War art, Churchills and a water test

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Chris C, Nov 21, 2021.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Spurred by this image on IWM (which I posted on twitter, out of interest's sake)


    "The water test: a hull-immersion test for tanks", Terence Cuneo. Art.IWM ART LD 3095
    The Water Test : a hull-immersion test for tanks

    There were some questions on posed on Twitter to which I don't know the answer.

    First of all, what's going on here? The hatches of the Churchill in the midground are open - does the water look less deep than the hatches to you?

    Was this a standard test done when tanks were manufactured? Is this related to preparations for, say, D-Day? Unfortunately the image is not given a date on the IWM website.

    However, there are a couple of other Cuneo sketches related to the Churchill on the IWM site and they give a date of 1943. One of them is titled "On the strip-line: Churchill tanks being dismantled" which I would guess has to do with the Churchill rework programme.

    On The Strip-line: Churchill tanks being dismantled

    Waddell likes this.
  2. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Always assumed the sketch was what the title implies & what it looks like. Testing the hull for 'normal' water ingress/making sure all welds/joints/seals secure. Maybe even exposing hidden damage in machines in for repair/rebuild.

    Vauxhall were quite proud of their more 'full on' efforts in wading/waterproofing, even running s REME fitters school regarding it at the factory, but they tested those machines at a nearby lake, and sometimes the coast.

    The machine in the sketch has no deep wading gear fitted.
    If you consider one of Churchill's most distinctive features - its air intakes - their arrangement alone (particularly on early-mid machines like this one.) meant it couldn't wade safely around the level of those front hatches without modifications anyway, so no need to close them..

    More Cuneo::
    Terence Cuneo paintings
  3. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    This will be a test for fording depth (usually 3 ft. for tanks) rather than wading depth (usually circa 6 ft.). There were (are) generally three classes of immersion:


    The latter is when the vehicle is suspended in the water and the tracks are not touching the bottom.

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