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Book Review
Centurion in Detail (part 2)
Centurion Mk.12, ARV, AVRE-165, Bridge Layer, IDF Shot Kal, Stridsvagn 104
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by: Mario Matijasic [ MAKI ]


_ORGINPUB:
Armorama

Introduction:

Though requested in 1943 and entering production in January of 1945, the British Centurion Main Battle Tank arrived too late to see combat actions in World War 2. Despite missing the global conflict, the new British tank went on to see its fair share of action in subsequent wars spanning the globe and became one of the most successful Cold War tank designs. In terms of combat, the Centurion became the most experienced tank in the Western inventory, being used in more wars than any other comparable frontline main battle tank system. The chassis also proved highly suitable for a myriad of other battlefield oriented deigns that extended the Centurion family line for decades to come – some seeing use as recently as 2006.

(adapted from militaryfactory.com)

Review:

As with all WWP titles, at first glance the Centurion in Detail (part2) book looks really good; it is printed on a high-quality paper, well structured, professionally presented and full of large full color photos. Here are the basic facts:

Title: Centurion in Detail (part 2)
Publisher: Wings & Wheels Publications (WWP)
Code: G036
Authors: J. W. de Boer, F. Kořán, J. Prigent
Format: softcover (22x24 cm)
Pages: 108
Color: full color
Language: English
ISBN: 978-80-87509-23-4
Retail Price: $39 (€28)

The first Centurion book from WWP (reviewed by Charles King here: link) showed the basic Centurion model variants, while this book covers several specific versions of the tank: the Mk12 (Mk 9 fitted with IR equipment and ranging gun), ARV (Armored Recovery Vehicle), AVRE-165 (Combat Engineer Version armed with 165mm L9A1 gun), Bridge Layer, IDF Shot Kal (Israeli modernized Centurion), and Stridsvagn 104 (Swedish Army Centurion). The book is organized in 11 chapters:

• History and Development (002-005)
• Centurion Mark 12 Walkaround (006-027)
• Centurion Mark 12 Interior (028-039)
• AVRE-165 (040-053)
• Centurion ARV (054-063)
• Centurion AVLB Bridge Tank (064-069)
• IDF Shot Kal (070-085)
• IDF MAR 290 (086-087)
• IDF Centurion BARV (088-089)
• Swedish Stridsvagn 104 (090-102)
• South African Olifant Mk 1 ARV (103-105)

The first chapter in this book is dedicated to Centurion history and development. This title continues from the Centurion in Detail (part 1) and shortly describes the later production vehicle variants as well as special vehicle versions built on the Centurion hull. After the introduction, the book turns into a real gem of Centurion photo reference starting with Centurion Mk. 12 chapters. The Centurion Mk. 12 walkaround spans over 22 pages, showing two ex-British army vehicles in extreme detail. This chapter covers the hull with front headlights, driver's hatch, exhaust, tow cables, engine hatches and suspension, turret with the mantlet details, large searchlight, thermal barrel jacket, turret sights and periscopes, commander's cupola, smoke grenade launchers, turret basket and various other details. The Centurion Mk. 12 interior chapter follows with 12 pages of driver's compatment details, loader's compartment, L7A1 gun breech, gunner's and commander's compartment, turret roof, turret rear side, commander's cupola and gun basket details. Absolutely every inch of the vehicle interior has been extensively covered in this chapter. The next 14 page long chapter deals with AVRE-165 variant, a vehicle from a private collection shown in War and Peace show 2002. This chapter describes the obstacle-breaching vehicle AVRE providing engineer support to offensive operations. The walkaround photos show blade details, hull details, turret with 165mm demolition gun and several images also show turret interior. The book now turns to Centurion ARV, with 10 pages showing the Armored Recovery Vehicle of British and Dutch Army, but also several photos of Israeli ARV from the Latrun Museum. The walkaround photos show the hull with the blade and the heavy-duty crane above it, details of the towing and winch pulleys and cables, a host of specialized stowage bins, roof hatches, etc. Next 6 pages are dedicated to Centurion AVLB Bridge Tank, showing the vehicle from Swiss Army Museum at Thun. The book now turns to displaying Centurions in other armies, with the following 16-pages long chapter dealing with the famous Israeli version called Shot Kal. The walkaround shows vehicles photographed in the Golan around military memorials as well as vehicles from Latrun in detail, with the accompanying text explaining the IDF differences to the original Centurions. The IDF section also includes 2 pages of MAR 290 prototype, ground to ground self-propelled rocket launcher, and 2 pages of Centurion BARV, Beach Armored Recovery Vehicle. The Stridsvagn 104 chapter comes next, with 13 pages dedicated to Swedish Centurion showing the walkaround of the vehicle which participated in Bovington Tank Museum's arena. he chapter shows hull and turret reactive armor as well as various other details. Again, the accompanying text explains the differences to the original British Centurions. The final 3 pages cover the Olifant Mk. 1 ARV, a very interesting engineering vehicle using British and IDF technology and parts, photographed at the Museum of Military History in Johannesburg.

Although I was never a big fan of the Centurion, this book impressed me immensely. It contains over 450 high-quality photos of different Centurion variants, showing the vehicles in great detail. Although primarily a photo book, I was overwhelmed with the interesting information given in the text explaining the origins of the specialized vehicles and differences of the other nation's Centurions to original British design.

Conclusion:

WWP books feel professional in absolutely every aspect, from the high-quality paper and clear presentation to the incredible amount of large full color photos. This title is no exception... it is a great photo reference covering various specialized and upgraded Centurion variants, and it also contains very interesting info on those vehicles.
SUMMARY
Highs: Printed on a high-quality paper, well structured, professionally presented and packed with large full color photos... a perfect addition to the library of all Centurion fans.
Lows: None.
Verdict: Highly recommended.
Percentage Rating
93%
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: G036
  Related Link: WWP website
  PUBLISHED: Nov 10, 2014
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 93.37%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 93.17%

Our Thanks to Wings & Wheels!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Mario Matijasic (Maki)
FROM: CROATIA HRVATSKA

You wonder how did this addiction start? I was a kid when my dad broght home a 1/72 Concord airplane; we built it together as well as couple of other airplanes after that. This phase was just pure fun: glue, paint, decals in no particular order... everything was finished in a day or two. Then I disc...

Copyright ©2019 text by Mario Matijasic [ MAKI ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Historicus Forma or Silver Star Enterprises. All rights reserved.



   

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