to the Crusader because the Crusader had been designed long before the Meteor came into existence, as had the Churchill. This is a common failing of any British tank of the same design era.
In essence, the only "almost usable" engine was the Liberty V8/V12 series, or something cobbled together as in the Bedford Twin Six of the Churchill. And the Liberty was not always suitable.

Recognition of this is reflected in the Cromwell/Centaur series, designed ab initio to accept the Meteor once that engine became available.

Expressed in the easiest way, Crusader was too early for that cycle of development, its' faults made it unworthy of further re-development, especially as its' successors were already under development and in prototype production.
The Crusader hull was sufficiently useful to be rebuilt and employed in lesser combat roles: as witness we have the Anti-Air versions, the various gun tractors, various Engineer vehicles.

I don't regard the Crusader as being close to the ideal Cruiser tank: the tank was simply the best (of a then very poor bunch of choices) they had available to use (in the cruiser role), and so saw use despite its' inadequacies, rather than because of its' qualities, which were at best marginal.

As a design philosophy, yes, the Crusader certainly headed in the right direction for use as a cruiser, but like it's predecessors, was badly shaped, inadequately armed, and had only speed to save it from these failings.
It had to be used in the cruiser role, but it was very, very far from completely suited to the tasks it performed therein.

Kind and Respectful Regards my friends, Uyraell.

Panzerknacker
08-18-2010, 08:05 AM
I guess the side turret armor deflected shots towards the turret ring...Is that you mean with "not well shaped" ?

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:RjpPGl31G_JOJM:http://www.caxoperros.net/php/images/capturas/crusader_tank_desert.jpg

Uyraell
08-19-2010, 12:45 AM
I guess the side turret armor deflected shots towards the turret ring...Is that you mean with "not well shaped" ?

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:RjpPGl31G_JOJM:http://www.caxoperros.net/php/images/capturas/crusader_tank_desert.jpg

Yes, that and the flat faced armour behind the neatly sloped glacis.
The driver's position always seemed to my eye to be horribly "flat-plated", and the flat plate really should not have been retained: it should have been designed sloped in the first place.

The tank gives a stunningly good impression of being a mobile shot-trap, which fault it shares with its' predecessors, and indeed its' successors until the arrival of the Centurion, which is effectively in a different class in any case.
The armour was brittle and thin, and not readily able to be enhanced, due to weight considerations straining the already overburdened engine.

The only truly redeeming features of the Crusader were its' suspension system, and reasonably high speed.
Again though, part of that high speed is due to the thin armour. And part is due to the drivers opening up the engine governors to get more speed from the tank.
I can't say I blame them for doing so: I'd have done exactly the same, for the same reason.
Better to have the speed available, in order to have the chance of getting the deathtrap you're driving out of danger and into safety.

Kind and Respectful Regards Panzerknacker my friend, Uyraell.

CliSwe
08-20-2010, 05:55 AM
Yes, that and the flat faced armour behind the neatly sloped glacis.
The driver's position always seemed to my eye to be horribly "flat-plated", and the flat plate really should not have been retained: it should have been designed sloped in the first place.

The tank gives a stunningly good impression of being a mobile shot-trap, which fault it shares with its' predecessors, and indeed its' successors until the arrival of the Centurion, which is effectively in a different class in any case.
The armour was brittle and thin, and not readily able to be enhanced, due to weight considerations straining the already overburdened engine.

The only truly redeeming features of the Crusader were its' suspension system, and reasonably high speed.
Again though, part of that high speed is due to the thin armour. And part is due to the drivers opening up the engine governors to get more speed from the tank.
I can't say I blame them for doing so: I'd have done exactly the same, for the same reason.
Better to have the speed available, in order to have the chance of getting the deathtrap you're driving out of danger and into safety.

Kind and Respectful Regards Panzerknacker my friend, Uyraell.

