By David Fletcher, Tony Bryan
A fire-breathing 'monster' at the battlefield, the Churchill Crocodile flamethrower was once essentially the most devastating and awe-inspiring guns of the second one international struggle. Tank specialist David Fletcher chronicles the improvement of the flamethrower tank, detailing the variations of the Crocodile and reading the dramatic results of those tanks in conflict from D-Day to the dramatic flamethrower assault at the River Senio in Italy. Revealing the strengths and weaknesses of the flamethrower tanks, Fletcher investigates the post-war use of Crocodiles to burn down and sterilize the location of Belsen focus camp, in addition to their mobilization for the Korean warfare, and post-war advancements to the prototype Centurion Crocodile. as well as the position of the Churchill Crocodile at the battlefields of Western Europe, many of the wheeled flamethrowers designed for domestic security in Britain in the course of international warfare II are tested. Researched utilizing the papers of Reginald Fraser- the genius in the back of the flamethrowers and dramatically illustrated with particular art and formerly unpublished modern pictures, this ebook brings to existence the real terror of those tanks.
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Next they tried the driver, but he was always cutting himself on the control switch and found it difficult to drive and work the flame-gun at the same time. Finally they turned to the loader who had a good view and nothing else to do. The trouble was that with the tank moving he was thrown about all over the place, which did not help his aim. The obvious answer might have been to install another crew position alongside the driver, as they did with the Centurion AVRE, but this was not accepted. Maybe it would have reduced ammunition stowage to an unacceptable level, but the chances are that it was an economic decision: the budget would not run to such a drastic conversion.
The revived 7th RTR (it had been 10th RTR until April 1943) was the third Churchill regiment to convert to Crocodiles. This took place in February 1945, shortly after the regiment had withdrawn from its part in the investment of Dunkirk. In their training they were assisted by 1st Fife & Forfar Yeomanry. So, for the final four months of the war in Europe, 31st Armoured Tank Brigade included three Crocodile regiments. Not that it ever operated as a complete brigade, or its constituent regiments even as complete regiments come to that.
But what of the Centurion? Originally the idea was rejected because it cut down the amount of ammunition that the tank could carry. In any case, there was a rival. Based on a firm 21st Army Group requirement, a heavier tank designated A45 The Sherman Crocodile DD sets sail on a very calm day upon the Solent, with the Isle of Wight just visible across the water. The trailer, in this instance, is floating with the aid of an inflatable rubber dinghy lashed to the top. The Sea Serpent prepares for a demonstration at Studland Bay in Dorset, while a gaggle of observers prepare to follow it into Poole Bay and witness events from a DUKW.