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Churchill Mark VII

Tank Museum photo No. 4263/E/6
Tank Museum photo No. 4263/E/6

When it first appeared in 1943 the Churchill Mark VII was, effectively, a new tank; a vast improvement on earlier versions. The Tank Museum's exhibit is in fact the last Churchill tank to be completed and is in virtually new condition. It carries the markings of a tank in 34th Army Tank Brigade.

Tank Museum photo No. 4263/E/4
Tank Museum photo No. 4263/E/4

All late production Churchills left the factory complete with all the fittings necessary to convert them into flame-throwing Crocodile tanks. This included a bracket on the back to take the fuel trailer coupling, mountings underneath the hull to hold the special plumbing and a hull machine-gun fitting that could be modified to accept the flame projector.

Tank Museum photo No. 4234/E/3
Tank Museum photo No. 4234/E/3

This is the hull machine-gunner's location with the Besa in place; the flame-weapon took up a lot more room and, if it leaked, covered everything in petrol.

Tank Museum photo No. 4312/G/2
Tank Museum photo No. 4312/G/2

This is the flame trailer viewed from the front, showing the multi-jointed coupling that carried the fuel and propellant gas into the tank.

Tank Museum photo No. 4312/G/5
Tank Museum photo No. 4312/G/5

From the back, with the door removed it is possible to see one of the big, yellow tanks that held the thickened flame fuel. The trailer also contained gas cylinders which acted as propellant.

Tank Museum photo No. 4312/G/6
Tank Museum photo No. 4312/G/6

Both tank and trailer are exhibited close together, but not connected. The case in the foreground contains other components of the flame projector, sectioned for display.


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