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Centurion v T-54 (Historical Discussion)


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Almighty Tubsta #41 Posted 20 January 2016 - 12:22 AM

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Matthew was stating the point that they were the equivalent rungs on the evolutionary ladder so to speak, which was conceded.

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Matthew J35U5 #42 Posted 20 January 2016 - 12:25 AM

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View PostAlmighty Tubsta, on 19 January 2016 - 07:19 PM, said:

 

I was wrong though, the Centurion was classified as a "medium gun tank" even though after upgrades it kind of fulfilled the MBT role. The Chieftain was the first British MBT.

I agree with this. The definition of a "main-battle-tank" seemed so nebulous that the only quality that seemed completely clear-cut was that a main-battle tank replaced all existing tank types in service for combat roles. And neither the Centurion nor the T-54/55 really did that, the British and Soviet armies both envisioned a use for heavy tanks, until they introduced the Chieftain and T-64 respectively, which were superior in all respects to their predecessors. (Both heavies and mediums)


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Party Poison91 #43 Posted 20 January 2016 - 12:29 AM

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View PostMatthew J35U5, on 20 January 2016 - 12:25 AM, said:

I agree with this. The definition of a "main-battle-tank" seemed so nebulous that the only quality that seemed completely clear-cut was that a main-battle tank replaced all existing tank types in service for combat roles. And neither the Centurion nor the T-54/55 really did that, the British and Soviet armies both envisioned a use for heavy tanks, until they introduced the Chieftain and T-64 respectively, which were superior in all respects to their predecessors. (Both heavies and mediums)

 

So which do you think was better between the T-64 and chieftain?
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Almighty Tubsta #44 Posted 20 January 2016 - 12:31 AM

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I suppose it's not too often you get to use 'nebulous' in a sentence. +1 for the vocabulary :)

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Pit Friend #45 Posted 20 January 2016 - 12:51 AM

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View PostMatthew J35U5, on 19 January 2016 - 07:25 PM, said:

I agree with this. The definition of a "main-battle-tank" seemed so nebulous that the only quality that seemed completely clear-cut was that a main-battle tank replaced all existing tank types in service for combat roles. And neither the Centurion nor the T-54/55 really did that, the British and Soviet armies both envisioned a use for heavy tanks, until they introduced the Chieftain and T-64 respectively, which were superior in all respects to their predecessors. (Both heavies and mediums)

 

The dividing line seems to be when the protection became similar and the guns became superior on Medium sized tanks to those on ones classed as Heavy ones. The British L7 and the NATO equivalents were more effective tank killers than the larger and older 120mms the M103 and Conqueror were. And the Soviet 125mm on the T-64 is more effective and less cumbersome than the big 122mm used on the T-10. These advances as well as things like ATGMs made big Heavy tanks obsolete and so what were called Mediums were redesignated MBTs. 


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Not that proud #46 Posted 20 January 2016 - 12:52 AM

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View PostMatthew J35U5, on 19 January 2016 - 07:00 PM, said:

 

Why was the T-80 called "T-80", the T-54 "T-54", and the T-34 "T-34"?

(The T-72 does seem to have started production in 1972 though)

Yeah, same with the T-10. 

I wasn't saying that the Soviets had adopted an Mbt framework in the T-54/55. I was actually arguing that the T-54/55 also wasn't a mbt because the Soviets also kept T-10's operational. I would say that both the T-64 and the Chieftain were the first main-battle-tanks for their respective countries. 

 

(Though I'm sure the British and the Soviets kept their old heavies in a warehouse somewhere, "just-in-case";)

 

But the issue isn't dependent on whether any particular nation had a heavy tank in operation regardless of whether it's the UK, USA, or USSR.  Having the T-10 doesn't mean that the T-62 or T-54/55 wasn't the first MBT. I think the point that several of us are making is that when the L7 Centurion came along, it was an MBT because it could fill all the roles tanks were previously designed to fill. When it was introduced, they stopped production and development of the Conqueror. The mere existence of the Conqueror, even in units, doesn't disprove the claim that the Centurion was an MBT. Nor does the existence of the T-10 or the M103 disprove the claim that the T-54 or M60 were MBTs. 



Matthew J35U5 #47 Posted 20 January 2016 - 12:55 AM

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View PostParty Poison91, on 19 January 2016 - 07:29 PM, said:

 

So which do you think was better between the T-64 and chieftain?

