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Rnd 3 Grp B - Centurion (Britain) vs T-55 (Soviet Union/Russia)

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  • #31
    In initial requirements for Centurion high road speed was deemed not so important, because combat experience had shown that it offered little advantage.
    And as the Arab-Israeli Wars amply demonstrated, battlefield mobility was less a function of vehicle speed than of its protection. The well protected Centurions tended to be some of the most mobile weapon systems on the battlefield. Moreover, the low speed and operating radius did not prevent the IDF from implementing a very effective maneuver doctrine against Arab forces equipped with faster Soviet-made tanks.

    And while Centurion is often criticized for it's original petrol Meteor engine, it should be noted that Centurion was designed during the war, so fuel was determined by logistical requirements: the Royal Navy had the priority on diesel and RAF used high octane fuel, leaving the Army reliant on petrol.

    On the other hand, T-55 used a novel transverse engine mount.
    It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.

    Косово је Србија!
    Never go to war with a country whose national holiday celebrates a defeat in 1389.

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    • #32
      Again. How would the IDF have fared against its clone? I could imagine that low speed/range/op. radius would become an issue against an equally trained force that is able to wage mobile war...
      One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by nikolas93TS View Post
        In initial requirements for Centurion high road speed was deemed not so important, because combat experience had shown that it offered little advantage.
        And as the Arab-Israeli Wars amply demonstrated, battlefield mobility was less a function of vehicle speed than of its protection. The well protected Centurions tended to be some of the most mobile weapon systems on the battlefield. Moreover, the low speed and operating radius did not prevent the IDF from implementing a very effective maneuver doctrine against Arab forces equipped with faster Soviet-made tanks.

        And while Centurion is often criticized for it's original petrol Meteor engine, it should be noted that Centurion was designed during the war, so fuel was determined by logistical requirements: the Royal Navy had the priority on diesel and RAF used high octane fuel, leaving the Army reliant on petrol.

        On the other hand, T-55 used a novel transverse engine mount.
        Nothing wrong with the Meteor. It was essentially a Merlin with the turbochargers taken off, and very capable. The Centurions initial short range was due to insufficient fuel tank size.
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        • #34
          Issue with T-54/55 was that it could not combat M48 Patton and up-armored Centurions effectively until it got HEAT round. In the late 1950s, Soviets believed T-55 firing regular AP ammo could only defeat lower front hull of the M48, and even that only at 1200m. That was the reason for which 115mm armed T-62 was introduced into service.

          By 1961 Soviets had a reliable HEAT, and they have introduced it to service as soon as possible, so by 1964-65 it was in every tank ammo load.
          However others users lagged behind in supply, so Arab armies had only minuscule quantities in 1967 (in particular case, Egypt possessed only around 1000 rounds, of which Israelis captured some 100 compared to tons of AP rounds).

          On the other hand, 90mm gun also struggled to penetrate T-55 frontal armor. Optics between Centurion and T-55 were quite similar in quality, and only US got upper hand in that field due to rangefinders.

          Judging by Indian experience with T-55, I can conclude with confidence that results would have been the same if Arabs used Centurion, maybe even worse given the engine drawbacks.
          It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.

          Косово је Србија!
          Never go to war with a country whose national holiday celebrates a defeat in 1389.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
            Nothing wrong with the Meteor. It was essentially a Merlin with the turbochargers taken off, and very capable. The Centurions initial short range was due to insufficient fuel tank size.
            Merlin was not an exceptionally fuel efficient engine and it was more prone to fire.

            For that reason Dutch and then Israelis too opted to install a diesel power-plant.
            It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.

            Косово је Србија!
            Never go to war with a country whose national holiday celebrates a defeat in 1389.

            Armored Brigade

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            • #36
              The Centurion was / is a decent tank that saw service with a handful of users. It contributed little to the state of the art however.

              The T-55 is the iconic vehicle of the Cold War. It was used in virtually every significant conflict of that period around the world. Even today it remains in service with dozens of users, many vehicles having been significantly upgraded.

              So, while tank for tank the Centurion may be better, the T-55 buries it in numbers produced, used in combat, and number of users.
              It also has significance as it is the vehicle that the West was designing and building their own AFV and anti-tank systems to defeat. The same cannot be said of the Centurion to the Soviet Union.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                The Centurion was / is a decent tank that saw service with a handful of users. It contributed little to the state of the art however.

                The T-55 is the iconic vehicle of the Cold War. It was used in virtually every significant conflict of that period around the world. Even today it remains in service with dozens of users, many vehicles having been significantly upgraded.

