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Nickdfresh
03-06-2006, 09:51 PM
Could Britain have deployed the heavily armoured Centurion MBT in time for the closing years of WWII? I know I could GOOGLE this, but I like to hear about from tank aficionados. :mrgreen:

http://www.tanks2go.com/United_Kingdom/images/UKcenturion-1.jpg

She's a beaut! sigh...

Gen. Sandworm
03-07-2006, 01:59 AM
I was under the impression that a few were deployed during the close of WW2! Maybe I was wrong.

I did see a documentry about tanks on the discovery channel. One of the drivers of the centurion said it had to be one of the best tanks ever produced however he said it's alot like learning to ride a bicycle backwards. :lol:

FluffyBunnyGB
03-07-2006, 10:34 AM
Opinions vary, but 5 or 6 CENTURION Mk 1, with 17 pdr and 20mm co-axial cannon, were rushed to the continent at the end of the war.

They arrives too late to see action.

Topor
03-07-2006, 03:06 PM
If we had been able to field them in significant numbers a year earlier, then I think it quite possible that the conflict in Western Europe would have moved into Germany months sooner.
One of the telling holdups for Allied forces was the inability of our armour to punch through the German defences without significant losses, thus leaving too few resources to exploit any breaks.

Nickdfresh
03-16-2006, 08:05 PM
Opinions vary, but 5 or 6 CENTURION Mk 1, with 17 pdr and 20mm co-axial cannon, were rushed to the continent at the end of the war.

They arrives too late to see action.

Actually, information of the Centurion during WWII is limited and overshadowed by it's contribution to warfare from Korea and the Sinai Desert to the jungles of Vietnam...

But development began in 1943, the first examples were rushed into production maybe in late 44.' It would have been tough to get reliable examples fielded before mid 1945...

In any case, she was an excellent tank that favored crew survivability and adaptability. And I'd make love to her if I could... :lol:

George Eller
03-19-2006, 11:58 AM
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http://img236.imageshack.us/img236/8711/centuriontank015oz.jpg
From: "British and American Tanks of World War II", by Peter Chamberlain and Chris Ellis, Arco Publishing Company, 1975, (p 52)
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http://img136.imageshack.us/img136/7219/centuriontank029fi.jpg
From: "British and American Tanks of World War II", by Peter Chamberlain and Chris Ellis, Arco Publishing Company, 1975, (p 53)
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http://img236.imageshack.us/img236/1893/centuriontank035pv.jpg
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http://img136.imageshack.us/img136/8366/centuriontank054qk.jpg
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http://img236.imageshack.us/img236/3168/centuriontank043sa.jpg
Probably a latter variant of Centurion (Mk III?) with 83.4mm gun (20-pounder)
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Centurion Variants still in service with Israel Defence Forces:

http://img529.imageshack.us/img529/3773/nakpadon33ez.jpg
Nakpadon Heavy Armored Personnel Carrier
http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/vehicles/engineer_vehicles/nakpadon/Nakpadon.html

http://img481.imageshack.us/img481/745/nakpadon99cy.jpg
Nakpadon Heavy Armored Personnel Carrier
http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/vehicles/engineer_vehicles/nakpadon/Nakpadon.html
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Both the Nagmachon and Nakpadon are burdened by excessive weight, the latter probably weighting as much as 55 tones. The Nagmachon retains the upgrades Centurion's 750hp AVDS diesel. The Nakpadon uses the 900hp AVDS 1790-6A power pack of the Merkava Mk 1. The current suspension used by the vehicles is a hybrid, based on the cold Centurion system, but incorporating hydraulic bump stops. Road wheels tend to show signs of severe wear, wheel tires typically being almost totally destroyed by excessive thermal and mechanical loading. As funds become available, Merkava style suspension and all steel road wheels are being retrofitted.

The Nakpadon can take 10 troops more and it's equipped with four M240 7.62mm machine guns and grenade launchers. Due to great armored protection, it is weighs 55 tons, being the VBI weighed already constructed. To compensate the weight, the engine 750 diesel AVDS of hp was changed by a AVDS used 1790-sa of 900 hp in the Merkava Mk 1.
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http://img481.imageshack.us/img481/8359/puma56ly.jpg
Puma Heavy Armored Personnel Carrier
http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/vehicles/engineer_vehicles/puma/Puma.html

http://img529.imageshack.us/img529/3933/pumad2ab.jpg
Puma Heavy Armored Personnel Carrier
http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/vehicles/engineer_vehicles/puma/Puma.html

Although the Nagmachon was a step forward compared to the Nagmasho't, it was still a stop gap solution to fielding a satisfactory personnel carrier with enough protection to the crew and mounted soldiers. In the already acquainted way of Ďtelescopic development' a further carrier was developed using the Centurion chassis.

The result was a sleeker vehicle with a lower silhouette, in effect reducing the silhouette of the vehicle and therefore increasing its survivability. Survivability was further enhanced by using armor of the third generation, which was denser than the previous kinds of armor used.

The resulting vehicle had a major drawback, however as there was no rear entry or exit for the infantry troops. As a result, the mounted troops had to egress over the roof and the top of the hull, exposing the disembarking troops to enemy fire. The risk of exposing the troops was found to be a very important drawback so much that the vehicle was judged unsuited for the APC (armored personnel carrier) role.

At the same time, IDF's Combat Engineer Force, had a requirement for a heavily protected vehicle to support their frontline tasks. It was decided to adapt the new vehicle to their task. The vehicle was named Puma, which is an acronym for Poretz Mokshim Handasati (minefield break through vehicle).

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CrossBones
03-19-2006, 04:46 PM
S!

Jesus, Eller......you live in a tank factory???? :lol: :lol:

You know anything about then........

George Eller
03-19-2006, 05:49 PM
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S!

Jesus, Eller......you live in a tank factory???? :lol: :lol:

You know anything about then........

:lol: :lol: :lol: ...Oh no, just a long time interest of mine :D

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Iron Yeoman
03-20-2006, 06:26 AM
You should take my 'how weapons work' course, i just did an essay on comparing the T-72M versus the M1A1 Abrams.

FluffyBunnyGB
03-20-2006, 06:50 AM
The CENTURION BARV (Beach Armoured Recovery Vehicle) only retired from the British Army in the last few years, and one remains in service with the Royal Marines.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BARV

These pictures are from the Tanx Heaven site, which has some interesting pictures of other tanks as well:

http://tanxheaven.com

have a look in the reference pictures, as many seem to be of real vehicles instead of models.

Nickdfresh
03-20-2006, 08:38 AM
Thanks GEORGE. Excellent info there!

George Eller
03-20-2006, 08:51 PM
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You should take my 'how weapons work' course, i just did an essay on comparing the T-72M versus the M1A1 Abrams.

Hi "Student-scaley"

Is this a course that you are taking in the Army or a Military Academy? It sounds like a difficult one. Your essay on the T-72M versus the M1A1 Abrams must relate to their use in the recent Gulf Wars.

I hope that you do well on it. :D

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The CENTURION BARV (Beach Armoured Recovery Vehicle) only retired from the British Army in the last few years, and one remains in service with the Royal Marines.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BARV

These pictures are from the Tanx Heaven site, which has some interesting pictures of other tanks as well:

http://tanxheaven.com

have a look in the reference pictures, as many seem to be of real vehicles instead of models.

Thanks for the links "FluffyBunnyGB" :D
Very interesting site.
I didn't know that Ossie Orsbourn was interested in military history (see links below from tanxheaven.com).

Centurion Mk.1 (A41) UK
Pictures by Ossie Orsbourn
Bovington Tank Museum
http://tanxheaven.com/cent/a41mk1/a41mk1.htm

Centurion Mk.6 FV 4011 UK
pictures by Ossie Orsbourn
http://tanxheaven.com/cent/fv4011mk6/fv4011mk6.htm

And More
http://tanxheaven.com/referencepictures.htm

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Thanks GEORGE. Excellent info there!

My pleasure Nick :D

I only regret that I could not find more on the early WWII variant of the Centurion. Later models are not a problem. The Tanxheaven site had some interesting photos though.

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Iron Yeoman
03-21-2006, 10:50 AM
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You should take my 'how weapons work' course, i just did an essay on comparing the T-72M versus the M1A1 Abrams.

Hi "Student-scaley"

Is this a course that you are taking in the Army or a Military Academy? It sounds like a difficult one. Your essay on the T-72M versus the M1A1 Abrams must relate to their use in the recent Gulf Wars.

I hope that you do well on it. :D

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My course is War Studies at king's College London, i got a 2:1 for it, not bad. I wasn't looking at the Gulf, i was actually comparing their intended usage in the European theatre assesing how the relative doctrine of the US and Soviet Armies affected their tank design.

Nickdfresh
03-21-2006, 07:59 PM
Thanks GEORGE. Excellent info there!

My pleasure Nick :D

I only regret that I could not find more on the early WWII variant of the Centurion. Later models are not a problem. The Tanxheaven site had some interesting photos though.

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Well, I had the same problem. I can only assume that none saw combat although a few were deployed for that reason...

I also know the Australians used the Centurion in Vietnam and favored it's thick armor, and the way she could take a BP-40/RPG7 and still run...

George Eller
03-21-2006, 09:30 PM
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You should take my 'how weapons work' course, i just did an essay on comparing the T-72M versus the M1A1 Abrams.

Hi "Student-scaley"

Is this a course that you are taking in the Army or a Military Academy? It sounds like a difficult one. Your essay on the T-72M versus the M1A1 Abrams must relate to their use in the recent Gulf Wars.

I hope that you do well on it. :D

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My course is War Studies at king's College London, i got a 2:1 for it, not bad. I wasn't looking at the Gulf, i was actually comparing their intended usage in the European theatre assesing how the relative doctrine of the US and Soviet Armies affected their tank design.
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Congratulations :D

From what I've read at your college's website, it appears to have a very high rating. Same goes for the Department of War Studies and the University of London as a whole.

