Corgi CC60105 British Churchill Mk. III Infantry Tank - 145 Regiment RAC (Duke of Wellington), Tunisia, North Africa, 1943 (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 145 Regiment RAC (Duke of Wellington) in Tunisia 1943. Sold Out!
Length: 5 inches
Width: 2 inches
Release Date: November 2003
Historical Account: "Duke of Wellington" - On May 1st, 1943, the 180-mile Allied front ran roughly from Enfideville northwestward to Pont-du-Fahs and then northwards to the coast about 18 miles west of Bizerte. The British Eighth Army was on the right, French units on the right center, the British First Army on the left center, and the United States 2nd Corps on the left in the coastal strip. The main attack by the First Army and the 2nd Corps began on May 4th, the British drive being directed towards Tunis and the American drive on Bizerte. A powerful force of aircraft supported the assaulting troops and the attack was preceded by a heavy artillery bombardment. Although the Axis troops fought with great determination, by May 8th the defenses had cracked, and on the following day, American and British troops entered Bizerte and Tunis respectively.
Confused fighting occurred from May 7th to May 12th, but the British succeeded in clearing the Cape Bon Peninsula, where 240,000 prisoners were taken including 125,000 Germans. Colonel General Dietloff Jurgen von Arnim, the German commander in Tunis, was among those captured, however, Field Marshal Rommel escaped. The final push began in April 0f 1943 when the North Irish Horse and 142 Regiment RAC, the 21 Tank Brigade RTR, 48 RTR and 145 (Duke of Wellington's) Regiment RAC supported the infantry divisions surge through the Medjerda Valley east of Medjez el Bab to penetrate the Axis forces now cornered behind the mountain defenses in Tunis. The "Dukes" used a tiger stripe pattern to break up their outlines and in the junior regiment of the 21 Tank Brigade all insignia would have been obscured apart from the blue 'C' on the side of the turret bin.