Armored Hero of Post-War Tank Battles
64 pages. 8 pages of color profiles. 24 pages of model showcase and kit listing.
This is volume 14 in the TankCraft series. Each book profiles an armored vehicle, and includes a center section with color photos of 1:35 built-up scale models.
A 4½-page Introduction provides a history of British tank development leading up to the Centurion:
…a magnificent fighting vehicle that finally proved that Britain's tank developers were capable of getting things right after years of producing tanks that were at best adequate and at worse disastrous…
– p. 1
The Development and Design chapter (2½ pages) summarizes the design considerations, the prototype, and the trials.
…For once, the British Army would have a superb fighting vehicle to meet whatever threat might face it on land. The Centurion, designed as a cruiser tank, was now the progenitor of a new class of British armoured fighting vehicle: the main battle tank.
– p. 7
The Centurion in Detail chapter (6 pages) describes the various compartments, armor, weaponry, and lists all variants. Includes side and top schematic of an Israeli Centurion Mk V 105mm Sho't.
The Centurion in Foreign Service chapter (5 pages) provides information on all countries which have fielded this tank: Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, India, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, and Switzerland.
The Centurion Armoured Engineer Vehicles chapter (2 pages) discussed armored recovery vehicles, the Beach Armored Recovery Vehicle (BARV), the bridgelayer (ARK), the engineering vehicle (AVRE), and the dozer version.
The In Service and In Action chapter (12 pages) summarizes the service and battlefield employment of the Centurion: in NATO, the Korean War, Suez 1956 (arrived after fighting was over), Arab-Israeli Wars, Jordanian suppression of the PLO (1970), Indo-Pakistan Wars, Vietnam, and South Africa.
The center section is something like a book within a book, and is in color.
Eight pages of color profiles provide 15 side views and one turret side view covering the Korean War, NATO, Israel, Suez, India, Jordan, Australia (Vietnam), Sweden, Aden, and South Africa (Angola).
Next comes 18 pages of built-up 1:35 scale models. The models showcased depict a Mk. V/1 in Vietnam, Mk. VI in West Germany (1964), ARV Mk. II in Vietnam, Dozer Mk. V/1 (Vietnam), and Mk. III in Korea (1951). Each model gets a paragraph describing the project, followed by detailed photos.
The final six pages of the center section list the kits which are available in 1:25, 1:35, 1:48, 1:72 and 1:144 scales, with box, parts, and assembled (unpainted) photos.
Note: This book is listed as first published in 2017, copyright 2018, and this edition was published 4 January 2019.
Gamers will find this book a useful reference, painting guide, and inspiration for scenarios. However, specific historical scenarios would require further research.
Reviewed by Editor in Chief Bill .