 

The T-64 seems better. It is (AFAIK) the first production tank to contain all of what we now consider to be ubiquitous features of main-battle tanks (composite armour, large-caliber smooth-bore guns, autoloaders, etc) (Though those features were present individually on tanks previously of course). The T-64 was also updated frequently into the 1980's when it was superceded by the T-80. The (presumably base model) T-64 also only weighed roughly 38 tons, compared to the Chieftain's 60 tons. It wouldn't surprise me if the Chieftain had better electronics, but otherwise the T-64 seems to be better. 

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Matthew J35U5 #48 Posted 20 January 2016 - 01:17 AM

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View PostPit Friend, on 19 January 2016 - 07:51 PM, said:

 

The dividing line seems to be when the protection became similar and the guns became superior on Medium sized tanks to those on ones classed as Heavy ones. The British L7 and the NATO equivalents were more effective tank killers than the larger and older 120mms the M103 and Conqueror were. And the Soviet 125mm on the T-64 is more effective and less cumbersome than the big 122mm used on the T-10. These advances as well as things like ATGMs made big Heavy tanks obsolete and so what were called Mediums were redesignated MBTs. 

There is some logic to that, making the T-62 and Centurion 7 the first main battle tanks. 

View PostNot that proud, on 19 January 2016 - 07:52 PM, said:

 

But the issue isn't dependent on whether any particular nation had a heavy tank in operation regardless of whether it's the UK, USA, or USSR.  Having the T-10 doesn't mean that the T-62 or T-54/55 wasn't the first MBT. I think the point that several of us are making is that when the L7 Centurion came along, it was an MBT because it could fill all the roles tanks were previously designed to fill. When it was introduced, they stopped production and development of the Conqueror. The mere existence of the Conqueror, even in units, doesn't disprove the claim that the Centurion was an MBT. Nor does the existence of the T-10 or the M103 disprove the claim that the T-54 or M60 were MBTs. 

However, I prefer the introduction of the Chieftain and T-64, as the Chieftain enters, and replaces both the Conqueror and the Centurion, and the T-64 replaces the T-10 in what had formally been heavy tank units.

 

The argument made in the first quotation is good, but if they had wished, heavy tanks could have been built with superior fire power and  protection to the medium tanks. In a way, you could argue that in the west heavy tanks did replace mediums, because all of the western MBT's were 60+ tons. (Exception for the Leopard I) In the Soviet Union, the opposite was true, as all of the Soviet main-battle tanks weighed less than the IS-2 did. (Well, the T-90 weighs about as much).

 

As long as we can all agree that the Panther was not a main-battle tank, I'm pretty happy overall. 

 

KeystoneCops, on 14 June 2015 - 12:51 PM, said:


Almighty Tubsta #49 Posted 20 January 2016 - 01:54 AM

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View PostMatthew J35U5, on 20 January 2016 - 12:55 AM, said:

 

The T-64 seems better. It is (AFAIK) the first production tank to contain all of what we now consider to be ubiquitous features of main-battle tanks (composite armour, large-caliber smooth-bore guns, autoloaders, etc) (Though those features were present individually on tanks previously of course). The T-64 was also updated frequently into the 1980's when it was superceded by the T-80. The (presumably base model) T-64 also only weighed roughly 38 tons, compared to the Chieftain's 60 tons. It wouldn't surprise me if the Chieftain had better electronics, but otherwise the T-64 seems to be better. 

Pretty solid argument. I do feel that the L11A7 was a better gun and we still use rifled barrels on our MBT's. Maybe that's just my sense of patriotism though.

 

That gun on the Armata though, looks fearsome!


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Pit Friend #50 Posted 20 January 2016 - 01:57 AM

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View PostMatthew J35U5, on 19 January 2016 - 08:17 PM, said:

There is some logic to that, making the T-62 and Centurion 7 the first main battle tanks. 

However, I prefer the introduction of the Chieftain and T-64, as the Chieftain enters, and replaces both the Conqueror and the Centurion, and the T-64 replaces the T-10 in what had formally been heavy tank units.

 

The argument made in the first quotation is good, but if they had wished, heavy tanks could have been built with superior fire power and  protection to the medium tanks. In a way, you could argue that in the west heavy tanks did replace mediums, because all of the western MBT's were 60+ tons. (Exception for the Leopard I) In the Soviet Union, the opposite was true, as all of the Soviet main-battle tanks weighed less than the IS-2 did. (Well, the T-90 weighs about as much).

