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Encyclopedia > Centurion tank
Centurion Mk5/2
Centurion
General characteristics
Crew 4 (commander, gunner, loader, driver)
Length 7.60 m (25 ft)
Width 3.39 m (11 ft 1 in)
Height 3.01 m (9 ft 10.5 in)
Weight 52 tonnes (51 long tons)
Armour and armament
Armour 152 mm (6 in)
Main armament 105 mm L7 rifled gun
Secondary armament co-axial .30 cal Browning mg
Mobility
Power plant Rolls Royce Meteor
650 hp (485 kW)
Suspension Horstmann
Road speed 56 km/h (37 mph)
Power/weight 13 hp/tonne
Range 450 km (280 miles)

The Centurion was the primary British Main Battle Tank of the immediate post-war era, and considered by many to be one of the best British tank designs of all time. Designed during the Second World War it served in Europe, but arrived just too late for combat. It went on to provide excellent service during the Korean War where it outperformed both US and Soviet designs by a wide margin. It would go on to be one of the most widely used tank designs, equipping armies around the world, with small numbers still in service until the 1990s. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x750, 131 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Centurion tank ... Military vehicles are commonly armoured to withstand the impact of shrapnel, bullets or shells, protecting the soldiers inside from enemy fire. ... Vickers Mark VI light tank, with suspension components visible. ... The US M1A1 Abrams tank is a typical modern main battle tank. ... Combatants Allies: Soviet Union, United Kingdom, France/Free France, United States, China, Canada, India, Australia, Poland, New Zealand, South Africa, Greece, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, Bulgaria, Finland, Romania, Hungary, Burma, Slovakia Casualties Military dead: 17 million Civilian dead: 33 million Total dead: 50 million Military dead: 8... Combatants Western Allied/UN combatants: South Korea, United States, United Kingdom Communist combatants: North Korea, Peoples Republic of China, Soviet Union Commanders Douglas MacArthur Kim Il-sung, (Peng Dehuai de facto) Strength Note: All figures may vary according to source. ...

Contents


History

In 1943, the Department of Tank Design was asked to produce a new design for a heavy cruiser tank under the designation A41. After a series of fairly marginal designs in the A series in the past, and after facing the dreaded German 88 mm gun, the War Office asked for a major overhaul, demanding increased durability, reliability, a maximum weight of 40 tons, and the ability to withstand a direct hit from the aforementioned 88 mm gun. The cruiser tank (also called cavalry tank or fast tank) was a British tank design concept of the interwar period. ... German 8. ...


Tank Design responded by extending the long-travel 5-wheel suspension used on the Comet with the addition of a 6th wheel and an extended spacing between the 2nd and 3rd wheels. The Christie suspension with internal vertical spring coils was replaced by a Horstmann suspension with external horizontal springs. The hull was redesigned with welded sloped armour, and featured a partially cast turret mounting the highly regarded 17 pounder main gun and a 20 mm Polsten cannon. With a Rover-built Rolls-Royce Meteor engine, a version of the Rolls-Royce Merlin, the new design would have excellent performance. The Cruiser Comet was a British tank that first saw use near the end of World War II. It is often considered the best overall British tank of the war. ... A British Comet with Christie suspension The Christie suspension is a suspension system developed by Walter Christie for his tank designs. ... Vickers Mark VI light tank, with suspension components visible. ... The 17-pounder (17-pdr) was a 76. ... The Polsten was a low cost 20 mm autocannon developed from the Oerlikon gun in Poland. ... 1936 Rover 10 1962 Rover 80 Rover 2000 1995 Rover 200 Rover (the MG Rover Group) is a manufacturer of automobiles in the United Kingdom, based at the famous Longbridge plant in Birmingham. ... The Rolls Royce logo Rolls-Royce is a set of several companies, all deriving from the British automobile and aero-engine manufacturing company founded by Henry Royce and C.S. Rolls in 1906. ... The Rolls-Royce Meteor was a tank engine developed from the Rolls-Royce Merlin aero-engine. ... The Merlin was a 12 cylinder, 60° V, 27 litre, liquid cooled piston aircraft engine built during World War II by Rolls-Royce. ...


