Google+ Panzerserra Bunker- Military Scale Models in 1/35 scale: Churchill Mk III and Mk IV AVRE - a double build - part 01
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The publication of any images or informations related to nazism, fascism or any other totalitarian regimes must be understood as the reproduction of historical accuracy and not as apology to these regimes, leaders or symbols.


segunda-feira, 30 de abril de 2012

Churchill Mk III and Mk IV AVRE - a double build - part 01

This is my new task:
Build these two british beasts...from AFV Club.
Churchill Mk IV AVRE - box art
Churchill Mk III AVRE - box art
History:
     The Churchill AVRE (Assault Vehicle, Royal Engineers) was developed after the Dieppe raid in an attempt to make combat engineers less vulnerable while they were attempting to destroy enemy defences.
Churchill Mk IV AVRE
     The AVRE was developed from a suggestion made by Lieutenant J. J. Denovan of the Royal Canadian Engineers, but attached to the Special Devices Branch of the Department of Tank Design. His idea was for a tank with as much of the standard internal equipment as possible removed and replaced with storage space for the sapper's equipment, tools and explosives. The Churchill was chosen because of its combination of a large interior, thick armour and side access door, and a prototype was developed for the Department of Tank Design by the 1st Canadian M E Company.
     The crew of six were drawn from the Royal Engineers, except for the driver who came from the Royal Armoured Corps. One of the RE crew was a demolitions NCO sapper responsible for priming the "Flying dustbin" as well as leading or supervising when they dismounted from the tank (easily done through the side hatches) to place demolition charges ("Wade" charges).
"Flying dustbin" petard
     The AVRE had the main gun replaced by a Petard Mortar. This fired a forty pound (18 kg) HE-filled projectile (nicknamed the Flying Dustbin) 150 yards (137 m). The "Dustbin" could destroy concrete obstacles such as roadblocks and bunkers. This weapon was unusual in that it had to be reloaded externally - by opening a hatch and sliding a round into the mortar tube from the hull.
Petard mortar in the Churchill Mk IV turret
The mortar and the petard
     A demonstration on Hankley Common on 25 February 1943 showed what the engineers had in mind. A Churchill tank with the internal ammunition storage removed and a new side door that unfolded to become an armoured screen was driven up to a concrete wall. The sappers emerged from the tank, placed and lit General Wade explosive charges on the wall, and then retreated in the tank. The resulting hole was large enough to drive a tank through.
    The 290mm muzzle loading mortar was developed separately, by Colonel Blacker, the designer of the Blacker Bombard, a spigot mortar built for the Home Guard. He was asked to design a version of the mortar that could be mounted on a tank, and produced a mortar that could fire a 40lb high explosive shell known as the Flying Dustbin.
      A massive spring soaked up the 20 tons of recoil and used the energy to recock the mortar. At the Hankley Common demonstration this mortar was mounted to a Churchill tanks. After using shells fused for air burst to clear a 28ft wide gap through a minefield, the mortar then fired twelve shells directly at a 6ft thick concrete wall, creating a gap wide enough for a tank.
     The two designed were merged to create the AVRE. Around 700 were produced by converting Churchill Mk IIIs and IVs, of which 180 had been completed by the D-Day landing, where they were used by the 1st Assault Brigade of the 79th Armoured Division.
79th Armoured Division badge
     The AVRE was given standard attachment points that could be used to carry a wide range of specialised equipment, including fascine carriers that could drop their brushwood bundles into ditches or at the base of barriers, a variety of mine sweeping devices, a Small Box Girder bridge, 'bobbin' carpet laying tanks and the 'Goat' explosive device.

