The Tank they named after Sir Winston  


In his honour the British Army decided to name a new tank they were developing after the Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Churchill was flattered but also joked that the only reason they did that was it was originally useless. It did turn not out to be that way in the end as we shall see, and the real reason was that in the First world war it had been the influence and drive of Churchill that Tanks were first developed and introduced. Although we can’t offer you a chance to drive a Churchill on our Tank Driving days we can give you an idea as to what its like driving one of these mighty machines around our specific test track. Just give a click.


The Allies of Britain and France were not expecting the tactics they suddenly faced from the Germany Army at the start of World War Two. They fully expected to see a line of Trench’s going up and a long-protracted war being fought in France much like the First World War. The Nazi’s changed that with Blitzkrieg and it soon became clear that a new strategy was needed. It took the fall of France to get there though. Tanks it seemed would play a vital role and the British Army needed a decent one badly.

Due to a rushed production the first were no good at all, hence Churchills joke, and the Panzers were able to run rings around them. They were slow and cumbersome as the Army had expected to be trying to cross a rubble strewn no man’s lands not tight French Countryside and trees. The Mark Seven was the answer and the Army finally got a tank it could use. As soon as production was finished the first were being sent to North Africa to counter the Italians and the Africa Korps while another load went East to aid the Russians who were desperately hanging on and developing their own tank the T-34 to counter the German Panzers.

The Churchill was fast and could go over anything that it was presented with. It was incredibly adaptable too depending on the circumstances. Need a bridge building? no problem. Need a mine field swept, not an issue. It’s almost as if the Tank could say “I’ve got an app for that”, Faced with more firepower than you thought? We can just change the guns to something more powerful. The main benefit of all this is that rather than have a series of vehicles that could be a target or breakdown the Churchill was a one stop shop for all the tasks the Army needed it to do. The Tank soon cut its teeth on North Africa helping to successful defend Torbruk and to win the Battle of El Alamein.

So not a useless failure then but a war hero and saviour, a bit like its namesake Prime Minister after all.



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