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Encyclopedia > Churchill Crocodile
The Churchill Crocodile during the Second World War
The Churchill Crocodile during the Second World War

The Churchill Crocodile was a British flame-throwing tank of late World War II, it was a variant of the Tank, Infantry, Mk VI (A22) Churchill VII, although the Chuchill IV was initially chosen to be the base vehicle. Eight hundred were built. the Churchill tank File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... the Churchill tank File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Flame tank is a military term for a tank equipped with a flamethrower. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... The Infantry Tank IV Churchill was a heavy British infantry tank of the Second World War, best known for its heavy armour and its use as the basis of many specialist vehicles. ...


It was introduced as one of the specialised armoured vehicles developed by Major-General Percy Hobart (Hobart's Funnies) and produced from October 1943, in time for the Normandy invasion. The Crocodile kept its 75 mm gun in the turret, and the hull mounted machine gun was replaced by the flame-thrower. Major General or Major-General is a military rank used in many countries. ... Major-General Sir Percy Cleghorn Stanley Hobart (14 June 1885-19 February 1957) was a British military engineer and commander of the 79th Armoured Division during World War II. He was responsible for many of the specialised armoured vehicles (Hobarts Funnies) that took part in the invasion of Normandy. ... Badge of the 79th Armoured Division Amphibious DD tanks await blowing of breaches in the sea wall on Utah Beach. ... Look up October in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1943 calendar). ... |image= |caption=Assault landing One of the first waves at Omaha Beach. ... Ordnance QF 75 mm, abbreviated to OQF 75 mm, was a British tank-gun of the Second World War. ...


Four hundred gallons of fuel and nitrogen propellant, enough for eighty one-second bursts, were stored in a 6½ ton detachable armoured trailer towed by the Crocodile. The thrower had a range of up to 120 yards (some sources quote 150 yards). The pressure required had to be primed on the trailer by the crew as close to use as feasible, because pressure could not be maintained for very long.

Front view of Churchill Crocodile
Front view of Churchill Crocodile

Used by the 79th Armoured Division in concert with the Churchill AVRE, the Crocodile was an effective assault weapon whose threat could induce enemy troops to retreat or surrender. The Crocodile was a specialised weapon, best used against suitable targets. Aspects of the mechanism were considered by the British to be so secret that disabled units, if they could not be recovered, were rapidly destroyed by any means, if necessary, by air strike. The 79th Armoured Division was a specialist British Army armoured unit formed as part of the preparations for the Normandy invasion of 6 June 1944. ...


British crewed Crocodiles supported the U.S. Army in the Normandy bocage and, later, during Operation Clipper, the Anglo-American assault on Geilenkirchen. Bocage is a French word referring to a terrain of mixed woodland and pasture, with tortuous side-roads and lanes bounded on both sides by banks surmounted with high thick hedgerows limiting visibility. ... During World War II, Operation Clipper was an Allied offensive by Thirtieth British Corps (including the American Eighty-fourth Infantry Division) to reduce the Geilenkirchen Salient on 18 November 1945. ... Geilenkirchen is a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, in the district Heinsberg. ...

Churchill Crocodile
Churchill Crocodile

Surviving Vehicles

Mark VII Crocodiles are owned by the Muckleburgh Collection in Norfolk, the Cobbaton Combat Collection in Dorset, the D-Day museum in Portsmouth, the Wheatcroft Collection, the Kubinka Tank Museum in Russia and the Museum of the Regiments, Calgary, Alberta. A Mark VIII is at the Royal Australian Armoured Corps Museum. Two (one in running order) are privately owned in the UK. One example, without trailer, on display at the Bayeux Museum of the Battle of Normandy and a trailer is held at the Bovington Tank Museum. The Muckleburgh Collection is a privately owned military museum sited on a former military camp at Weybourne, in Norfolk. ... The D-Day Museum is located in Southsea, Hampshire. ... The Kubinka Tank Museum also known as The Tank Museum in Kubinka is a large Armoured fighting vehicle museum in Russia, just outside Moscow. ... British Mark V; one of the few WWI tanks still in working order. ...


References

Unarmoured vehicles
British armoured fighting vehicle production during World War II

 
 

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