AVREs were also used to carry and operate equipment such as:
  • Bridgelayer - The Bridgelayer conversion was based on a Churchill MK-III or MK-IV. The bridge could carry a 60ft tank or Class 40 wheeled vehicles, and the driver operated the laying mechanism; the only other crew member was the commander.
  • Bobbin - A reel of 10-foot (3.0 m) wide canvas cloth reinforced with steel poles carried in front of the tank and unrolled onto the ground to form a "path", so that following vehicles (and the deploying vehicle itself) would not sink into the soft ground of the beaches during the amphibious landing. 
  • Fascine - A bundle of wooden poles or rough brushwood lashed together with wires carried in front of the tank that could be released to fill a ditch or form a step. Metal pipes in the center of the fascine allowed water to flow through. 
  • Small Box Girder was an assault bridge that was carried in front of the tank and could be dropped to span a 30-foot (9.1 m) gap in 30 seconds. 
  • Bullshorn Plough. A mine plough intended to excavate the ground in front of the tank, to expose and make harmless any land mines. 
  • Double Onion. two large demolition charges on a metal frame that could be placed against a concrete wall and then detonated from a safe distance. It was the successor to the single charge device Carrot. 
  • CIRD. The Canadian Indestructible Roller Device (CIRD) consisted of two arms attached to the side of the tank, each supporting a heavy roller. The roller was suspended in such a way it could jump in the air and rotate in an arc round the arm when a mine was detonated, thus reducing the chance of the rollers being blown off.
       The AVRE played an important part in the success of the British and Canadian landings on D-Day, where their spigot mortar was especially valuable, destroying a number of German strong points, the most famous being the Sanatorium at Le Hamel. They continued to operate successfully during the campaign in north-western Europe, and later versions of the AVRE tank remained in use long after the Churchill had been retired.
Churchill AVRE Mk IV Bobbin
Churchill AVRE Mk III Bridgelayer (a very rare Mk III pic)
Churchill AVRE Mk IV Fascine

Churchill AVRE Mk IV Goat
Churchill AVRE Mk IV used by medics as protection in D-Day beach
Churchill AVRE Mk IV CIRD
Churchill AVRE Mk IV in action

(font: http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_churchill_AVRE.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobart's_Funnies)
   
      One of the problems I encountered in researching this project was the lack of photos of the Mk III model in action in WWII. The model Mk IV features numerous photos. These are the pictures that I found of the Mk III (see the Mk III bridgelayer pic above):
Churchill AVRE Mk III  in Arnhein

Churchill AVRE Mk III  in England, trials to D-Day
Churchill AVRE Mk III in Bocage - Notice the extra-armour in the turret
Churchill AVRE Mk III in trial action
Churchill AVRE Mk IV leading a Churchill AVRE Mk III

Churchill Mk IV AVRE in Germany - Notice that  photo was the inspiration for the illustration of the kit box 

Building the kit:
      Many colleagues are surprised that I build my kits in pairs. But I save time and material  building two kits simultaneously... Sometimes, we have to wait a glue or a painting to dry, and with two kits on the workbench, I don´t waste time ...
       So, let´s go...The kits:
The boxes and the parts
     I started the kits by the booklet: Suspensions...The most boring step in the building...

The suspensions
The wheels in the place...
 The sponsons are ready...
     I focused on the Mk IV´s building...  
Churchil Mk IV AVRE hull under construction 
The two sisters...
          And the job continues...I sped up the build of Mk III´s hull...They must grow together ...
The two hulls are growing...
      I disliked  the  "raised" periscopes that I installed in the Mk IV. I did this step following the booklet, but in the actual photos I noticed that the lower periscopes were more common. I will replace these parts ... 
Raised periscopes...Surgery time...

       The current stage. There are just a few details to complement the hull now. I'll let the tracks exposed with the suppression of some parts of the fenders...Love the looks "rhomboid" of Churchill with the tracks exposed ...Notice the lowered periscopes in the Mk IV:

The two AVRES almost ready...

     See you soon. Thanks for following...

6 comentários:

Bizarre disse...

wow, you dont have any rest >)

Panzerserra disse...

Hi, Bizarre...

The life is short !!!

Carpe Diem !!!

ehehehehehehhehehehe

Big hugs...

Hector Palomino disse...

esplendido el trabajo de investigacion y recopilacion.

Marcos Serra disse...

Gracias, Hector...
Un gran abrazo !!!

llordlloyd disse...

Cool, thank you.

Marcos Serra disse...

Thanks, llordlloyd . Good modeling !!!

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