It wasn't long into the programme before it became clear that the requirement to withstand the 88 mm would be impossible to fill with the given weight requirements. The original specification had been set so that the A41 could be carried on the existing Mark I and Mark II transport trailers, both of which were limited to a 40 ton load. In one of the few instances on record, the War Ministry decided it would be a better idea to build new trailers than hamper what appeared to be a superb design. Even before prototypes of the original 40 ton design were completed, the design of a heavier version was well underway. The new version carried armour equal to the heaviest infantry tanks, and cross-country performance better than even the early cruisers. The A41 was the first British tank that could "do it all", leading to the new designation, universal tank. The infantry tank was a concept developed by the British in the years leading up to World War II. They were intended to work alongside infantry. ...


Prototypes of the original 40 ton design, the Centurion Mark I, had 76 mm of armour in the front glacis, thinner than the current infantry tank designs like the Churchill which had 101 mm, but the turret was extremely well armoured at 152 mm. It was, however, extremely mobile and able to easily outperform the Comet in most tests. The uparmoured Centurion Mark II soon arrived, featuring a new 118 mm thick glacis and the sides and rear increased from 38 mm to 51 mm. Only a handful of Mk.I's had been produced when the Mk.II replaced it on the production lines, which were soon expanded to include Leyland, the Royal Ordnance Factories at Leeds and Woolwich, and Vickers at Elswick. The Infantry Tank IV Churchill was a heavy British infantry tank of the Second World War, best known for its heavy armour and its use as the basis of many specialist vehicles. ... Map sources for Leyland at grid reference SD544214 Leyland is a town in the borough of South Ribble, Lancashire, United Kingdom, approximately 6 miles south of Preston. ... Royal Ordnance Factories (ROFs) was the collective name of the UK governments munitions factories in and after World War II. Until privatisation in 1987 they were the responsibility of the Ministry of Supply and later the Ministry of Defence. ... The Royal Arsenal, originally known as the Woolwich Arsenal, carried out armaments manufacture, ammunition proofing and explosives research. ... Vickers Armstrong (Aircraft) company logo Vickers, founded as the Vickers Company in 1828, was a British manufacturer, primarily of military equipment, traditionally based in Barrow-in-Furness. ... Elswick could be Elswick, Lancashire Elswick, Tyne and Wear This article consisting of geographical locations is a disambiguation page, a list of pages that otherwise might share the same title. ...

Centurion Mk. 3
Centurion Mk. 3

Soon after introduction, Royal Ordnance finished work on the extremely powerful 20 pounder tank gun. By this point the usefulness of the 20 mm had been called into question, so it was replaced with a BESA machine gun in a completely cast turret. The new Centurion Mark III also featured a fully automatic stabilization system for the gun, allowing it to fire accurately while on the move, dramatically improving battlefield performance. The Mk.III was so much more powerful than the Mk.I and Mk.II that the earlier designs were removed from service as soon as new Mk.III's arrived, and converted into the Centurion ARV Mark 1 armoured recovery vehicle for REME use. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2048x1536, 1419 KB) Centurion III tank Worthington Tank Museum at CFB Borden (Ontario, Canada). ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2048x1536, 1419 KB) Centurion III tank Worthington Tank Museum at CFB Borden (Ontario, Canada). ... BESA machine gun Type medium machine gun Nationality UK (Czech) Era World War 2 History Date of design 1936 Production period 1939-1945 (?) Service duration 1939-1945 Operators UK War service World War 2 Specifications Type Caliber 7. ... Conqueror Armoured Recovery Vehicle 2 An armoured recovery vehicle (ARV) is a type of armoured fighting vehicle used to repair battle-damaged or broken-down armoured vehicles during combat, or to tow them off the battlefield for more extensive repairs. ... The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers cap badge The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME; usually pronounced phonetically as Reemee) is a corps of the British Army that has responsibility for the maintenance of all electrical and mechanical equipment. ...


The 20 pounder was used only for a short time before the Royal Ordnance Factories introduced the now famous 105 mm L7 gun. All later variants of the Centurion, from Mark 5/2 on, used the L7. A total of 24 variants and sub-variants were produced. Royal Ordnance L7 is the basic model of Britains most successful tank gun. ...


