Dragon DRR60592 British Churchill Mk. III Infantry Tank - "King Force", British 1st Armoured Division, El Alamein, Egypt, 1942 (1:72 Scale)
"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."
- 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.
Dragon Armor is issuing its second ever 1/72 scale model of a Churchill infantry tank, and again its the interesting Mk.III variant. This time the Churchill is finished in the colors and markings of one of six tanks dispatched to Egypt in North Africa in late 1942. They formed what was known as KingForce, named after the detachments commander, Major Norris King. The Mk.III, weighing in at 39,626kg, featured a 6-pounder gun in an all-welded turret. The KingForce vehicles arrived just in time for the Second Battle of El Alamein in October 1942, where they were placed under the command of the 1st Armoured Division. They acquitted themselves well, and the heavyweight Churchills withstood a good deal of punishment. For example, one Churchill Mk.III was hit 30 times but suffered nothing worse than a broken track during the fierce combat!
This new KingForce Churchill Mk.III from Dragon Armor is painted in a distinctive camouflage scheme consisting of Light Stone No.61 over the base color S.C.C. No.2 khaki brown. The rendering of the scheme and color tones is professionally done. This model tank carries the registration number T31954R, with the R indicating the original tank had been reworked. For modelers wishing to own a somewhat rare Churchill, and one that's finished in a color other than green, this majestic miniature is fit for a king!
Now in stock!
Release Date: May 2012
Historical Account: "KingForce" - KingForce, so named after its commander Major Norris King MC, was formed from six Churchill Mark IIIs which arrived in Egypt on October 1st, 1943. These were reworked tanks as indicated by their T numbers having the suffix R.
In this job, he proved to be one of the highest-profile ministers during the so-called "Phony War", when the only noticeable action was at sea. Churchill advocated the pre-emptive occupation of the neutral Norwegian iron-ore port of Narvik and the iron mines in Kiruna, Sweden, early in the War. However, Chamberlain and the rest of the War Cabinet disagreed, and the operation was delayed until the German invasion of Norway, which was successful despite British efforts.
While the Churchills had being serviced and camouflaged, under command of Major King, five additional officers and fifty-three ORs were gathered together to form what was initially known as the Special Tank Squadron. None of the Officers or NCOs had Churchill experience - unlike the ORs who had arrived from the UK with the tanks.
The crews of the newly formed Squadron had barely become acquainted with their Churchills before they were loaded on war flats bound for the British railhead, Burj al-'Arab, whence, aboard tank transporters, they moved forward to Tel-el-Eisa, a small railway station. The Squadron was then placed under command of 7th Motor Brigade (1st Armoured Division) and renamed KingForce.