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FV 221 Caernarvon
General characteristics
4 peopleCrew
139 %Visibility
front / side / backArmour
127 / 50 / 50Hull
152 / 89 / 89Turret
61 tWeight
1545 hp810 hpEngine power
25.3 hp/t13.3 hp/tPower-to-weight ratio
37 km/h forward
13 km/h back
34 km/h forward
12 km/h back
84 mm 20pdr OQF Mk.I cannonMain weapon
65 roundsAmmunition
11 roundsFirst-order
6.3 / 8.1 sReload
-10° / 20°Vertical guidance
7.92 mm BESA machine gunCoaxial weapon
3600 roundsAmmunition
8 / 10.4 sReload
225 roundsBelt capacity
600 shots/minFire rate
78000 Rp icon.pngResearch
230000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png7600 / 9864/15000 / 19469/6600 / 8566Repair
65000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
230000 Sl icon.pngExperts
990 Ge icon.pngAces
184 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
180 % Sl icon.png150 % Sl icon.png140 % Sl icon.png


GarageImage Caernarvon.jpg

The FV 221 Caernarvon is a rank IV British heavy tank with a battle rating of 7.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced along with the initial British tree line in Update 1.55 "Royal Armour". Featuring heavy armour on the hull with a Centurion Mk 3 turret, the Caernarvon provides adequate armour, mobility with the bite of a 20-pounder. The variant featured in the game is the Mark II, the experimental series with the 20-pounder whereas the Mark I was the initial prototype with a 17-pounder instead.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour (Hull, Turret roof)
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Turret)
  • Structural steel (Side skirts)
Tank Armour Table
Armour Front Sides Rear Roof
Hull 127 mm (60°) Front glacis
76.2 mm (44°) Lower glacis
50.8 + 4 mm 50.8 mm (1°) 50.8 mm Front
18 + 8 mm Rear
Turret 152 mm (5-25°) Turret front
152 + 20 mm (5-52°) Gun mantlet
89 mm (5-26°) 89 mm (0-20°) 50.8 mm Turret boundary
29 mm Center of turret
Armour Front Rear Roof
Cupola 152 mm 90 mm 29 mm


  • Suspension wheels and bogies are 20 mm thick while tracks are 30 mm thick.
  • Steel boxes scattered on the hull and turret sides add 4 mm of armour at their placement.


Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 37 13 61 1046 1545 17.15 25.33
Realistic 34 12 716 810 11.74 13.28


Main armament

84 mm 20pdr OQF Mk.I Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 65 -10°/+20° ±180° Two-plane 16.18 22.40 27.20 30.08 32.00 8.19 7.25 6.68 6.30
Realistic 11.90 14.00 17.00 18.80 20.00
Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration in mm @ 90°
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m
Shot Mk.1 APCBC 232 229 216 201 187 173
Shell Mk.1 HE 9 9 9 9 9 9
Shot Mk.3 APDS 285 283 262 239 218 198
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
in m/s
Mass in kg
Fuse delay

in m:

Fuse sensitivity

in mm:

Explosive Mass in g
(TNT equivalent):
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
0% 50% 100%
Shot Mk.1 APCBC 1000 9.1 N/A N/A N/A +4° 48° 63° 71°
Shell Mk.1 HE 600 7.5 0.4 0.5 1130 +0° 79° 80° 81°
Shot Mk.3 APDS 1400 3.2 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 75° 78° 80°
Smoke characteristic
Ammunition Velocity
in m/s
Mass in kg
Screen radius
in m
Screen time
in s
Screen hold time
in s:
Explosive Mass in g
(TNT equivalent):
20pdr Shell SS Mk.1 250 9.3 13 5 20 50
Ammo racks
Ammo rack of the Caernarvon (May be outdated)
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
65 61 (+4) 57 (+8) 33 (+32) 22 (+43) 11 (+54) (+64) Yes

Front and Turret empty: 33 (+32)

Machine guns

Main article: BESA (7.92 mm)
7.92 mm BESA
Coaxial mount
Capacity (Belt capacity) Fire rate
3,600 (225) 600 N/A N/A

Usage in battles

  • If you know the weak spots on most vehicles, try taking the solid shot, it usually does more damage inside enemy tanks.
  • When using the APDS shot, you can penetrate the Panthers' UFP, and Ferdinand's and Ho-Ri's frontal armour.
  • Bait your opponents into making a move at you, and then use your stabilizer to drive out and take a shot at them much faster than they can.
  • If many of your teammates are dead, and you are likely to get surrounded - reverse closer to your spawn because your reload is not fast enough (6.4s with Aced crew).
  • Don't rely on armour.

Arcade Battles

In Arcade Battles, it is recommended to take mostly APDS shells, because the gameplay is much more reactive and it's more important to penetrate an enemy vehicle wherever you hit - because you don't have time to aim, or the enemies are very fast-moving due to increased horsepower.