Your topic is interesting too. It has been awhile since I have kept up with Russian armour development. Some generalities that I seem to remember were that Soviet tanks tended to be more cheaply made and thus wore out quicker than western designs. They were not used as much in training in order to preserve their service life. This in turn affected crew readiness and proficiency. The tanks had low profiles and low well shaped turrets in order to present as small a target as possible. They carried very large guns, but because of the limited space in the vehicles fewer rounds could be carried than in their western counterparts. They also had a slower rate of fire and their sights were not as good. The turret's low profile also limited the angle at which the gun could be depressed. This factor prevented them from concealing as much of their vehicle when in defilade (hull-down) position as their western counterparts. Lack of air-conditioning also contributed to crew fatigue in warmer climates. The lack of return rollers to adjust track tension also made the treads susceptible to snapping from harmonic vibration when driving at top speed for sustained lengths of time. Their light weight did give them good power-to-weight ratio and good range. Much the opposite could have been said of their western counterparts, but at the price of being more expensive and fewer in number. ... Just some generalities circa 1970's-80's. The situation has probably changed somewhat since then.

At any rate, I wish you continued success in your studies.

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George Eller
03-21-2006, 09:44 PM
Thanks GEORGE. Excellent info there!

My pleasure Nick :D

I only regret that I could not find more on the early WWII variant of the Centurion. Later models are not a problem. The Tanxheaven site had some interesting photos though.

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Well, I had the same problem. I can only assume that none saw combat although a few were deployed for that reason...

I also know the Australians used the Centurion in Vietnam and favored it's thick armor, and the way she could take a BP-40/RPG7 and still run...
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The Centurion was also the favorite tank of Israel's Armoured Corps during the 1973 Middle-East War. It gave a good account of itself on the Golan Heights in the early days of that war.

The South African Army also used the Centurion (called the "Oliphant") into the 1990's.

A very successful design indeed.

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CDN3RD_Canadian
03-28-2006, 09:26 AM
It dose sound like a very interesting thesis I hope you did well on it.

Cuts
03-28-2006, 03:30 PM
The South African Army also used the Centurion (called the "Oliphant") into the 1990's.

A very successful design indeed.

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The Olifant may have been up-gunned, up-armoured, up-engined and had it's electronics modernised, but it is still to all intents and purposes a Cent and the SADF treadheads at Tempe were pretty handy at using them - ask the Cubans and the Russians !

It was due to be replaced by the Olifant 2B, and when the terrs became the govt they ordered many of them.
However cash became a bit short when there are all those Swiss bank ac****s to be filled, and this excellent design has been relegated to a test bed for future armour.
We'll see just how long money takes to filter through to the SANDF. - Top tip: Don't hold your breath !

The Olifant is still in use as the RSA's MBT now - or rather those that are currently maintained (:roll: ) are , and unless something very odd happens will remain so for a long time to come.

George Eller
03-28-2006, 07:02 PM
The South African Army also used the Centurion (called the "Oliphant") into the 1990's.

A very successful design indeed.

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The Olifant may have been up-gunned, up-armoured, up-engined and had it's electronics modernised, but it is still to all intents and purposes a Cent and the SADF treadheads at Tempe were pretty handy at using them - ask the Cubans and the Russians !

It was due to be replaced by the Olifant 2B, and when the terrs became the govt they ordered many of them.
However cash became a bit short when there are all those Swiss bank ac****s to be filled, and this excellent design has been relegated to a test bed for future armour.
We'll see just how long money takes to filter through to the SANDF. - Top tip: Don't hold your breath !

The Olifant is still in use as the RSA's MBT now - or rather those that are currently maintained (:roll: ) are , and unless something very odd happens will remain so for a long time to come.
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Very interesting information Cuts. Thanks.

So they are still in service with SANDF - amazing. Do you know if the Centurion is still in service with Sweden and Denmark? As of mid-1990's they were (along with Jordan, Singapore and Israel).

Switzerland had used them into the late 1980's if I'm not mistaken.

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Cuts
03-28-2006, 10:51 PM
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Very interesting information Cuts. Thanks.

So they are still in service with SANDF - amazing. Do you know if the Centurion is still in service with Sweden and Denmark? As of mid-1990's they were (along with Jordan, Singapore and Israel).

Switzerland had used them into the late 1980's if I'm not mistaken.

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The Danes binned their Cents maybe eighteen years back, and now use Leo 1A5 DK and Leo 2A4 (upgraded to 2A5.) The latter had a small tank battle in FRY during UNPROFOR, in fact I met one of the tankies from the unit involved when he was overseas and he gave me a good run down of the contact.

The remaining Swedish Cents are used for mobilisation only, the last crews being trained on that panzer in 2000.
Otherwise they have their Strv 121, (Leo 2A4,) and Strv 122 (Leo 2 improved) as MBTs.

The Swiss use the Pz87, (licence built Leo 2A5,) but have mounted a 140mm main armament.
I was fortunate enough to visit their MBT trg facility and they can now do the majority of their trg in simulators, a considerable saving on fuel, maintenance, etc.
They can 'field' a complete BG in the facility and a number of other countries, including the Germans and Swedes, send their crews to Thun for trg.

George Eller
03-29-2006, 10:16 PM
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Very interesting information Cuts. Thanks.

So they are still in service with SANDF - amazing. Do you know if the Centurion is still in service with Sweden and Denmark? As of mid-1990's they were (along with Jordan, Singapore and Israel).

Switzerland had used them into the late 1980's if I'm not mistaken.

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The Danes binned their Cents maybe eighteen years back, and now use Leo 1A5 DK and Leo 2A4 (upgraded to 2A5.) The latter had a small tank battle in FRY during UNPROFOR, in fact I met one of the tankies from the unit involved when he was overseas and he gave me a good run down of the contact.

The remaining Swedish Cents are used for mobilisation only, the last crews being trained on that panzer in 2000.
Otherwise they have their Strv 121, (Leo 2A4,) and Strv 122 (Leo 2 improved) as MBTs.

The Swiss use the Pz87, (licence built Leo 2A5,) but have mounted a 140mm main armament.
I was fortunate enough to visit their MBT trg facility and they can now do the majority of their trg in simulators, a considerable saving on fuel, maintenance, etc.
They can 'field' a complete BG in the facility and a number of other countries, including the Germans and Swedes, send their crews to Thun for trg.

Thanks for the updates Cuts.

I didn't realize that the Danes retired their Centurions that long ago - oh well. Danish Centurions - Mk 3's upgraded to Mk 5 and Mk 5/2 standard. Approx 110 Mk 3 upgraded to Mk 5 standard retaining 20 pdr gun (83.4 mm) and approx 105 other Mk 3 converted to Mk 5/2 standard with 105 mm L7A3 rifled gun firing APFSDS-T, smoke, HESH and APDS ammunition types, an Ericsson laser rangefinder sight and 12.7 mm MG.

Swedish Centurions - Strv 81 (Mk 3/Mk 5 delivered early - mid 1950's), Strv 101 (approx 170 Mk 10 delivered 1960 upgunned with 105 mm L7 rifled guns and 8 mm MG's, fitted with turret direction indicator, American radios and new auxiliary engine), Strv 102 (approx 270 Strv 81's upgraded with over 110 minor changes made and fitting of 105 mm gun), Strv 104 (in the early 1980's the Strv 101 and Strv102 started further modernization programs involving the fitting of an Ericsson gunner's laser rangefinder sight, a Bofors integrated Tank Fire Control system, the 71 mm Lyran illuminating twin launcher system and an AVDS-1790-2DC 750 hp V-12 air-cooled diesel engine coupled to an Allison CD-850-6A automatic transmission.)

The Swiss Pz 87 (Swiss version of German Leopard 2) - first 35 built in Germany and delivered in 1987. The remaining were built under license in Switzerland (Swiss MG's, radios, etc.).

That is interesting about the 140 mm gun installation on the Pz 87 and their MBT training facility.

The Germans certainly have had success in marketing their Leopard 1 and 2 MBT's. Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey (maybe more?).

Most of the above is from "Battle Tanks and Support Vehicles", Alan K. Russell, Greenhill Books, London, 1994, (pp 34-40, 126-128).

I would like to post more on the Centurion, but it is getting late. I have much information - including more on the "Olifant" - but it may take a few days to pull it all together.

Again, thanks for the information. :D

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Panzerknacker
04-16-2006, 02:28 PM
A really like the idea of the early Centurion in wich a fast firing canon is used as a secondary coaxial weapons, some times a AFV encounters targets wich could be destroyed by this means without the need of a heavy AP gun, like trucks, APCs, cars, motorcicles, etc.

http://bcoy1cpb.pacdat.net/polsten1_AB_side_travel_pstn_in_barracks.jpg

Topor
04-16-2006, 05:59 PM
A really like the idea of the early Centurion in wich a fast firing canon is used as a secondary coaxial weapons, some times a AFV encounters targets wich could be destroyed by this means without the need of a heavy AP gun, like trucks, APCs, cars, motorcicles, etc.

http://bcoy1cpb.pacdat.net/polsten1_AB_side_travel_pstn_in_barracks.jpg

+1
Considering the limited supply of main gun ammunition a tank can carry, something similar to the Cent's original armament makes sense - even more so in the kind of combat that is being experienced today.

Panzerknacker
04-17-2006, 11:15 AM
Exactly always seems to me ridicolous using a 88mm gun next to a 7,92 or 7.7mm Mg due the large balistic differences of those weapons, unfortunately this weapons layout has survive until our days in the MBT like the Abrams of Challenger. I would like see one of these with a coaxial 20-25mm gun.

Incidentally other tank wich use a large weapon as coaxil was the argentine Nahuel DL-43 (late 1943 design), in this the secondary gun was either a 20mm Madsen gun or a .50 caliber Browning.

http://img133.imageshack.us/img133/1600/nahuel9nu.jpg

George Eller
04-17-2006, 01:17 PM
Exactly always seems to me ridicolus using a 88mm gun next to a 7,92 or 7.7mm Mg due the large balistic effects of those weapons, unfortunately this weapons layout has survive until uor days in the MBT like the Abrams of Challenger. I wuld like see one of these with a coaxial 20-25mm gun.

Incidentally other tank wich use a large weapon as coaxil was the argentine Nahuel DL-43 (late 1943 design), in this the secondary gun was either a 20mm Madsen gun or a .50 caliber Browning.

http://img133.imageshack.us/img133/1600/nahuel9nu.jpg
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Looks like a caricature of a Sherman almost. :)

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FluffyBunnyGB
04-17-2006, 02:45 PM
Depends what you want your coaxial armament for though ........

If you want something useful for decimating advancing hordes of infantry, you might be better with a smaller calibre weapon such as an MMG, which has a high sustained rate of fire and for which you can carry plenty of ammo.

