Churchill Crocodile in the field
|Role||Heavy Infantry Support|
|Upkeep per Minute||-12|
|Prereq.||Royal Engineers Support: Churchill Crocodile|
|Produced By||Company Commander ability|
ROQF 6-pounder Mk III|
|Secondary armament||7.92mm Besa Machine-gun|
|Max. Speed||3.75 m/s|
The Churchill Crocodile is a variant of the Churchill Tank, fielded by the British in Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts. It is similar in most regards to the basic Churchill Tank, with the major difference of having a flamethrower weapon mounted in its front hull. The Churchill Crocodile is one of the best anti-infantry tanks available in the game.
The Churchill Crocodile is one of three different types of Churchill tanks available to the British Royal Engineers Support Company. Of these, it is the most versatile, arguably the most valuable, but also the most expensive.
Like all other Churchill tanks, this tank's primary feature is its heavy armor, comparable to that of the M4 Sherman, but protecting it almost equally from all sides. This makes the Churchill Crocodile very difficult to destroy, even with dedicated anti-tank weaponry and/or anti-tank infantry flanking. Furthermore, the Crocodile has a massive 900, which is almost 50% more than a Sherman tank (and 200 more than a regular Churchill Tank).
In addition to its heavy armor, the Churchill Crocodile also packs two primary weapons. Firstly, it has the Churchill's hallmark ROQF 6-pounder Mk III (57mm) gun, a general-purpose cannon which unfortunately lacks the armor-penetration capability of most other tank cannons, but is useful against a wide array of other targets. In addition to this, it also has a flamethrower mounted on the front of the hull, for burning men and buildings to the ground. Together these weapons make the Churchill Crocodile a terrific weapon against infantry, whether out in the open or garrisoned in structures.
The Churchill Crocodile is therefore used in the same manner as a regular Churchill Tank, with the added bonus of being even more powerful against infantry and buildings. Naturally, the trade-off for this is in its cost, with the Crocodile variant costing 33% more Manpower and taking up two extra Population Cap points. Of course, this is usually considered to be a bargain.
Unfortunately, Churchill Crocodiles cannot receive the Mine Plow upgrades, but otherwise match the Churchill Tank's various abilities, including Tank Shock (which is doubly useful thanks to the flame-thrower).
Finally, as all other Churchill tanks, the Churchill Crocodile is one of the slower tanks available in the game.
The Churchill Crocodile is equipped with two primary weapons: A 6-Pounder cannon on the turret, and a Flamethrower mounted on the front of the hull. A secondary weapon, a Besa 7.92mm Machine-Gun, is mounted co-axially on the turret.
ROQF 6-pounder Mk IIIEdit
The Churchill Crocodile's turret-mounted primary weapon is a 6-Pounder general-purpose cannon. This is a relatively light cannon for a tank, firing medium-velocity shells.
The 6-Pounder causes 87 points of damage per shot. Unfortunately, the Penetration values for the 6-Pounder are weak, meaning that it does only minimal damage to tank armor, and may fail to penetrate the front armor of medium or heavy tanks. Medium tanks can be flanked for side- or rear-damage, but it is unlikely for this gun to actually destroy a heavy tank.
Area Effect values for this cannon are also relatively weak. It can usually kill one infantryman at a time (though its accuracy against infantry is poor), but may kill two if they are close together. It does normal damage to buildings compared to other tank cannons.
The gun has a range of 40 meters, just beyond the tank's line-of-sight.
In addition to its cannon, the Churchill Crocodile has a forward-facing, hull-mounted Flame-Thrower. This weapon fires a jet of flaming petroleum jelly, which burns anything it comes into contact with. This type of damage is particularly destructive against infantry, buildings, and even light-vehicles. However, it does nothing against armored vehicles.
The Flame-Thrower, being mounted on the hull rather than the turret, can be fired at a different direction than the main cannon. As the tank's turret concentrates on firing at one target, the hull can be turned (manually or due to the tank's automatic maneuverings) to face other targets. This allows the tank to engage two targets at the same time, for example the turret gun engaging a light vehicle while the flame-thrower engages infantry attempting to flank the tank.
The Flame-Thrower has a range of about 20 meters, roughly half of the tank's line-of-sight.