                So, while tank for tank the Centurion may be better, the T-55 buries it in numbers produced, used in combat, and number of users.
                It also has significance as it is the vehicle that the West was designing and building their own AFV and anti-tank systems to defeat. The same cannot be said of the Centurion to the Soviet Union.
                I though the T55 was built to deaft tanks like the centurion?
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                • #38
                  Originally posted by andrewza View Post
                  I though the T55 was built to deaft tanks like the centurion?
                  The Centurion preceded the T55 into service by almost a decade. The T55 was built primarily to take on the M 47 / 48 series since at that time the only user of the Centurion was Britain and then only in relatively small numbers.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                    The Centurion preceded the T55 into service by almost a decade. The T55 was built primarily to take on the M 47 / 48 series since at that time the only user of the Centurion was Britain and then only in relatively small numbers.
                    Not true.

                    A prototype of the T-44 was completed in August 1944. The first Centurion prototype (17-pounder gun) was completed in April 1945. A modified T-44 was fitted with a larger turret mounting a 100mm gun to become the T-54 in April 1946, while Centurion was entering production during the same spring.
                    20-pounder armed version entered production in 1948, while definite T-54 mod. 1951 started wide distribution by 1952. Centurion follows closely and improved Mk 7 entered production in 1954, and the exports started. Production of an improved model of the T-54 begins in June 1958 as the T-55.

                    Both were born out of the similar wartime requirements and were required to provide sufficient armour protection against the German 88mm gun (In case of T-54/55 armour was made with requirement for immunity to 88mm/71 guns and equivalent at 1000m). Both were armed with guns being capable of defeating Panther and King Tiger.
                    Additionally, from 1959 onwards, the Centurion underwent an up-armouring and up-gunning programme whereby an extra 50mm of armour were added to the glacis plate to give greater immunity against the 100mm main armament of the T-55. This involved the substitution of the 20-pounder with the L7 105mm gun. T-55 followed by introduction of HEAT round.

                    Both British and Soviet in World War 2 ended coping German TzF articulated sights, and those were carried on both designs, so there was no difference in optics. Only US tanks were advantaged in this field, because they incorporated rangefinders, but they were also designed and produced later.

                    The Centurion featured full stabilization from its earliest models in 1947 whereas the T-54/55 series achieved it only in 1957. Conversely, Soviet tanks were fitted with IR night-fighting equipment several years before their NATO counterparts.

                    They were really a counterpart to each other.
                    Last edited by nikolas93TS; 22 Aug 14, 06:52.
                    It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.

                    Косово је Србија!
                    Never go to war with a country whose national holiday celebrates a defeat in 1389.

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                    • #40
                      The cent did have a ranging gun so that I a plus to its fire control.
                      you think you a real "bleep" solders you "bleep" plastic solders don't wory i will make you in to real "bleep" solders!! "bleep" plastic solders

                      CPO Mzinyati

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by andrewza View Post
                        The cent did have a ranging gun so that I a plus to its fire control.
                        British study concluded that when used with the APDS projectile the RMG and coincidence rangefinder do not offer much advantage one over the other but both show an increase of 20% to 30% in first round chance of hit compared with that given by visual range-finding. It is also shown that with the HESH projectile, the RMG provides considerable improvement in first round chance of hit over visual range-finding, and gives a general increase of hit chance of about 20% over a coincidence range-finder.

                        However I don't know how influential that was in combat. Some better trained users of T-55 showed they were perfectly capable of achieving long range gunnery.

                        IDF tank crews possibly fired more rounds of live ammunition than any other army at the time thanks to their rigorous gunnery training, which was implemented in the years immediately preceding the Six Day War. It was this that gave them the qualitative edge over their opponents.

                        On the other hand, for example Syrian training was done by routine and on the most simplistic level: tanks crews were required to stop to engage the enemy and then fire only two rounds before proceeding with the mission. Even the manual were not fully translated into Arabic. Live firing of tank ammunition was the exception rather than the rule and tactics were largely based on "follow the leader".Tactical flexibility was lacking at all levels.

                        I think that when comparing T-55, Centurion and M48, crew quality is important more than ever. There were slight merits or disadvantages in each designs, but in general they were remarkably similar in overall performance. Only similar analogue coming to my mind right now would be Leopard 2 against M1 Abrams.
                        It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.

                        Косово је Србија!
                        Never go to war with a country whose national holiday celebrates a defeat in 1389.

                        Armored Brigade

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                        • #42
                          Voted T-55 has most influential/significant, although I believe the Centurion is a better tank.

                          The T-54/55 was almost service on almost every continent in significant numbers. It remained a front line battle tank with Soviet Motor Rifle Division's independent tank battalions quite late in the 70's/early 80's...As one of my NCOs explain to me, once you used your last TOW against a T-72, that T-54 looks like a pretty darn threatening foe!

                          In the "reverse influential/significant" domain, the Centurions got upgunned to 105mm guns when the British found out that the 100 mm gun and armour protection on the T-54 was going to cause them problems during tank-on-tank engagements.

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                          • #43
                            Centurion. Numbers don't impress me.

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                            • #44
                              The Centurion is a great tank and the Israelis have done a good job keeping her in top form.

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