Churchill VI

The Churchill Mk VI was the designation given to tanks that were armed with the British 75mm tank in the same turret as on the 6-pounder armed Mk IV.

The first Churchill to carry a 75mm gun was the Mk IV NA 75, which had been produced in North Africa by fitting 75mm guns from damaged Sherman tanks in the turret of standard Churchill IVs. This tank performed well in Italy, but the need for a 75mm gun was already clear.

The British 75mm tank gun was a re-bored version of the 6-pounder that could take American 75mm ammo. It wasn't ready until the winter of 1943-44, and at that point was installed in two versions of the Churchill tank. The most important was the Churchill VII, a major redesign with a new cast/ welded turret, thicker armour, and integral armour.

The Churchill Mk VI was a less dramatic upgrade. It was effectively an up-gunning version of the Mk IV. The Mk VI kept the cast turret that had been designed for the Mk IV, but added a cupola and vane sights. The Mk VI had a composite hull, with the armour plate installed on top of the basic structure.

Churchill Mk VI in Normandy
Churchill Mk VI
in Normandy

The Mk VI began to appear in November 1943. Only 200 were built as it was soon replaced by the Mk VII. The Mk VI was thus available in time to take part in the D-Day campaign and the fighting in North-Western Europe.

During 1944 the Mk VI was upgraded with the installation of appliqué armour. Two designations were allocated to this vehicle. The Mk X was a Mk VI was the new cast/ welded turret introduced on the Mk VII while the Mk X LT (Light Turret) kept the Mk IV turret with 75mm gun but added the extra armour. A shortage of the newer turrets meant that the Mk X LT might have been the only version to be produced.

Names
Churchill Mk VI, A22, Infantry Tank Mk IV

Churchill VI approaching the Siegfried Line
Churchill VI
approaching the
Siegfried Line

Stats
Production: 200
Hull Length: 24ft 5in
Hull Width: 9ft
Height: 10ft 8in
Crew: 5 (commander, gunner, loader, driver, co-driver/ hull gunner)
Weight: 87,360lb
Engine: 350hp Bedford twin-six
Max Road Speed: 15.5mph
Max Cross-county Speed: 8mph
Road Range: 90 miles radius
Armament: 75mm gun and 7.92mm Besa machine gun in turret, 7.92mm Besa machine gun in hull front
Armour: 16-102mm

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (23 October 2015), Churchill VI , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_churchill_VI.html

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