If you want to take on lighter vehicles, then a 20mm might be useful, but why not use the main armament?

A 20mm cannon such as POLSTEN or Oerlikon is drum or straight magazine fed, which means you'll only get a shortish burst out before you have to reload. Under almost any circumstance, you're just as knacked if you're hit by a 7.62 round as a 20mm so why not use the lighter weapon?

The modern BMP 3 has a 100 mm main armament and a coaxial 30 mm, but those guns are designed for different things. The 100 mm fires HE and also serves as a launcher for the AT 10 STABBER missile, but with a fairly low MV (250 m/s). Although the missile can be used against slow-moving helicopters, the 30 mm is much better for this sort of thing.

The BMP 3 still then has a 7.62 mm coaxial MG for use against infantry.

2nd of foot
04-17-2006, 04:01 PM
The use of Coax on British tank is for ranging. The Besa followed by the .5 were ballisticly matched to the main gun.

The firing procedure would be something like, estimate range then a 3 round burst, if over drop, if under add. Another burst followed by a big bang.

This method was still in use on the Chieftain till the introduction of lasers and still as a back up. Other countries used range finders but the Brit thought this was quicker.

The chieftainís commander had a GPMG fitted to the cupola that could be aimed and fired from inside.

There is an incident in Korea (Royal Irish Hussars?) who shot Chinese troops off each otherís tanks as the carried out a fighting withdrawal.

I was told a joke a long time ago about IDF infantry carrying 2BL hammers. They would run up to enemy tanks and hit it 3 times on the side. The crew thinking that they have been spotted and ranged would bale out because they new that a 105 round was on the way.

Panzerknacker
04-18-2006, 01:26 PM
Looks like a caricature of a Sherman almost.

Actually the Nahuel was a very superior tank with a more heavy front armor, the canon was pretty much the same as the 75mm Sherman.


The use of Coax on British tank is for ranging. The Besa followed by the .5 were ballisticly matched to the main gun.

The firing procedure would be something like, estimate range then a 3 round burst, if over drop, if under add. Another burst followed by a big bang

Actually I have seen a video of the Centurion using the .50 caliber to aim, very simple idea, also in case to be needed the heavy MG can sweep the infantry at more range than the .30/7,92mm caliber.

2nd of foot
04-18-2006, 05:46 PM
also in case to be needed the heavy MG can sweep the infantry at more range than the .30/7,92mm caliber.

If you are engaging troops with a .5 at long range (1000+m) you are going to waste a lot of ammo. You will get a better beaten zone with a 7.62 or .30. it may sound good and look fine and is very good on light vehicles but for area the MMG is better. And any range over tracer burn out is wasting ammo.

George Eller
04-19-2006, 10:05 PM
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More on the Centurion Tank
Histories and Variants:

http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/8189/01centurioncaiti1978016lf.jpg
01-Centurion-Caiti-1978-01
Modern Armor: A Comprehensive Guide, Pierangelo Caiti, Squadron Signal Publications, 1978, p 92
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http://img129.imageshack.us/img129/373/02centurioncaiti1978020mq.jpg
02-Centurion-Caiti-1978-02
Modern Armor: A Comprehensive Guide, Pierangelo Caiti, Squadron Signal Publications, 1978, p 93
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http://img129.imageshack.us/img129/2415/03centurioncaiti1978038tb.jpg
03-Centurion-Caiti-1978-03
Modern Armor: A Comprehensive Guide, Pierangelo Caiti, Squadron Signal Publications, 1978, p 94
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http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/201/04centurioncaiti1978045pg.jpg
04-Centurion-Caiti-1978-04
Modern Armor: A Comprehensive Guide, Pierangelo Caiti, Squadron Signal Publications, 1978, p 95
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http://img129.imageshack.us/img129/6311/05centurioncaiti1978051ia.jpg
05-Centurion-Caiti-1978-05
Modern Armor: A Comprehensive Guide, Pierangelo Caiti, Squadron Signal Publications, 1978, p 96
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http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/5049/06centurioncaiti1978062ud.jpg
06-Centurion-Caiti-1978-06
Modern Armor: A Comprehensive Guide, Pierangelo Caiti, Squadron Signal Publications, 1978, p 97
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http://img129.imageshack.us/img129/2703/07centurionmkiii010jf.jpg
07-Centurion-MkIII-01
Tank Versus Tank, Kenneth Macksey, Salem House Publishers, 1988, pp164-165
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http://img129.imageshack.us/img129/6946/08centurionjanes1976019ej.jpg
08-Centurion-Janes-1976-01
Jane's Pocket Book of Modern Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles, Christopher Foss, Macmillan Publishing, 1976, p 20
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http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/7867/09centurionjanes1976029pc.jpg
09-Centurion-Janes-1976-02
Jane's Pocket Book of Modern Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles, Christopher Foss, Macmillan Publishing, 1976, p 21
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http://img50.imageshack.us/img50/7682/10centurionfoss1977019pw.jpg
10-Centurion-Foss-1977-01
Armoured Fighting Vehicles of the World, Christopher Foss, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1977, p 63
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http://img50.imageshack.us/img50/3177/11centurionfoss1977029ly.jpg
11-Centurion-Foss-1977-02
Armoured Fighting Vehicles of the World, Christopher Foss, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1977, p 64
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http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/4048/12centurionfoss1977031yl.jpg
12-Centurion-Foss-1977-03
Armoured Fighting Vehicles of the World, Christopher Foss, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1977, p 65
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http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/2396/13centurionfoss1977048oo.jpg
13-Centurion-Foss-1977-04
Armoured Fighting Vehicles of the World, Christopher Foss, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1977, p 66
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http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/9268/14centurionjanes1987013hd.jpg
14-Centurion-Janes-1987-01
Jane's AFV Recognition Handbook, Christopher Foss, Jane's Publishing Company Ltd, 1987, p 33
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http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/346/15centurionjanes1987021ox.jpg
15-Centurion-Janes-1987-02
Jane's AFV Recognition Handbook, Christopher Foss, Jane's Publishing Company Ltd, 1987, p 34
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http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/3301/16centurionjanes1987030hk.jpg
16-Centurion-Janes-1987-03
Jane's AFV Recognition Handbook, Christopher Foss, Jane's Publishing Company Ltd, 1987, p 35
-

http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/881/17centurionobservers1987019dl.jpg
17-Centurion-Observers-1987-01
Tanks and Other Armoured Vehicles, Charles Messenger, Frederick Warne & Co., 1987, pp 106-107
-

http://img105.imageshack.us/img105/5015/18centurionccg1988012cf.jpg
18-Centurion-CCG-1988-01
Modern Fighting Vehicles, Bob Lewis, Longmeadow Press, 1988, pp 66-67
-

http://img53.imageshack.us/img53/2250/19centurioncombatsurvival19910.jpg
19-Centurion-Combat-Survival-1991-01
Combat and Survival, Volume 11, H.S. Stuttman, Inc., Aerospace Publishing, ISBN 0-87475-560-3, 1991, p 645
-

http://img53.imageshack.us/img53/5585/20centurionjanes1992014se.jpg
20-Centurion-Janes-1992-01
Jane's AFV Recognition Handbook: Second Edition, Christopher Foss, Jane's Information Group Ltd., 1992, p 36
-

http://img53.imageshack.us/img53/4913/21centurionjanes1992025cp.jpg
21-Centurion-Janes-1992-02
Jane's AFV Recognition Handbook: Second Edition, Christopher Foss, Jane's Information Group Ltd., 1992, p 37
-

http://img161.imageshack.us/img161/2885/22centurionjanes1992030al.jpg
22-Centurion-Janes-1992-03
Jane's AFV Recognition Handbook: Second Edition, Christopher Foss, Jane's Information Group Ltd., 1992, p 38
-

http://img161.imageshack.us/img161/7767/23centuriongreenhill1994015py.jpg
23-Centurion-Greenhill-1994-01
Battle Tanks and Support Vehicles, Alan K. Russell, Greenhill Books, 1994, p 126
-

http://img214.imageshack.us/img214/321/24centuriongreenhill1994022vs.jpg
24-Centurion-Greenhill-1994-02
Battle Tanks and Support Vehicles, Alan K. Russell, Greenhill Books, 1994, p 127
-

http://img150.imageshack.us/img150/3315/25centuriongreenhill1994036af.jpg
25-Centurion-Greenhill-1994-03
Battle Tanks and Support Vehicles, Alan K. Russell, Greenhill Books, 1994, p 128
-

http://img214.imageshack.us/img214/4529/26centuriongreenhill1994040bq.jpg
26-Centurion-Greenhill-1994-04
Battle Tanks and Support Vehicles, Alan K. Russell, Greenhill Books, 1994, p 129


---


South African Centurions - The Olifant:

http://img214.imageshack.us/img214/9082/centurionsa017mf.jpg
Centurion-SA-01
Battle Tanks and Support Vehicles, Alan K. Russell, Greenhill Books, 1994, p 78
-

http://img240.imageshack.us/img240/858/centurionsa021ju.jpg
Centurion-SA-02
Battle Tanks and Support Vehicles, Alan K. Russell, Greenhill Books, 1994, p 79
-

http://img69.imageshack.us/img69/3167/centurionsa030mn.jpg
Centurion-SA-03
South African War Machine, Helmoed-Romer Heitman, Presidio, 1985, p 123
-

http://img240.imageshack.us/img240/5193/centurionsa040dl.jpg
Centurion-SA-04
South African War Machine, Helmoed-Romer Heitman, Presidio, 1985, p 128
-

http://img240.imageshack.us/img240/6140/centurionsa053cu.jpg
Centurion-SA-05
-

http://img69.imageshack.us/img69/5079/centurionsa061hu.jpg
Centurion-SA-06
South African War Machine, Helmoed-Romer Heitman, Presidio, 1985, p 44
-

http://img69.imageshack.us/img69/2463/centurionsa079wl.jpg
Centurion-SA-07
Tanks at War, Peter Darman, Motor Books International, 1996, p 65
-

http://img69.imageshack.us/img69/3646/centurionsa086mr.jpg
Centurion-SA-08
Tanks at War, Peter Darman, Motor Books International, 1996, p 66
-

http://img95.imageshack.us/img95/962/centurionsa092ve.jpg
Centurion-SA-09
Tanks at War, Peter Darman, Motor Books International, 1996, p 67
-

http://img95.imageshack.us/img95/9538/centurionsa109uv.jpg
Centurion-SA-10
Tanks at War, Peter Darman, Motor Books International, 1996, pp 66-67
-

http://img74.imageshack.us/img74/2617/centurionsa115xw.jpg
Centurion-SA-11
Tanks at War, Peter Darman, Motor Books International, 1996, p 68



