Corgi CC60104 British Churchill Mk. III Infantry Tank - "Kingforce", North Africa, 1942 (1:50 Scale)
"After [El] Alamein, we never had a defeat."
- British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
The "Churchill" began life as a 1939 requirement that envisaged a return to trench-warfare, and was therefore slow and heavily armored like the Russian KV-1 series. That said, the final Churchill prototype was much lighter than had first been thought acceptable, although it still resembled a World War I tank in appearance. Rushed into production at a time when a cross-channel invasion seemed imminent, it suffered early reliability problems and was not fully introduced until 1943. Early combat experience during the ill-fated Dieppe raid in 1942 was disappointing, but the vehicle proved more mobile in the rough terrain of North Africa. The tank excelled in its specialized variants, which include the AVRE, Crocodile flamethrower tank, bridgelayer and more. In fact, it wasn't until the 1960s that the last Churchill was finally retired.
This particular 1:50 scale replica of a Churchill Mk. III medium tank was used by the British Army's 'Kingforce', at El Alamein in late 1942. Sold Out!
Length: 5 inches
Width: 2 inches
Release Date: October 2003
Original Issue Price: $39.99
Historical Account: "Kingforce" - In October 1942, El Alamein in Egyot was adecisive allied victory. The famed German General Rommel's advancing Afrika Korps were outmanned and outgunned by the British General Montgomery's 8th Army who had a two-to-one advantage in tanks enabling their forces to push back the Germans to Tunisia. There was a felling that the Churchill's cooling system was inadequate for desert warfare, so in order to find out, six Mk. III's were shipped to Egypt in order to take part in the Second Battle of El Alamein. These were to be manned by a small unit known as 'Kingforce' and commanded by Major Norris King of the Royal Gloucester Hussars. Under the direct command of 1st Armoured Division, 'Kingforce' went into action twice, first near Kidney Ridge on October 27th and the second at the major tank battle of Tel el Aqqaqir on November 3rd. In these two actions, the six vehicles absorbed 106 hits resulting in one tank destroyed, one immobilized and one with a jammed turret, resulting in seven men being killed and eight wounded. In response, 'Kingforce' claimed five enemy tanks and three anti-tank guns. As a direct consequence of this seeming success, two Churchill tank brigades were dispatched to Tunisia to support the 1st Army, although 'Kingforce' was immediately disbanded.