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Churchill's in Tunisia and Italy.

May 14 2017 at 7:45 AM
Dave Rhodes  (Login DaveRhodes)
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from IP address 79.74.225.188

Further to the post below on Churchill variants and oddities, i have tracked down a photograph of the Churchill with the Panzer 3 cupola.
The tank in question belonged to the North Irish Horse in Italy, it was a MK 1 fitted with TWO 3" howitzers. Markings on the right stowge bin is a red square with a capital letter,white F. The name "Bushmills" is in white lettering on the later type air intake. All other markings are for N.I.H. in Italy at the time.

 
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AuthorReply
Adrian Camp
(Login k5054)
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76.184.221.230

NIH

May 14 2017, 11:25 AM 

There are many informative posts about the Churchill and the NIH right here on the Allied group, where Gerry Chester, an NIH veteran, used to post. As I recall he was a crew member of Bushmills. He used to maintain an excellent site at northirishhorse.net but it's gone now.

Incidental aside. Freetime hobbies have DML churchills of various marks on clearance right now.

 
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Dave Haine
(Login braillescaledave)
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151.225.109.25

Re: Churchill's in Tunisia and Italy.

May 15 2017, 3:43 AM 

The two 3" howitzers make it a I CS- a manufactured variant- it's the panzer 3 cupola that interests me.... It would have to have been an official mod, with the amount of work involved, so how many more were done?

 
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Dave Rhodes
(Login DaveRhodes)
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79.74.225.188

Guess.

May 15 2017, 4:39 AM 

My guess would be it was more than likely a one off field modification, not too difficult to do given the almost flat roof of the MK 1 turret. The cupola sits directlyover the original hatch opening. Logic suggests it would have simply been welded in place.

 
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Grant Parkin
(Login JustGanCanny)
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Re: Guess.

May 15 2017, 5:29 AM 

Dave, is there any chance you can post a photograph of the conversion here please?

 
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Dave Rhodes
(Login DaveRhodes)
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79.74.225.188

Scan.

May 15 2017, 10:25 AM 

Hi Grant, drop me an E-mail at jaynendave@talktalk.net and i will scan the photo of bushmills directly to you.

 
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Elliott Winthrop
(Login elliott.winthrop)
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122.62.106.255

see thread a few down

May 15 2017, 2:55 PM 

Hi Grant,

Check thread 4 down, I posted a couple of pics

http://www.network54.com/Forum/47210/message/1494715874/Tunisian+Churchills

Cheers
Elliott

 
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Dave Haine
(Login braillescaledave)
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151.225.109.25

Re: Guess.

May 15 2017, 10:24 AM 

I've been doing a bit more digging- far from being a one-off, it seems it was a workshops mod. I've also found at least two tanks that were done, both 1 CS (upgraded) variants- 'Bushmills' and 'Ashbourne', and both North Irish Horse. (There is a third pic, but I can't identify the tank or the census number.


If you look at the commanders hatches, you'll see that they are set in a disc with the commanders vision periscope. It's that disc that was removed. Maybe the intention was for the Churchill to have a cupola, but the exigencies of war meant it was fitted with the easier to produce flat hatches. That aside, that sort of work would have been beyond the LAD's capability and would've had to have been done in Workshops. Which means there must have been some authority to do it.

So far it seems to have been a NIH mod- I wonder if they confined it to the early models, or troop commanders vehicles, or even close support variants. I've not come across a gun tank with it yet, but who knows?


    
This message has been edited by braillescaledave from IP address 151.225.109.25 on May 16, 2017 2:37 AM


 
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Greg Knowles
(Login 2805662)
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Any evidence of a NA75 Churchill with a PzIII cupola?

May 15 2017, 8:26 PM 

That would be great to see!!

 
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Dave Rhodes
(Login DaveRhodes)
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79.74.225.188

Nothing.

May 16 2017, 2:53 PM 

Nothing in my files/references so far but you never know. It appears right now that the North Irish Horse were the only ones to fit Pz 3 cupolas and as far as can be determine, only to howitzer armed tanks. No doubt to observe the fall of shot from under armour.

 
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Greg Knowles
(Login 2805662)
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101.187.177.37

Thanks..

May 16 2017, 4:02 PM 

The rationale you offer makes sense. Disappointing, though.

 
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