The Churchill Toad arrives - to say goodbye
|The Churchill Flail FV3902 or Toad was a post-war (1950s)
mine-clearing flail tank built on a Churchill chassis.
Only 42 were made for the Royal Engineers and none saw operational service.
Renowned for it’s thick armour, the Churchill was the obvious choice for such an awesome project. But to ensure it could absorb the full effect of a mine blast, the front facing armour was increased to 140mm.
The flail itself is powered by its own M120 Meteor V12 engine, mounted in a large oblong armoured box on the hull.
The flail itself frighteningly turns at over 150 rpm, the crew needing to be firmly hidden inside in case of a chain break or a successful mine detonation.
This Toad languished on various army bases for years, needing a serious committment to restore and it seemed unlikely to ever recover from years of neglect.
Now thanks to the restoration team of RR Services in Kent, the only survivor has been painstakingly restored to fully operational condition over a two year period.
At it’s unveiling on 16th May, it was handed over to new owner Jacques Littlefield from California.
The key players in the historic military vehicle world were invited to attend this unique event heralded by Robert Davies’s spectacular flyover in his Mustang from nearby Woodchurch airstrip.
Other attractions enjoyed by around 100 guests included a Chrysler Multibank engined Sherman and a rare 1943 Landsverk Strv m/42 tank, newly arrived from Sweden.
|Special thanks to Samuel Penhallow and John Blackman for their photographs!|