The British invented a tank as a combat device, but until the end of the Second World War they did not create a better higher-quality design of this armored vehicle. Their tanks Matilda, Crusader, Valentine, Churchill and Cromwell could be called relatively solid, but nothing more than that. Against the German Tigers and Panther, the British tanks were powerless, and the only one who could confront them at greater distances was the American Sherman Firefly.
The British were looking for a tank that would be well-armored, with a cannon of great breakthrough power and agile. The first tank that was introduced, called Centurion tank, was produced in 1945, after the end of the war in Europe and was armed with the same gun as the Sherman Firefly – Ordnance QF 17-pounder caliber 76 mm. This top was soon replaced by the new Ordnance QF 20-pounder gun of 84 mm, and with this cannon, Centurion tank was massively introduced into the British Army’s armament.Centurion was the first British tank that could accurately shoot on the move thanks to the built-in gyroscope, and was more secure due to the decision not to store the shells above the dome ring.
Tank Centurion in the standard British version weighs 52 tons. The armored protection is up to 152 mm thick, and the weapon is made up of a top L7 caliber of 105 mm. The operating range is 80 to 190 km (depending on the variant). The crew consists of 4 men – commander, gunner, charger and driver.
The Centurion outperformed its contemporaries, the American M-48 Patton and Soviet T-54 and T-55. Although it was a British tank, it was used by nineteen nations, such as Australia, Canada, Denmark, Jordan, Sweden and Switzerland.