Tank Chats #35 Centurion | The Tank Museum

now this is a Centurion mark 3 so it’s
not the first one it’s one of them developments of it if you like it is
actually an old prototype originally it was built as the crocodile flamethrower
attached to the Centurion the whole idea was daft it didn’t work but it still got
some of the fittings on the front which related that but we’re showing it it was
a typical mark through some sort of tank that was used in Korea the Centurion was
probably the best of all British tanks they appeared during the war to begin
with at least the design appeared during the war and they have came out at the end of
the war but it was only by the time of the Korean War the Suez Crisis that they
really came into their own there’s two or three things about them they’re
fitted with the rolls-royce meteor engine in the back and the meteor which
had been developed earlier for the Cromwell tank was a magnificent engine
it was over 600 horsepower at a time we got up to the Centurion which was more
than enough to push the tank along though the driver has got a manual
control is to do manual gearshift and the clutch and all the old driving
techniques so is a very physical tank for the crew to operate normally takes a
crew of four that’s a driver front and three men all in the turrets the gamma
the loader and the tank commander so it’s four men altogether now in addition
to the rolls-royce engine it’s driving into a merit ground transmission so it
steers beautifully it really is a nice handy vehicle to drive it’s got some
horsemen style suspension with fairly large road wheels you’ll notice on
British tanks and it’s still the same today we still go for this outside
attached suspension you’ll never find a British tank there are there are other
vehicles in the family really but in tanks property I’ll never find
them with torsion bars they’re just not made not for British service anyway
they’ve always got an outside attached suspension in this case as I say it’s a
horseman type as horizontal coil springs operating against the
her arms with the wheels on the ends the Centurion it’s typical of British tanks
of the time its rear engined of course front fighting compartment and in this
case fitted with the 20 pound began that that’s what we called it in it was
actually eighty three point four millimeters I think is the overall
caliber of it and it was an excellent gun far better even than the old wartime
17 pounder and quite capable knocking out pretty well anything it came up
against so it was a very effective weapon in that sense one of the things
that made the tank so effective that and the crew they tended to be trained so
well but a Centurion driver was something of a specialist and you’ll
find that even from the fitters point of view knowledge of the meteora engine
ganger in the war was already an advantage when it came to looking after
these tanks after the war they could do a lot of maintenance without some a lot
of these extra retraining the house slightly boat-shaped it was designed to
resist mind blast to some extent and it’s all a welded construction naturally
so they really are an effective tank the turret however is a casting it’s got a
top plate which is welded into place and then the all-around Tsar casting he’s
got a traditional type of mantlet underneath that canvas cover over it
coaxial machinegun the bezel and the early tanks later
changing to a browning and really an effective weapon you’ll notice there’s
no howl machine gun the centurion didn’t normally mount one because they had one
man in the front the driver only they had no place for an assistant driver
which would have probably solved the flames were a problem if they had but
they didn’t have one so they had the one man sitting there and he had no use for
machine gun he had his hands full driving the tank so that’s the Centurion
probably one of the finest tanks has been really ever been produced they’ve
served all around the world and they still they still are ancillary
roles in the Middle East and so on in South Africa they’ve been really
successful and that’s one of the best things you sell at any tank I don’t
think any tank that anyone’s produced has ever come quite close to the
Centurion for that broadness of them abuse worldwide you

100 thoughts on “Tank Chats #35 Centurion | The Tank Museum

  1. I've never seen Mr Fletcher so excited – at a pitch of emotional arousal that only his good lady-wife witnesses once or twice a month.

  2. Splendid talk about when it seems we finally got it right… but why is the tank on that platform….? Something interesting beneath?

  3. At about 0:47, is that a Centurion will US markings?
    I understand in the early days of the Korean War the US was short of tanks, to the point of taking Shermans off display stands to refurbish and send to Korea. So they possibly acquired some Centurians?

  4. Centurion: main battle tank of the Israeli army for the 6 day war and yom Kippur war. She could kill the t55 t62 and is3. The patton could not kill the is3. Centurion was better tank

  5. If I remember correctly Israel's main battle tank, the Merkava, is a Centurion that has its hull facing backwards. I wonder what other countries are using the Centurion today?

