Centurion Mk 1
|This page is about the British medium tank Centurion Mk 1. For other versions, see Centurion (Family).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
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equipped with the well-known British QF 17-pounder mounted on a new hull that definitively makes the Cromwell chassis outdated.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.
Survivability and armour
- 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
|Cupola||90 mm|| 25 mm Outer ring |
19 mm Centre
- 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 tank 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 if aimed poorly. 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.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
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
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, APC 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)|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Shot SV Mk.1||APDS||228||226||207||189||159||134|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|Shot SV Mk.1||APDS||1,203||1.73||N/A||N/A||N/A||75°||78°||80°|
|Smoke shell characteristics|
| Screen radius
| Screen deploy time
| Screen hold time
| Explosive Mass|
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|17pdr Shell SS Mk.1||229||8.44||13||5||20||50|
|75||74 (+1)||73 (+2)||68 (+7)||38 (+37)||30 (+45)||22 (+53)||14 (+61)||6 (+69)||1 (+74)||No|
- 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.
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|
Usage in battles
The Centurion Mk 1 is widely considered as the first Main Battle Tank (MBT), and plays in the role of a medium/heavy. The armour is more than 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.
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.
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 or at range when using APDS. 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 doesn't handle angled armour very well most of the time.
Pros and cons
- 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 and some HE shells
- 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
- 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
- Some-what 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 armour is flat
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.
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.
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.
- Vehicles equipped with the same gun and ammunition
- [Devblog] Centurion Mk I: A Tank for a New Era
- [Wikipedia] Centurion
- [Tanks Encyclopedia] FV4007 Centurion
|Department of Tank Design|
|Sherman Firefly||Sherman Firefly · Sherman IC "Trzyniec"|
|Centurion||Centurion Mk 1 · Centurion Mk 3 · Centurion Action X · Centurion Mk.5 AVRE · Centurion Mk 10|
|Challenger*||Challenger Mk.2 · Challenger Mk.3 · Challenger DS|
|Achilles||Achilles · Achilles (65 Rg.)|
|Centurion-based||Conway · FV4005|
|Sherman Firefly||M4 Tipo IC · ▄Sherman Vc|
|Centurion||Centurion Mk.5/1 · Strv 81 · Strv 81 (RB 52) · ▄Strv 81 (RB 52) · Strv 101 · Strv 104** · Strv 105** · Sho't|
|See also||US Ordnance Department · Israeli Ordnance Corps · Vickers-Armstrongs Limited|
|*By successor, the Military Vehicles and Engineering Establishment|
|**Swedish modernizations incorporating innovations from the Israeli Sho't Kals.|
|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 DS · Challenger 2 · Challenger 2 (2F) · Challenger 2 TES · Black Night|
|Australia||A.C.I · 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"|