Churchill tank hull construction

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by JeremyC, Aug 2, 2021.

  1. JeremyC

    JeremyC Active Member

    I can't find any previous discussion of this, so here we go.

    Does anyone know exactly how Churchill tank hulls were constructed? I know that the early Marks were "riveted" and the later ones "welded", but that's about all.

    Did Vauxhall assemble a frame, then rivet and/or bolt non-armoured (but high-quality) steel plates to that to form a structure - to which they then riveted and/or bolted sheets of armoured steel? (i.e., the method used to make most cruiser tanks up to late 1943-early 1944).

    Or did they rivet and/or bolt sheets of armoured steel direct to a frame?

    I take it that the A22F/A42/Mk VII vehicles were welded construction, so have assumed that they consist of sheets of armoured steel welded directly to each other, as this technology was pretty widespread by the time they came along.

    The reason behind the question is - if Vauxhall DIDN'T build tanks the way the cruiser companies did, what did they know/what equipment did they have that allowed them to do so?
  2. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    If that doesn't answer the question, I can pull out my Churchill books. And I know, there really is just one sentence there about non-welded hulls: "the hull was of riveted double‑skin construction with 3.5 in. frontal armour and 2.5 in. side armour, both superimposed on a 0.5 in. mild‑steel or high‑tensile‑steel lining. "
  3. Neither: there was no separate, initial frame made only of angle irons without any plate, to which the plates were then riveted/bolted. From the venerable AFV Weapons Profile No.1 by B.T. White:

    "The hull of the Churchill was basically a box sructure constructed of flat steel plates joined together by steel angles, to which they were riveted. To this inner shell of the hull structure the armour plates were bolted, the bolts being screwed into the armour plate from inside."
  4. I knew I had something on my HDD! Finally found it :D:
    10581 - Churchill tk production - Hull - 2 Aug 41.jpg
  5. rick wedlock

    rick wedlock Member

    crusader ?
  6. What do you mean? If you think the photo I posted might be of a Crusader, no, it's a Churchill, as per the image filename ;)
  7. rick wedlock

    rick wedlock Member

    that's not a churchill it's a double skinned cruiser with christie suspension
  8. rick wedlock

    rick wedlock Member

    it's not a covenanter so i assume it is crusader but could be early A13
  9. Rick,

    You must be right! I took the filemane at face value, without checking as I should have done :blush:
    Thanks for the correction!
    Chris C likes this.
  10. rick wedlock

    rick wedlock Member

    no problem. i used to own a churchill so i'm quite familiar with them

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