Churchill with 'Onion' Explosive Device

The 'Onion' Explosive Device was the first of two frames designed to allow explosive charges to be moved into place using a Churchill tank. It was developed in the aftermath of the Dieppe raid in an attempt to find a way to overcome fixed beach defences.

The explosives were carried on a horizontally mounted framework that was carried on arms attached to brackets on the sides of the tank. The explosives were arranged to match their target, and the frame was then driven into place and released. Two hinged legs on the back of the frame then forced it into place, the tank retreated and the charge was detonated.

The 'Onion' was quite effective against Dragon's Teeth tank traps and beach obstacles, but the frame didn't always end up in the correct place when used against walls or pillboxes, reducing the impact of the explosion. The 'Onion' never entered production, and instead the more accurate 'Goat' was used.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (29 May 2009), Churchill with 'Onion' Explosive Device , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_churchill_onion.html

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