World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of P-51 Mustang
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of T-34/85
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Fw-190
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Churchill
wwiivehicles.com ©2016
Search:
Great Britain's flag

Great Britain's Heavy Cruiser, A41, Centurion

Photos

Heavy Cruiser, A41, Centurion:
Great Britain's Heavy Cruiser, A41, Centurion
Royal Armored Corps Tank Museum

Design

The Department of Tank Design was asked to design a heavy cruiser tank in 1943.1 It was to have a 76 mm (17 pdr.) gun and have good cross country speed.1 The 1st mock-up was completed in 1944 and in early 1945 and six prototypes were sent to Germany, but none saw action.1,4

An all welded steel hull that was divided into 3 compartments.1 The engine was behind a fireproof bulkhead.1

Air was fed to the engine through 2 fans in the roof of the engine compartment.1 Power was supplied to the traversely mounted transmission through the clutch.1

The driver sat in the front and to the right.1 The turret had an ammunition hatch on the left, and storage on each side.1 The loader was located on the left, the commander on the right, and the gunner in front of the commander.1

The commander had a cupola that had split hatches and had to be hand traversed.1 He also had 7 periscopes all around, and a periscopic day sight that had a ballistic pattern in it.1

The loader had twin hatch covers and a periscopic day sight.1

The suspension had 3 sets of pairs of road wheels.1 The front and rear wheels had shock absorbers.1

Six were sent to the 22nd Armored Brigade of the 7th Armored Division in May 1945.4 Never saw action due to end of war.1,4

Specifications

  Heavy Cruiser, A41, Centurion
Crew Driver, gunner, loader, commander.1,2
41,2,3
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 42.5 tons1
43,182 kg1
107,520 lb2
Length 24' 6"1, 25' 2"2,3
7.82 m1
Height 9' 8"2,3, 9' 11"1
3.01 m1
Width 11'2,3, 11' 2"1
3.39 m1
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 76 mm (17 pdr)1
17 pdr OQF2
17 pdr3
Secondary 20 mm Polsten cannon1,2 coaxial2
20 mm Polsten3
MG 1 - 2: Besa MG3 (in place of 20 mm)3
MG - coaxial 1: 7.92 Besa MG1,2 (in place of 20 mm)2
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 702
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 17 - 1271
172, 1522
17 - 1523
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Meteor1,2,3
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders  
Capacity  
Net HP  
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°2
Speed - Road 21.4 mph2,3, 22 mph1
35 kph1
Speed - Cross Country 15 mph2
Range - Road 60 miles2, 120 miles1
192 km1
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -15° + 45°2
Fording depth 4' 9"2
Trench crossing 11'2
Vertical obstacle 3'2
Suspension (Type) Modified Horstmann.2
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Track length  
Tires  
Track width 2'2
Track centers/tread 8' 8"2
  Centurion Mk II
Crew 45
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 48 ton5
Length  
Height  
Width  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 17 pdr QFSA5
Secondary  
MG  
MG - coaxial 1: 7.92 Besa MG5
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Rolls Royce Meteor Mk V5
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders  
Capacity  
Net HP 6005
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 21.4 mph5
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 85 miles5
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Track length  
Tires  
Track width  
Track centers/tread  

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. British and American Tanks of World War Two, The Complete Illustrated History of British, American, and Commonwealth Tanks 1933-1945, Peter Chamberlain and Chris Ellis, 1969
  3. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  4. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  5. The Royal Armoured Corps Tank Museum, 1956
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site