7.92mm Besa Machine-gunEdit
The Churchill Crocodile is outfitted with one 7.92mm Besa Machine-gun, which is installed on the turret next to the main cannon. The primary purpose of this weapon is to suppress infantry, but it is unlikely to kill very often. The Besa will usually engage infantry directly in front of it rather than whatever target the main cannon is aiming at.
The range of the LMGs is 25 meters, around 10 meters less than the tank's line-of-sight.
The Churchill Crocodile is capable of applying Tank Shock to suppress enemy infantry. It can also use the Hull Down Position ability once this has been unlocked in the Royal Engineers Support Company tree.
- Costs: Nothing
- Activation: Select Target (Infantry)
- Cooldown: 60 seconds
When Tank Shock is activated, select a target enemy infantry squad. The Churchill Crocodile will momentarily accelerate towards the target at twice its normal speed. The target squad, as well as any infantry squad within 10 meters of it, will receive a small amount of suppression, at least as much as required to reach the "Suppressed" state (yellow). Infantry squads inside this area that are already suppressed may become "Pinned".
This ability is very useful when combined with the tank's flame-thrower. The Suppression will force enemy infantry to the ground, bringing the tank closer to them at the same time, and giving time for the flame-thrower to burn them up.
As of patch 2.06, the ability has been changed. Now, when activated, all enemy infantry in a 10 meter radius suffer Suppression. This ability no longer increases the speed of the Churchill tank, and when the ability is activated it doesn't need to be targeted at any enemy unit.
Also note that this ability keeps constantly suppressing until its over, which means that if an infantry unit wasn't inside the 10 meter radius at the moment they ability is activated, but instead goes in a few moments later, it will still get suppressed. It also means that until the ability is over the infantry inside the 10 meter radius cant get out of suppression until the ability is over or the suppressed infantry gets out of the 10 meter area.
This basically means that the Churchill tank cant be used to charge front against enemy infantry, and instead has to move slowly as the Churchill tank is quite slow.
- Costs: Nothing
- Prerequisite: Royal Engineers Support: Hull Down
- Activation: Immediate
- Cooldown: 9 seconds (activate/deactivate)
Once the "Hull Down" ability has been purchased on the Royal Engineers Support Field Improvements chart, it becomes available for all Churchill Crocodiles until the end of the mission.
To activate this ability, simply click it. The tank becomes immobile as sand bags barricades are erected all around it. The tank can continue firing while this is being accomplished.
Once the process is complete (9 seconds), the tank will have traded its mobility for increased defense. The tank's armor is increased by 25%, and takes only 75% damage from any source.
To release the Churchill Crocodile from Hull Down Position, simply click the button again. This is only possible once the tank has been fully entrenched - you cannot stop the entrenching process halfway-through. As soon as the button is clicked, the tank is released immediately from the sandbags (which disappear) and may drive off at once.
Note that while Hull Down is active, the Crocodile's flame-thrower is less useful than otherwise, since it can only fire forward. This means that the cannon must engage any infantry attempting to flank the tank, making it somewhat less useful against infantry.
Comparison with the Sherman CrocodileEdit
The two flame-throwing Allied tanks, the Churchill Crocodile and M4 Crocodile Sherman, are often compared to one another. Both tanks provide infantry support, but the differences between them are quite substantial - primarily in the Churchill's favor.
The most important difference between the two vehicles is the fact that the Churchill Crocodile's Flame-Thrower is mounted on its hull, allowing it to retain its main cannon. While the flame-thrower engages enemy infantry, the cannon can engage enemy vehicles or even tanks, increasing the tank's overall damage potential significantly.
In addition, the Churchill is better-armored than the Sherman, with roughly the same amount of armor on its sides and rear as on its front. This, coupled with its ability to "Hull Down" (assuming you've acquired the appropriate Royal Engineers Support ability) gives it much better survivability than the Sherman.
This is not without caveats, of course. The Churchill Crocodile costs significantly more Manpower, and takes significantly more Population Cap points than the Sherman equivalent, meaning that fewer can be fielded. Of course, the entire order of battle for the British faction works on heavy pin-point assaults followed by entrenchment, which goes well with the use of a few powerful units rather than many less-powerful ones.
The Churchill Crocodile is rightly considered to be a superior version of the Churchill Tank. While it lacks the basic Churchill's ability to mount a Mine Plow and costs significantly more to field, it makes up for this by having a second primary weapon, the Flame-Thrower. Nonetheless, the Churchill Crocodile is used in much the same way as the basic Churchill: as an infantry support weapon and as a "mobile emplacement".
