Jump to content

Zombificus
 Share

Please Read Before Voting  

29 members have voted

  1. 1. Would You Like The Churchill Mk.II?

    • Yes
      27
    • No
      1
    • Maybe / I Don't Know
      1
  2. 2. If Added, What BR Should It Be?

    • 2.7
      3
    • 3.0 (Same as Churchill Mk.I)
      19
    • 3.3
      4
    • Other (Please Comment)
      0
    • I Don't Know / Don't Mind
      2
    • I Don't Want It
      1
  3. 3. If Added, How Should It Be Available To Players?

    • Researchable
      23
    • Premium
      1
    • Event / Tournament
      1
    • Squadron Reward
      0
    • I Don't Know / Don't Mind
      3
    • Other (Please Comment)
      0
    • I Don't Want It
      1
  4. 4. If Added, Should It Be A Reworked Variant (Track Skirts Like Late Churchills; Square Exhaust Boxes)?

    • Yes
      18
    • No
      1
    • I Don't Know / Don't Mind
      9
    • Other (Please Comment)
      0
    • I Voted "No" Before
      1
  5. 5. If Added, Should It Have The AA Bren Gun?

    • Yes
      24
    • No
      0
    • I Don't Know / Don't Mind
      4
    • I Voted "No" Before
      1
  6. 6. Would You Like The Churchill Mk.II Oke Flamethrower Tank?

    • Yes
      15
    • No
      9
    • Maybe / I Don't Know
      5
  7. 7. If Added, What BR Should It Be?

    • 2.7
      1
    • 3.0 (Same As Mk.I)
      11
    • 3.3
      4
    • I Don't Know / Don't Mind
      6
    • Other (Please Comment)
      0
    • I Don't Want It
      7
  8. 8. If Added, Should It Get A Working Flamethrower?

    • Yes
      9
    • Yes, But Only In The Future
      9
    • No
      2
    • I Don't Know / Don't Mind
      2
    • Other (Please Comment)
      0
    • I Don't Want It
      7
  9. 9. If Added, How Should It Be Available To Players?

    • Researchable
      9
    • Premium
      8
    • Event / Tournament Reward
      1
    • Squadron Reward
      2
    • I Don't Know / Don't Mind
      2
    • Other (Please Comment)
      0
    • I Don't Want It
      7


The Churchill Mk.II was an improved, simplified version of the preceding Churchill Mk.I, which introduced a number of mechanical improvements and replaced the 3-Inch Howitzer in the hull with the 7.92mm BESA machine gun that would be standard in all following Churchills. With 1127 Mk.IIs built, the type was the third most produced Churchill of all, after the 1400 Mk.VIIs and 1622 Mk.IVs, and outnumbered both the preceding Mk.I (303 built) and following Mk.III (675 built) in service. First seeing combat alongside Mk.Is at the Dieppe Raid, which was an unmitigated disaster in nearly every way, their performance in the face of strong German defences and inadequate infantry support contributed to a negative early impression of the tank, but the type served to good effect on other fronts during the war and was still in front-line service by 1943. Although very similar to the Churchill Mk.I already present in the game, the Mk.II's historical significance makes it a worthwhile addition, which could further bolster British Tier II lineups with a second heavy option.

 

A-Churchill-tank-of-33rd-Army-Tank-Briga

 

History:

 

In 1940, fairly early in production of the Churchill Mk.I, it was realised that stocks of the 3-Inch Howitzer used in the tank's hull would soon run out. Since the 3-Inch and older 3.7-Inch (94mm) Howitzers were due to be replaced by the larger QF 95mm Howitzer, the Churchill underwent a minor redesign which replaced the hull howitzer with the ubiquitous 7.92mm BESA machine gun. At the same time, all Churchills were refitted with dust guards on the inside of the track guards, preventing mud picked up by the tracks from blinding the driver. These guards, mounted on triangular plates, were built on the Churchill Mk.II as standard and were fitted to existing Mk.Is; our Mk.I in-game has these guards, so this would not be a difference between it and a potential Mk.II. The removal of the howitzer reduced the weight of the tank, putting less stress on its automotive components, and this combined with continuing efforts to improve the tanks reliability to give it better performance. By 1943, the Mk.IIs still in service had had their reliability problems mostly ironed out and boasted a slightly higher top speed of just under 17 mph (27 kph) compared to the Mk.I's 16.25 mph (26 kph), as well as somewhat better acceleration thanks to their lower weight. 

