Review by Peter Brown
With so much to cover in the design and developments of the basic British gun tanks, recovery, bridging and engineer versions as well as Israeli and South African versions as well as describing the various actions where it has been used, a lot of material has had to be fitted into the standard New Vanguard format. Some areas such as the proposed but never adopted heavy tank destroyers have been left out, and there may well be some who would have preferred other parts of the story to be covered in more detail. But this is a good account of a long-serving tank and it makes a good addition to anyone's bookshelves.
At first sight it might look like a revised version of the original Vanguard series 22 "The Centurion Tank In Battle" also by Simon Dunstan but the text is new as it covers the vehicle's development and not just its use, photos are different and although several of the colour plates show the same subjects as in the 1981 book there is only one plate which is the same plus another which is very similar. The crew uniform plate is not included and neither are the Israeli subjects though we do get a cutaway of a typical vehicle as well as several British subjects from an early Mk 1 though Korean and Cold War vehicles to a 1991 Gulf War AVRE, Australian gun tank and Armoured Recovery vehicles in Vietnam and an Indian Army vehicle from 1965. Even those with the older book will find a lot new here, those who do not have it will find this a good account of the Centurion in its many and varied forms
Page created August 2, 2003