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D-Day Regiments
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INFANTRY TANK MARK IV, CHURCHILL MARK III ARMOURED VEHICLE ROYAL ENGINEERS.

Tank Museum photo No. 6765/D/3Sporting the insignia of 79th Armoured Division our restored AVRE viewed from the front, looking down the enormous barrel of the Petard mortar.

Tank Museum photo No. 6765/D/3

Tank Museum photo No. 5765/C/6

 

From the rear it is not so exciting. The heavy-duty tow hook was becoming a standard fitting for tanks by this time and the circular plate in the back of the turret covers a hole through which the gun barrel could be withdrawn on a conventional gun tank.

Tank Museum photo No. 5765/C/6

 

Tank Museum photo No. 5765/B/6

 

The extra panels of armour welded to the sides of the tank and around the turret are post-war modifications so this is not a typical D-Day vehicle. However the lack of track covers is by no means unusual, they were often removed.

Tank Museum photo No. 5765/B/6

Tank Museum photo No. 5765/C/5

This rear three-quarter view, in a better light, shows up the extra brackets on which the special attachments were mounted. The side door, one of the reasons why the Churchill was selected in the first place, is shown partly open.

Tank Museum photo No. 5765/C/5

 

Tank Museum photo No. 5765/D/5

 

The real business of the Churchill AVRE, the 290mm spigot mortar, known as the Petard which fired an 18 kg round over a range of about 75m. Not so easy to see is the sliding loader's hatch, underneath the gun.

Tank Museum photo No. 5765/D/5

 

Tank Museum photo No. 5765/D/6

One secret of the Churchill's success was its simple but tough suspension system. This enabled the tank to maintain its balance, even with heavy attachments fitted to the front.

Tank Museum photo No. 5765/D/6


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