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Review: CHURCHILL INFANTRY TANK. David Fletcher.

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CHURCHILL INFANTRY TANK. David Fletcher. New Vanguard 272, 2019.                  ISBN 978 1 4728 3734 9.

It is unimagineable that a British politician today would have a tank named after them, but in 1940 times were not normal, and there was an urgency to prepare for the expected German invasion.  Design for a new heavy tank in 1939 became an emergency after the loss of BEF equipment at Dunkirk, the development of which Winston Churchill took personal interest. This accelerated programme of design and manufacture with little testing meant that fault rectifications would have to be made as production progressed, with a rework scheme to improve earlier production tanks.  Essentially, this book is about the gun tanks, the upgunning from 2 pounder to 75mm, and the big gun variant, the Churchill Gun Carrier. Churchill operations in the Dieppe Raid, Kingforce in Tunisia and experiences with the NA75 conversion in Italy influenced later Churchill design and operations.  By the end of WW2 and the need for more powerful armament, the beefed up Churchill replacement, Black Prince, was already dated did not reach production.  The Churchill tank story is well known, but this book is a very good introduction for those learning about this important WW2 tank for the first time, as well as clarifying some earlier information and researches by this respected author.  Thanks to Osprey for the review sample.

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