---



Centurion AVRE:

http://img154.imageshack.us/img154/7043/centurionavre0015ej.jpg
Centurion-AVRE-001
Combat and Survival, Volume 20, H.S. Stuttman, Inc., Aerospace Publishing, ISBN 0-87475-560-3, 1991, pp 1174-1175
-

http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/1524/centurionavre012mn.jpg
Centurion-AVRE-01
Combat and Survival, Volume 20, H.S. Stuttman, Inc., Aerospace Publishing, ISBN 0-87475-560-3, 1991, p 1174
-

http://img154.imageshack.us/img154/8964/centurionavre024dm.jpg
Centurion-AVRE-02
Combat and Survival, Volume 20, H.S. Stuttman, Inc., Aerospace Publishing, ISBN 0-87475-560-3, 1991, p 1175
-

http://img86.imageshack.us/img86/8053/centurionavre038jr.jpg
Centurion-AVRE-03
Combat and Survival, Volume 20, H.S. Stuttman, Inc., Aerospace Publishing, ISBN 0-87475-560-3, 1991, p 1176
-

http://img230.imageshack.us/img230/7103/centurionavre046ym.jpg
Centurion-AVRE-04
Combat and Survival, Volume 20, H.S. Stuttman, Inc., Aerospace Publishing, ISBN 0-87475-560-3, 1991, p 1177
-

http://img230.imageshack.us/img230/1278/centurionavre04a0yp.jpg
Centurion-AVRE-04A
Combat and Survival, Volume 20, H.S. Stuttman, Inc., Aerospace Publishing, ISBN 0-87475-560-3, 1991, pp1176-1177
-

http://img125.imageshack.us/img125/6343/centurionavre054yc.jpg
Centurion-AVRE-05
Combat and Survival, Volume 20, H.S. Stuttman, Inc., Aerospace Publishing, ISBN 0-87475-560-3, 1991, p 1178
-

http://img125.imageshack.us/img125/4416/centurionavre068qm.jpg
Centurion-AVRE-06
Combat and Survival, Volume 20, H.S. Stuttman, Inc., Aerospace Publishing, ISBN 0-87475-560-3, 1991, p 1179
-

http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/7339/centurionavre079mn.jpg
Centurion-AVRE-07
Tanks at War, Peter Darman, Motor Books International, 1996, p 69
-

http://img129.imageshack.us/img129/825/centurionavre086is.jpg
Centurion-AVRE-08
Tanks at War, Peter Darman, Motor Books International, 1996, p 70
-

http://img78.imageshack.us/img78/1135/centurionavre092mc.jpg
Centurion-AVRE-09
Tanks at War, Peter Darman, Motor Books International, 1996, p 71
-

http://img78.imageshack.us/img78/9633/centurionavre107db.jpg
Centurion-AVRE-10
Tanks at War, Peter Darman, Motor Books International, 1996, p 72


---


I plan to add more information - next Israeli Variants of the Centurion - under a separate post. It may take about a week or more to pull everything together in my spare time.

-

2nd of foot
04-20-2006, 05:02 PM
If you would like more Cent pictures then these two are very good for AVRE

http://tanxheaven.com/cent/fv4003avre165mm/11ba46/fv4003avre11ba46.htm

http://www.armouredengineers.co.uk/photose.htm

And in the last link at the end in happy snaps there is a nice pic of some sappers cooking on the engine decks.

Panzerknacker
04-20-2006, 06:19 PM
Very nice as usual George...I really like this pic :twisted:

http://img214.imageshack.us/img214/4529/26centuriongreenhill1994040bq.jpg

George Eller
04-20-2006, 06:51 PM
Very nice as usual George...I really like this pic :twisted:

http://img214.imageshack.us/img214/4529/26centuriongreenhill1994040bq.jpg

Thanks Panzerknacker. :D

I would have liked to seen the "before and after" they took care of business. :lol:

-

If you would like more Cent pictures then these two are very good for AVRE

http://tanxheaven.com/cent/fv4003avre165mm/11ba46/fv4003avre11ba46.htm

http://www.armouredengineers.co.uk/photose.htm

And in the last link at the end in happy snaps there is a nice pic of some sappers cooking on the engine decks.

Nice pics "2nd of foot". Great interior shots too. Thanks for the links. :D

A few from the many that I would like to post:

From Tanxheaven site:
http://tanxheaven.com/cent/fv4003avre165mm/11ba46/fv4003avre11ba46.htm

http://tanxheaven.com/cent/fv4003avre165mm/11ba46/dot%203469.jpg

http://tanxheaven.com/cent/fv4003avre165mm/11ba46/CNV00012.JPG
-

Centurion AVRE 165mm with fascine bundle on cradle

http://tanxheaven.com/cent/fv4003avre165mm/11ba46/CNV00040.jpg

http://tanxheaven.com/cent/fv4003avre165mm/11ba46/dot%203523.jpg
-

From Royal Engineers Association site:
http://www.armouredengineers.co.uk/photose.htm

Centurion AVRE 165mm:

On tank transporter

http://www.armouredengineers.co.uk/photos/1014.jpg
-

In the Middle East

http://www.armouredengineers.co.uk/photos/1020.jpg
-

With fascine bundle on cradle

http://www.armouredengineers.co.uk/photos/1013.jpg

http://www.armouredengineers.co.uk/photos/1016.jpg
-


After emptying fascine cradle and depositing fascines

http://www.armouredengineers.co.uk/photos/1015.jpg
-

Using dozer blade

http://www.armouredengineers.co.uk/photos/1019.jpg
-

Undergoing maintenance

http://www.armouredengineers.co.uk/photos/1017.jpg
-

Centurion Bridgelayer

http://www.armouredengineers.co.uk/photos/2032.jpg

http://www.armouredengineers.co.uk/photos/2031.jpg

http://www.armouredengineers.co.uk/photos/2030.jpg
-

Happy Snaps - Cooking

http://www.armouredengineers.co.uk/photos/5024.jpg

-

George Eller
04-20-2006, 10:23 PM
-

I will have to correct myself on the previous post. I think that these are actually Centurion AVRE 165mm with Class 60 roadway (trackway mat) on cradle.

http://tanxheaven.com/cent/fv4003avre165mm/11ba46/CNV00040.jpg


http://www.armouredengineers.co.uk/photos/1016.jpg

-

Timbo in Oz
04-30-2006, 12:43 AM
aaah yes, the Aussie 20-pder Centurions.

I was behind one when we were doing - 'coop'n with armour' - on a firing range

I was 'on the phone', my skipper was a bit further back with P'n hq, we were moving, simulators going off everywhere around and I faintly heard 'action armour front' or something like that,

and the turrte traversed crew fired off a HESH round, and the blast was pretty serious. and the dust. Which, once settled .......

they fired an APDS round! ....... @ > twice the MV ~5000fps

Faarrrrrrkkkkk! I was all but knocked over!

SEVERAL times louder than when firing a KarlGustav, I can tell you.

FluffyBunnyGB
04-30-2006, 05:49 AM
Following on from Timbo's tale, let me tell a tale of the CENTURION then, involving a senior instructor of gunnery (IG) at the Royal School of Artillery (now retired) who we shall call Big Vern in the interests on anonymity ......

This was recounted to me by his driver of the time, who ended up as my MT Sgt some years later.

Back when Big Vern was a fairly junior FOO in the 1970s, the Royal Artillery was still using CENTURION as an OP vehicle so the FOO party could keep up with armoured units using CHIEFTAN tanks.

Unlike the WARRIOR OP vehicles used nowadays, the CENTURION still had it's main armament intact. A point to note for what follows.

Out on the ranges in Germany one day, with Big Vern's Field Gun Battery on a live firing artillery excercise, an IG jumped up onto the back of Big Vern's tank and told him to shell the farmouse, middle left at 2,000 m or some such.

Quick as a flash, Big Vern shouted "gunner, traverse left, farmouse, 2,000m, HESH, fire!" (or whatever the correct sequence is ....)

As the IG picked himself up, slightly deafened. from the engine deck, where he'd been flung by the muzzle blast, he belaboured Big Vern about the helmet with his clipboard, shouting "I meant with your Battery, you c**t!".

George Eller
04-30-2006, 01:37 PM
-

Sorry for being slightly off topic, but I noticed this article at the Strategy Page website. Australia appears to be buying American M-1A1 tanks to replace some of their German Leopards. I believe the Leopards had previously replaced the Centurion.

The Australian Centurions did well during the Vietnam Conflict from what I've read.

-

Abrams in Oz
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htarm/articles/20060427.aspx

April 27, 2006: Australia has purchased 59 refurbished American M-1 tanks for $8 million each (including lots of ancillary equipment and spares). The M-1A1 tanks will replace German Leopards, which are nearing the end of their useful life. The 59 tanks are enough for one tank battalion which, with the addition of two mechanized infantry battalions and some support units, would produce one mechanized brigade. This would be the largest unit Australia would be expected to send overseas. Australia, due to its size and location, does not anticipate being invaded by a hostile armored force. So the M-1s would be mainly for any overseas operations.

There are other reasons for getting M-1s. First, there is reputation. For fifteen years, the M-1 has demonstrated clear battlefield superiority. There is nothing on the horizon that can match it. Then there is the compatibility angle. Australia and the United States are close allies. If Australia gets into an overseas scrape, it will probably be as an American ally. Thus Australian M-1s would have an easier time getting supplies and spares. Another angle is that Australia might not even have to send its M-1s overseas. If the Australian mechanized brigade was relieving an American brigade, the Australians could, as American units currently do, just send the crews to man the tanks of the troops returning home.

The 59 Australian M-1s are expected to serve about twenty years.

-

Hiddenrug
08-21-2006, 04:14 AM
Yes. Australia has already ordered thier 59 M1A1 Abrams. I saw one a couple of weeks ago. Some Leopards will stay in force.