The Centurion was used as the basis for a range of specialist equipment, including engineering variants with a 165 mm demolition gun. It is one of the longest serving designs of all time from the Korean War to the First Gulf war.


Variants

UK variants

Centurion AVRE 165
Enlarge
Centurion AVRE 165
Centurion ARK.
Enlarge
Centurion ARK.
Centurion ARV Mk 2.
Centurion ARV Mk 2.
  • FV4007 Centurion Mk 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8/1, 8/2
  • FV4011 Centurion Mk 5
  • FV4012 Centurion Mk 7/1, 7/2
  • FV4015 Centurion Mk 9
  • FV4017 Centurion Mk 10
  • Conway - prototype with a larger calibre gun.

Image File history File links Description: The Picture shows Centurion AVRE 165 (FV4003) in Gulf War paint. ... Image File history File links Description: The Picture shows Centurion AVRE 165 (FV4003) in Gulf War paint. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1197x811, 174 KB) Summary Description: Centurion ARK Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge in Yad la-Shiryon Museum, Israel. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1197x811, 174 KB) Summary Description: Centurion ARK Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge in Yad la-Shiryon Museum, Israel. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Centurion_ARV_II_Tank. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Centurion_ARV_II_Tank. ...

UK specialist variants

  • FV4003 Centurion Mk 5 AVRE 165 (1963) - AVRE (Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers) vehicle with 165 mm demolition gun and a hydraucally-operated dozer blade. Can carry a fascine bundle or a roll of metal Class 60 Trackway; and tow the Giant Viper mine-clearance equipment. The vehicle was used in the Gulf War (1991).
  • Centurion Mk 5 AVRE 105 - Ex-Forward Artillery Observer vehicles converted to AVRE role.
  • FV4019 Centurion Mk 5 Bulldozer (1961) - Centurion Mk V with a dozer blade identical to that of the Centurion AVRE. One such tank was usually given to every Centurion-equipped squadron.
  • FV4016 Centurion ARK (1963) - Armoured Ramp Carrier. Can span a gap of up to 75 feet, can bear up to 80 tons.
  • FV4002 Centurion Mk 5 Bridgelayer (1963) - Mk 5 chassis with a No 5 Tank Bridge. The bridge can be launched in less then two minutes, can span a gap of 45 feet and can bear up to 80 tons.
  • FV4013 Centurion ARV Mk 1 (1952) - Based on Mk 1 / Mk 2 hull. Turret replaced by a superstructure housing a winch driven by a 72 hp Bedford QL truck engine. About 180 units were built, some of them were used in the Korean War. After 1959 were used as training vehicles only.
  • FV4006 Centurion ARV Mk 2 (1956) - Mk 1 / Mk 2 / Mk 3 hull with turret replaced by a superstructure housing a winch. The winch is powered by an auxiliary engine and is capable of pulling of up to 90 tons using a system of blocks. Armed with single .30 inch machine gun on the commander's cupola.
  • FV4018 Centurion BARV (1963) - Beach armoured recovery vehicle. The last Centurion variant to be used by the British Army. As of 2003, one vehicle was still in use by the Royal Marines. Now being replaced by the Hippo based on Leopard 1 chassis.

Table of Hydraulics and Hydrostatics, from the 1728 Cyclopaedia. ... A Churchill VIII AVRE carrying a fascine on its front. ... The Giant Viper is a heavy vehicle pulled trailer designed to be deployed in areas containing mines. ... Combatants U.S.-led coalition Iraq Commanders George H. W. Bush Norman Schwarzkopf Colin Powell Saddam Hussein Ali Hassan al-Majid Hussein Kamel Strength 660,000 545,000 Casualties 345 dead, 1,000 wounded 25,000 - 100,000 dead, 100,000 - 300,000 wounded The 1991 Gulf War (also called... Combatants Western Allied/UN combatants: South Korea, United States, United Kingdom Communist combatants: North Korea, Peoples Republic of China, Soviet Union Commanders Douglas MacArthur Kim Il-sung, (Peng Dehuai de facto) Strength Note: All figures may vary according to source. ... The BARV is a British military support vehicle, the name coming from Beach Armoured Recovery Vehicle. // Sherman BARV Sherman BARV. Centurion BARV at the Yad la-Shiryon Museum, Israel The original BARV was a Sherman M4A2 tank which had been waterproofed and had the turret replaced by a tall armoured... Her Majestys Royal Marines, also known as the Royal Marines (RM), are the United Kingdoms amphibious force and Naval Infantry. ... The Leopard is the primary post-WWII German tank design, a design that has been in use as the primary main battle tank for most European countries in various versions since the early 1960s. ...

