×
Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Scale Military Ranks
HOME
ARMOR
MODERN ARMIES
COUNTRIES
MANUFACTURERS
COMPARE
BY CONFLICT
BY TYPE
BY DECADE
COLD WAR
WORLD WAR 2

Churchill AVRE (Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers)


Combat Engineering Vehicle (CEV) (1944)


Land Systems / Battlefield

1 / 3
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
2 / 3
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
3 / 3
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

Jump-to: Specifications

The Churchill AVRE became a successful conversion of the classic Churchill Infantry Tank for the engineering role during World War 2.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/27/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
The Churchill AVRE (Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers) became one of the many offshoots to arise from the British Army's famous Churchill Infantry Tank line (detailed elsewhere on this site). The new design took the basic Churchill tank chassis and hull and converted it to an engineering-minded platform to help in obstacle-breaching and beach-clearing initiatives. The concept was brought about by a Canadian Army engineering officer following the disastrous Allied amphibious landings at Dieppe in August of 1942 in which engineering units were highly vulnerable to enemy fire from all sides while attempting to clear the beaches for the main landing force.

A converted tank offered engineering forces the ability to work while under the protection of armor. In the AVRE conversion process, the original tank's main gun was to be replaced with a large-caliber demolition weapon (mortar) which could also be operated (fired, loaded) from the within the protective confines of the turret. The vehicle, more or less, retained all of the functionality of the original Churchill Infantry Tank with modifications made simply to suit the engineering role - a practice continued today on modern Main Battle Tanks (MBTs).

For the Churchill AVRE conversion process, special kits were devised for expediency and both government facilities and private industry factories played a role in generating the new vehicles for widespread service in the war. The Churchill Mk III and Mk IV production models were the primary chassis/hulls used in the AVRE conversions.
The War Office was convinced of the value of the concept and the selection of host vehicle naturally fell to the Churchill series - it was available in large quantities and had a proven drivetrain and battlefield capabilities for the engineering form to succeed. The modification process saw the internals of the turret completely reworked with engineering-minded components added. The tank's main gun was removed from the front turret face and, in its place, a Petard mortar was installed alongside a 7.92mm BESA coaxial machine gun (the latter for local defense). The mortar - given the nickname of "Dustbin" - fired a massive 40lb, 11.4" demolition charge out to 80 yards for general obstacle-clearing and fortification-busting.

Deep wading gear could be installed for amphibious operations in the form of engine and crew air vents rising higher than the turret roof line- allowing the vehicle to traverse water sources when assailing beaches. Additionally, an anti-tank mine plow was fitted at the bow for clearing below-ground mines when hitting contested positions and a "Porpoise" palette-type unit could be fitted at the rear of the vehicle for towing heavier gear ashore.

The vehicle was soon in service with the 79th Armoured Division, seeing its baptism-of-fire during the June 1944 landings at Normandy, France. Their success in the operation was such that the vehicles quickly established themselves as the standardized engineering platform of the British Army for the duration of the war and for some time later. In practice, the AVRE brigades were able to accomplish all manner of mission-critical actions including covering soft terrain by distribution of fascine, transporting much-needed equipment and supplies to Forward Operating Positions (FOPs),clearing paths through minefields, and general destruction of fortified locations with its massive mortar weapon. Beyond the local protection the vehicles provided their crews, the framework of the Churchill meant that the vehicle could keep pace with the general land force and move about cross-country when needed. Its inherent drive power also opened the design to transportation of all manner of war goods which doubled its strategic value in-the-field considerably.

The Churchill AVRE family was eventually superseded in the post-World War 2 period by the Centurion AVRE, itself built upon the framework of the classic Centurion MBT.

Specifications



Service Year
1944

Origin
United Kingdom national flag graphic
United Kingdom

Crew
6
CREWMEN
Production
1,000
UNITS


State Factories - United Kingdom
National flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Engineering
Onboard systems provide solutions to accomplish a variety of battlefield engineering tasks.
Special Purpose
Special purpose design developed to accomplish an equally-special battlefield role or roles.


Length
25.1 ft
7.65 m
Width
10.7 ft
3.25 m
Height
9.2 ft
2.8 m
Weight
76,004 lb
34,475 kg
Tonnage
38.0 tons
MEDIUM
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Churchill AVRE production variant. Length typically includes main gun in forward position if applicable to the design)
Powerplant: 1 x Bedford Twin-Six gasoline-fueled engine developing 350 horsepower.
Speed
15.5 mph
(25.0 kph)
Range
121.2 mi
(195.0 km)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the Churchill AVRE production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
1 x 11.4" demolition gun in turret
1 x 7.92mm BESA coaxial machine gun in turret.


Supported Types


Graphical image of a tank medium machine gun


(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
Not Available.


Churchill AVRE - Base Series Name; developed from chassis/hulls of Churchill Mk III and Mk IV combat tanks.


Military lapel ribbon for the American Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of the Bulge
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Kursk
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental military vehicles


Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies


2021 Military Pay Scale Army Ranks Navy Ranks Air Force Ranks Alphabet Code DoD Dictionary American War Deaths French Military Victories Vietnam War Casualties

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, and SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane.


Facebook Logo YouTube Logo

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-