Yes - despite it being one of the prettiest tanks ever made, the armour in sensitive places of the Crusader was either too thin or too square. Not that there's anything wrong with square plating, as long as it' s thick enough. The Tiger I attests to that theory.
And I have a book with a quite interesting photo of a troop of Comets driving through Halle in 1947. The driver's vision port in the leading tank, in the swung-open position, is ~100mm thick. And the tank itself was fast, reliable and relatively well-armed (the truncated breech of the so-called 77mm gave a slight reduction in MV of the standard 17pdr). By war's end, the Comet was judged to be about on par with the Panther.
What one shouldn't forget is that, by the time these opposing designs came within reach of each other on the battlefield, the Allied supporting logistics train was excellent, and the German tail was drooping, so to speak. This meant a much higher return-to-service rate of recovered tanks on the Allied side. Formations could be brought back up to strength far quicker than the Germans could manage, and the advance kept its momentum. Also, with air superiority, the Allies had no need to engage in armoured slogging-matches.
And the Churchill, in its various guises, thrived in this environment. Still required on numerous occasions as a "battering ram" traditional Infantry tank, it absorbed punishment and kept on going. The Croc/AVRE combination would have been devastating for the defenders to face.

Cheers,
Cliff

Panzerknacker
08-21-2010, 12:50 PM
The tank gives a stunningly good impression of being a mobile shot-trap, which fault it shares with its' predecessors, and indeed its' successors until the arrival of the Centurion, which is effectively in a different class in any case.
The armour was brittle and thin, and not readily able to be enhanced, due to weight considerations straining the already overburdened engine.


Interesting, never before I had read that remark on british armor: is alkways a subjet of hot discussion between armor fanatics the brittleness of teh german plates of late war, but that issue with british steel is never bring to the table. Thanks for the reply.

Uyraell
08-25-2010, 11:57 PM
Interesting, never before I had read that remark on british armor: is alkways a subjet of hot discussion between armor fanatics the brittleness of teh german plates of late war, but that issue with british steel is never bring to the table. Thanks for the reply.

You are more than welcome Panzerknacker my friend. :)

Generally, the best quality of British-produced heavy steel was used in naval construction.
Mechanical armour (tanks etc.) came a very poor second to ship-building.
The sad and sorry story of inadequate armament in British tanks is well-known, but the steel quality issue is far less-so.

And such steel as was produced for use in manufacturing tanks was generally not high quality homogenous plate as other nations were by then employing. Face-hardened steel plate was employed for the British vehicles for somewhat longer than the German and Russian counterparts, with America rapidly shifting to employing homogenous plate in tanks after the introduction of the M3 Medium, tank family.

Few British tanks had adequate steel in their armour, with the notable exceptions of the Centurion and the Churchill.
(We can leave aside interesting constructions such as the Tortoise.)
This tends to be overlooked, largely because the inadequacies of various British vehicles tends to be overshadowed by the availability of the American vehicles.

In post-war documents, the quality of British steel is not often mentioned, whereas that of German steel (or Russian, for that matter) is highlighted with great frequency.

Kind and Respectful Regards Panzerknacker my friend, Uyraell.

burp
08-26-2010, 03:20 AM
I think that is a common "mistake" in history study. Also Italian tanks uses a poor quality armor while ship armor is better, but is hard to find.

Panzerknacker
08-26-2010, 10:28 PM
In the end all the base metal is the same carbon steel, but how many and in wich way you combine the chrome, molibdenum and nickel, that is the key. Of course if you havent enough alloy to enrich your steel you are forced to increase the level of carbon inside , that create hardness, not precisely resistance.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2363/2457367270_d3b395b3d5.jpg

burp
08-27-2010, 02:50 AM
It's not only the composition of armor. It depends also on the way you assemble it (inclination of armored plates and how you connect them, poor types of soldering means that italian tanks can be breaked in two parts with only a anti-tank rifle round in the right spot).

Uyraell
08-27-2010, 05:46 PM
In the end all the base metal is the same carbon steel, but how many and in wich way you combine the chrome, molibdenum and nickel, that is the key. Of course if you havent enough alloy to enrich your steel you are forced to increase the level of carbon inside , that create hardness, not precisely resistance.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2363/2457367270_d3b395b3d5.jpg

I'm no metallurgist, but I agree with you, my friend, that hardness and resistance are very different things.
Hardness, in it's nature, eventually risks to become simple brittleness.
Resistance (by contrasting comparison) may lead to an eventual defeat of the plate, but that defeat will only be achieved at the considerable cost of ensuring a series of consistent/repeated pressure/hits on the same given weak spot, whereas:
Brittleness/hardness means it only takes one or two massive applications of pressure on the same weak spot to produce a defeat of the plate.