 

As long as we can all agree that the Panther was not a main-battle tank, I'm pretty happy overall. 

 

 

Modern NATO MBTs would probably be what used to be classified as Heavy tanks. They are 60+ tons, have heavy armor, and large bore guns. What has made them possible is the advent of things like composite and/or reactive armor which seriously reduces the effectiveness of HEAT warheads and modern high performance diesel or turbine engines which give even these heavy tanks the same or better mobility as lighter vehicles. 

 

It it was pointless to keep uparmoring the old Heavy tanks until these developments. Their size made them bigger targets and all the extra armor still wouldn't defeat HEAT rounds but made them slow and harder to transport. Pretty much the mistake the Germans made in WWII, bigger tanks that don't have an appreciable advantage over smaller ones are pointless. 


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Not that proud #51 Posted 20 January 2016 - 02:03 AM

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View PostMatthew J35U5, on 19 January 2016 - 08:17 PM, said:

There is some logic to that, making the T-62 and Centurion 7 the first main battle tanks. 

However, I prefer the introduction of the Chieftain and T-64, as the Chieftain enters, and replaces both the Conqueror and the Centurion, and the T-64 replaces the T-10 in what had formally been heavy tank units.

 

The argument made in the first quotation is good, but if they had wished, heavy tanks could have been built with superior fire power and  protection to the medium tanks. In a way, you could argue that in the west heavy tanks did replace mediums, because all of the western MBT's were 60+ tons. (Exception for the Leopard I) In the Soviet Union, the opposite was true, as all of the Soviet main-battle tanks weighed less than the IS-2 did. (Well, the T-90 weighs about as much).

 

As long as we can all agree that the Panther was not a main-battle tank, I'm pretty happy overall. 

 

 

By your logic, the United States didn't have an MBT until the the M1 Abrams, because it replaced all the tanks in US service until that time, namely the M103 and the M60. (Edit: also the Sheridan, which was in service until 1996.) This is clearly not correct. The M60, introduced in 1960, was designed and intended to be a main battle tank. So, if you prefer the T-64, then the M60 predates it by four years. . . . And it mounted the L7 from the Centurion. 



Matthew J35U5 #52 Posted 20 January 2016 - 02:47 AM

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View PostNot that proud, on 19 January 2016 - 09:03 PM, said:

 

By your logic, the United States didn't have an MBT until the the M1 Abrams, because it replaced all the tanks in US service until that time, namely the M103 and the M60. (Edit: also the Sheridan, which was in service until 1996.) This is clearly not correct. The M60, introduced in 1960, was designed and intended to be a main battle tank. So, if you prefer the T-64, then the M60 predates it by four years. . . . And it mounted the L7 from the Centurion. 

You appear to be mixing things up. By my logic, the M60 would be the first American MBT, beginning in 1963, when the American army removed the M103 from service in favour of the M60.* (Though the marines kept it). Based on your logic, it would be the first American MBT beginning in 1960, compared to the T-62 and Centurion 7 in (presumably) 1962 and 1959 respectively. 

*I am under the impression that the M60 was in service for three years while the M103 was also in service? Or were the M103's just kept active because the Americans hadn't built enough M60's to replace them yet? If it is the former, I would lean towards 1963, if it is the latter, than I would be fine with 1960. 


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Metalrodent #53 Posted 20 January 2016 - 08:30 AM

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View PostMatthew J35U5, on 20 January 2016 - 01:17 AM, said:

There is some logic to that, making the T-62 and Centurion 7 the first main battle tanks. 

Just to point out because it bugs me, but it was the Centurion mk V/2 that was upgunned to the 105mm, WG have their package names completely wrong.

 

View PostMatthew J35U5, on 20 January 2016 - 01:17 AM, said:

However, I prefer the introduction of the Chieftain and T-64, as the Chieftain enters, and replaces both the Conqueror and the Centurion, and the T-64 replaces the T-10 in what had formally been heavy tank units.

Yeah I guess that's a fine way of looking at it, though the Centurion could still be called the tank that invented the concept, originally being planned as a 'Universal tank' - however then the pesky Soviets revealed the IS3 and it was realised that bigger guns were needed at the time so the heavy tank was back in the equation.

