Centurion Mk 1

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RANK 4 FRANCE
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This page is about the British medium tank Centurion Mk 1. For other versions, see Centurion (Family).
Centurion Mk 1
uk_centurion_mk_1.png
GarageImage Centurion Mk 1.jpg
Centurion Mk 1
AB RB SB
6.0 6.0 6.0
Class:
Research:63 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:200 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

The Centurion Mk 1 is a rank IV British medium tank with a battle rating of 6.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.67 "Assault". It is equipped with the well-known British QF 17-pounder mounted on a new hull that definitively makes the Cromwell chassis outdated.

This tank does not play like any of the preceding British vehicles: while its mobility is below average for a rank IV medium, it compensates with armour, meaning that you will actually be able to withstand frontal combat and return fire, even if you get hit. It is the first medium to feature the late-game British armour pattern: a strong turret, thick and well-angled upper-glacis, weak lower glacis and thin sides. British tankers must get used to this configuration since it is found on every following medium tank.

The Centurion Mk 1 moves away from the familiar Cromwell chassis. While not being as fast or manoeuvrable, It does have sloped frontal armour, a strongly armoured turret, and a good QF 17-pounder gun with access to APDS.

General info

Survivability and armour

Smoke grenades
Creation of a smoke screen in front of the vehicle
Armourfront / side / back
Hull76 / 51 / 38
Turret127 / 76 / 76
Crew4 people
Visibility119 %

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour (Hull, Turret sides, Turret roof)
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Turret front, Gun mantlet, Cupola)
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 76.2 mm (58°) Front glacis
76.2 mm (44°) Lower glacis
51 (12°) + 6 mm 38 mm (7°) Top
38 mm (18°) Bottom
29 mm
8-14 mm Engine deck
Turret 127 mm (2-58°) Turret front
127 mm (6-40°) Gun mantlet
76 mm (9-11°) 76 mm (1°)
38 mm (89°) Turret underside
25 mm
Cupola 90 mm 25 mm Outer ring
19 mm Centre

Notes:

  • Tracks and suspension wheels are both 20 mm thick.
  • The steel boxes around the turret and hull give a 4 mm additional protection, though this seems to be a negligible addition.
  • Skirting are placed on the sides of the Centurion, giving an additional 6 mm of side protection and can act as spaced armour.
  • An internal structural plate of 17 mm thickness separates the forward ammo rack from the driver as seen in X-ray mode.
  • Another internal 17 mm structural plate with large openings separates the driving compartment from the fighting compartment.

The Centurion Mk 1 is the first tank players will encounter in the British tech tree that sports a sloped hull front similar to the Panther, which with a thickness of 76.2 mm provides great protection for its battle rating, especially when the hull is angled slightly. Turret armour features 127 mm thickness throughout the front but features many flat areas that cannons of sufficient power will exploit to destroy the tank, especially since 3 out of the 4 crew members are located in the turret. Side armour can withstand auto-cannon fire with exceptions for HVAP rounds, so don't rely on it outside of that. If the situation becomes sticky and a tactical retreat is required, a single wide volley of smoke grenades launched from the turret can cover you from the line-of-sight.

The main improvement from previous British mediums is its thick and sloped armour. Reaching 152 mm on the turret and a good 76 mm angled at 58° on the front hull, this tanks can actually block point-blank shots from most cannons it will face like the Russian D-5T, the Japanese Type II 75 mm and even some German guns at 500 m. This tank can actually expose its upper glacis since it will bounce most shots. This tank still has weak spots though: gun and MG mantlet are "only" 127 mm thick, barely angled and lower glacis are 76 mm at 44°, meaning close-range shots will eventually penetrate. It also has thin side armour, meaning that the tank is vulnerable to flank attacks and compound angling cannot be done effectively without exposing the sides. These traits mean that the Centurion Mk 1 can happily stand up most frontal shots at this rank.

