Centurion Mk 1

From War Thunder Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Centurion Mk 1
General characteristics
4 peopleCrew
119 %Visibility
front / side / backArmour
76 / 20 / 29Hull
127 / 76 / 76Turret
46.9 tWeight
1212 hp635 hpEngine power
25.8 hp/t13.5 hp/tPower-to-weight ratio
42 km/h forward
14 km/h back
38 km/h forward
13 km/h back
76 mm QF 17-pounder cannonMain weapon
75 roundsAmmunition
5 roundsFirst-order
5.9 / 7.6 sReload
-12° / 20°Vertical guidance
7.92 mm BESA machine gunCoaxial weapon
3375 roundsAmmunition
8 / 10.4 sReload
225 roundsBelt capacity
600 shots/minFire rate
63000 Rp icon.pngResearch
210000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png4800 / 6494/4400 / 5953/4400 / 5953Repair
61000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
210000 Sl icon.pngExperts
800 Ge icon.pngAces
172 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
180 % Sl icon.png150 % Sl icon.png140 % Sl icon.png
This page is about the British medium tank Centurion Mk 1. For other versions, see Centurion (Family).


GarageImage Centurion Mk 1.jpg

The Centurion Mk 1 is a rank IV British medium tank with a battle rating of 5.7 (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equipped with the well-known British QF 17-pounder mounted on a new hull that definitively makes the Cromwell chassis outdated.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

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.

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour (Hull, Turret sides, Turret roof)
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Turret front, Gun mantlet, Cupola)
Tank Armour Table
Armour Front 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
Armour Sides Roof
Cupola 90 mm 19 mm


  • 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 17mm thickness separates the forward ammo rack from the driver as seen in X-ray mode.
  • Another internal 17mm structural plate with large openings separates the driving compartment from the fighting compartment.


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.


Main armament

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. 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


Penetration statistics
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 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
Mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
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
Mass (kg)
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

Ammo racks

Last updated:

rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
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

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.

Machine guns

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


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.


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:

Fighting at 5.7 BR tank battles, the Centurion faces many iconic German big cats like the Tiger I and Panther. The Centurion is capable of going head to head with the big cats. The APDS rounds will slice through the Tiger at most angles, 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.


Tier Mobility Protection Firepower
I Tracks Parts Shot Mk.4 Horizontal Drive
II Suspension Brake System FPE Shot Mk.8 Adjustment of Fire
III Filters Crew Replenishment Shot SV Mk.1 Elevation Mechanism Smoke grenade
IV Transmission Engine Artillery Support 17pdr Shell SS Mk.1

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
  • 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
  • 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



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.

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.



See also

Vehicles equipped with the same chassis

External links

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