EDIT:
What the British seem to have fortuitously stumbled upon with the Churchill tanks is the beneficial results of layering steel plate.
The various turrets of the various marks of Churchill attest to that.
From what I can gather, the British initially considered the benefits of layering to be a side-effect at best, and only later came to realise they had stumbled upon a truely beneficial thing.
In post-war years this saw its' most full expression in Chobham armour, to which the Stillbrew Armour as applied to Chieftan tanks contributed very heavily. As Chieftan was an outgrowth/development of Centurion, the link back to WW2 and the Churchill turrets is easily seen.

Kind and Respectful Regards Panzerknacker my friend, Uyraell.

Panzerknacker
08-27-2010, 07:26 PM
It's not only the composition of armor. It depends also on the way you assemble it (inclination of armored plates and how you connect them, poor types of soldering means that italian tanks can be breaked in two parts with only a anti-tank rifle round in the right spot).

Well the italians used riveted combination of rolled plates, but apparently the italian rolled armor wasnt equivalent to rolled armor of other countries, USA for example, so....


I'm no metallurgist, but I agree with you, my friend, that hardness and resistance are very different things.
Hardness, in it's nature, eventually risks to become simple brittleness.
Resistance (by contrasting comparison) may lead to an eventual defeat of the plate, but that defeat will only be achieved at the considerable cost of ensuring a series of consistent/repeated pressure/hits on the same given weak spot, whereas:
Brittleness/hardness means it only takes one or two massive applications of pressure on the same weak spot to produce a defeat of the plate.


You are in the right way, incidentally I am mettallurgical and machine-tools technician, in that I work and teach so I can write this with a pinch of confidence.

Excessive hardness brings another undesirable characteritics for armor purposes, the "back spalling" of the plate after being hit 4 o 5 times, sometimes a shower of small metal chips injuring the crew inside. A clasical trouble find in german late war armor.

Uyraell
08-27-2010, 08:00 PM
Well the italians used riveted combination of rolled plates, but apparently the italian rolled armor wasnt equivalent to rolled armor of other countries, USA for example, so....



You are in the right way, incidentally I am mettallurgical and machine-tools technician, in that I work and teach so I can write this with a pinch of confidence.

Excessive hardness brings another undesirable characteritics for armor purposes, the "back spalling" of the plate after being hit 4 o 5 times, sometimes a shower of small metal chips injuring the crew inside. A clasical trouble find in german late war armor.




Thank you, Panzerknacker my friend, for confirming my thoughts on hardness versus resistance.
The spalling issue is not one that is often discussed, but has clearly been taken account of in design engineer circles, as we have the example of the various anti-spalling compounds employed in the T72 and in western vehicles in the equivalent role. The use of ammunitions designed to employ spalling as a kill-factor of enemy crews during the latter half of WW2 highlights the issue/topic.

I'm largely unaware of any anti-spalling compounds or materials as employed in WW2 tanks, apart from the occasional use of "fire-proof" rubber compounds in certain cases, the Stuart M3 being one such.

I'd be interested to see a thread evolve on the topic of anti-spalling compounds and other linings employed in the crew areas of tanks.
Admittedly, it is an esoteric topic, but one I regard as relevant to the employment of tanks in combat.

Kind and Respectful Regards Panzerknacker my friend, Uyraell.

tankgeezer
08-28-2010, 03:00 PM
This fellow explains the situation in everyday, easy to understand terms.

"The face-hardened formula I use is in its most basic form is: "T = (C)(W^0.2)(V^1.21)", where "C" is similar to "K" (uses quite different values for various parameters that make it up, however), above, "W" and "V" mean the same thing, and there is only this one set of exponents 0.2 and 1.21 for W and V, respectively. Note that the weight's 0.2 power is much smaller than the striking velocity's 1.21 power (the latter gives an equivalent p-value of 0.605, which is halfway between the most widely-used average homogeneous armor p-values of 0.714285 (giving a V-exponent of (2)(0.714285) = 1.42857)--used with the ubiquitous De Marre Nickel-Steel Armor Penetration Formula of 1890--and 0.5 (giving a V-exponent of 1.00), which is the p-value used for an ideal punch cutting out a cylindrical, full-plate-thickness, full-caliber-width plug of steel from the plate at right-angles ("normal") impact obliquity). The small exponent 0.2 for W means that changing W (by lengthening the projectile or making the explosive cavity smaller) has rather little effect on penetration, all else being kept equal, while changing V has a large effect. This definitely is NOT a total-kinetic-energy-dependent formula using the full projectile weight W, since only the weight at the front of the projectile contributes much to the shockwave-induced breaking of the face layer that is the most important part of defeating a face-hardened plate--the base of the projectile doesn't even "know" the projectile has hit the plate face until the punching through of the face layer is all over with! If the face-hardened plate's soft, ductile back layer were not there to act as an "shock energy sink" to keep the hard, brittle face from shattering, the weight exponent would probably be even smaller than 0.2! Much different from the homogeneous armor penetration formula set! " (Note: the forgoing is meant to be humorous)