 

Churchill-Mk-II-768x614.jpgchurchill_II_front.jpg

 

On the 19th of August, 1942, the Churchill tank saw its first combat in the Dieppe Raid, an attempt by 6050 mostly-Canadian troops to take the French port of Dieppe before retreating, which was intended as a trial run of the eventual Normandy landings during D-Day. The Churchills of the raid were tanks of the 14th (Reserve) Army Tank Regiment, AKA The Calgary Regiment (Tank), numbering nearly 60, and were of several different types: Mk.Is, three varieties of Mk.II which included Oke flamethrower tanks, and some Mk.IIIs. The beach was made of a treacherous kind of shingle known as "chert", which the German defenders believed was impossible for tanks to traverse, and while some tanks (none of them Mk.IIs, since the only Mk.II lead tank already had the Oke flamethrower device) were modified to deploy "chespaling" (250-pound, 25-foot rolls of flexible post fencing), just two of them successfully deployed it. While a good idea, in the end it didn't help much, since ambush fire from German 75mm guns awaited any tank which crossed the sea wall, while most of the Canadian Royal Engineers were killed at the start of the landings and couldn't open the way as had been planned, making any further advance pointless.

 

Bodies_of_Canadian_soldiers_-_Dieppe_RaiBundesarchiv_Bild_101I-362-2211-12%2C_Di

Churchills at Dieppe, trapped on the beach; in the right photo is "Boar", a Mk.II Oke.

 

Since only the first two LCT (Landing Craft, Tank) waves got ashore before the rest were turned away, only 29 Churchills got ashore: three Mk.Is, of which two were chespaling carriers (they were unsuccessful, one having removed it due to damage before landing, while the other deployed its rolls early), five standard Mk.IIs, two Mk.II Oke flamethrower tanks (the third, a unique Mk.III Oke, launched early and drowned), and 18 Mk.IIIs. The tanks struggled to push off the beach, the chert beach giving them difficulties, and German anti-tank guns prevented the only Mk.III to get off the beach,"Cougar", from proceeding further when a 75mm shell jammed its turret and forced its retreat. Only one Mk.II Oke got to shore without losing its flamethrower fuel tank, but this tank, "Beetle", was unable to advance due to the general failure of the chespaling tanks to deploy their rolls, and the presence of AT guns at the top of the chespaling that had been deployed, soon being immobilised completely when it was de-tracked. The other Mk.II Oke, "Boar", was mobile for much of the attempted advance, moving up and down the beach to support the troops, but also couldn't proceed, since without the Royal Engineers who had been killed, there was no way past the sea wall that didn't involve going up the chespaling and into the sights of the waiting German 75mm guns. Eventually, "Boar" was immobilised by enemy fire, but continued to act as a pillbox until the retreat was ordered.

 

Churchill-Tanks-with-hull-mounted-3-inch50086298_2231618133722935_57868023463568

Reworked Mk.Is & a reworked Mk.II that's lost the tips of its track guards.

 

