I am completing a model of an AVRE as part of a D-Day collection and was wondering what kind of external stowage would be appropriate.
The conversion I started with has a couple of large piles of gear to be mounted on the rear fenders outboard of the exaust outlet (the center of the rear deck being left clear), but touching the muffler heat shield. Would Churchill crews ever do that?
Was gear attached to the front fenders?
Finally, did the AVRE crews ususlly attach gear to the turret sides?
Generally you don't see much external stowage on photos of Churchills - what there is is usually strapped to the sides of the turret or to the rear fenders. There there is, relatively speaking a lot of space inside the vehicle so it is usally the bulkier ground sheets, nets and covers that are found outside.
I reckon that crews would try to avoid materials touching the muffler - tank crews tend to be very wary of fire.
AVRE crews certainly attached ground sheets and the like to the sides of their turrets and the official stowage diagrams show a camoflauge net on one side and a rolled waterproof cover on the other
I can't say I've notice stowage on the front fenders but then these are often are damaged or missing (when you consider the drivers field of view this isn't surprising) and so its not the place to store your valuables!