The Churchill AVRE (Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers) was created in
answer to the question of ‘How to overcome beach fortifications
on D-Day?’ Major General Percy Hobart answered this question
with the AVRE modification to Mk IV Churchill Tanks. Armed with a bunker
busting Petard 29cm Spigot mortar, in place of a 75mm cannon, that
fired a 40lb bomb a distance of 80 yards. It was demonstrated that
it could inflict serious damage on the hardest of fortifications. It
is also said that the velocity of the mortar was so slow you could
see it in flight.
The variation of the Churchill AVRE that I have decided to build is
the SBG version (Small Box Girder). This was designed to provide vehicle
access from the beach over the sea wall that ran across parts of the
Gold, Juno and Sword landing beaches. The Tank would land, drop the bridge
against the wall and then be able to attack the Atlantic wall defences
in support of the landing forces. The model would be built in three parts
first the tank, then the bridge and finally the rigging.