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB42 / 14 km/h
RB and SB38 / 13 km/h
Number of gears5 forward
1 back
Weight46.9 t
Engine power
AB1 212 hp
RB and SB635 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB25.8 hp/t
RB and SB13.5 hp/t
Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 42 14 46.9 984 1212 20.98 25.84
Realistic 38 13 562 635 11.98 13.54

The Centurion easily reaches its top speed of 39 km/h on almost any ground, due to its wide tracks and a good engine, even at stock performances. It also has a refreshingly good reverse speed (~13 km/h) (compared to the dreadful reverse speed of tanks on the Cromwell chassis) and can turn on the spot quite fast.

Compared to the many Cromwell based tanks before the Centurion, it does lose out on a great forward speed, only being able to reach 41 km/h (AB) / 37 km/h (RB) maximum, but in return it does receive great reverse speed of 13.4 km/h (AB)/12.1 km/h (RB), allowing for tactics that would not be recommended with the Cromwell like "Peek-a-boos". It also retains good maneuverability, effective neutral steering, and a very acceptable acceleration due to good power-to-weight ratio.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB5 100 → 6 900 Sl icon.png
RB4 240 → 5 736 Sl icon.png
SB5 470 → 7 400 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications52 600 Rp icon.png
90 600 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost1 700 Ge icon.png
Crew training57 000 Sl icon.png
Experts200 000 Sl icon.png
Aces800 Ge icon.png
Research Aces520 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
110 / 160 / 180 % Sl icon.png
172 / 172 / 172 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Tracks
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 500 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Suspension
Research:
2 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 100 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Research:
2 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 100 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
Filters
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 500 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Transmission
Research:
4 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
7 400 Sl icon.png
270 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Engine
Research:
4 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
7 400 Sl icon.png
270 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Parts
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 500 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
FPE
Research:
2 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 100 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement uk.png
Crew Replenishment
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 500 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
76mm_britain_17pdr_APC_ammo_pack
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 500 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 500 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
76mm_britain_17pdr_APCBC_ammo_pack
Research:
2 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 100 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Research:
2 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 100 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
76mm_britain_17pdr_APDS_ammo_pack
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 500 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 500 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods smoke screen.png
Smoke grenade
Research:
2 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 500 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
Research:
4 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
7 400 Sl icon.png
270 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
76mm_britain_Smoke_ammo_pack
Research:
4 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
7 400 Sl icon.png
270 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Main armament

Ammunition75 rounds
First-order5 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
7.6 → 5.9 s
Vertical guidance-12° / 20°
Main article: QF 17-pounder (76 mm)

The gun does not fire any shells with explosive filler, meaning that pinpoint accuracy is needed to get reliable kills (aiming for important modules, crew, or ammo racks). This canon's reload rate is faster than average at this BR, meaning you will be able to land 2 shots before your enemy can even fire. After having depleted the ready rack of 5 shells, the reload time increases so be mindful when shooting. As any other tanks equipped with the QF 17-pounder, you will have to grind through subpar AP, APBC and APCBC shells before getting APDS. This last type of shell helps make accuracy quite easy and remains effective at long ranges while not being too costly in terms of silver lions.

A minor issue to notice is that the machine gun has very poor elevation and is loader-controlled, meaning that it cannot target even low flying aircraft and that it will be disabled once you lose two or more crew members.

