TankCraft 14, Centurion...


...Armoured Hero of Post-War Tank Battles, from Pen and Sword



Title: TankCraft 14, Centurion

Author: Robert Jackson

Publisher: Pen and Sword Books

ISBN: 978-1-52674-134-9


Book No 14 in the TankCraft series from Pen and Sword, and another in this series by author Robert Jackson. It is a series quite clearly aimed at the modeller as well as providing some basic background for the armour historian.  It follows the now established pattern for the series.

Starting with an Introduction that helps explain how after WW2 tank design turned to the idea of the 'Main Battle Tank' (MBT) rather than using Medium or Cruiser tanks along with separate Heavy tanks. This leads nicely into the Development & Design story of the Centurion and this includes detailing the many variants and the differences between each one.  Then the story moves on to one of the great success stories f the Centurion, where export success led to its' use by a good number of foreign customers.  This part breaks at P,16 to continue on P.49.

The break allows for the inclusion of 8 pages of colour profile artwork, and which will give some good ideas for modellers to try. It leads into 18 pages of Model Showcase, where we see some finely finished 1/35 models by a number of different modellers, with various Centurion marks in service with Australian and British Armies, including one dozer tank and an ARV Mk II. That in turn is followed by another 6 pages listing a number of model products featuring Centurion variants in 1/35, 1/48, 1/72 and 1/76 scales, covering plastic and resin models. Then it returns to the topic of Foreign operators before we get a couple of pages on Armoured Engineer Vehicles.  The final element of the book looks at the Centurion In Service & In Action. It is a tank that has had a long service life, from the end of WW2 through Korea, the wars in the Middle East, in Vietnam, the Indo-Pakistan War and in South Africa. It is well illustrated throughout with archive photos, though unfortunate that there are two or three where incorrect vehicle identification does let the expertise down a little, but I don't think that should take away from the overall value of the whole.

A useful guide to the Centurion tank for modellers.

Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.