Non-UK variants

Sho't Kal Alef
Sho't Kal Alef
  • Olifant - Centurion tanks modernised by South Africa.
    • Semel (1974) - 810 hp fuel-injected petrol engine, three-speed semi-automatic transmission.
    • Olifant Mk 1 (1978) - 750 hp diesel engine, semi-automatic transmission.
    • Olifant Mk 1A (1985) - Mk1 with upgraded optics and fire control system.
    • Olifant Mk 1B (1991) - Torsion bar suspension, redesigned hull floor, additional armor on the glacis plate and turret, V-12 950 hp diesel engine, computerised fire control system, laser rangefinder.
    • Olifant Mk 2 - redesigned turret, new fire control system. Can mount LIW 105 mm GT-8 rifled gun or 120 mm smooth bore gun.
  • Sho't - An Israeli designation of the Centurion.
    • Sho't Meteor - Centurion tanks with the original Meteor engine.
    • Sho't Kal Alef/Bet/Gimel/Dalet - Modernised Centurion tanks with a new powerpack (the Continental AVDS-1790-2A diesel engine and the Allison CD850-6 transmission). Subvariants indicate upgrades received by Sho't Kal tanks later in their operational life, including a new turret rotating mechanism, a new gun stabilizer, a new fire-control system and preparations for the installation of the Blazer ERA.
  • Tempest - Operated by Singapore, modernised by unknown source .
  • Nagmashot/Nagmachon/Nakpadon - Israeli heavy armoured personnel carriers based on Centurion tank's chassis.
  • Puma - Israeli combat engineering vehicle on Centurion tank chassis.
  • Stridsvagn 104 - Swedish modernisation along the same lines as the Israeli Shot Kal.

ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (900x954, 242 KB) Summary Description: Centurion (Shot Kal Alef) tank in Batey ha-Osef museum, Tel Aviv, Israel. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (900x954, 242 KB) Summary Description: Centurion (Shot Kal Alef) tank in Batey ha-Osef museum, Tel Aviv, Israel. ... A torsion spring is a ribbon, bar, or coil that reacts against twisting motion. ... The diesel engine is a type of internal combustion engine; more specifically, it is a compression ignition engine, in which the fuel is ignited by being suddenly exposed to the high temperature and pressure of a compressed gas, rather than by a separate source of ignition, such as a spark... In mechanics, a transmission or gearbox is the gear and/or hydraulic system that transmits mechanical power from a prime mover (which can be an engine or electric motor), to some form of useful output device. ... A fire-control system is a computer, often mechanical, which is designed to assist a weapon system in hitting its target. ... M60A1 Patton tank with Israeli Blazer ERA. Reactive armor is a type of vehicle armor that reacts in some way to the impact of a weapon to reduce the damage done to the vehicle being protected. ... The M113, one of the most common tracked APCs, on duty during the Vietnam War. ... A chassis (plural: chassis) consists of a framework which supports an inanimate object, analogous to an animals skeleton; for example in the construction of an automobile or of a firearm. ... The EBG combat engineering vehicle, based on the AMX 30 tank, is used by the engineers of the French Army for a variety of missions. ...

Operators

Motto: Je Maintiendrai (Dutch: Ik zal handhaven, English: I Shall Uphold) Anthem: Wilhelmus van Nassouwe Capital Amsterdam1 Largest city Amsterdam Official language(s) Dutch2 Government Parliamentary democracy Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Beatrix  - Prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende Independence Eighty Years War   - Declared July 26, 1581   - Recognised January 30, 1648 (by Spain...

