FV3903 Churchill VII AVRE: With a tow, row, row, row for the British Grenadiers!

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This vehicle was previously suggested in the old forum and Passed for Consideration there, but since the move to the new forum, no one has suggested it, so here’s my inferior attempt! You can read the older post here.


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With the Operation Overlord event over, we can now take a look at the successor to the Petard-bearer, the FV3903 armed with the 165mm HESH lobber currently found in the Centurion AVRE.

History

Built upon the chassis of the Churchill III and IVs, the original Churchill AVRE was introduced in 1944 for the British Royal Engineers. It proved its worth in the remainder of the Second World War as an engineering vehicle, being put up to tasks such as carrying fascines, serving as a mine sweeper, and - yes - using its famous Petard spigot mortar to destroy enemy emplacements.
Riding the coattails of this success, it was no surprise that Britain desired a successor to this concept and in 1947, development began. To set itself apart from its predecessor, this tank would be based out of the better-armored hull of the Churchill VII, and its primary armament would receive a substantial upgrade in the form of the 165mm Ordnance BL 6.5″ Mk.I howitzer (later designated L9 Demolition Gun). It eventually entered service in 1954 where eighty-eight was built in the next 24 years to serve along with its predecessor until it was phased out in favor of the FV4003 Centurion AVRE.

Specifications

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As a modified Churchill VII, the tank is very heavily armored and the L9 gun that succeeded the Petard offered a significant range advantage - with the capability to lob its 29 kg HESH shell up to 2400m away. Additionally, the tank was equipped with a 3 ton dozer blade that pivots over the fifth roadwheel.

Length: 7.44 m
Width: 3.25 m
Height: 2.49 m
Weight: Around 40 tonnes.
Engine: 350 HP Bedford twin-six petrol engine
Top Speed: 24 km/h
Armor: (Largely the same as Churchill VII)

  • Turret: 152mm front, 95mm side, 95mm rear, 20mm top
  • Hull: 140mm front, 57mm side, 50mm back, 19-25mm top
  • Superstructure: 152mm front, 95mm side, 16-19mm top

Crew: 5 (driver, hull gunner, gunner, loader, commander)
Primary Armament: 1x 165mm L9 Demolition Gun (-8 to +15 degrees, earlier model has a tube barrel, later model has a fume extractor)
Secondary Armament: 1x Hull mounted 7.92mm BESA machine gun
Additional Accessory:

  • 2x six-tube smoke dischargers
  • 3 ton hydraulic dozer blade

More Pictures!

Sources

2 Likes

Anything about the sights on the tank? As in are they the same as the VII or were they upgraded?

Not that I could find, sorry. From the honestly very limited resources I could find, the only thing that mentions the sights at all is the fact that they removed the turret mounted MG to fit one in.

1 Like

+1 for 5.0-6.0 range where UK doesn’t have any tech tree heavies, and preferably with the dozer as a modification

3 Likes

Did someone say another HESH launcher??
+1
I love shooting a round the weight of a Western Grey Kangaroo at the enemies.

2 Likes

+1 the Churchill AVRE we should have had.

3 Likes

A much improved Churchill AVRE! +1

Absolutely for around 5.3!
I personally prefer the look of the L9 over the L9A1

1 Like

Need

1 Like

You have my +1, with Gaijin finally adding in the Petard Mortar version I’d definitely be interested in seeing more Churchill AVREs… maybe even the Churchill Mk III with the Arder Aggie mortar.

This should definitely be a TT or squadron (preferably ) version since two AVRE vehicles and 2 of the funnies in the game are event/BP/prem