Section 3. FIRE RISK Page 9

13. Any cases where jettison gear proved

(a) Useful

(b) Essential
YES. The jettison gear was valuable in tactical situations to enable the tank to operate separately.

Not often; but feel tank commanders would like to keep it. The trailer has been able to go virtually everywhere the tank went. The tank has not had to discard the trailer and go on as a gun tank as yet; the tanks have always brought the trailers out still attached for refilling.
14. Was armouring of trailer generally sufficient?

How many cases of penetration leading to fire or disablement?

Cannot give exact number. Not more than 3 set on fire I think - possibly only 2. About 8 - 12 disabled at the most. These were due to 88 mm. and 75 mm. both of which penetrate the Churchill Mk.VII (and therefore no use considering armour to keep them out) in say, 4 - 6 cases. Three cases due to mortars.
Only one or two cases due to shell fire. Cannot recollect any due to small arms, but there may have been one or two. Spaced armour versus Bazookas might be considered, if casualties from these became frequent.
15. What number of fires are known to have been caused inside the tank by damage to

(a) fuel system?

(b) Ammunition first, then fuel?
Would estimate about 8 - 12. The tank goes up in a flash after being hit and penetrated by 88 mm's, 75 mm's and Bazookas. Any penetration of the Driver and Co-driver's compartments, or the turret, seems to moan an immediate blaze. Shots in the engine and gear box compartments have strangely enough not always meant a brew-up.

Think only one

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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Archive: Analysis of operational use of Churchill Crocodile flame throwers in NW Europe, June-October 1944

Page: Page 9