Combat history

Combatants Western Allied/UN combatants: South Korea, United States, United Kingdom Communist combatants: North Korea, Peoples Republic of China, Soviet Union Commanders Douglas MacArthur Kim Il-sung, (Peng Dehuai de facto) Strength Note: All figures may vary according to source. ... Combatants United Kingdom, Israel, France Egypt Commanders Moshe Dayan (CoS of the IDF) General Sir Charles Keightley (C-in-C), Vice-Admiral Pierre Barjot (Deputy) Gamal Abdel Nasser Strength 45,000 British, 34,000 French, 175,000 Israeli 300,000 Egyptians Casualties 189 Israelis KIA, unknown number WIA, 16 British... The 1967 Arab-Israeli War, also known as the Six-Day War or June War, was fought between Israel and its Arab neighbors Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. ... Combatants India Pakistan Commanders Lt Gen Harbakhsh Singh Field Marshall Ayub Khan Casualties 3,000 killed 3,800 killed The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, also known as the Second Kashmir War, was the culmination of a series of skirmishes that occurred between April 1965 and September 1965 between India... Combatants India Pakistan Commanders Sam Manekshaw J.S. Aurora A. A. K. Niazi Strength 500,000+ troops 400,000+ troops Casualties 1,426 killed 3,611 wounded 2,149 missing Unknown, but heavy The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 was a military conflict between India and Pakistan. ... Combatants Israel Egypt, Syria, (Jordan, Iraq) Commanders Moshe Dayan, David Elazar, Ariel Sharon, Shmuel Gonen, Benjamin Peled Saad El Shazly, Ahmad Ismail Ali, Hosni Mubarak, Mohammed Aly Fahmy, Anwar Sadat, Abdel Ghani el-Gammasy, Abdul Munim Wassel, Abd-Al-Minaam Khaleel, Abu Zikry Mustafa Tlas[2], [3] Strength 415,000... Combatants Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) United States of America South Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand the Philippines Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) National Liberation Front (Viet Cong) Strength ~1,200,000 (1968) ~420,000 (1968) Casualties South Vietnamese dead: 230,000 South Vietnamese wounded: 300,000 US dead... Combatants U.S.-led coalition Iraq Commanders George H. W. Bush Norman Schwarzkopf Colin Powell Saddam Hussein Ali Hassan al-Majid Hussein Kamel Strength 660,000 545,000 Casualties 345 dead, 1,000 wounded 25,000 - 100,000 dead, 100,000 - 300,000 wounded The 1991 Gulf War (also called... The Tank, Infantry, Mk IV (A22) was a heavy British infantry tank of the Second World War, best known for its heavy armour and its use as the basis of many specialist vehicles. ...

References

  • S. Dunstan, M. Badrocke, P. Sarson - Centurion Universal Tank 1943-2003', 2003 Osprey Publishing Ltd (New Vanguard 68), ISBN 184176387X.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Wikimedia Commons logo by Reid Beels The Wikimedia Commons (also called Commons or Wikicommons) is a repository of free content images, sound and other multimedia files. ...

See also

Modern (post WW2) UK armoured fighting vehicles
Wheeled vehicles
Ferret Scout Car | Fox Reconnaissance Vehicle | Saladin Armoured Car | Saracen APC
FV1611 "Pig" | Saxon
Armoured personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles
FV432 | Warrior | FV103 Spartan
Stormer | FV104 Samaritan | FV105 Sultan
Light tanks and anti-tank vehicles
FV101 Scorpion | FV107 Scimitar | Sabre | FV102 Striker | FV438 Swingfire
Self-propelled artillery
FV433 Abbot | AS-90
Main battle tanks
Centurion | Conqueror | Chieftain | Challenger 1 | Challenger 2
UK unarmoured or non-fighting vehicles

  Results from FactBites:
 
Centurion tank - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1352 words)
The Centurion was the primary British Main Battle Tank of the immediate post-war era, and considered by many to be one of the best British tank designs of all time.
Tank Design responded by extending the long-travel 5-wheel suspension used on the Comet with the addition of a 6th wheel and an extended spacing between the 2nd and 3rd wheels.
FV4019 Centurion Mk 5 Bulldozer (1961) - Centurion Mk V with a dozer blade identical to that of the Centurion AVRE.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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