The Churchill is one of my favourite WW2 tanks. Yes, the Mk VII were all designed for quick conversion to Crocs. There was a lengthy article about the Mk VII on the Tank Archives site recently. I hadn’t realised that the vast majority of the heavier armoured tanks were used as armoured flame.
Cheers. Yes, if you come across a memorial Churchill VII (there are a few knocking around), have a quick look underneath and you will invariably find the flame-fuel pipe running from front to rear. The one outside the war museum in Bayeux has this (and it’s easy to see, as it’s raised up on a plinth).
Yeah, I wish that I’d saved more material from the late Gerry Chester’s superb North Irish Horse website, but one of his orbats shows that in Italy they at least tried to use the few Mk VIIs as ‘spearhead’ tanks. There was even one in the Recce Troop! 🙂 The NIH also formed a Croc Sqn before they were split off to become a Croc Regiment. In NW Europe the few non-Croc Mk VIIs were just heavily-armoured command tanks.
My wargames blog: http://www.jemimafawr.co.uk/