The Tank Museum is a collection of armoured fighting vehicles at Bovington Camp in Dorset, South West England.
Outside the entrance to the car park at the museum is an A22 Churchill Mark I.
The Tank, Infantry, Mk IV (A22) Churchill was a British heavy infantry tank used in the Second World War, best known for its heavy armour, large longitudinal chassis with all-around tracks with multiple bogies, its ability to climb steep slopes, and its use as the basis of many specialist vehicles. It was one of the heaviest Allied tanks of the war.
The origins of the design lay in the expectation that war in Europe might be fought under similar conditions to those of the First World War, and emphasised the ability to cross difficult ground. The Churchill was rushed into production to build up British defences against a possible German invasion. The first vehicles had flaws that had to be overcome before the Churchill was accepted for wide use. After several Marks had been built, a better armoured version, the Mark VII, entered service.
The Churchill was used by British and Commonwealth forces in North Africa, Italy and North-West Europe. In addition, a few hundred were supplied to the USSR and used on the Eastern Front.
This A22 Churchill at the Tank Museum appears to have been completed as a Mark II but has since been altered to resemble a Mark I.
One of the games at the wargames show at Bovington that I did a good look at was this 15mm 1946 game complete with a range of alternate German and Allied tanks that were designed, but either were too late for action, or never got further than the drawing board. I have to admit I never got round to checking what actual models were represented on the table, but there were E-100 and E-50 tanks as well as Panther IIs.
This photograph shows a Sarissa Precision Factory. I really do like this model (and the huge one for 28mm too). Around it are finished and partly finished tanks of a variety of types.
A large tank on a railway wagon. The table also had a lot of HO 1/87th scale buildings that did not seem out of place on the table. There are a range of HO buildings that would be ideal for 15mm games, especially those of the industrial variety.
Here is another Sarissa Precision factory with a couple of JagdTigers outside. As with the other, it looks like the RAF has been busy trying to stem the production of these new German tanks.
Here is a overview of the table. There were TT scale trains, wagons and track (which are just about an appropriate scale for 15mm).
In the box to the side of the tables were 15mm models of the Black Prince, the Tortoise and Centurion Mk1 tanks.
All of these could be found (for real) in the Tank Museum itself.
Here are some more photographs from the Warfare 2015 Show in Reading. These images are from a 28mm Demonstration Game set in the latter part of the second world war.
British Cromwell tank moves along a French road in the face of a German defensive line.
Overall the Cromwell was a welcome addition to the British, but as with many allied tanks, they were under armoured and under-gunned when faced with the German tanks of the same time period. Where the allies won out was in sheer numbers and probably more importantly logistics.
Slow and heavy, but with much better armour the Churchill was a different tank to the faster Cromwell. Probably remembered more for the variants and “funnies” that used the tank as a base vehicle.
Okay not a tank, but an M5 Half Track disembarking infantry to support the tanks in the bocage.
Overall a great looking game and some nice models.
British armoured forces defend a Normandy Village under a counterattack from German Forces.
A Sherman Firefly takes cover, behind a small hill.
The rest of the Sherman platoon starts to move forward.
Models from Simon’s collection, scenery from mine.
A Flames of War Churchill Crocodile from Simon’s collection.