  6. The old British habit of defining a gun‘s caliber in pounds really forces you to brush up on your math and physics. The caliber is such that a perfects sphere of solid lead that fits inside has a given weight, in case of the Centurion 17lbs. You need to know the specific weight of lead and the formula for a sphere’s volume to get its diameter (= caliber). All this effort to learn that decades before the tank was even invented everybody had given up on lead cannon balls, already.

  7. There was an 'up armoured' Centurion on the ranges in Germany (70s/80s) we used to fire TPTP (Target Practice Tracer Projectile) as it drove across our front. to perfect the aim off at different speeds and ranges.The periscopes were painted red, 'do not aim directly at the red areas'. With the 66mm the idea the aim was that good!

  8. My Dad served in the Royal Scots Greys in the 50s and rated the Centurion highly. Thanks for a v good video 👍

  9. David has been around since the advent of the tank:


  10. This is so much better done than those awful World of Tanks videos with e the annoying music and the weird presenter with the speech impediment.

  11. The Centurion was a first class tank right through from its earliest models until the later ones such as those used by the Israeli's and the final marks used by the British army. The Centurion was a very tough tank despite some critics about its armour protection. Simple answer to this was that whenever the Israeli's need to place a handful of tanks to hold a position against a considerably larger number of Russian equipped armour they always used the Centurions rather than the other tanks they had including the very good U S origin tanks.

  12. I can see the evolution of the British MBT is going from the Crusader to the Centurion and on to the Challenger/Challenger II. This is also the first British MBT to be equipped with a VBE.

  13. Broadness of use worldwide? Um, T-55, anyone? 135,000 – ish made, used by 50+ countries, The Centurion certainly across western nations yes, but world wide? No.

  14. The Centurion was an excellent tank because of it's excellent armour and it's all terrain ability. The Israelis took the meteor engine out and installed a Detroit diesel and made other modifications to their needs with great effect. With the sun burning down and the enemy trying to take you out, a diesel engine gives more confidence than a petrol engine and 300 litres plus of fuel. Being roasted inside a a steel coffin is not the nicest way to go for anyone. So, diesel anyday.

  15. I think, the best tank on the battlefield was, and still is, the T-54/T-55 in comparison to the other tanks ever made until the end of 1970's.

  16. Mr. Fletcher. Much respect for all your work. I liked your doc's and movies and shows from when I was a kid. You influenced my life, now I'm 33 and I was in the Netherlands Royal army for 10 years, joined as a tank gunner. You are the best and you have a nice way of sharing all that information, without any distractions. Very good! All about the tanks.

  17. Sir. David Fletcher said the centurion perhaps the best tank in Britain undoubted and his outstanding performance made people remarkable!In Korea war centurion has longest range shooting record!In Singapore army still has centurion tanks!

  18. The Centurians were also used in Vietnam by the Australian's (RAAC), from 1970-72, they also have some on base used for targets and also there is one right outside gunnery wing in Puckapunyal with an rpg hole in it, all crew survived.

  19. I bought a Dinky Toy model of it from the money I received from my Godmother when I had my first Holy Communion. There was never any hope for me I suppose, I am now wavering between being an agnostic or atheist. I was attracted to the storage boxes around the turret.

  20. I wonder if he has ever changed the spark plugs? That was a sod of a job that was! The external suspension was great for Vietnam. The engine was a gas guzzler at 3 to 5 gallons to the mile. Much better tank with the US diesel engine.
    I think the T-34/85 was a more defining tank than the Cent, the last 30 in service, built in 1944, only going out of service in 2015! Russia got them back for parades and movies from the Laotian Army IIRC.

  21. Honest statements like: "…The whole idea was daft, it didn't work" really make me like David Fletcher even more. I do like his summary of this vehicle. He is spot on. Thanks!

  22. Excellent tank, especially the way South Africa rebuilt and upgraded the ones they bought for scrap. I wonder who the brain trust was that decided they were of no use?

  23. Yes only in 1972 it was faced with the Sagger and it was tactically not employed correctly by the Israelis. Infantry became its nemesis not an other tank, T54, T55 and T62's were not a problem I am not aware of encounters with the JS3 but I would put my money on the Centurion with the 105 mm NATO gun.

  24. Was that range footage sped up? I didn't believe that any large calibre tank gun could fire THAT fast (and hit all of it's targets)!

  25. It's hard to believe that the same folks who built all those "dreadful tanks" could come up with the Centurion. Were there some unemployed Kraut engineers helping them about then?!

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