On the offense, the Churchill Crocodile can provide a formidable spear-head for an advancing column, soaking up damage and keeping enemy units engaged while the infantry flanks and destroys them. The Flame-Thrower increases its ability to do damage to the enemy while this goes on, effectively allowing it to handle multiple threats - especially infantry holed up in buildings - to clear a path for the infantry and other units following it.
On the defense, a single Crocodile can often hold a resource point against significant opposition, as long as said opposition is light on Anti-Tank weaponry. Even Anti-Tank infantry will be burned to a crisp very quickly by the Crocodile, possibly before it can let off more than one or two shots at the tank. In this capacity, the Churchill Crocodile can effectively stand in for an anti-infantry emplacement, protecting a newly-captured sector until emplacements can be built to relieve it - at which time it can move on to another task elsewhere.
On the OffenseEdit
The Churchill Crocodile is often found at the very front of an advancing British column, serving as infantry-support. This means that once enemy resistance is encountered, the tank will proceed to engage as many enemies as it can, using both its primary weapons to wreak as much havoc as possible. Meanwhile, as the enemy attempts to destroy this heavily-armored tank, infantry and other vehicles can move to flank and destroy the enemy units.
Thanks to its flame-thrower, the Crocodile can clear large infantry forces, especially those garrisoned within buildings and bunkers, even without infantry support. It can begin its attack by using the Tank Shock ability to keep all non-garrisoned infantry Suppressed, preventing them from engaging your other units effectively as they maneuver towards the enemy targets. Infantry within buildings will quickly be killed by the flames, and the tank's turret can be ordered to engage any harder target, especially vehicles, supporting the enemy infantry.
Of course, remember that as with all other Churchills, the Crocodile is not invincible, and can be hurt by anti-tank weaponry. If it cannot suppress or burn out the Anti-Tank, it will have to rely on other units to assist. Nonetheless, the Churchill design allows it to survive for quite some time in the face of AT guns, and even anti-tank infantry that manage to flank it.
This is especially true if the Churchill goes into Hull Down mode. However, for this tank the Hull Down Position is less attractive during an attack, as it confines the hull-mounted flame-thrower to a forward angle, meaning that the tank can only burn targets directly in front of it. If you can get the tank to face the appropriate target before going into Hull Down mode, this can still be useful. However, it will be 9 seconds before you can disengage Hull Down to acquire another target.
Combining with Sherman Firefly, the Crocodile can aid the Firefly by concentrating on infantry while the Firefly will take out the tank. It will be one of the most lethalest combinations, making the combinations are literally "invincible" because of strong anti-infantry and tank defenses.
On the DefenseEdit
The Churchill Crocodile can perform the same duty as a basic Churchill Tank on the defense, by protecting a point against enemy incursions - especially those made by enemy infantry and light vehicles. This allows the tank to stand-in for static emplacements at a newly-captured resource point until those emplacements can be set up by your Sappers.
Once again, the Hull Down ability is less useful for the Crocodile as it confines its flame-thrower to a forward angle. Of course, if the tank is facing a narrow alley-of-approach from which enemies are likely to show up, then its flamethrower will be able to engage them as they come - assuming they don't manage to go past and around the tank.
Remember that, while heavily armored, the Churchill Crocodile is not invincible. Powerful anti-tank weaponry can still damage it, and its slow speed makes it more vulnerable to maneuverable opponents and artillery.
Also remember that the tank's cannon is not very useful as an anti-tank gun (and its flame-thrower useless against tanks entirely). It may fail to penetrate an enemy tank's front armor (or, when dealing with heavy tanks, their side or even rear armor!). When dealing with enemy tanks, keep the Churchill Crocodile covered by an anti-tank weapon like a Sherman Firefly or even a Cromwell Tank. When advancing into enemy AT fire, make sure to bring infantry along to deal with these threats.
The Churchill Crocodile is only one variant of this tank design. The Royal Engineers Support company has two more types of Churchill Tanks available.
- The Churchill Tank is the basic version, with a 6-Pounder cannon and the ability to mount a Mine Plow.
- The Churchill AVRE fires a high-explosive shell that can eradicate infantry concentrations and obstacles.
On unit selection: