Haynes Churchill Tank Manual author Nigel Montgomery, whose Churchill Tank Project owns three World War 2 era Churchill tanks, is working with a team to restore them to full running order ahead of next year's 70th anniversary of D-Day.
Their work is supported and assisted by the Tank Museum at Bovington, with whom this manual is co-published. There is only a handful of Churchills in running order around the globe, and those being restored by Nigel's Project will be the only ones of their kind in working order anywhere in the world.
Nigel says: ‘I have always been interested in the role of tanks in World War 2 and the Korean War, and with so few veterans of those conflicts remaining, I wanted to found a restoration project to preserve the memory of what they did for future generations. Having started my restoration work with a Cold War era Chieftain tank, which was returned to full running order, I set out to build a complete project to restore, and then use, truly historic British wartime tanks.
‘For me, the tanks to restore had to be Churchills, which I regard as the greatest British tanks to fight through World War 2, and which remained in service to see action in Korea. The Churchill Tank Project is bringing these unique survivors back to life in as original and complete a state as possible. ‘By doing this we hope to widen knowledge and appreciation of the Churchill Tank, testing some of the myths around them, and to pay tribute to those who fought in them.
‘These tanks played an important part in our history, and we are making them available for use in films, documentaries and the media, as well as for corporate visits and exhibitions so that the public can share in the knowledge of what they did, how they drive and sound, hopefully maintaining interest and pride in their achievements.’
The Churchill Tank Manual includes an account of the Churchill’s role in battles during WWII. Based on restorations, archive research and interviews with veterans, the manual presents a meticulously detailed and extensively illustrated insight into these legendary tanks and their achievements.
The manual uses superb period illustrations, as well as many previously unpublished photographs and documents to reveal the Churchill’s development, construction and war record. Focusing on the restorations being undertaken by the Churchill Tank Project, it looks in detail at the tank’s anatomy and armament, as well as exploring what it was like to use, drive and operate in combat.