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Churchill
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"So the Noble Sisters is riding a Churchill"
Yukari

The A22 Infantry Tank Mark IV "Churchill" (redesignated as A42 in 1945) was a heavy infantry tank, notable for its very thick armour protection. It was one of the heaviest Allies tank.

History

Development

First designed to be the successor of Matilda and Valentine infantry tanks, the tank had able to capable of navigating shell-cratered ground, demolishing infantry obstacles such as barbed wire and attacking fixed enemy defences (such as Siegfried Line's defenses) for these purposes, great speed and heavy armament were not required. So the specifications were to have at least a front armor of 60mm, a 15km/h speed powered by a flat-12 Meadows engine and have at least a 40mm AT gun or a low velocity 95mm gun, in the end they chose a Matilda turret with a 2 pdr and a second 76mm gun in the casemate. The four first prototypes designated A20 were delivered by Harland and Wolff in mid 1940, during the construction the armament was reconsidered by fitting either a 6pdr or a French 75mm gun in the hull but chose instead a 3-inch gun. Harland's prototype suffered from many engine and gearbox problem and the Dunkirk evacuation didn't help the project as when France lost the scenario of WWI trench warfare vanished. Vauxhall Motors was first contacted to provide a new 350hp 12-cylinder engine based on the Bedford 6-cylinder, then was given the new A22 project with new specifications in June 1940 with orders from the War Office that the tank should enter production within a year.

The new design was complete and the first prototypes were finished near December 1940, on June 1941 fourteen tanks were delivered and the tank mass production was attributed to a group of eleven British manufacturers formed at this purpose. Some models called Churchill II removed the 3-inch howitzer and replaced it by a machine-gun, in 1941 production of a new welded turret housing the 6 pounder gun began and will become the Churchill III, however some problems led to the creation of an alternative cast turret that put on the Churchill IV and further models, some of them were refitted with 94mm howitzers giving birth to the Churchill V and others were fitted with QF 75mm designated Churchill VI. In 1944 some big redesign occurs, the hull was widen and armor was significantly increased giving it armor thicker than the Tiger I, still retaining the QF 75mm becoming the Churchill VII and similar to the Churchill VI some Churchill VII were fitted with a 95mm howitzer designated Churchill VIII. Some Churchill IV, VI and V were upgraded to Mk.VII standards becoming Churchill IX, X and XI, while some Churchill IV got the 6 pdr replaced US 75mm guns from Shermans in North Africa and were called Churchill NA75.

The tank saw many derivation, such as flamethrower tank like the Churchill Oke or Crocodile, the Churchill AVRE with a 290mm Spigot mortar to demolish fortifications, a huge collection of specialist variants and a foiled attempt to upgrade the Churchill called the Black Prince.

Despite its many flaws, such as its weak speed and its underpowered and unreliable engine, the Churchill had the ability to cross terrain obstacles and climb steep slopes that most other tanks of its era could not.

Operational History

The Churchill's baptism of fire was during the Dieppe Raid on August 19th 1942, approximately sixty Churchill were to be deployed using Landing Craft Tank vessels. Only thirty Churchill from the two first waves made it to the beach, the two other waves turned away due to heavy fire. From those thirty: one get trapped in the LCT by shellfire, two sank en route to shore and eleven were trapped and immobilized by the beach defenses. The fifteen remaining made it to Dieppe's promenade and engaged the German defenders but were blocked by concrete defenses. When the withdrawn was signaled only ten on the fifteen were able to return to the beach, but could be evacuated but instead they fought covering the retreat and were captured later.

Six Churchill III (with 6 pdr guns) were deployed in North Africa during the Second Battle of El Alamein in October 1942, where their toughness and resistance save the Churchill from leaving the production line and being replaced by the Cromwell. The tank then saw action during the Tunisian Campaign where one managed on April 21st 1943 to knocked out a Tiger tank through the turret ring. The Churchill was next deployed to Italy where it was mosty use as infantry support and during the Normandy campaign to Belgium and Germany where it more ease than other tanks to cross muddy grounds.

Soviet Union was supplied 344 Churchill (ninty-four were lost on the Arctic Route) as part of the lend-lease program and were used during several battles such as Stalingrad, Prokhorovka, Kursk or Kharkov.

Germany used captured Churchill during the failed Dieppe Raid and on the Eastern Front under the designation Infanterie Panzerkampfwagen Mk.IV Churchill(e).

Their last action was during the Korean War in late 1950 where a squadron of Churchill Crocodile was deployed against the Chinese. The Churchill was then disengaged from the British Army in 1952.

In Girls und Panzer

Anime

St. Gloriana Girls College fields their Churchill in their practice match against Ooarai Girls Academy. During the battle in the city, after a Matilda was destroyed and all remaining Ooarai tanks were disposed off, the Churchill and three Matildas cornered the Panzer IV and was about to shoot when the Panzer 38(t) distracted them, the four tanks overkilled the poor Turtle Team, however this action allowed Anglerfish Team to escape. During the pursuit, after Miho destroyed all Matildas she attempts a daring maneuver to flank the Churchill but Darjeeling didn't saw it that way and turned when the Panzer IV drift and both shoot at each other. While the Panzer IV's shot didn't penetrate the British behemoth's turret even at point blank range, the Churchill on its side didn't miss was obliterated the German tank's turret.

