Tank Craft #14 Centurion Tank

Author/Artists: Robert Jackson


Pen & Sword


$25.95 from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 64 pages, softcover, 150 illustrations
ISBN: 978-1-526741349

#14 in what seems to be a very popular seris is this 2017 book on the Centurion tank. This tank was just a tad late for WWII, but followed the Cromwell and Comet tanks in terms of design. Unlike the majority of British designed tanks of WWII, this one finally got everything right and as such was not only successful overseas, but was kept around for a goodly amount of time.

It wasn't soon after development that the British Army realized that they'd have to be ready for another conflict, this time against the Soviets. While the Centurion could probably hold its own and was better in many ways to the T-34/85 that was the major tank in the Soviet inventory, it would also have to deal with the IS-2/3 heavy tank. With that in mind, it was upgunned fairly soon in production. Eventually the Centurion would be produced in a variety of marks as systems and equipment were improved.

As with most post-war military equipment, the Centurion saw its fair share of conflict, mostly in what we now call the middle east with the Israeli Army having the lion's share of tanks, which they continually modified. It was also used in the various Indo-Pakistani conflicts and saw use during the Korean War, where it was found to be very difficult to keep up and running in the severe cold of Korean winters. 

This particular edition covers the history of the tank, then provides a short detail section before going into its use in foreign service. There is a very nicely done camouflage and markings section as well as several showcase builds using the currently available 1/35 kits, mostly AFV Club. This is followed by a section on available kits in all scales as well as various accessories. We then have a section on engineering vehicles based on the Centurion chassis with the final section being on its use in various conflicts.

There sorts of books where you have a mixture of history, camouflage and models are becoming more and more the norm. This one is well done, though I found that plunking the color portions of the book in the middle breaks the flow of reading. I am sure that was done to cut down on production costs and once you get used to it, it works out well.

February 2019

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