'ESK', Squadron HQ, C Squadron, 3rd Battalion Scots Guards, 6th Guards Armoured Brigade, England, 1943 The British Churchill infantry tank may have been slightly cumbersome in appearance but was certainly one of the best Allied tanks of WWII. Championed by Winston Churchill, who insisted on the production of a new infantry support tank capable of crossing shell holes and trenches on the battlefield, the Churchill proved to be reliable and resilient, with thick frontal armour which made it impervious to all but the most powerful German guns. First used during the disastrous Dieppe Raid of 1942, the Churchill would go on to see action in North Africa, Italy and the Far East, before playing a significant role in the Normandy Invasion.
A rugged and flexible design, the Churchill was used as the basis for some specialist vehicles to overcome the strong German fortifications of the Atlantic Wall, such as the AVRE (Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers), a tank featuring a 290mm mortar, which fired a short range charge designed to obliterate concrete bunkers. In addition to this, the Churchill Crocodile was a heavy mobile flame thrower, which was probably feared more than any other Allied vehicle by defending German troops.
Ahead of the invasion of Normandy that began on D Day, 6th June 1944, the 6th Scots Guards Tank Brigade was formed in England and included the 3rd (Tank) Battalion Scots Guards, equipped with Churchill tanks. In July 1944 they landed in France and would serve from then on mostly attached to the 15th (Scottish) Division.