Churchill II

The Churchill Mk II was the most numerous of the 2-pounder versions of the Churchill infantry tank. The Churchill Mk I was armed with a 2-pounder gun and coaxial Besa machine gun in a small cast turret and a 3" howitzer in the hull front. Late in 1940 it was discovered that the supply of howitzers was running short, and so most early Churchills were completed as the Mk II, which carried a second Besa machine gun in the hull front instead. It retained the small cast turret with 2-pounder gun and coaxial machine gun.

The Churchill I was originally built with exposed tracks and air intake lourves on the hull sides. During the long re-working programme most were later given track covers and had the air intakes moved from the side to the top to prevent them getting clogged. The new type could also take a trunk to allow the tank to wade through deeper water. 

A total of 1,127 Mk IIs were built, alongside 303 Mk Is, for a total of 1,430 2-pounder Churchills. Production of the Mk II ended in mid-1942.

The Churchill Mk II took part in the disastrous attack on Dieppe of August 1942. They were used by the Canadian Calgary Regiment, 14th Canadian tank battalion. Twenty nine tanks began the attack, about half got across the sea wall, and all of them had to be left behind at the end of the attack.

The Mk I, Mk II and Mk III made up the equipment of the 21st Army Tank Brigade and 25th Army Tank Brigade during the fighting in Tunisia early in 1943.

50 Mks II and Mk IV were converted into turretless Churchill ARKs.

A number of Mk Is and Mk IIs were upgraded to Mk III standard by giving them the new turret.

Names
Churchill Mk II, A22, Infantry Tank Mk IV

Stats
Production: 1,127
Hull Length: 24ft 5in
Hull Width: 8ft 2in
Height: 10ft 8n
Crew: 5 (commander, gunner, loader, driver, co-driver/ hull gunner)
Engine: 350hp Bedford twin-six
Max Road Speed: 15.5mph
Max Cross-county Speed: 8mph
Road Range: 90 miles radius
Armament: 2-pounder gun and 7.92mm Besa machine gun in turret, 7.92mm Besa machine gun in hull
Armour: 16-102mm

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (8 September 2015), Churchill II , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_churchill_II.html

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