Centurion tanks were used in WWII especially in the final months although they were over shadowed by the Grant, Sherman and the Panther, Tiger and others.

Cuts
08-21-2006, 06:02 PM
I always thought they came in far too late to be involved in action, I'd be interested to hear any stories about their contacts with the Tigers and Panthers.

George Eller
08-21-2006, 10:36 PM
-

According to what I've read, the first six produced were delivered in May 1945 and rushed to Germany for testing in combat conditions with the 22nd Armoured Brigade, but hostilities had ceased by the time they arrived.
http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showpost.php?p=82383&postcount=6

-

Doug 1956
08-24-2006, 09:16 AM
Talking BARVs, the last M3 Medium in service anywhere was probably a BARV version with the Royal Australian Armoured Corps, used (for training) until 1972.

Talking Centurions and WW2, yes, some made it to troop trials, but then again would anyone argue that troop trials constitutes service?

Seeing how the Brits were just able to get some - not a huge number - of Comets into service, and kept Comets in service until 1962 in Berlin and Hong Kong in 'trip wire' units, that is just good enough to have to be knocked out, but also good enough so that if they are knocked out it means the enemy is serious; the Comet was really the ultimate Brit tank of WW2.

If they had really wanted to expend the energy and effort they could have gotten Black Princes into combat in Europe, and these would have been useful for the slogging through Japanese home island defences if armed with a 94mm howitzer rather than the 17pdr.

2nd of foot
08-25-2006, 04:52 PM
Some is a little bit of an understatement. 11 armoured was fully equipped with them as well as a number of other regiments if not the complete div.

W MENARD
11-08-2007, 03:52 PM
HELLO

My name is Wayne and I was with the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps in the 60s and 70s. I was a Driver Gunner and Radio operator/loader on the Centurion tanks both in Canada and in Europe during the Cold War. I have first hand knowledge of performance and capabilities of the Beast.

Wayne

Panzerknacker
11-30-2007, 07:38 PM
Is this epigraph true ?

seems hard to believe, more than ten hours to change an engine. :shock:

Nickdfresh
11-30-2007, 08:12 PM
I think you mean 12 in a garage and 18 in the field....

That does seem lengthy, but I think she rarely needed such care...

Panzerknacker
12-01-2007, 06:17 PM
Sounds like awfully long time, surely more than a Panther and 10 times more than a modern MBT, actually I believe that the diesel engine in a Leopard II could be changed in less than an hour.

tankgeezer
12-02-2007, 12:51 AM
I dont know how the time frame will line up, but the M-60 series, and maybe earlier american tanks too, were a quick change set up. the 60, took about45 mins. to remove, change the oil, (23 gals.) and re-install if one's nose was to the grindstone.(and no one screwed up. ) Basically, there were two large bolts at the rear of the pack, (engine -transmission) that held the two in. there were 2-3 electrical connectors, and the brake/steering linkage,fuel disconnect, and the final drive splines. The bottleneck was getting the M-88 driver to come over to do the lifting work for the deck, and the pack.

pdf27
12-02-2007, 05:22 AM
I can believe it - British machines of the time were rarely designed with maintainability and ease of mass production in mind. Some aero engines for instance apparently had metric, Imperial and Whitworth bolts in the same engine...

Nickdfresh
12-02-2007, 10:12 AM
I dont know how the time frame will line up, but the M-60 series, and maybe earlier american tanks too, were a quick change set up. the 60, took about45 mins. to remove, change the oil, (23 gals.) and re-install if one's nose was to the grindstone.(and no one screwed up. ) Basically, there were two large bolts at the rear of the pack, (engine -transmission) that held the two in. there were 2-3 electrical connectors, and the brake/steering linkage,fuel disconnect, and the final drive splines. The bottleneck was getting the M-88 driver to come over to do the lifting work for the deck, and the pack.

I have an interest in this sort of thing actually, and I wonder what kind of oil those things would have taken...

15W40?

105
01-01-2008, 10:13 PM
HELLO

My name is Wayne and I was with the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps in the 60s and 70s. I was a Driver Gunner and Radio operator/loader on the Centurion tanks both in Canada and in Europe during the Cold War. I have first hand knowledge of performance and capabilities of the Beast.

Wayne

Welcome Wayne,
I am new to the forum also and have been looking in books and on the internet for information on what I think to be one of the greatest tanks ever.
The Centurion has been in use in some form or other for 63 years so it must have been pretty good tank to start with. Looking forward to asking you and others on this forum alot of questions and learning alot.

Drake
01-02-2008, 05:43 AM
Sounds like awfully long time, surely more than a Panther and 10 times more than a modern MBT, actually I believe that the diesel engine in a Leopard II could be changed in less than an hour.

Should take no more than 30 minutes, that's imho the bundeswehr Richtwert (benchmark). Basically all you need to do is unscrew and use the crane of a bergepanzer to lift the whole block out of the chassis (and vice versa). It's not just the engine but also the gearing in one box, so no fiddling there.

nazblue
11-09-2008, 11:00 AM
The use of Coax on British tank is for ranging. The Besa followed by the .5 were ballisticly matched to the main gun.

The firing procedure would be something like, estimate range then a 3 round burst, if over drop, if under add. Another burst followed by a big bang.

This method was still in use on the Chieftain till the introduction of lasers and still as a back up. Other countries used range finders but the Brit thought this was quicker.

The chieftainís commander had a GPMG fitted to the cupola that could be aimed and fired from inside.

There is an incident in Korea (Royal Irish Hussars?) who shot Chinese troops off each otherís tanks as the carried out a fighting withdrawal.

I was told a joke a long time ago about IDF infantry carrying 2BL hammers. They would run up to enemy tanks and hit it 3 times on the side. The crew thinking that they have been spotted and ranged would bale out because they new that a 105 round was on the way.

New to this forum. I don't see any posts from ex Centurion crews. Your quite right about using the co-ax as a ranger although this was not used that often. I was a Centurion Mk 5 gunner in the Middle East around Suez time. The reasons we loved this tank were...reasonably comfortable, well armored, reliable and one thing that doesn't seem to have been mentioned it was the first tank in the world to be able to fire really accurately at speed by it's gyro stabilising system...Loved it.

nazblue
11-09-2008, 11:11 AM
I stand corrected there are obviously a couple of posts who have experience life with the Cent. Perhaps I should have said Brits?

:tank:

nazblue
11-09-2008, 12:18 PM
From a tank gunner's point of view I believe at the time the contemporary American tanks used a range finder whereas we relied on simple gunnery techniques. At the time this was superior and in trials we always hit the enemy quicker than anyone else. We would have laid down three apds rounds before anyone else had opened fire and providing the lateral lay of the gun was good you had a hit. The technique was to open up at 800yards immaterial of what the range was then up 200 drop 400. This had three rounds traveling at 3650 fps 6ft, 9ft and 12ft. Simple but very effective.

One little anecdote thinking of what someone wrote earlier about tanks in Korea shooting infantry off each others tanks.....I was on the ranges in N.Africa doing live firing on the move with the co-ax when the stabiliser system failed, the tank did a quick turn and because I couldn't traverse fast enough and I was still firing I sprayed the Colonels tank, only a few rounds but he was not amused.

:tank:

gunner-B
11-10-2008, 11:11 PM
Though this has been a very intresting thread about the best post war tank, (and probably the best of all time to date) we shouldn,t forget that the best tank also had the best tank gun of its day; the L7 105 mm which at one point was the main armament on all the leading NATO tanks in Europe.

CliSwe
11-27-2008, 05:38 PM
Though this has been a very intresting thread about the best post war tank, (and probably the best of all time to date) we shouldn,t forget that the best tank also had the best tank gun of its day; the L7 105 mm which at one point was the main armament on all the leading NATO tanks in Europe.

Ye-e-es ... I have info from another board I subscribe to, in which posters remarked on the anomaly of most NATO armies in the 1960s scrambling to fit the British L7 105mm to their tank designs, whilst the Brits themselves were anxious to press their L11 120mm gun into service. Apparently, the performance figures for the L7 on which these sales were based, came from Israeli experiences against Soviet-supplied armour used by their Arab opponents. The Sovs appear to have sold the more lightly-armoured "export model" to their Arab clients. Testing of the L7 post-Cold War against Russian tanks, revealed serious deficiencies in penetrative power. The Brits must've known this for years. Why else would they hurriedly field a totally unreliable tank like the Conqueror - followed by the seriously underpowered Chieftain - just to see the L11 in service? None of which detracts from my belief that the Centurion was just about the best tank ever made - and definitely the best-looking.

Cheers,
Cliff

Rising Sun*
11-27-2008, 06:30 PM
Regarding shooting enemy off each other's tanks, I worked with a bloke who was in an Australian Centurion in Vietnam who had shot several enemy off another Centurion with canister at fairly close range. He said there was virtually nothing left except bits of flesh and shreds of clothing.

Images of Centurions in Vietnam here, including crane on engine exchange and close up of ranging MG. http://www.mheaust.com.au/Aust/Research/SVN68/SVN68.htm

More on Centurions in Australian service here http://anzacsteel.hobbyvista.com/Armoured%20Vehicles/centurionph_1.htm

CliSwe
11-27-2008, 07:42 PM
Regarding shooting enemy off each other's tanks, I worked with a bloke who was in an Australian Centurion in Vietnam who had shot several enemy off another Centurion with canister at fairly close range. He said there was virtually nothing left except bits of flesh and shreds of clothing.


Images of Centurions in Vietnam here, including crane on engine exchange and close up of ranging MG. http://www.mheaust.com.au/Aust/Research/SVN68/SVN68.htm

More on Centurions in Australian service here http://anzacsteel.hobbyvista.com/Armoured%20Vehicles/centurionph_1.htm

Well ... You get that, from time to time ... Long as you get back to tell the story - that's all that matters. He did a bloody good job.

Cheers,
Cliff

nazblue
11-28-2008, 04:51 AM
Ye-e-es ... I have info from another board I subscribe to, in which posters remarked on the anomaly of most NATO armies in the 1960s scrambling to fit the British L7 105mm to their tank designs, whilst the Brits themselves were anxious to press their L11 120mm gun into service. Apparently, the performance figures for the L7 on which these sales were based, came from Israeli experiences against Soviet-supplied armour used by their Arab opponents. The Sovs appear to have sold the more lightly-armoured "export model" to their Arab clients. Testing of the L7 post-Cold War against Russian tanks, revealed serious deficiencies in penetrative power. The Brits must've known this for years. Why else would they hurriedly field a totally unreliable tank like the Conqueror - followed by the seriously underpowered Chieftain - just to see the L11 in service? None of which detracts from my belief that the Centurion was just about the best tank ever made - and definitely the best-looking.

