Churchill Black Prince
Black Prince was designed in 1943, the idea to create a heavier version of the Churchill mounting the effective 17 pound anti tank gun. Designed like the Churchill by Vauxhall Motors, Black Prince was wider in the hull to accommodate a larger turret to house the new gun, but in most other respects the two tanks had a lot in common. Armour thickness was the same as was the suspension system, but the strangest similarity of all was that both tanks had the same engine, the horizontally opposed 12 cylinder Bedford. Later models of the Churchill tank which weighed 40 tons and were generally regarded as under powered, yet the designers elected to use the same engine in Black Prince which weighed ten tons more. Many experts believed it would have been wiser to fit the 600 hp Rolls Royce Meteor but there is no evidence that this was ever done. Indeed the prototypes did not appear until 1945 by which time there was no further use for them and the project ended. The development of Black Prince closely paralleled that of Centurion and it was planned at one stage to fit the Centurion turret to the Vauxhall tank. Once again there is no reasonable explanation as to why this was never done. The Black Prince turret was not an impressive design, being vertical slabs of armour except at the front, and both turrets were designed to mount the same gun. Bovington Tank Museum houses the only complete Black Prince. The text is from the information boards at Bovington Tank Museum.
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