76 mm QF 17-pounder Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 75 -12°/+20° ±180° N/A 17.14 23.72 28.80 31.84 33.88 7.67 6.79 6.25 5.90
Realistic 10.71 12.60 15.30 16.92 18.00

Ammunition

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
Shot Mk.6 AP 171 168 155 139 126 113
Shell Mk.1 HE 9 9 9 9 9 9
Shot Mk.4 APC 171 168 155 139 126 113
Shot Mk.8 APCBC 190 187 172 155 140 126
Shot SV Mk.1 APDS 228 226 207 189 159 134
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
Mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
Shot Mk.6 AP 883 7.71 N/A N/A N/A 47° 60° 65°
Shell Mk.1 HE 883 6.98 0.4 0.5 580 79° 80° 81°
Shot Mk.4 APC 883 7.71 N/A N/A N/A 48° 63° 71°
Shot Mk.8 APCBC 883 7.71 N/A N/A N/A 48° 63° 71°
Shot SV Mk.1 APDS 1,203 1.73 N/A N/A N/A 75° 78° 80°
Smoke shell characteristics
Ammunition Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
Mass (kg)
Screen radius
(m)
Screen deploy time
(s)
Screen hold time
(s)
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
17pdr Shell SS Mk.1 229 8.44 13 5 20 50

Ammo racks

Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
6th
rack empty
7th
rack empty
8th
rack empty
9th
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
75 74 (+1) 73 (+2) 68 (+7) 38 (+37) 30 (+45) 22 (+53) 14 (+61) (+69) (+74) No
Ammo racks of the Centurion Mk 1

Notes:

  • The QF 17-pounder cannon fires single-piece ammunition stored in stowage racks in the hull floor and the hull front next to the driver.
  • Recommended ammo load is 38 to remove the large ammo rack at the front of the hull.
  • Ammo rack 9 is a ready rack, and takes priority in being filled at the beginning of the battle.
  • After the first order ammo rack is depleted, the reload time is longer, at around 10 seconds.

Machine guns

Ammunition3 375 rounds
Belt capacity225 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate600 shots/min
Main article: BESA (7.92 mm)

Unlike many turret-mounted machine guns that are co-axial, this machine gun is mounted in pintle mount similar to hull-mounted machine guns, so it is able to independently traverse on its own to a degree, a trait that is shared with the Soviet T-28. This can provide a slight advantage when the turret ring is disabled, as it can allow more accurate fire without the need to move the turret/hull.

7.92 mm BESA
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 3,375 (225) 600 ±7° ±7°

Usage in battles

Overview:

The Centurion Mk 1 is widely considered as the first Main Battle Tank, and plays in the role of a medium/heavy. The armour is satisfactory against most enemy weapons, although it should not be relied upon. The 17 pounder cannon is very effective against enemy armour, although its post penetration damage is lacklustre. The tank is not particularly fast, but is mobile, especially in reverse.

Strategies:

Centurion tank commanders should use cover and be careful for the majority of the time. When the opportunity arises, the Centurion can help lead the charge against enemy medium and heavy tanks. Centurion commanders should keep in mind that the APDS ammunition is unlikely to destroy enemy vehicles in one shot, so they may need to expose themselves to enemy fire for extended periods of time in order to secure a kill. Generally, the Centurion plays similarly to other medium tanks of the tier. It is best practice to angle the turret, but the hull should not be angled due to the thin side armour.

In terms of engagement ranges, the Centurion works well at both long and short ranges. The issue with sniping in the centurion is that it is very difficult to secure kills with the lacklustre post penetration damage. Because of this, medium and short range engagements are preferable.

Notable Enemies:

At its BR, the Centurion faces many iconic German big cats like the Tiger I, the Panther and even the Tiger II. The Centurion is capable of going head to head with the big cats. The APDS rounds will slice through the Tiger I at most angles but one must be cautious of facing Tiger II, and can even penetrate the upper front plate of a Panther at close ranges. This round can even penetrate the Jagdpanther. It can also easily penetrate the hull of the IS-1 and early IS-2. Generally when firing at enemies, be careful to aim for the flat parts of the armour. APDS ammunition does not handle angled armour very well.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Fast firing 17-pounder armament with APDS rounds
  • Good gun depression of -12°
  • Tough round and sloped armour that is quite resistant to the 85mm, 76mm and even the German 88 mm (KwK 36) guns at medium/long range
  • Turret's top armour is thick, can resist most aircraft guns
  • Average mobility and decent manoeuvrability
  • Good reverse speed and neutral steering
  • Benefits greatly from the learning curve of the Comet I and Challenger, their players will find themselves at home when playing the Centurion
  • Mastering this tank will provide a good learning curve for the next Centurion variants