Uyraell
08-28-2010, 05:38 PM
This fellow explains the situation in everyday, easy to understand terms.

"The face-hardened formula I use is in its most basic form is: "T = (C)(W^0.2)(V^1.21)", where "C" is similar to "K" (uses quite different values for various parameters that make it up, however), above, "W" and "V" mean the same thing, and there is only this one set of exponents 0.2 and 1.21 for W and V, respectively. Note that the weight's 0.2 power is much smaller than the striking velocity's 1.21 power (the latter gives an equivalent p-value of 0.605, which is halfway between the most widely-used average homogeneous armor p-values of 0.714285 (giving a V-exponent of (2)(0.714285) = 1.42857)--used with the ubiquitous De Marre Nickel-Steel Armor Penetration Formula of 1890--and 0.5 (giving a V-exponent of 1.00), which is the p-value used for an ideal punch cutting out a cylindrical, full-plate-thickness, full-caliber-width plug of steel from the plate at right-angles ("normal") impact obliquity). The small exponent 0.2 for W means that changing W (by lengthening the projectile or making the explosive cavity smaller) has rather little effect on penetration, all else being kept equal, while changing V has a large effect. This definitely is NOT a total-kinetic-energy-dependent formula using the full projectile weight W, since only the weight at the front of the projectile contributes much to the shockwave-induced breaking of the face layer that is the most important part of defeating a face-hardened plate--the base of the projectile doesn't even "know" the projectile has hit the plate face until the punching through of the face layer is all over with! If the face-hardened plate's soft, ductile back layer were not there to act as an "shock energy sink" to keep the hard, brittle face from shattering, the weight exponent would probably be even smaller than 0.2! Much different from the homogeneous armor penetration formula set! " (Note: the forgoing is meant to be humorous)

:D OK, I --managed-- to comprehend the above, but oyyy gevayyy: Mann habst nich der Doktorat ins Metallische Physik. :)
I'd be trying hard to write the above out in much simpler terms TG, and I am laughing, sitting here, but I'd greatly enjoy seeing the corroborative Homogenous Plate Formula.

Kind, Warm, and Respectful Regards TG my friend, Uyraell.

tankgeezer
08-28-2010, 07:48 PM
Ask, and you shall receive..

The formula for homogeneous armor penetration is "T = (K)[(0.5)(W/g)V^2]^p", where "T" is the thickness of plate barely penetrated (by whatever definition of "penetration" you want to use), "K" is a constant (a "catch-all" that changes with projectile nose shape, projectile size, projectile damage, definition of "penetration," plate type, and obliquity angle of impact), "W" is the projectile's total weight, "g" is the acceleration of gravity to change weight to mass (inertial resistance) (NOTE: "g" factor is not needed if the weight is in KILOGRAMS, which is already a measure of "mass" and has the "g" division built-in), "V" is the striking velocity, and "p" is a constant--usually between 0.5 and 1.00--that raises the entire projectile total kinetic energy value "KE = (0.5)(W/g)V^2" to a single power as a unit (p does NOT change with projectile properties (other than nose shape), plate type, or obliquity angle, though). Both K and p are good for only a limited range of plate thicknesses, with up to 5 combinations of K and p needed to handle the entire thickness range from paper-thin plate to bank-vault-door thickness for some projectile designs even with no projectile damage. Note that in this formula the two terms W and V^2 are of equal importance, as in any true KE-dependent penetration formula.

Uyraell
08-29-2010, 10:48 AM
Ask, and you shall receive..