In terms of game strategies, the Caernarvon is very versatile (almost MBT-like). You can get into sniping positions and rain shells on all enemies that enter your line of sight (or target the more armoured vehicles such as the Ferdinand and the Ho-Ri Production, which are impenetrable to many tanks around 6.7); you can also serve as a breakthrough tank, not because of armour, but because of speed and the stabilizer which allows you to shoot on the move at enemies that dare block your path; or, you can flank, although that role is often taken by much faster vehicles such as Ru 251, BMP-1 and R3.

To succeed in Arcade, you must learn to use your advantages, most notably the stabilizer and the APDS round. For example, whenever you are in a stand-off with a non-stabilized tank - get into cover, and when they try to drive out to hold your angle, you can also drive out and shoot them, because your gun will be ready to fire faster than theirs, even though they started driving out of cover before you.

Realistic Battles

In Realistic Battles, most players prefer to take out the solid shot, because it has the potential to damage many more components while maintaining decent penetration values. However, you should take your time to aim this shot, because it will not penetrate some tougher enemies (e.g. Ferdinand, Ho-Ri Production, or IS-3/IS-4), or take some APDS rounds with you.

When playing the Caernarvon in Realistic Battles, try to play a supportive role. You don't know where the enemies are, and your armour will not save you from an ambush, so rely on your teammates to lead the way. Here, the sniping strategy is much more viable, because your round velocities are very high, making aiming over 1km much easier, moreover 10 degrees of depression allow you to play in hilly areas and take pot shots at unsuspecting enemies (especially the Russian tanks, who lack gun depression). You can still push forward with your team because your stabilizer still allows you to take much more accurate reactive shots (or when on the move).

To succeed in Realistic, you must use cover and let your teammates take the shots. Usually, you will be able to return fire to avenge a teammate, and most of the time you get the kill, due to easy gun handling.


Tier Mobility Protection Firepower
I Tracks Parts Horizontal Drive
II Suspension Brake System FPE Adjustment of Fire Shot Mk.3
III Filters Crew Replenishment Elevation Mechanism Smoke grenade
IV Transmission Engine 20pdr Shell SS Mk.1

Pros and cons


  • Same armament as the Centurion Mk 3, has a very good stock round and access to APDS
  • Very fast reload for a large calibre
  • Fast turret and hull traverse
  • Good acceleration
  • The Caernarvon plays like a beefed up Centurion Mk 3
  • Brake system is very responsive
  • Access to gun stabilizer
  • Wider tracks enables the Caernarvon to navigate through bad terrain much better than the Centurion Mk 3


  • Lower glacis is still a weak spot
  • Large ammo rack behind LFP (Can be removed by bringing less than 34 shells)
  • APDS shot does punctual damage
  • No explosive filler in any shells
  • Weak side armour, should not be exposed in any way when engaging an enemy
  • Top armour covering the engine is still only 8mm



In 1944, General Staff started a project called A45 Infantry Support Tank, which started around the same time as the development of the A41 Centurion cruiser tank. This project, after the war, was redesignated from a typical "Infantry Tank" and instead focused on a new role of a "Universal Tank" design in the form of the FV 200 series. The "Universal Tank" concept was to design a vehicle that would have a mobility comparable to that of cruiser tanks, but with the armour and firepower of heavy tanks. The FV 200 series designation was adopted and was to serve as a line of vehicles that used the same hull and chassis in different roles like armour recovery vehicles and self-propelled guns. The first tank of this series was to be the FV 201, which would be 55 tons and had the 20-pounder gun.

In 1949, a new requirement for the project called for the use of a 120 mm gun, possibly in response to the reveal of the Soviet IS-3 heavy tank in the Berlin Victory Parade in 1945. This new requirement would delay the initial deadlines for the tank as no gun of that caliber had been developed yet. As a interim development before such a gun could be made, the FV 201 hull was mounted with a turret from a Centurion Mk.2, which had a 17-pounder gun. This Centurion turret mated FV 201 tank was designated the FV 221 Caernavon, with a Mark I for the 17-pounder. The later combination of the Centurion Mk 3 turret instead of the Mk.2 upped the armament of the tank to the more powerful 20-pounder gun, this version named the Mark II. About 21 units of the Caernarvon Mark II was made in this method.


The Caernarvon, powerful as it was at the time period, was intended to fulfill the role of the new "Main Battle Tank" concept in the FV 200 series. However, the success of the lighter Centurion cruiser tank made it apparent that the Centurion was more capable in that role than the heavier and less mobile Caernarvon. Thus, this role was not given to the Caernarvon and its design was used instead for further chassis development for future tank development. In 1955, the basis of the Caernarvon was built into the first Conqueror tank. Several Caernarvon Mk.II's were rebuilt into Conqueror Mk. 2 standards in between 1958 and 1959.



Read also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example,

  • reference to the series of the vehicles;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.



Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • other literature.

Britain heavy tanks
Infantry tanks  Independent · Matilda III · Excelsior · Churchill I · Churchill III · Churchill VII · Black Prince
Post-war  Caernarvon · Conqueror