Instruments & Controls

Clinomenter MkVI

The Clinometer was used to level the gun when firing at targets visible only to the crew commander. The commander would first clip the clinometer into an "angle of sight" instrument, lays on the target using his vane sight and then level the bubble in the clinometer. The clinometer was then uncliped and fitted to the bracket/groove on the gun mounting (on the top right surface of the breech ring) and the gun elevated/depressed to level the clinometer bubble. The commander would then informs the gunner of the additional tangent elevation required.

Turret Traverse Controller

The Churchill had a electric powered turret traverse control, the turret being capable of complete rotation in 14 to 16 seconds (provide the gun was not depressed in which case a slower speed was automatically applied). The control unit was operated by the gunner using his left hand. The trigger was first pressed then the handle rotated - the turret moving in the same direction. The control was proportional in nature - the further the handle was turned from vertical the faster the rotation. There was no movement at 4 degrees either way of vertical, a gradual increase thereafter up to 12 degrees, full speed being obtained above 42 degrees. The photograph above shows this operating range marked underneath the scale.

To stop turret rotation the handle was returned to the central position but the trigger still had to be pressed. If the trigger was released prematurely, the braking effect on the motor would be lost resulting in overrun. Apparently this system was somewhat noisy and operators guides make reference to the fact that the "shrill noise" is normal and doesn't indicate any defect!

The power for the traverse system was provided by a generator, driven directly from the engine. Unfortunately this implementation meant rotation speed would drop if the tanks speed was slow and should the driver depress the clutch for any length of time, power was lost to the traverse system altogether!