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The flail rotor is shown in the transport position and the large box covers the elaborate flail marking system.


I studied this bit for ages at Beltring and never worked out what it did, there was no one around to ask. would you be kind enough to explain the workings for me Richard?

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The photos here, show the lane marker before the covers were fitted. There are 59 tubes on a chain, the chain is driven around by a rod that comes off the nearside track sprocket hub, the rod pushes a pawl lever on the driving sprocket of the marker. Look at the close up photo and you will see a short rod sticking out, this was where it had been cut off on removal from the tank. So, every revolution of the the track sprocket, the lane marker pawl moves. When one of the tubes is in line with the end, a hammer falls, the hammer having been riding up a ratchet ramp above the sprockets, again look at the close up. The hammer hits a firing pin in the top of the tube. Under the cap in the tube would be a blank .303" cartridge and up inside the tube, a marker post, which is telescopic and with a thin probe on the end looking like a hypodermic needle. The blank fires the post out and as it does the post extends as it is fired into the ground. This is timed to happen every 50 feet.


From the controls, the marker can be selected to fire left or right. Normally two flails would work together, so the left one would mark to the left and right flail mark to the right, giving a lane through the minefield wide enough for safety. When the control is in the Off position it in turn operates a cable from the marker to the tank drive sprocket, which disengages the rod operating ratchet.


All of this equipment and the rest of the vehicle was in an advance state of decay before restoration.

Churchill flail 005.jpg

Churchill flail 006.jpg

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Thanks for that detailed explanation Richard, and so quick :thumbsup: who thought it all up?


You can see in your first picture the worn patch in the grass under the tank where I had shuffled about for ages looking up inside the thing trying to work it all out :-D

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it sounds from your description of the condition it wouldn't have been a straightforward task.


A solid block of rust, covers eaten away, chains solid and so on. Worse still on the actual vehicle, with both engines under several feet of water, which had laid in there for years. The engine driving the flail drum was a petrol injected Meteor M120, which also powered the Conqueror.

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Smashing photos, thanks.

As I've been out of the show circuit for so long, does anyone have info (ie a list) of the WW2 tanks that are fully restored and in private hand in the UK, I don't include large private collections as sadly one doesn't seem to see them out and about too often :-(

In my limited show visits over the last 5 years I've seen:

Adrians M4A4 this year at a steam festival.

An M10 (or was it the later 90mm version, can't remember) style destroyer at the same festival.

Grizzly (local farm)

Three Stuarts at a living history festival.


To be honest it was Adrians M4A4 that got my intrest going again as I thought that there were still just a few Grizzlies around... and there at a steam show was an M4A4...where the hell did that spring from I thought! Follwoing this revelation I poked around on Youtube and found tanks in town - jaw dropped again....there were how many WW2 tanks there!!!

Edited by ajmac
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A fair few considering my god fathers was one of them at tanks in town 06 07 08

An m18 hellcat (nugent)

I actually have a feeeling there are quite a few armour collectors in the uk

I mean the wheatcroft collection has a fair few tanks doesnt it?

How many tanks though i think is hard to put a number on



Edited by longydagun
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In an earlier post I said that I had seen Adrians M4A4, now I'm not so sure:sweat: as there was a Multibank in the Diamond T next to it.... which after seeing the HMVFTV movies today I think was the M4A4 shown which has a Radial fitted??

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