Centurion - TankCraft series number 14

Centurion - TankCraft series number 14

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4 Mushroom Heads
Robert Jackson is a full-time writer and lecturer, mainly on aerospace and defense issues, and was the defense correspondent for North of England Newspapers. He is the author of more than 60 books on aviation and military subjects, including operational histories on famous aircraft such as the Mustang, Spitfire and Canberra. A former pilot and navigation instructor, he was a squadron leader in the RAF Volunteer Reserve.

The fifty ton British Centurion Tank was developed during the last year's of WW2, and was designed to counter the threat and out-perform such as the Panther. It was one of the most successful tanks ever produced, and this volume of the Tank craft Series by Robert Jackson is an ideal introduction to it.

The Centurion entered service too late to test it against German armour, but in the post-war world, it earned a fearsome reputation in action during the many conflicts and wars of the Cold War era, from the Middle East to Vietnam. Almost 4500 were built, serving with 20 countries around the world. The chassis of the Centurion was also adapted to fulfil a variety of tasks, including Bridge Laying, Armoured Recovery and Guided Weapons Carrier.

As well as following the history of the Centurion, Jackson's book is an excellent source of reference for the modeller, providing details of available model kits and photographs of models, many built by expert and award-winning modellers; There are many excellent paintings showing the colour schemes of the different tanks around the world.

As is normal with Tank craft Series books, they are 64 pages of information packed with photos in black and white and in colour as well as paintings as described above. The books are divided into 9 sections, starting with an introduction and then moving on to Development & Design, Centurion in Detail, Centurion in Foreign Service, Camouflage and Markings, The Model Showcase, Modelling Products, a small section covering the Centurion AVRE and finally, a section entitled In Service and in Action, containing some excellent photos from Korea, Egypt, Israel and Vietnam as well as service in BAOR and UKLF.

Jackson writes with the knowledge of one who has researched his topic well and has also served his country. His book contains some excellent photos and is put together in the same style as many other Tank craft books. Although no tank expert myself, I enjoyed reading this book and found it gave an interest in insight into the development of what became the Tank for it's time.

Highly recommended 4/5

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