Cheers,
Cliff

Centurion...Best tank in the world?...Yes I would agree and it was generally acknowledged as such at the time.....The Conqueror, oh my gawd.....when it worked it was OK but that's the operative question "when it worked". Do you remember the self unloading system?

Rising Sun*
04-26-2009, 06:51 AM
Australian Centurion in Vietnam.

No sound.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIEMKiwxSsE

Panzerknacker
04-26-2009, 08:58 AM
Slow moving isnt ?

Nice video.

Rising Sun*
04-26-2009, 09:55 AM
Slow moving isnt ?

Nice video.

Slow moving?

The bloody thing is bogged. :D

Nickdfresh
04-26-2009, 12:18 PM
It wasn't typically slow-moving, but didn't go very far without petrol in tow...:D

leccy
04-26-2009, 05:24 PM
Cents used to drink tons of petrol

We (RE) used to tip up at a BG replen point and head over to the petrol bowsers and have the supply chappies telling us we were at the wrong bowsers and head over to the diesal ones.
Then they would have fits when they found out we had petrol engines and would require all the petrol they had just to fill 2 AVRE's never mind the CVRT's, bikes, landrovers and petrol cookers.

leccy
05-04-2009, 04:51 AM
Last British combat use of Cent AVRE

Before

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_VsPSgPTQicc/SdOtUy4XCzI/AAAAAAAAC5Y/kcL4VqMVlfY/s1600/41.jpg

And After

http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn179/Brucev8/AVRE.jpg


They crew had not apparently been cooking on the rear deck, and there had been no petrol spill/leak over the louvres.

Sad but spectacular end.

Rising Sun*
05-04-2009, 04:57 AM
Last British combat use of Cent AVRE

Before

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_VsPSgPTQicc/SdOtUy4XCzI/AAAAAAAAC5Y/kcL4VqMVlfY/s1600/41.jpg

And After

http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn179/Brucev8/AVRE.jpg


They crew had not apparently been cooking on the rear deck, and there had been no petrol spill/leak over the louvres.

Sad but spectacular end.

Jesus H Christ!

More info, please.

Also, your 'before' pic isn't showing.

pdf27
05-04-2009, 06:24 AM
Go to http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_VsPSgPTQicc/SdOtUy4XCzI/AAAAAAAAC5Y/kcL4VqMVlfY/s1600/41.jpg - doesn't allow direct linking...

Rising Sun*
05-04-2009, 06:49 AM
Go to http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_VsPSgPTQicc/SdOtUy4XCzI/AAAAAAAAC5Y/kcL4VqMVlfY/s1600/41.jpg - doesn't allow direct linking...

Doesn't work as a link or if I copy and paste it into the address bar.

I think the problem might be the truncated link with the dots, for address bar purposes.

Nickdfresh
05-04-2009, 07:14 AM
Doesn't work as a link or if I copy and paste it into the address bar.

I think the problem might be the truncated link with the dots, for address bar purposes.


Here:

leccy
05-04-2009, 12:51 PM
Looks ok here so cant really comment on first pic?? Ok after re-booting lappie the pic has disappeared strange 'confuzzled look'

First pic is a convoy of Cent AVRE and Chiefy Bridgelayers

Seconed Pis is of a Cent AVRE 165 full of fuel and 165 HESH rounds detonating rather violently. I dont know if this particular vehicle was up-armoured in any form as some were fitted with extra armour (chieftan side plates in vulnerable areas, re-active armour, 1 had turret chains, some had nothing added)

Both pics taken during Gulf War 1 (Op Granby)

The official explanation I was told was fuel leak/spill getting onto the hot engine and causing a fire.
Un-official rumour/story was that the crew were cooking on the rear decks with a petrol cooker

Either way it made a spectacular picture especially they way some of the lads were walking casually away.

All Vehicles belonged to 32 and/or 23 Armoured Engineer Regiments RE

R Mark Davies
10-14-2009, 10:37 AM
The Olifant Mk 1 (originally called the Semel) was armed with the 20pdr (effectively a Cent Mk 5/1) stayed in reserve service until the 1990s and saw some action in Angola as replacement tanks in 1988.

The Olifant Mk 1a was upgraded with a 105mm gun and a new fire control system, plus new German engines. Originally they were supplied with hand-held laser rangefinders, but eventually got them fitted to the tank. One squadron saw extensive action in Angola in late 1987/early 1988, being joined by a second squadron for the battles around Cuito Cuanavale. Despite extravagant Cuban claims (which far exceed the numbers actually deployed), none were lost to enemy action, though three had to be abandoned, having got terminally bogged. Some Olifant Mk 1a are apparently still in reserve service.

Olifant Mk 1b had further upgrades, including a drastically modified armour package, making it look very much like an early-model Leopard 2 (including the Leopard-style sideskirts). These arrived too late to see action in Angola. They remain the main SANDF main battle tank.

Olifant Mk 2 was another drastic upgrade, with an angular armour package reminiscent of the latest Leopard 2 variants. The money ran out on this project, so the SANDF only possesses a single squadron of them.

Another odd British variant was the Centurion AVRE 105, which was brought in during the mid-1980s by converting the former Royal Artillery Centurion OP tanks into AVREs. They carried only 105mm HESH ammunition and were distributed among the AVRE 165s to provide longer-range HESH fire.

R Mark Davies
10-14-2009, 10:42 AM
Re Comets:

As has been said, the entire 29th Armoured Brigade (11th Armoured Division) was battle-ready with Comets by March 1945 and went into action at the end of that month. To give you some idea of how much action they saw, 3 RTR lost HALF its Comets during the last month of combat! Tell that to those who say that the Comet arrived too late to do anything... ;)

Once 29th Armoured Brigade was deployed, 15/19th Hussars (armoured recce regiment for 11th Armoured Division) and 1 RTR (22nd Armoured Brigade, 7th Armoured Division) were sent back to re-equip and train with Comet. They also got into action during April 1945. 5th Skins (22nd Armoured Brigade, 7th Armoured Division) were also then sent back for re-equipping and were active with Comet, but didn't see action with the new tank.

105
10-30-2009, 01:06 AM
The old Centurion still gets my vote as the greatest tank since World War II.
For it's longevity, adaptability, and a successful combat record that stretches over 5O years and still could be added to at this late date.

Panzerknacker
09-02-2010, 07:58 PM
The old Centurion still gets my vote as the greatest tank since World War II.
For it's longevity, adaptability, and a successful combat record that stretches over 5O years and still could be added to at this late date.

Incidentally I ve downloaded and pasted to youtube two great videos found in the Pathe archives.

Centurion MK II this is the definitive british 17 pounder, a perfect tank to fight against the Pzkpfw V Panther & Pzkpfw Vi Tiger, too bad it came in 1946 :mrgreen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svN-mEtFAx0


Centurion Mk III, video showing stages of its fabrication and firing with the brand new stabilization system for the 83mm ( 20 pounder) gun, quite good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38jU3Q5X8Oc

Nickdfresh
09-02-2010, 09:26 PM
Incidentally I ve downloade and pasted to youtube to great videos found in the Pathe archives.

Centurion MK II this is the definitive british 17 pounder, a perfect tank to fight against the Pzkpfw V Panther & Pzkpfw Vi Tiger, too bad it came in 1946 :mrgreen:...

It was ready just before the end of the War actually, but missed combat before examples could be readied in Italy IIRC...

*Edit: Twenty examples were rushed to Germany in May of 1945 for combat trials, but the War ended. See:

http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showthread.php?3366-Centurion-Tank&p=82383#post82383

Panzerknacker
09-03-2010, 04:16 PM
It was ready just before the end of the War actually, but missed combat before examples could be readied in Italy IIRC...

*Edit: Twenty examples were rushed to Germany in May of 1945 for combat trials, but the War ended. See:

http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showthread.php?3366-Centurion-Tank&p=82383#post82383


I understand, but those were pre-series tanks, in my modest opinion the mark II was the definitive british tank, the Meteor engine troubles were completely ironed out and it had an slighty improved armor over the pilot series.

mkenny
09-05-2010, 09:04 AM
Re Comets:

3 RTR lost HALF its Comets during the last month of combat


The RAC returns show 26 Comets lost in WW2.

Panzerknacker
09-05-2010, 01:49 PM
It would be interestin to know the detail of the losses, in those late days there were few tank vs panzer combats, probable they were destroyed by panzerfaust and some devices like that.

105
09-05-2010, 02:36 PM
Incidentally I ve downloaded and pasted to youtube two great videos found in the Pathe archives.

Centurion MK II .... a perfect tank to fight against the Pzkpfw V Panther & Pzkpfw Vi Tiger, too bad it came in 1946 :mrgreen:

Yes... what a difference one year could have made. Thanks for posting the Centurion videos.

Panzerknacker
09-06-2010, 07:56 PM
You re welcome, by the way I think a year could be difference specially when you trying to produce a workable design from the tactical point of view. Just to put an example using other british tank, the Matilda Mk II. The models of 1940 to 1941 were almost the same only the coaxial machinegun changed from a Vickers to a Besa, and believe me, the 1941 Matilda was by far more fective than the one facing the germans in France.

http://www.wwiivehicles.com/unitedkingdom/cruiser/centurion/centurion-mk-i-01.jpg

Uyraell
09-07-2010, 01:06 AM
You re welcome, by the way I think a year could be difference specially when you trying to produce a workable design from the tactical point of view. Just to put an example using other british tank, the Matilda Mk II. The models of 1940 to 1941 were almost the same only the coaxial machinegun changed from a Vickers to a Besa, and believe me, the 1941 Matilda was by far more fective than the one facing the germans in France.

http://www.wwiivehicles.com/unitedkingdom/cruiser/centurion/centurion-mk-i-01.jpg

It could with justification be said that with the Centurion the British "got it right" for the first time since the Mk V** of 1918.
In as much as, all previous designs (prior to Centurion) of whichever class were basically failures, with certain notable exceptions in the cases of some variants (examples: Churchill Crocodile, Churchill NA75, Grant Recovery Vehicle, Matilda Frog, Sherman Firefly).
It is justifiable to describe the Comet as effectively obsolete by the time it was deployed, and the British themselves clearly acknowledge the point by rapidly deploying Centurion to replace those few Comets which had seen service. Thus, the Comet is also a relative failure.
That the Churchill AVRE's of various forms served until the Centurion developments were available to fullfil the same roles does not excuse the Churchill's failings as a battletank: it merely points to British parsimony and economic issues, as is usual for the UK.

