Gun Carrier, 3in, Mk I, Churchill

The Gun Carrier, 3in, Churchill, was produced as an emergency measure in an attempt to provide a more powerful mobile anti-tank weapon than the 2-pounder in use in contemporary British tanks.

Work on the vehicle began in September 1941 when the General Staff asked the Tank Board to look into the possibility of mounting a high velocity gun in infantry and cruiser tanks, to deal with the heavier German tanks that were beginning to appear. This request produced the Challenger cruiser tank, and the Gun Carrier, 3in, Mk I, Churchill.

The Gun Carrier was armed with an old but still serviceable 3-in 20 cwt anti-aircraft gun that was available because Anti-Aircraft Command was moving to the superior 3.7in gun. The 3in gun was carried in a rectangular superstructure on top of a Churchill hull.

Originally 100 were ordered, but the decision was then made to focus on Churchill gun tank production, using the 6-pounder gun. Either 24 or 50 Gun Carriers were built, but it then fell victim to a dispute between the Gunners and the Royal Armoured Corps over who should operate the weapons. As a result it was never issued to service units. Some of the Gun Carriers were used in trials with Snake mine-clearing equipment

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (1 December 2015), Gun Carrier, 3in, Mk I, Churchill , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_gun_carrier_3in_churchill.html

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