Infantry Mk IV, Churchill, A22, AVRE Mk VII: Aberdeen Tank Museum
Infantry Mk IV, Churchill, A22, AVRE: Royal Armored Corps Tank Museum
During the raid on Dieppe in 1942 the engineers were unable to clear obstacles because of enemy fire. A vehicle that could get the engineers near to the obstacles that needed removing and then protect them while worked was needed.
AVRE stood for Armored Vehicle Royal Engineers. A Petard 29cm caliber mortar was fitted to turret and it fired a 40 lb bomb 80 meters.
Had large rear hatch so that engineers could easily exit the vehicle during battle.
Churchill AVRE Mk I:
Churchill AVRE Mk II:
AVRE with Bobbin Mk I and Mk II: Canvas mat 9' 11" wide. Mk II had fixed arms and Mk I had movable arms.
AVRE with Log Carpet Device: Carpet of 100 6in diameter logs each 14' long. Wire rope was used to bind them together.
AVRE with Twin Bobbins: One bobbin of canvas and one of chespaling. Experimental only.
Churchill AVRE with Goat: Carried demolition charges on a frame 10' 6" / 3.2 m wide and 6' 6" / 1.98 m long. 1,800 lb / 816 kg of explosives were mounted on the frame which was carried on arms attached to the side of tank. The frame was then released next to the obstacle then the tank backed away before the explosives were fired.
Churchill AVRE with Elevatable Goat: The frame was similar to a bridge and mounted on the front hull of the tank. The crew then leaned the frame against the obstacle and a release cable would be pulled that would have the top of the "bridge" fall down on the other side of the obstacle. This was then remotely fired.
Churchill AVRE with Jones Onion, Churchill Onion : Had frame in front of tank that had explosives attached. It was intended to be placed next to an obstacle and exploded.
Churchill ARVE with Carrot, Churchill Carrot: An explosive charge was carried on a steel arm out in front of the tank. The explosive was 25 lb / 11.34 kg. Project stopped in late 1943.
Churchill Light Carrot: A 12 lb / 5.44 kg explosive carried at the end of a steel arm out in front of the tank. Project stopped in late 1943.
Churchill Snake: Deployed 20' / 6.1 m long Bangalore torpedos. They could be joined into a length of 1,200' / 366 m. Once exploded they path would be about 21' / 6.4 m wide. A more realistic length was 400' / 122 m of Bangalores pushed in front of the tank. Was not used in battle.
Churchill Snake Carrier: Carried Bangalore torpedoes close to the obstacle where the crew would then assemble and push the torpedoes by hand. Was not used in battle.
Conger: A Universal Carrier was towed behind a Churchill AVRE and it had a rocket attached to a hose that would be fired over an obstacle, filled with explosive liquid then set off.
The Churchill with Bobbin carpet was first used at Dieppe in 1942.
The AVREs were successfully used during the invasion at Normandy.
AVREs were in the 1st Assault Brigade of 79th Armored Division.
Also used by the 25th Armored Assault Brigade in Italy.