In short, the Centurion was the first successful design since the MK V** to see widespread service, and do so as a success.

Kind and Respectful Regards, Uyraell.

nazblue
09-08-2010, 04:16 AM
The Churchill however was very successful in Burma.

nazblue
09-08-2010, 05:28 AM
I watched an hour long progran a couple of weeks ago on cable T.V. devoted to The Centurion. It won high praise throughout and in particular from the Americans in the Korean war. It was the only tank that could reach the tops of the high ground and got them out of sticky situations many times.

Nickdfresh
09-08-2010, 06:59 PM
I believe it was stated that several Aussie Centurions in Vietnam often took multiple hits from NVA/VC rocket propelled grenades and kept on chugging through the jungle. Their American counterpart's crews in the M-48 Patton often weren't as fortunate...

Panzerknacker
09-09-2010, 07:59 PM
I believe it was stated that several Aussie Centurions in Vietnam often took multiple hits from NVA/VC rocket propelled grenades and kept on chugging through the jungle. Their American counterpart's crews in the M-48 Patton often weren't as fortunate...


This last one I think is a matter of luck than anything else.


It is justifiable to describe the Comet as effectively obsolete by the time it was deployed, and the British themselves clearly acknowledge the point by rapidly deploying Centurion to replace those few Comets which had seen service. Thus, the Comet is also a relative failure.

The most poor characteristic of the Comet in my view is the gun, wasnt a 17 pounder and barely comparable with the german kwK 40 in service since 1942 within the Panzer IV.

nazblue
09-10-2010, 07:00 AM
My last memory of the Comet was the T.A. using them as target practice on the Castle Martin ranges. They were brand new and still in preservation grease. That would be in 1960 I think.

Rising Sun*
09-10-2010, 08:45 AM
I believe it was stated that several Aussie Centurions in Vietnam often took multiple hits from NVA/VC rocket propelled grenades and kept on chugging through the jungle. Their American counterpart's crews in the M-48 Patton often weren't as fortunate...

Are you thinking of these sorts of engagements?

http://vietnam-war.commemoration.gov.au/combat/bunkers.php

http://svc029.wic009tp.server-web.com/history/vietnam/binh_ba.html

Australian Story is a series on government funded but independent television here which presents programs of depth and often considerable emotional effect on the viewer. Here's a compelling one about a Centurion crew wounded in Vietnam and the aftermath.
http://www.abc.net.au/austory/content/2005/s1412743.htm

tankgeezer
09-10-2010, 02:07 PM
I believe it was stated that several Aussie Centurions in Vietnam often took multiple hits from NVA/VC rocket propelled grenades and kept on chugging through the jungle. Their American counterpart's crews in the M-48 Patton often weren't as fortunate...

I had heard that the stowage boxes on the Centurions were usually crammed with Hard Tac left over from WWII . This might account for added protection. (OOPS! I may have just given away the secret of Chobham armor,,:shock:

olespeiceah
09-20-2010, 07:32 PM
Weren't some of these deployed during the WWII?

I watched a show about tanks in Discovery channel and i think a few might have been running about.

Churchill
09-20-2010, 09:39 PM
Some were, but only towards the end.

steben
10-07-2013, 12:30 PM
http://i4.chroniclelive.co.uk/incoming/article5104305.ece/ALTERNATES/s615/korean10JPG-5104305.jpg

best tank design ever within its era. Period. Perhaps a diesel might have been available earlier. But still. The Germans would have had even more late war headaches if this beast entered Western Front earlier. Perhaps Berlin would have been British! :) heyhey there would be no discussions, no polls. the Centurion would have been the tank of the 20thcentury. In fact it is, but people tend to disregard all post-WWII conflicts when it comes to armour.

steben
10-15-2013, 07:25 AM
http://tengrinews.kz/userdata/news_en/news_8913/thumb_b/photo_15025.jpg

FUN !

Nickdfresh
09-13-2016, 09:21 AM
Bump!

tankgeezer
09-13-2016, 05:39 PM
I always liked the Centurion, built a few models of them when I was a kid. Good also that somewhere, they are still doing the job. I mistakenly thought that those yet in service were in the old configurations, mostly because any time the U.S. makes significant changes in a vehicle, they give it a new M number. Britain just adds Mk's and No.'s to them keeping the original name. Still like the Cent in all of it's iterations.

CliSwe
09-15-2016, 02:03 AM
I always liked the Centurion, built a few models of them when I was a kid. Good also that somewhere, they are still doing the job. I mistakenly thought that those yet in service were in the old configurations, mostly because any time the U.S. makes significant changes in a vehicle, they give it a new M number. Britain just adds Mk's and No.'s to them keeping the original name. Still like the Cent in all of it's iterations.

I was Infantry in the Brit Army of the 1960s. We were given a very entertaining briefing by an RAC officer in Colchester. Film show and all - we wished all our training was as enjoyable. He described the Chieftain as an OK tank, but reserved his highest praise for the Centurion. (I think we were at Mk 11 or somesuch by then.) After treating all our technical questions with airy disinterest, he informed us that the immersion heater was excellent. Oh - and it was roomy enough for the whole crew to sleep in. Such peripheral considerations as speed, armament, climbing ability, armour protection were barely mentioned.

Cheers,
Cliff

Nickdfresh
09-15-2016, 10:17 AM
I wonder why the British Army never moved forward with the next generation of the Cent in the FV4202 prototype that is in WOT. What little I saw on it was that it was never seriously considered as a next generation tank as the Chieftain was already entering service. But it seems a lot of the short comings of the Centurion were fixed and the tank was on par with the M-60A1/A3...

32Bravo
09-15-2016, 02:01 PM
Your posts reminded me of a couple of my own encounters with Centurions which I thought I'd recount here if you'll indulge me.

Our company was advancing on foot across ploughed fields on Salisbury Plain one, soggy November. Trying to keep to the timetable, but delayed by the clinging mud which refused to be shaken off. The Squadron Commander of the Centurions which were accompanying us asked if we would like a lift. A few days previously he had us join in a sprint race against his guys, we on foot, they, in their vehicles – we were sore losers and he wasn’t very high on our like-list. However, he now redeemed himself hugely. Our rain-sodden bods clambered aboard and settled down on the engine louvres behind the turret. It was fantastic. The heat rising from the louvres soon dried us out – it was the first time we had felt warm in a week. Typically, it had been raining none stop for days and all our kit, sleeping bags, the lot, was soaked through. Unfortunately, we reached a jumping off point where we had to continue onto the objective by foot in support of the tangos. The going was a little easier as we followed their tracks. However, the memory of the warm comfortable ride stayed with me and I developed a great affection for the Centurion. When the Chieftain came along I remained loyal to the Centurion, stating to the sprogs that it was the best thing since sliced bread.

A few years later, at BATUS, we were dug-in in a defensive sack waiting to be attacked. We could hear the radios of the D.S. standing about behind us as the battle picture began to build up. We were a part of an infantry combat team in support of an armoured battle group. We had Chieftains interspersed between rifle sections (squads) and out on the forward left-flank were two, Chieftain sniper-tanks. Way out ahead of us were targets for the tangos which consisted of decommissioned Centurions. We could hear the radioed contact reports of Tango 11 Alpha and Tang 11 Charlie reporting the advance of the forward elements of enemy armour – ‘Wait out!’ We saw the tracer rounds flying down the range before we heard the booming report of their main armaments. One of the target's turret, 12 tons I believe, was blown meters into the air, it was - WOW! Then the sniper tanks withdrew and joined us, hull-down, in the main defensive position. The enemy attacked in regimental strength, the Chieftains were blasting them to buggery. 105mm self-propelled guns were firing fixed-fire missions over our heads covering the area with air bursts. Enemy APC’s were approaching we blasted them with shoulder launched rockets, some enemy managed to de-bus, we engaged with rifle and machine gun. We won – end-ex!

India 32Bravo had a new pin-up - the Chieftain!

CliSwe
09-16-2016, 06:31 AM
About riding on tanks: One of our WOs on exercise in Berlin, hitched a lift on a French AMX-13 (or was it a -30? Not sure). Either way, time to debus and he had huge problems. As in, his DMS boot sole was heat-welded to the tank's exhaust pipe! Most embarrassing - all because he'd wanted to get his feet warm quickly.

Cheers,
Cliff

Rising Sun*
09-16-2016, 09:41 AM
Australian Centurion tankies in Vietnam obviously went to a lot of trouble to get dressed up to meet General Westmoreland a few days after their Centurions were crucial in repelling enemy attacks on Australian positions at Coral, Balmoral and Coogee and in operations from those bases into enemy country and bunkers.

http://www.army.gov.au/~/media/Images/Our%20History/Focus%20on%20History/THU680566VN_460x306px.jpg?h=299&mh=299&mw=460&w=460&crop=1

Operations are outlined at http://www.army.gov.au/Our-history/History-in-Focus/Australian-tanks-at-the-battles-of-Coral-and-Balmoral , which show that Centurions were effective in jungle operations.

tankgeezer
09-16-2016, 09:27 PM
Did they offer him some Tea? cents still had the boiler in them then right?

32Bravo
09-17-2016, 04:17 AM
"which show that Centurions were effective in jungle operations."

The operations described were not unlike those carried out in Burma in WWII

7763

7764

Rising Sun*
09-17-2016, 06:58 AM
7763



A few things about that painting struck me as unlikely, so I looked it up to see what it was supposed to illustrate.

"Diggers in Nam, Phuoc Tuy Province, South Vietnam, 5th - 7th June 1971 by David Pentland.