This was the fate of pretty much every tank at Dieppe: deployed on poor terrain, trapped on the beach by the sea wall and German AT guns, caught without proper air support as the RAF fared badly above them (106 RAF planes were lost for 48 Luftwaffe), and left sitting ducks by the loss of their accompanying Royal Engineers. Of the 6050 men (5000 Canadian, 1000 British, 50 US Army Rangers) landed on the beach at Dieppe, 3623 were captured, wounded or killed and all of the tanks had to be abandoned when the retreat was finally sounded, 10 hours after the first landing. The stink of Dieppe clung to the Churchill tank, despite them not faring any worse than the infantry and planes during the same operation, and this combined with its slow speed almost saw it cancelled in favour of the Cromwell, saved only by the performance of the six "Kingforce" Churchill Mk.IIIs at El Alamein. After Dieppe, the Allied plan for liberating Europe changed, and in the resultant advance through North Africa and, later, Italy, the Churchills finally got their chance to prove themselves. Deployed properly, with the support of their infantry, aircraft, and fire support (all three of which was lacking at Dieppe), the tanks performed well, even early types like the Mk.II. Later in the war, many Mk.Is and IIs were reworked with new boxy exhausts (all Dieppe Mk.IIs already had these, since their wading gear wouldn't work without them) and track guards of the style seen on later Churchills. By the end of 1943, many early Churchills were being withdrawn from the front lines for conversion into Mk.IIIs or Ark bridge tanks, but some were still fighting in 1944, soldiering on despite their 2-Pounder gun's total obsolescence by then. Much maligned for their role in Dieppe (unfairly, especially since not one of the Dieppe Churchills was pierced by enemy fire), while their successes in Tunisia and in Italy on the Gothic Line are generally ignored, the Mk.IIs were one of the most major Churchill variants, deserving of recognition and a place in the game.

 

 

The Churchill Mk.II Oke Flamethrower Tank:

 

Named for its designer, Major J.M Oke, the Churchill Oke was an early flamethrower tank which served in the Dieppe Raid. The Mk.II vehicles had an American Ronson flamethrower (also used on Universal Carrier "Wasp" flamethrower vehicles), which was attached at the front left of their hull (the hull BESA MG remained fully usable) which was supplied with fuel by a pipe leading to a tank on the rear of the hull, which was encased in armour and was jettisonable in case of ignition. When first converted by Lagonda Inc., the prototype Okes had an angular new track guard design, but this was not used when the tanks deployed at Dieppe and never appeared on a production Churchill, although a similar design is seen on a single surviving Mk.VI. The flame projector could reach 45-50 yards (41-46m) and would had roughly 25-30 seconds of firing time, both of which were trumped by the Churchill Crocodile's 150-yard (137m) range and substantially larger towed fuel trailer, which along with the Okes failure to deploy their flamethrowers at Dieppe contributed to their rapid replacement by the Crocodile.

 

000-1024x639.jpgBoar-2-1024x654.jpg

The first Oke prototype; "Boar", one of the production Okes, at Dieppe.

 

In War Thunder, the flamethrower would have limited tank-killing capabilities, particularly from the front. Firing at the enemy's turret front would blind their gunner's sight with flame for a second or so, which might be useful, but it wouldn't harm them. The only real way to kill an enclosed tank with the flamethrower would be to land the flame on the engine deck, which would start an engine fire and force them to extinguish it, offering the same route to killing the enemy tank that light tanks take against heavies they can only pierce through the rear: fire, wait until they extinguish, repeat. SPGs like the StuG would be easier targets, since their low silhouette and lack of turret would let the Oke ark its flame over onto their engine deck from the front, but otherwise would still take multiple engine fires to take out. This is time consuming and wouldn't be a recommended tactic for killing tanks unless the 2-Pounder can't be used, but it could be used to immobilise the SPG and allow you to get your 2-Pounder round to the weaker sides and rear, since its penetration is less than great at its BR.

 

000-2-1024x477.jpgChurchill-II-Okes-newly-1024x707.jpg

The fuel tank on the first prototype; the armoured box containing it on the final Oke protoypes.

