The Tank Museum at Bovington’s British Churchill Crocodile Flame Thrower Tank is unusual from other Museums Churchill Crocodile tanks as it still has its fuel trailer. You can see the trailer tyres on the right behind the tank.
The tank on display was the last Churchill Mark VII to be produced by Vauxhall, in October 1945. It was sent directly to the School of Tank Technology, which transferred it to the Tank Museum in 1949, with practically no mileage beyond its acceptance test. The Mark VII was the first of the factory-assembled marks with thicker armour in fulfilment of the “heavy Churchill” requirement of May 1943.
Three brigades of Churchills landed in Normandy in 1944, most with 75 mm guns, some with 6-pounders, a few with 95 mm howitzers.
The Churchill AVRE was one of the so-called ‘funnies’ designed by Percy Hobart specifically for use on the D-Day beaches to break through the German fortified defences. The AVRE was the most successful ‘funny’ type and AVRE vehicles remain in service with the British Army today.
This Churchill AVRE was on display at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford. For many years it had been a target on Sailsbury Plain and then spent a fair few years as a monument on the Normandy beaches.
There was a 15mm resin and metal version of this tank available for Flames of War.
However it has now been replaced for the forthcoming (March 2020) plastic Churchill that can either be a later mark Churchill, the flamethrower Crocodile version or the AVRE version.
In gaming terms most specialist vehicles don’t really work, however this AVRE version with it’s Petard Mortar has a place if your opponent had troops skulking in bunkers.