Centurion Mk 5/1 of C squadron 1st Armoured Regiment, Royal Australian Armoured Corps, scrub bashing during Operation Overlord. This proved to be one of the most successful of tank/ infantry co-operations when the tanks of C Squadron gave decisive fire support to infantry of 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment and APCs of 3rd Cavalry Regiment against a strongly entrenched NVA battalion north of the province." http://www.war-art.com/vietnam_war.htm

The thing that struck me immediately was the turret machine gunner wearing the RAAC black beret and chrome badge. In the jungle; on operations; against the enemy? I wore that beret and badge in that era, although as cavalry rather than tanks, and wearing it in those circumstances went against every piece of training we got. As, possibly, does the cap worn by the bloke to his left (right of picture) which appears to have some sort of bright badge in the middle. Bags me being either of the other two blokes on the turret, who are much less likely to be the first target for a sniper.

The lack of headgear on those actually involved in the operation in the following three photos is much more consistent with training and practice than the painting.


https://www.awm.gov.au/images/collection/items/ACCNUM_SCREEN/FOD/71/0304/VN.JPG

https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/FOD/71/0304/VN/


https://www.awm.gov.au/images/collection/items/ACCNUM_SCREEN/P05330.011.JPG

https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P05330.011


https://www.awm.gov.au/images/collection/items/ACCNUM_SCREEN/FOD/71/0305/VN.JPG

https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/FOD/71/0305/VN/


Centurion in another operation in jungle in Vietnam. Bags me not being one of the blokes in front of the tank if it fires its main weapon.

https://www.awm.gov.au/images/collection/items/ACCNUM_SCREEN/COM/69/0250/VN.JPG

https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/COM/69/0250/VN/

Rising Sun*
09-17-2016, 07:15 AM
cents still had the boiler in them then right?

How would I know?

They never let cavalry (i.e. mechanised infantry grunts) like me get anywhere near a tank, in case we infected or otherwise sullied it or its majestic crew with our inferior presence. See photo above with Gen Westmoreland for majestic tank crew and then imagine what we were like a long way down the scale of military magnificence. ;) :D

I did see a tank once during my brief service. It was in the Armoured Corps tank museum. I wasn't allowed to get close to that one, either.

Rising Sun*
09-17-2016, 07:42 AM
https://www.awm.gov.au/images/collection/items/ACCNUM_SCREEN/FOD/71/0304/VN.JPG


Just occurred to me that there are problems with that photo.

Australian War Memorial caption says "A sharp eye is needed when moving through jungle such as this in South Vietnam. Sitting astride an Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV), his M60 machine gun close by, is Private (Pte) Frank Jelen of Fairfield, NSW, a member of the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR). The ARV is followed by a Centurion tank. Australian soldiers of 3RAR and 4RAR combined with C Squadron, 1st Armoured Regiment, in Operation Overlord on the border of Phuoc Tuy and Long Khanh Provinces, to the north of the 1st Australian Task Force Base (1ATF) at Nui Dat."


Why would a recovery vehicle be the lead vehicle in any offensive operation?

Why would the M60 machine gunner on the recovery vehicle be facing the "following" Centurion? Surely he would be facing forward in the opposite direction if the recovery vehicle was in the lead.

I reckon it's more likely that the Centurion is the lead vehicle with turret reversed in heavy country, and the recovery vehicle is following.

Edit: The faint tracks don't decide it either way, as they're consistent with either vehicle being the lead vehicle.

tankgeezer
09-17-2016, 07:54 AM
How would I know?

They never let cavalry (i.e. mechanised infantry grunts) like me get anywhere near a tank, in case we infected or otherwise sullied it or its majestic crew with our inferior presence. See photo above with Gen Westmoreland for majestic tank crew and then imagine what we were like a long way down the scale of military magnificence. ;) :D

I did see a tank once during my brief service. It was in the Armoured Corps tank museum. I wasn't allowed to get close to that one, either.

Tanks were not so majestic if you were in one, while not having to walk everywhere was a nice bonus, they were smelly, cramped,noisy, not at all comfortable, and could be very difficult for crew to escape from should the need arise. Not to mention that they were RPG(and pretty much anything else) magnets . And to add insult, the U.S. Tanks had no boiler to make coffee tea, or soup. The Heater exhaust pipe was good for heating, but we were never allowed to run them as that consumed too much diesel.
We always enjoyed having the dirty grunts, er, I mean Hallowed Infantry nearby, good fellows to have at hand, we'd keep each other safe from the Communist Hoards. (or would have had it ever come to that. ) ;) :)

Rising Sun*
09-17-2016, 08:25 AM
while not having to walk everywhere was a nice bonus

A bonus?

That was the whole bloody reason I joined the Armoured Corps, having been promised by the recruiter a life of endless military magnificence and luxury as I propelled my Ferret Scout Car around the planet in almost no time after completing basic training.

Yeah, right!


and could be very difficult for crew to escape from should the need arise.

Not the mighty Ferret.

Thoughtfully provided with escape hatches on both sides of the hull.

Admittedly, you wouldn't need the escape hatches if the mighty Ferret got hit by an RPG, but otherwise they could be quite handy, such as with a sudden case of explosive diarrohea threatening localised chemical or bacteriological warfare inside the vehicle.



We always enjoyed having the dirty grunts, er, I mean Hallowed Infantry nearby, good fellows to have at hand, we'd keep each other safe from the Communist Hoards. (or would have had it ever come to that. ) ;) :)

Nah, in your era you and the infantry and everyone else would have demonstrated how much toast could be made in Europe courtesy of Soviet toaster missiles, and vice versa for the Soviets.

Thank Christ we all avoided that.

32Bravo
09-18-2016, 03:12 AM
A few things about that painting struck me as unlikely, so I looked it up to see what it was supposed to illustrate.

The thing that struck me immediately was the turret machine gunner wearing the RAAC black beret and chrome badge. In the jungle; on operations; against the enemy? I wore that beret and badge in that era, although as cavalry rather than tanks, and wearing it in those circumstances went against every piece of training we got. As, possibly, does the cap worn by the bloke to his left (right of picture) which appears to have some sort of bright badge in the middle. Bags me being either of the other two blokes on the turret, who are much less likely to be the first target for a sniper.

The lack of headgear on those actually involved in the operation in the following three photos is much more consistent with training and practice than the painting.

You're sounding like just about every former, sniper-eyed serviceman I know, who cannot help pointing out mistakes in production. It's the critical eye which comes from years of training and experience.

I would guess that it is, in part, a little artistic license. To catch the spirit of the operation and the hour. The beret being identifiable is probably included for that reason - a little piece of history to be hung in the Officers Mess. It is not untypical of other portrayals of operations in other armies.

7767 Border Regiment arriving at Oosterbeek, Operation Market Garden. Two of the figures are wearing berets, they would have all been wearing helmets.

7768 Royal Green Jackets, Leeson Street, Belfast. The berets and badges are prominent in this picture. In some ways accurately, but many regiments being aware of the sniper threat, blackened their cap badges or removed them at night.

7769 No helmet.

CliSwe
09-18-2016, 07:35 AM
https://www.awm.gov.au/images/collection/items/ACCNUM_SCREEN/FOD/71/0304/VN.JPG


Just occurred to me that there are problems with that photo.

Australian War Memorial caption says "A sharp eye is needed when moving through jungle such as this in South Vietnam. Sitting astride an Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV), his M60 machine gun close by, is Private (Pte) Frank Jelen of Fairfield, NSW, a member of the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR). The ARV is followed by a Centurion tank. Australian soldiers of 3RAR and 4RAR combined with C Squadron, 1st Armoured Regiment, in Operation Overlord on the border of Phuoc Tuy and Long Khanh Provinces, to the north of the 1st Australian Task Force Base (1ATF) at Nui Dat."


Why would a recovery vehicle be the lead vehicle in any offensive operation?

Why would the M60 machine gunner on the recovery vehicle be facing the "following" Centurion? Surely he would be facing forward in the opposite direction if the recovery vehicle was in the lead.

I reckon it's more likely that the Centurion is the lead vehicle with turret reversed in heavy country, and the recovery vehicle is following.

Edit: The faint tracks don't decide it either way, as they're consistent with either vehicle being the lead vehicle.

(My Bold and Italics). That's a negative there: We're clearly seeing the spare wheel set mounted on the distinctive sloped glacis plate of the following Cent. (Unless the whole column is reversing through the J.) :shock:

Cheers,
Cliff

Rising Sun*
09-18-2016, 07:56 AM
(My Bold and Italics). That's a negative there: We're clearly seeing the spare wheel set mounted on the distinctive sloped glacis plate of the following Cent. (Unless the whole column is reversing through the J.) :shock:

Cheers,
Cliff

You are perfectly correct.

I am embarrassed. :oops:

So much for my acute powers of observation. I saw what you saw, but it didn't register.

Nickdfresh
09-18-2016, 10:32 AM
Australian Centurion tankies in Vietnam obviously went to a lot of trouble to get dressed up to meet General Westmoreland a few days after their Centurions were crucial in repelling enemy attacks on Australian positions at Coral, Balmoral and Coogee and in operations from those bases into enemy country and bunkers.

http://www.army.gov.au/~/media/Images/Our%20History/Focus%20on%20History/THU680566VN_460x306px.jpg?h=299&mh=299&mw=460&w=460&crop=1

Operations are outlined at http://www.army.gov.au/Our-history/History-in-Focus/Australian-tanks-at-the-battles-of-Coral-and-Balmoral , which show that Centurions were effective in jungle operations.

Wastemorland probably spent more time obsessing over his uniform than he did strategy...

leccy
09-18-2016, 04:35 PM
I wonder why the British Army never moved forward with the next generation of the Cent in the FV4202 prototype that is in WOT. What little I saw on it was that it was never seriously considered as a next generation tank as the Chieftain was already entering service. But it seems a lot of the short comings of the Centurion were fixed and the tank was on par with the M-60A1/A3...

The FV4202 was a test bed vehicle designed to test out concepts for the Chieftain and was never envisaged as anything else.


Did they offer him some Tea? cents still had the boiler in them then right?

An essential bit of kit gracing the G1098 stores of all units with armoured vehicles since the 1950's - second item on your CES after the vehicle


When the last Cents retired from the Sappers it was the end of a love hate relationship - with many sad to see the old girls go (Cent Mk 5 165 AVRE and Cent Mk 12 105 AVRE) - especially as they got Chieftain AVRE's to replace them, although they were not the 'build as cheap as you can from spares you can find Willich ChAVRE' but the 'Vickers build a very expensive version using all the ideas and design information done by 23 Base Wksp and charge a premium for it'