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Centurion Turrets And Armor...


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from this book

51BUvwrZfUL._SL250_.jpg

Oh....you got it from Haynes......well it must be true then :rolleyes: .....frankly the entire paragraph reeks of bias and sour grapes....you can definitely tell its a British publication.

......Honestly that comparison table is bollocks!.....that a Cent mk 5 is only supposed to be marginally slower in acceleration than a Leopard 1 is plainly ridiculous.....i have tried it myself and the Leo would beat the centurion with a huge margin .....hell it could probably even do it in reverse too.

 

I will remain sceptical that a chieftain would somehow be able to traverse difficult terrain where a Leo couldnt......though the cent did have some advantages in certain types of terrain due to its steel tracks.. What kind of tracks did early chieftains use ? ......i doesnt appear to have greater contact area or lower ground pressure than the Leo so its difficult to see where the superior off road capabilities is suppose to come from.....The Leopard 1s only weakness was/is that on a very soft/boggy surface it would sometimes sink and get stuck due to suction caused by the flat belly .....the Chieftain might be better in that regard.

Edited by MikeKiloPapa
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Leo1 not much faster in real conditions than Chieftain for example, brits were testing Leo1, and not much smaller...

Looking at the raw data its hard to see how it wouldnt be......the Leo has a huge advantage in power to weight ratio .....The Chieftains P/W ratio was somewhere around 11-13 HP/Tonnes depending on version, while the Leopard boasted 19-20 horsepower per tonne...That is a pretty massive difference. When the Leo 2 went from the 55t A4 to the 60t A5/A6, the resulting drop in P/W ratio from ~27 hp/t to <25hp/t made the upgraded Leos noticeably slower , particularly in acceleration.
Factoring in the more than twice as large difference in P/W ratio between the Leo1 and Chieftain and the formers superior transmission, suspension and running gear it would practically be impossible for the Leopard not to be much faster.

 

 

Part of the reason was that the L60 was designed to be a multifuel engine, and the engine in the Leopard 1 was not

 

I simply dont know where this myth comes from ? i must have heard that claim from a dozen different (British) armor enthusiasts and it simply isnt true....The MTU MB 838 CaM 500 engine is very much a multi fuel engine :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopard_1

(sorry....i cant find a better english language source right now )

 

.....and so in fact is the 873 series engine in the Leo 2 ( albeit less so)

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from this book

51BUvwrZfUL._SL250_.jpg

Oh....you got it from Haynes......well it must be true then :rolleyes: .....frankly the entire paragraph reeks of bias and sour grapes....you can definitely tell its a British publication.

......Honestly that comparison table is bollocks!.....that a Cent mk 5 is only supposed to be marginally slower in acceleration than a Leopard 1 is plainly ridiculous.....i have tried it myself and the Leo would beat the centurion with a huge margin .....hell it could probably even do it in reverse too.

 

I will remain sceptical that a chieftain would somehow be able to traverse difficult terrain where a Leo couldnt......though the cent did have some advantages in certain types of terrain due to its steel tracks.. What kind of tracks did early chieftains use ? ......i doesnt appear to have greater contact area or lower ground pressure than the Leo so its difficult to see where the superior off road capabilities is suppose to come from.....The Leopard 1s only weakness was/is that on a very soft/boggy surface it would sometimes sink and get stuck due to suction caused by the flat belly .....the Chieftain might be better in that regard.

 

 

 

Well Im not sure we have said that, but there is evidence it could go places even a Centurion crew bogged in. I can find the relevant passage but its in the Ian Allan Chieftain book by George Forty, I think it was a Trooper in the 4/7 Dragoon who was trialling it saying there were places on Soltau where they could pass Centurions bogged in, and Chieftain in low gear would cruise pass them. Doesnt mean it was as capable cross country as Leopard1, just that it was better in this regard than Centurion, which as you say already had a fairly good reputation. I suspect crew skill probably played a roll as well. Supposedly it would bog in if it turned when in the mire, rather than running straight through. Might be worth looking up the report on Chieftain Mk4 trials on Yuma salt flats to see more on it I guess.

 

Chieftain tracks were the metal triangular ones that were like widened Centurion ones. Im not sure what they were using on Pre Productioin ones, ive never thought to take the trouble to look. A number of them did have smaller than usual road wheels though.

 

Actually Haynes productions are rather good for the most part. I cant say ive read the Chieftain one, but the one they got on Challenger 1 is well worth reading.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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  • 5 months later...

