The Centurion Tank in Canadian Service
by Don Dingwall.
Canada’s Weapons of War Series, WOW009
A5 size softback, 24 pages
Review by Peter Brown
“Centurions were widely used and while those in Canadian use did not see active service they served for many years in Canada itself and with Canadian units stationed in Germany. They were bought in the early 1950s after the tank’s good performance in Korea and against a general policy of buying American equipment. Officially replaced in the late 1970s, they were regularly upgraded along the same lines as British tanks from Mark 3 to Mark 11 with 105mm gun and infrared equipment with some variations including American radios, not all vehicles were upgraded with priority being given to those in Germany over home-based vehicles.
These changes are all followed in the text, alongside accounts of using the tanks which show their better points and some which were not so good. As well as the gun tanks, the specialised Armoured Recovery and Bridgelaying versions are also covered.
Almost as interesting is the story of their final disposal, including use as gate guardians and museum exhibits, hard targets on the ranges and even recycling the turrets as fixed pillboxes in Austria. This includes details of where several of these tanks can be found today.
Text is complemented by a good selection of black and white photos showing tanks from the earliest days to the end of their service, these show a variety of colour schemes which are followed in the text along with brief details of markings which are just what the modeller needs. Also welcome is the centrespread plan of a “typical” tank in 1/35 scale.
Some of this material may appear to be duplicated in the Quartermasters Canadian Centurion Gun Tanks book but the two go well together so do not be put off one if you have the other. Certainly if you want a good account of Canadian use and modifications this is a very useful source on its own, while modellers could do worse than have both books to hand before they start a project.
Thanks to Clive Law at Service Publications for the review book”