 

Open-topped vehicles or those with otherwise exposed crew would be the ideal target, since they are just as vulnerable to the Oke's flamethrower as to a machine gun, and will die much faster. Since many such vehicles have their ammo out in the open compartment, detonation of ammo racks would be possible if the fire was not extinguished soon enough, while a combination of flamethrower and machine gun fire would quickly eliminate the crew of an open-top caught by surprise. Small vehicles of this type like ASU-57, if you happened to encounter one in your Churchill Oke, would be especially vulnerable. Flamethrowers are unlikely to ever be a meta weapon in War Thunder, but if added they could provide hybrid gun-and-flamethrower tanks like the Oke and Crocodile with another means to harm their foes, which can open up opportunities not available to a standard tank. If, as has been done before, an Event vehicle were used to test flamethrowers as a mechanic, the Churchill Oke would be a good choice, being a limited-run vehicle of the kind of historical note many Premiums tend to be, while also pretty capable as a tank even if the flamethrower doesn't work out.

 

Specifications:

 

14thCanArm_Rgt-Dieppe_Aug42.png

 

Length: 7.44m

Width: <3.25m

Height: 2.49m

Weight: 37.7 tons

Crew: 5

Primary Armament: 1x 40mm 2-Pounder cannon

Armament Information: -15 to 20 degrees elevation, 17+ RPM, 150 rounds carried

Secondary Armament: 2x 7.92mm BESA MGs (1x hull, 1x turret coaxial); 1x .303 Bren MG (AA mount)

Additional Armament: 1x Ronson flamethrower (Mk.II Oke only)

Turret Armour: 89mm front and mantlet, 89mm armoured collar (Mk.VI only), 76.2mm sides, 76.2mm rear, 18mm roof

Hull Armour: 89mm front, 76.2mm side hatch, 63.5mm sides, 50.8mm rear, 15.9mm roof

Max Speed: 17 mph (27 kph)

 

Their Place In War Thunder:

 

Churchill-Mk-II-1943-1024x709.jpg

 

The Churchill Mk.II is very similar to the Mk.I we already have, so would be best suited as either a supplementary vehicle or some kind of limited availability tank, be it Premium, Event or otherwise. Having lost its hull howitzer and with it the ability to pop smoke and blast vital components, the Mk.II has fewer options when engaging the enemy and is additionally disadvantaged by the weak spot presented by the hull MG. Whether this is enough to justify a slightly lower BR is uncertain, but with a sizable hull weak spot and less ability to cover its advance with smoke, it's less likely to seal club tanks in downtiers than other vehicles, especially since its 2-Pounder gun is far past its prime by the time you get to the Mk.I's BR of 3.0. Whether it winds up at the same BR or somewhat lower, there are a few ways to differentiate the Mk.II from our existing Mk.I: give it the full track guards seen on the reworked Mk.I in the history section, the square exhaust boxes of the Dieppe tanks, and the AA Bren gun that equipped the Mk.II in the picture above this paragraph. Many players, I think, would be fairly happy to trade the hull howitzer for track skirts and an AA MG, especially if they already liked the Mk.I. If there were any Mk.II variant that belonged in the tree, it would be this one. The Churchill Mk.II Oke, meanwhile, would be a good choice for an Event vehicle testing the mechanic of flamethrowers, since as I already mentioned in my section on the Oke, it's a strong vehicle even without a working flamethrower, with historical significance outside of being a flame tank. If it turns out flamethrowers don't work as a mechanic, just take the fuel box off the back and call it "Boar", the Dieppe Oke which lost its fuel tank during the landing. 

 

I hope you like these tanks, and I look forward to hearing from you in the comments!

 

More Pictures:

 

Spoiler

 

Churchill_tanks_of_9th_Royal_Tank_Regime

Churchill Is and IIs on trials at Salisbury Plain, 1942.

 

Churchill-Tanks-with-hull-mounted-3-inch

Reworked Mk.Is; most Mk.IIs still in service by 1943-1944 saw the same upgrades.

 

50086298_2231618133722935_57868023463568

A reworked Mk.II. It's missing the front of its track guards either by choice or having lost them. There are no side exhausts at all, neither the cylindrical original or the boxy upgrade, since by this point in the war many surviving Mk.Is and IIs had the exhausts moved to the roof of the engine deck. 

 

Churchill-Mk-II-768x614.jpg

A good frontal shot of a Mk.II, showing the MG port in clear detail.

 

A-Churchill-tank-of-33rd-Army-Tank-Briga

Mk.IIs on the move, possibly on trials.

