Churchill vs Pz IV

Discussion on the tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles, which participated in World War 2.
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Churchill vs Pz IV

Postby Ricky » Tue May 26, 2015 10:24 am

I was idly watching a documentary on tanks at the weekend, and one of their experts from Bovvie stated that the Churchill wasn't even a match for the Pz IV...

So, let's have the discussion - which one was better?
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Re: Churchill vs Pz IV

Postby FNG » Wed May 27, 2015 8:29 pm

which PIV?
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Re: Churchill vs Pz IV

Postby David W » Thu May 28, 2015 5:28 am

Good point. I would assume G or later, but over to Ricky.

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Re: Churchill vs Pz IV

Postby Ricky » Thu May 28, 2015 7:28 am

The distinction was not made...

From the context of the programme, Ausf G and up vs the Churchill VII and up.

Mind you, they did claim that the Churchill got the 75mm and then some gotthe 6pdr to improve their anti-tank abilities :?
About typical for a documentary...
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Re: Churchill vs Pz IV

Postby Ricky » Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:58 pm

Using http://www.wwiiequipment.com/pencalc/

It looks like the Churchill VII with 75mm QF can kill the Pz IV Ausf G out beyond 2km (or 1.5km for hull front)
But the Pz IV G with 75mm KwK40 L/48 cannot penetrate the Churchill VII hull front armour at all, with the turret only vulnerable out to ~600m

Based purely on the gun/armour battle, Churchill wins hands down.
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Re: Churchill vs Pz IV

Postby David W » Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:39 am

Does PzGr40 make any difference to the calculations? It would have been available in some quantities from 1943 onwards.

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Re: Churchill vs Pz IV

Postby Ricky » Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:13 am

If the PzGr40 can be described as APCR... then that is what I used to get the figures above.

Besides which, my understanding was that the tungsten-cored ammo was only used for emergencies, as manufacture was stopped to allow the tungsten to be used for machine tools.
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Re: Churchill vs Pz IV

Postby Roel » Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:25 pm

By the time the Churchill VII was fielded, the PzKpfw IV was pretty much obsolete compared to any of its opponents, regardless of its mid-war upgrade programme. The Churchill would have been a particularly formidable opponent due to its massive frontal armour. A PzKpfw IV's only chance against a Churchill would be that its superior speed would allow it to make a quick escape...

It's notable that, as Ricky says, the KwK40/PaK40 could not penetrate the Churchill's hull front at any range. This means that the vast majority of German armoured vehicles and the mainstay of its AT gun arsenal were practically helpless against an advancing Churchill. Why do we never hear stories of how it took 5 PzKpfw IVs to take out one Churchill?
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Re: Churchill vs Pz IV

Postby FNG » Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:40 am

When would there be a situation that 5 PIV's in a single group engage a single Churchill?

I suspect a lot goes to fact that by the time Churchill's were turning up the nature of the Allies/Axis war had changed
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Re: Churchill vs Pz IV

Postby Ricky » Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:24 am

I'm taking the early Pz IV with the short 75mm gun as essentially ineffective. The match-up which is most favourable to the Pz IV that I can think of is out in the Desert, where Churchill IIIs faced Pz IV Ausf F2


Churchill III
Armour: Turret 20-89mm / Hull 16-89mm
Gun: 6pdr QF
Speed: 17mph (on road)
Power/weight: 8.45 hp/tonne
Ground Pressure: 13.1 psi
Height: 2.48 m
http://www.wwiiequipment.com/index.php? ... &Itemid=56


Pz IV Ausf F2
Armour: Turret 30-50mm / Hull 20-50mm
Gun: 75mm KwK 40 L/43
Speed: 25mph (on road) 10mph (off road)
Power/weight: 11.3 hp/tonne
Ground Pressure: 11.8 psi
Height: 2.68 m
http://www.onwar.com/tanks/germany/data/pz4f2.htm


Churchill III kills Pz IV out to 1.5km (AP) or 2km+ (APCBC)
Pz IV kills Churchill III out to between 1.5km and 2km (difference is a hit to turret or hull)

It is notable that the PzIV is also more vulnerable to the sides than a Churchill

So the 'best' match-up for a Pz IV is still pretty even, though I'd rather be in the Churchill.

In 'softer' terms, both tanks had the 3-man turret, both were pretty roomy and good for the crews.
The Pz IV was faster with better ground pressure, but the Churchill could climb any slope going.

Bottom line, no way can you claim the Pz IV was better than the Churchill
"Study the past, if you would divine the future"
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Re: Churchill vs Pz IV

Postby Ricky » Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:41 am

Roel wrote: Why do we never hear stories of how it took 5 PzKpfw IVs to take out one Churchill?


...or nmore realistically stories like Steamroller farm, where 2 Churchills met and destroyed a German column, including 25 wheeled vehicles, 2 Mk III tanks and 10 anti-tank guns. A North African Villers-Bocage, if you will

It's because the Churchill, unlike the Tiger I, wasn't a honking great intimidating beast whose name still carries a fearsome reputation. And, of course, it wasn't German, so internet fanboys aren't as keen on it :P

What I have found interesting is comparing the Tiger I to the Churchill...

Up until the Churchill VIII, the Tiger can kill it out to 1.5-2km. Churchill VII and onwards, the Tiger I can't get through that frontal armour except with the rare & special PzGr40
The Churchill can't get through the Tiger's frontal armour except with the APCBC (500m) or APDS (2km!)
"Study the past, if you would divine the future"
-Confucius

"I am pedantic, I'm just being overshadowed by Ricky so it isn't as noticable as it would else have been"
-Skua


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