Der Film

During the exhibition match between St. Gloriana and Pravda vs Chi-Ha-Tan and Ooarai, the Churchill was fielded as the team's flag tank. The Churchill spend the beginning of the match entrenched in a golf bunker. After Chi-ha-Tan's reckless charge where the Churchill destroyed two Type 97 Chi-Ha Shinhoto and Pravda breaking Ooarai's back guard spend a good part of the match being protected by her teammates. At the end of the match the Churchill was persued by Ooarai tanks on the beachside where it used its extraordinary climbing skills to pass a sea wall to ending on a parking lot, where a close ranged battle was engaged between Miho and Darjeeling. The match ends where both Panzer IV and the Churchill ascend adjacent staircases into Ooarai's Aqua World arrived at the top the Panzer IV quickly fire at what she tought to be the Churchill but realized too late that Katyusha used her T-34 to shield Darjeeling that disposed of her opponent shortly after.

St. Gloriana comes with their Churchill still commanded by Darjeeling to help Ooarai against All-Stars University Team, it was assigned to Dandelion Platoon commanded by Miho as vice-commander. The Churchill was present during the engagement against Rumi's platoon in the swamp, after the Karl was destroyed it retreats in the theme park and alongside others St. Gloriana tanks was assigned to the eastern utility gate. After the T28 storms in the park the Churchill fled as it was unable to harm the rolling fortress but was surrounded at the amphitheater alongside others but thanks to Rabbit Team it escaped the University encirclement. During the last stage of the match, the Churchill took up position underneath a bridge, propped up against the bridge supports so as to fire directly upwards directly, the Firefly open a line of sight by destroying a segment of the bridge just when the T28 was passing through and fire at the monster's belly destroying it, however because of this maneuver the British tank was stuck and defenseless and was ultimately destroyed by a Pershing and a Chaffee.

Manga

During the practice match against Ooarai, the Churchill performed just like in the anime.

Little Army 2

During a match against Bellwall Academy for rights to the Commemorative Cup, West Kureouji Grona Academy fielded one Churchill Mk.VII. The spent the entire match being the escort and shield of the Black Prince, until the Jagdpanther violently ram the heavy tank to get rid of it and open a breach in Black Prince's protection but it ultimately failed.

Saga of Pravda

St. Gloriana Girls College fielded one Churchill Mk.VII (commanded by Darjeeling and Assam as gunner) during the 61st Sensha-dō Tournament against Pravda Girls High School. The tank stayed in ambush in a hull down position under a ghillie camouflage waiting for an opportunity to snipe down. Earl Grey gave them this opportunity by distracting Pravda's tanks and open a breach in their defense, however Katyusha saw through this plan and intecept the shot hoping to deflect the shell but the T-34 was hardly hit and sent away, Assam fortunately managed to fire a second shot before the window closed and hitting the flag tank in the turret ring.

Gekkan Senshado Magazine

St. Gloriana Girls College fielded their Churchill Mk.VII as flag tank during the tournament first round match against BC Freedom High School. The Churchill advanced as the spearhead of St.Gloriana's formation, it is unknown if the Churchill destroyed any tanks before reaching the city but once inside the city and BC's flag tank destroyed one of their Matilda, the heavy tank was assaulted by five M5 Stuarts, however these had no chance to pierce their armor so Darjeeling ordered her driver to reverse to give Assam a firing position and destroyed the upgunned Sherman alongside a Matilda.

St. Gloriana Girls College fielded their Churchill Mk.VII as flag tank during the tournament quarter-finals match against Yogurt Academy. The time St.Gloriana arrived at the bottom of the hill, the Churchill exchange fire with Yogurt's tanks, during the hill ascension the Churchill claimed the first kill by destroying a Hotchkiss H39. It was the last tank to arrive at the top and crested the ridge at a steep angle, then came down directly on top of the unsuspecting Jagdpanzer IV, which was positioned on the reverse slope. The Jagdpanzer vainly tried to extricate itself from the Churchill, but Assam ignored the efforts of the turret-less tank destroyer, adjusting her sights onto the escaping flag tank instead, she claimed the match for St. Gloriana with a single incapacitating side shot.

St. Gloriana Girls College fielded their Churchill Mk.VII as flag tank during the tournament semi-finals match against Kuromorimine Girls Academy. During the match Darjeeling ordered her Matildas to bait their opponent's tanks, in the fight with Panthers the Churchill almost emptied its APCBC rounds leaving only two rounds left, the tank used its exceptional climbing ability to crest the ridge line to arrive behind the Tiger I only to find a 88mm cannon staring at it, they both fire but their shell bouncing each other while Orange Pekoe loaded their last shell, unfortunately Assam missed the turret ring sending the shell away, but the Tiger didn't missed disposing of the heavy British tank.

Das Finale

St. Gloriana Girls College fielded their Churchill Mk.VII as flag tank during the Winter Continuous Track Cup first round match against Waffle Academy. It is unknown how it performed during the first part of the match but the heavy tank close the match by destroying the AMC-35, Waffle's flag tank.

Trivia

  • The tank was named after the British Prime Minister of the time Winston Churchill although he always denied it and instead attributed the name to his famous ancestor the 18th century military leader John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough.
  • This tank were one of the first ones to be seen in the anime, along with the Matilda.
  • The speed of the Churchill depicted in the anime series, particularly in the Film where it is faster than most tanks is highly fictitious. In reality, the top speed of the Mark VII is 24 km/h and the engine power is 350 hp, giving it a 9.1 hp/tonne ratio.
  • In Der Film during the ferris wheel madness in the amphitheater, the Churchill is the only tank that doesn't move a bit.

Gallery

Main article: Churchill/Gallery
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