 

Churchill-Mk-II-1943-1024x709.jpg

A Mk.II with an AA MG, probably a Bren, for the commander to use.

 

churchill_II_front.jpg

A Mk.II, probably Canadian.

 

churchill_I_II_climbing.jpg

A Mk.II scales a steep hill.

 

polish_churchill_tank_t31829-741x519.jpg

A closeup of a Mk.II. Note the dust covers on the inner tracks, attached via the triangular plates.

 

churchill_tank_unloads_from_lcu_england_

A Mk.II drives off a landing craft.

 

untitled-741x466.png

A Mk.II being transported on a trailer.

 

13-2-676x640.jpg

A column of Mk.IIs operated by Polish tankers.

 

000-2-1024x477.jpg

"Tintagel", the British Oke prototype before all three were given to the Canadians.

 

000-1024x639.jpg

A closeup of "Tintagel"'s front.

 

Churchill-II-Okes-newly-1024x707.jpg

The prototype Okes with their armoured boxes around the fuel and unique track guards.

 

okedieppe.jpg

Churchill Mk.II Oke "Beetle" at Dieppe.

 

Churchill-Mk-II-OKE-number-8-T68875-nick

Another view of "Beetle" at Dieppe.

 

abeca23b3e14b7328456eb02aa683559-1024x66

"Beetle"'s fuel box.

 

okeflamegun.jpg

"Boar", the Churchill Mk.II Oke which lost its fuel tank, at Dieppe.

 

T68875-Beetle.jpg

Another view of "Boar".

 

Boar-x-1024x601.jpg

"Boar" amongst other abandoned Churchills, including a Mk.III named "Beefy".

 

Boar-2-1024x654.jpg

A closeup of "Boar".

 

Boar-FS2-zz-768x619.jpg

"Boar" after being captured by the Germans.

 

14thCanArm_Rgt-Dieppe_Aug42.png

Tanks Encyclopedia's Dieppe Mk.I, which is identical to a Mk.II from this angle.

 

Churchill_IICS_21stATB_NISRgt_B.png

A Mk.II CS with a Panzer II cupola, courtesy of Tanks Encyclopedia. While it's possible one of the CS tanks converted in North Africa equipped itself with a salvaged cupola, TE's claim that the Mk.II CS used the 95mm howitzer is utter nonsense. The Churchill Mk.I and Mk.II CS had 3-Inch Howitzers in the turret (which this picture's gun matches in size) and 2-Pounders in the hull, the Mk.IIs having been converted in the field rather than built that way. The first Churchill with the significantly bigger 95mm Howitzer was the Mk.V, and so far as I know no vehicles with the 95mm were in service when the North African CS Churchills were made, let alone out there to have their guns installed in obsolescent Churchills.

 

 

Sources:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Churchill_tank#A22

http://www.felixshara.com/infantry-tank-mk-iv-a22-churchill/

http://www.felixshara.com/infantry-tank-mk-iv-churchill-variants-specialist-vehicles/

http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_churchill_II.html

https://www.britannica.com/technology/Churchill-tank

https://tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2/gb/A22_Churchill_Tank.php

https://www.canadiansoldiers.com/vehicles/flamethrowers/oke.htm

http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_churchill_oke.html

https://www.thoughtco.com/world-war-ii-churchill-tank-2361327

https://www.militaryfactory.com/armor/detail.asp?armor_id=66

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dieppe_Raid

Edited by Zombificus
  • Like 1
  • Upvote 2
medal medal medal medal medal medal medal medal medal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Churchill IIR would probably be the best fit. Perfect alternative to the Churchill Mk. I at 3.0. 

 

If if you want some more early Churchill suggestions there’s also the Mk. I with a hull 2-Pdr and turret 3-Inch Howitzer. Then if you want to be really crazy there’s a Churchill Mk. I with duel 3-Inch Howitzers (in the turret and hull). The latter would require the experimental HEAT shell to be competitive.

  • Like 1
medal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...