Cons:

  • Precision and knowledge of enemy tanks are required, because APDS localized damage
  • Large tank size, especially length
  • Weak side armour, angling the armour too much will result in the side armour being penetrated
  • Centurion Mk 1 is slow for a medium tank
  • Unlike its later iterations, no gun stabilizer
  • Weak Lower Frontal Plate (LFP) ammo rack also present there, a weakness carried over to all British tanks onward
  • Top armour covering the engine is poor, only 8 mm
  • Only 6 shells available before the first order ammo rack is depleted, leading to a longer reload time
  • Frontal turret cheek armor is flat

History

Design

In 1943, the British War Office mandated the Directorate of Tank Design to start working on a new heavy cruiser tank. The requirements stated that the new tank should be capable of withstanding a direct hit from the infamous German 88 mm gun, while providing greater protection against mines as well as staying under the 40-tons limit imposed by logistical constraints. The tank also had to offer a good cross-country capability when offroad, a high reverse speed was required but not a high forward top speed. The new project, called A41, had to surpass the Comet tank in all areas except the main armament for which the 17-pdr gun was still deemed effective enough to deal with enemy tanks.

Development

Early in the development, it became clear that the 40-tons limit imposed by logistical constraints (transport trailers, Bailey truss bridge, etc.) could not be held if the other requirements were to stay the same (armour and turret size). The limit was raised to 50 tons and the tank's maximal size for railway bridges and tunnels was also scrapped. The hull was designed larger, welded and with sloped armour. The turret was made of thick cast armour, with the sides sloped and overall wider than previous tanks to fit the 17-pdr gun and 3 crew members. Inside the hull was installed a Rolls-Royce turbojet, the engine found on the Gloster Meteor. The suspension was changed to a Horstmann suspension to reduce its size and encroachment while allowing for modular maintenance in the field. Prototypes for evaluation arrived in Belgium less than a month after the end of WW2 in Europe and manufacturing began later in 1945. The new A41 tank was subsequently designated the Centurion. During its test phase, it demonstrated better performance than the Comet in all areas and was adopted by the British Army.

Combat usage

The Centurion Mk 1 never saw combat and was quickly upgraded to Mk 2 and 3 with the introduction of the 20-pdr gun. The first Centurions to see combat were British and Canadian Centurions Mk 3 in Korea in the 1950s where the tank gained its laurels and became a major export success.

Media

Skins
Videos

See also

Vehicles equipped with the same gun and ammunition

External links


Britain medium tanks
Valentine  Valentine I · Valentine IX · Valentine XI
Cromwell (A27)  Cromwell I · Cromwell V · Cromwell V (RP-3)
Cromwell Derivatives  Challenger · Avenger · Comet I · Comet I "Iron Duke IV" · Charioteer Mk VII
Centurion  Centurion Mk 1 · Centurion Mk 3 · Centurion Mk.5 AVRE · Centurion Mk 10 · Centurion Action X · FV4202
Vickers MBT  Vickers Mk.1 · Vickers Mk.3 · Vickers Mk.7
Chieftain  Chieftain Mk 3 · Chieftain Mk 5 · Chieftain Mk 10
Challenger  Challenger Mk.2 · Challenger Mk.3 · Challenger 2 · Challenger 2 (2F)
Australia  A.C.IV · Centurion Mk.5/1
Israel  Sho't Kal Dalet
South Africa  Olifant Mk.1A · Olifant Mk.2 · TTD
Sweden  ▄Strv 81 (RB 52)
USA  Grant I · Sherman II · Sherman Firefly · Sherman IC "Trzyniec"