The formula for homogeneous armor penetration is "T = (K)[(0.5)(W/g)V^2]^p", where "T" is the thickness of plate barely penetrated (by whatever definition of "penetration" you want to use), "K" is a constant (a "catch-all" that changes with projectile nose shape, projectile size, projectile damage, definition of "penetration," plate type, and obliquity angle of impact), "W" is the projectile's total weight, "g" is the acceleration of gravity to change weight to mass (inertial resistance) (NOTE: "g" factor is not needed if the weight is in KILOGRAMS, which is already a measure of "mass" and has the "g" division built-in), "V" is the striking velocity, and "p" is a constant--usually between 0.5 and 1.00--that raises the entire projectile total kinetic energy value "KE = (0.5)(W/g)V^2" to a single power as a unit (p does NOT change with projectile properties (other than nose shape), plate type, or obliquity angle, though). Both K and p are good for only a limited range of plate thicknesses, with up to 5 combinations of K and p needed to handle the entire thickness range from paper-thin plate to bank-vault-door thickness for some projectile designs even with no projectile damage. Note that in this formula the two terms W and V^2 are of equal importance, as in any true KE-dependent penetration formula.

May many Good Blessings arrive upon thee, TG my friend.
The above is a rollicking good companion piece to the Face-Hardened Plate precedor. :D

Again, I --managed-- to comprehend it, withal that I lack our friend Panzerknacer's expertise in the topic. :)

On a serious note, though: I can but ponder the amount of toil devoted by metallurgists of all combatant nations in WW2, attempting to formulate armours that gave their crews a little bit better hope of survival over that of the opposing crews.

Which, if it can be said to have had a stand-out feature beyond the fortuitous virtue of the adaptable chassis, the Churchill Tank did possess in reasonable degree. The vehicle could, and frequently did, absorb punishing damage in combat that nonetheless allowed its' crew to survive.
In truth, very few other British tanks can claim the same, the Matilda (II) being the possible exception.

Warm, Kind, and Respectful Regards TG my friend, Uyraell.

tankgeezer
08-30-2010, 01:48 PM
Face hardened armor is best against solid shot, and HE shell, but once HEAT ,and Sabot munitions became standard for basic load items F.H. armor was no longer a benefit, and not worth the extra cost of producing it. Then it was homogeneious armor. This armor while tough, and resilient, allowed passage of an incoming strike without flying apart in shards, and shivers.(well, to a point anyway) And it reduced the spalling effect of HESH, and HEP munitions (again, to a point.) Since it was not possible to defeat these munitions, the best hope lay in reducing their secondary mischief. The idea being to hopefully preserve as many of the crew as possible.
Part of the face hardened problem was by what method is the hardening accomplished. one can roll out a higher carbon plate, (the property of hardness is a function of carbon content, and its distribution within the grain structure of the metal.) or one can carburize the surface of a plate of lower carbon steel to achieve a similar result. Although carburizing may result in a less stable transition from the hard layer to the tougher supporting metal beneath it.

Uyraell
08-30-2010, 03:29 PM
Which raises an interesting thought, TG my friend.
Does layering various combinations of face-hardened and,homogenous plate, possibly admixed with various ceramic and rare metal compounds actually achieve the benefits the process suggests, despite its' complexities?

What I have in mind here, is the difficulty inherent in achieving a uniform bonding between the layers, and then having said bond maintain under the pressure of repeated strikes to the outermost plate.

The Churchill never had such issues, of course, it being that most were mongrelised by ad-hoc plating being added either in factory or in the field workshops, and thus only the relative strength of the welding involved remained relevant to the uniformity of bond between layers.

Kind and Respectful Regards TG My friend, Uyraell.

tankgeezer
08-30-2010, 04:39 PM
As far as ceramic components being used in armor that would be something relevant to Chobham armor of which I know nothing of substance. The M1-a1 uses Chobham, and the Bradley fighting vehicle uses some manner of muti layer composite armor. Having layered metallic armor gives the benefit of a kinetic projectile having to break, and penetrate each individual layer of steel while attempting to retain sufficient energy to pass into the Hull, or turret and cause damage and casualties. Its the same as shooting through a wood plank, Vs. a phone book, or body armor. Each layer absorbs energy from the projectile, and subjects it to torsional, and compressive stresses. Then the next, and the next. Having a space between layers can impose enough stress on a projectile to break it up, and it then loses its mass, and energy. (along the lines of light passing through glass.)
The term" hardened layer" in my last post means that in a single plate, only a certain depth of the steel has been hardened, the rest of the plate is normal. As distinct from 2 or more layers of plate one over the other. Also, for your enjoyment, a pic of a 4" (100mm for you Metricans out there,) target plate converted for ventilation.

