Centurion Mk.3 ‘T351770 / 03 ZR 71’ “Arromanches / Lily”

  • Description

    Official designation:- FV4007 Tank Medium Centurion Mark 3 Built 1948. British serial:- T351770. British registration:- '03 ZR 71'. In the markings of 3 Troop, C Squadron, 1st Royal Tank Regiment, part of the Commonwealth Division during the Korean War. Although the markings are accurate for the period, this tank was actually the prototype Centurion Crocodile flame throwing tank, a type which never entered production. On display in the Tank Story Hall at The Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset, UK. 26th July 2016 The following info is from the excellent Tank Museum website:- “The Centurion tank had been built to take a 76.2mm gun, the famous seventeen pounder, but the design allowed for improvements. By 1947 the Royal Ordnance Factory had designed a new 83.4mm weapon, known as the twenty pounder, with a much better performance and this was adopted for a new model Centurion, the Mark 3, which also featured an improved version of the Rolls-Royce Meteor engine. Production began at the Royal Ordnance Factory at Barnbow, near Leeds and the Vickers-Armstrong plant at Newcastle-upon-Tyne. At the peak of Britain’s post war rearmament programme (1951/52 to 1954/55) Centurions were bring built at the rate of 10 per week. A total of 2,833 Centurions Mark 3 was manufactured by 1956. It was the largest production run of any Mark of Centurion tank although many were later rebuilt into other Marks. The Mark 3 was derived from the similar Centurion Mark 2. The most important change was the fitting of the new and very powerful 20pdr (calibre 83.4mm) tank gun and an improved electric stabilisation system to the gun that allowed targets to be accurately engaged while the tank was moving. The 20pdr gun fired a variety of types of ammunition including Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (APDS) rounds at 1,477 metres/second, Armour Piercing Ballistic Capped (APCBC) rounds at 1,006 metres/second and High Explosive (HE) rounds. The gun was aimed by a periscopic sight and was electrically stabilised in elevation and traverse. All the main gun ammunition was stored below the level of the turret ring, reducing the risk of ammunition fires in the event of a hit on the turret. The turret traverse was electrically powered, eliminating hydraulic oil from the turret and removing another major fire risk. (In contrast the American M48 tank suffered frequent hydraulic fluid fires when the turret was penetrated). The Centurion Mark 3 first saw action in Korea with the 8th Battalion of the King’s Royal Irish Hussars in 1950. It quickly established an excellent reputation for hill climbing, reaching the places that other tanks couldn’t in Korea’s mountainous terrain. The 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards relieved the 8th Hussars in December 1951. The 1st Royal Tank Regiment, in turn, relieved the Dragoons in December 1952. This particular Centurion Mark 3 is displayed in the markings of a tank of 3 Troop, C Squadron, 1st Royal Tank Regiment, part of the Commonwealth Division, during the Korean War. Commanded by Sergeant A Wallace, Military Medal, it participated in a fiercely contested action defending a location called ‘The Hook’ against Chinese forces in Korea in May 1953. Sergeant Wallace was awarded his Military Medal for his bravery during this action. The main drawback of the Centurion 3 was a very short range due to its’ small internal fuel tanks. Attempts were made to remedy the problem, by fitting pairs of standard 40 gallon petrol drums and then, later, purpose made 180 gallon tanks, on the rear of the hull. As these tanks were not armoured they were vulnerable to damage from small arms fire and shell fragments and posed a fire risk. In 1950, when the Korean War broke out, one regiment of Centurion tanks was sent out to South Korea. At first there was concern lest one should fall into enemy hands but in due course the tanks proved very successful in the hands of 1st and 5th Royal Tank Regiments, 5th Inniskilling Dragoon Guards and VIIIth King's Royal Irish Hussars. Our exhibit, while painted as a Korean War tank, was in fact the prototype Centurion Crocodile flame throwing tank; a type that never entered production. It may originally have been a Mark 2.”
  • Owner

    Hawkeye UK
  • Source

    Flickr (Flickr)
  • License

    What does this mean? Attribution-ShareAlike License
  • Further information

    Link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/65001151@N03/36525835786/
    Resource type: Image
    Added by: Peter Smith
    Last modified: 1 year, 11 months ago
    Viewed: 386 times
    Picture Taken: 2016-07-26T11:36:18
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