They did put a slab of uparmour on this section when they upgraded from Mk5 to Mk6. Bu tthat looks considerably thicker than what I expect. I suspect they just took advantage of having to fit mount points for the reactive armour to just fit a new uparmour slab, unless there is some relationship to the various dozer or plough attachments they fitted on it. As they seem to retain the mudguard mounts and the uparmour fits around it, rather than the mounts fit on the uparmour, Id guess this is a Gulf war special.

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Im not aware it improved the speed, but it might have given them a bit more torque. The reason I think is probably the suspension. it was first rate at going over very rough ground, but I dont think it was as suitable for higher speed as torsion bar.

 

OTOH, the Israelis effectively copied it for Merkava 1, which suggests they were happy enough with it.

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It appears to be surprisingly agile....

 

That is what an AVDS-1790 and CD850 transmission make possible.

 

 

I was under the impression the new powerpack did not improve top speed, which remained a very low 35 km/h

 

 

The new transmission had a hydraulic torque converter, the old one was purely mechanical. Perhaps you could give the uprated tanks the gas pedal with more confidence that you wouldn't break something.

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Im not aware it improved the speed, but it might have given them a bit more torque. The reason I think is probably the suspension. it was first rate at going over very rough ground, but I dont think it was as suitable for higher speed as torsion bar. OTOH, the Israelis effectively copied it for Merkava 1, which suggests they were happy enough with it.

Since top speed is based upon top speed on a level secondary road, I don't see the type of suspension system being a determinant. Further, as the contemporary M48A3 and M60, both of which were of similar or greater weight, could easily achieve 32 mph on level secondary roads, I see no reason why the Centurion with a similar power pack couldn't as well.

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Im not aware it improved the speed, but it might have given them a bit more torque. The reason I think is probably the suspension. it was first rate at going over very rough ground, but I dont think it was as suitable for higher speed as torsion bar. OTOH, the Israelis effectively copied it for Merkava 1, which suggests they were happy enough with it.

Since top speed is based upon top speed on a level secondary road, I don't see the type of suspension system being a determinant. Further, as the contemporary M48A3 and M60, both of which were of similar or greater weight, could easily achieve 32 mph on level secondary roads, I see no reason why the Centurion with a similar power pack couldn't as well.

 

 

I expected something on those lines; the weight being similar too. Still, usually top speed appears unchanged on printed sources from the original model.

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I expected something on those lines; the weight being similar too. Still, usually top speed appears unchanged on printed sources from the original model.

 

As far as I know the IDF has never published a detailed specification sheet about any of their tanks, and as it isn't a UK variant of the Centurion, the Brits had no reason to publish specification changes.

Edited by DKTanker
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You are probably right DK, but wouldnt track width also have an impact, at least travelling off road?

Yes of course track width will effect off road travel speeds, but comparing off road speed is a practice in futility as no two "off roads" are similar. While secondary roads will mean different things to different people, the disparity between two different secondary roads will be much less than two different off roads.

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its interesting, but the story I heard is a bit different. From what I understand, yes the tank was captured from the Recce 8th KRIH from the recce platoon, which had Cromwells at the time. However, im near certain I read it was the Chinese, and that it was engaged when they tried to move an immobilised vehicle, and they brought up a Centurion to take it out. I cant remember where exactly I read this version, but it must have been either the Simon Dunstan Ian Allan book on the Centurion, or one of the books he did on the same for Osprey. Or just maybe, the Max Hastings book on the Korean war.

 

As for it being captured on Inchon beach, I find that hard to believe personally. Inchon was September 1950 I supposed. 29 Brigade didnt even arrive in South Korea till December.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/29th_Infantry_Brigade_(United_Kingdom)

 

As for where the South Korean Marines got it from, well its just speculation on my part, but I think we removed Cromwells from service and replaced them with Comets (though I dont think we actually sent Comets to Korea). So maybe they were just surplus and we offered them to the South Koreans as doing our bit, rather than bother to ship them home?

Fair credit to that fella though, those are some excellent photos.

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One of them was converted after its turret suffered damaged into a carrier to take ammunition and supplies up to the front line in the hull. On one occasion the crew described taking what they thought was a full load of ammunition up to the Australian lines, and finding only the top layer was a light dusting of ammunition, with everything else beneath supplies of beer. :D

 

On the Queens Birthday in 1953, there was a claim that Centurions(I think of one of the Royal Tank Regiments) bombarded the Chinese lines with Red, White and Blue smoke shells. I hope they appreciated the effort....

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Korean War (colorized):

 

 

That green paint on the Centurion looks as if it is US olive drab like a Sherman. I thought the British Army used a darker green in those times.

 

To Colorize a B&W photo one must first make some basic assumptions, in this case perhaps it was assumed that OD was the basis for colorizing the photo. Or, perhaps the tank was in need of a paint job and the only paint in theater was OD.

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