Uyraell
08-31-2010, 12:26 AM
As far as ceramic components being used in armor that would be something relevant to Chobham armor of which I know nothing of substance. The M1-a1 uses Chobham, and the Bradley fighting vehicle uses some manner of muti layer composite armor. Having layered metallic armor gives the benefit of a kinetic projectile having to break, and penetrate each individual layer of steel while attempting to retain sufficient energy to pass into the Hull, or turret and cause damage and casualties. Its the same as shooting through a wood plank, Vs. a phone book, or body armor. Each layer absorbs energy from the projectile, and subjects it to torsional, and compressive stresses. Then the next, and the next. Having a space between layers can impose enough stress on a projectile to break it up, and it then loses its mass, and energy. (along the lines of light passing through glass.)
The term" hardened layer" in my last post means that in a single plate, only a certain depth of the steel has been hardened, the rest of the plate is normal. As distinct from 2 or more layers of plate one over the other. Also, for your enjoyment, a pic of a 4" (100mm for you Metricans out there,) target plate converted for ventilation.

Many Thanks TG my friend, my understanding of armour has somewhat improved.:)

The ventilated 100mm plate is an interesting, if somewhat thought-provoking objet-d'art.

One would hope to not be within auditory range when the various impacts of that plate took place.

Warm, Kind, and Respectful Regards TG my friend, Uyraell.

tankgeezer
08-31-2010, 02:56 PM
I found some High Brow discussions of the metallurgy of armor, just a cut and paste. Note: BHN stands for Brinnell Harness Number. There are several different scales for measuring hardness, the more familiar are Rockwell
Brinell
Vickers
Knoop
Shore
Mohs Mostly used in mineralogy
Barcol

Subject: Griddling that armor
From: Robert Livingston
Date: 8/20/98 7:00:01 PM

If by griddling you mean marking by filing, the answer is that the harder
types of armor will resist files and the softer types will not. US WWII
armor was of the softer type, about 250 BHN, while most other nations
used harder steel. Files are usually case hardened high carbon steel,
and should cut armor up to 375 BHN or so. Russian tank armor was at
400-450 BHN during the later stages of the war; the 1941 and '42 KV was
around 250. German armor started the war very hard, then lost hardness
as thickness and production quantities increased. The Germans used
face-hardened armor at first, with file-resisting hardness, then dropped
the face hardening and relied on the core hardness of 250-300 BHN,
similar to US tank armor. Late-war German armor on the front of a
Jagdpanther was measured at about 200 BHN, as was Hetzer side armor. The
Elefants were measured in the low 200's after capture by the Russians, as
early as 1943. These are the softest examples of German armor I can
recall. I would expect easy filing on them, and maybe easy griddling,
too.

Generally, hard armor is expected to break up attacking projectiles,
which it can do when it is thicker than the diameter of the projectile.
Soft armor is best at absorbing projectile impact through slower
deceleration. The switch from the earlier face-hardened or
hard-all-the-way-through steel came about when the major combatants
introduced penetrating caps on their ammo, which protected against
shatter when hitting hard surfaces. These caps were so effective that
the FH armor resisted less well than softer homogeneous armor.

Armor under 375 BHN is called Machineable, which means that it can be cut
with normal machine-shop cutting tools. The harder it gets, the more
often you have to sharpen the tools, until you get to a hardness which
resists cutting completely. Tungsten carbide has been used to cut the
harder steels without excessive resharpening. By the same token, TC was
(is) used for armor-penetrating projectiles; during WWII there was
constant tension in Germany between those who thought it should be
reserved for the machining of steel and those who thought it should be
used on the battlefield for the penetration of armor.

colmhain
03-31-2011, 08:35 PM
Impressive as usual, tankgeezer. I am often awestruck by the knowledge available on this forum. Glad I joined.
Now, about the Churchill. On this thread, many have derided it, and many have lauded it. So as not to be redundant, I stand on the side of admirers. Way to go, Britts!