 

I presume you're not factoring light tanks into this? As many countries still use them (eg. Scimitar II)


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Matthew J35U5 #54 Posted 20 January 2016 - 10:42 AM

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View PostMetalrodent, on 20 January 2016 - 03:30 AM, said:

Just to point out because it bugs me, but it was the Centurion mk V/2 that was upgunned to the 105mm, WG have their package names completely wrong.

 

Yeah I guess that's a fine way of looking at it, though the Centurion could still be called the tank that invented the concept, originally being planned as a 'Universal tank' - however then the pesky Soviets revealed the IS3 and it was realised that bigger guns were needed at the time so the heavy tank was back in the equation.

 

I presume you're not factoring light tanks into this? As many countries still use them (eg. Scimitar II)

KV-13 :trollface:

 

Yeah, I was ignoring light tanks, as I figured that they didn't have combat as their primary role, so you couldn't really expect them to be replaced by a 60-70 ton tank. 


KeystoneCops, on 14 June 2015 - 12:51 PM, said:


Not that proud #55 Posted 20 January 2016 - 01:12 PM

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View PostMatthew J35U5, on 19 January 2016 - 09:47 PM, said:

You appear to be mixing things up. By my logic, the M60 would be the first American MBT, beginning in 1963, when the American army removed the M103 from service in favour of the M60.* (Though the marines kept it). Based on your logic, it would be the first American MBT beginning in 1960, compared to the T-62 and Centurion 7 in (presumably) 1962 and 1959 respectively. 

*I am under the impression that the M60 was in service for three years while the M103 was also in service? Or were the M103's just kept active because the Americans hadn't built enough M60's to replace them yet? If it is the former, I would lean towards 1963, if it is the latter, than I would be fine with 1960. 

 

But the M103 continued in service until 1974 and the Sheridan continued in service until 1996. If a country only has a main battle tank when a single tank replaces all other tank types then in service, which is what I understand your claim to be, then the US's first main battle tank is the M1 Abrams in use in 1996 when the Sheridan was pulled from service. 

 

My view is that a country's first MBT is the tank designed and intended to fill all battle roles.  So, in the US, that's the M60, which was introduced in 1960, despite the fact that the army continued to use the M103 until 1963. I can't speak to the USSR, but the situation in the UK is certainly complicated as they were developing an MBT in the late 1940s, but abandoned the design in favor of further upgrades to the Centurion, which began as a cruiser tank. At some point in its development, the Centurion became an MBT even though it didn't start that way. 

 

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Matthew J35U5 #56 Posted 20 January 2016 - 02:35 PM

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View PostNot that proud, on 20 January 2016 - 08:12 AM, said:

 

But the M103 continued in service until 1974 and the Sheridan continued in service until 1996. If a country only has a main battle tank when a single tank replaces all other tank types then in service, which is what I understand your claim to be, then the US's first main battle tank is the M1 Abrams in use in 1996 when the Sheridan was pulled from service. 

 

My view is that a country's first MBT is the tank designed and intended to fill all battle roles.  So, in the US, that's the M60, which was introduced in 1960, despite the fact that the army continued to use the M103 until 1963. I can't speak to the USSR, but the situation in the UK is certainly complicated as they were developing an MBT in the late 1940s, but abandoned the design in favor of further upgrades to the Centurion, which began as a cruiser tank. At some point in its development, the Centurion became an MBT even though it didn't start that way. 

 

I don't know any special, just what I read on the Internet. 

Sheriden was a recon vehicle, that can have its role filled by IFV's or APC's, but not 70-ton MBT's. The M103 was replaced in US army service by the M60 in (apparently) 1963. The Marines kept it, but... In countries other than America, equipping marines would probably be a bit of an afterthought after regular army forces. (Though, because the US army seemed intent on replacing the M103 with the M60 from the beginning, using its date of introduction in 1960 seems reasonable)

 

The British, to me at least, don't seem like they were trying to design a tank that fufilled both the heavy and medium tank role (in the 1940's), it looks more like they were trying to end the infantry/cruiser dichotomy. But that's just because the initial Centurion had very modest protection and armament compared to contemporary heavy tanks. 

 

Edit: Upon rechecking, the Sheriden appears to have entered service almost 10 years after the M60. 


KeystoneCops, on 14 June 2015 - 12:51 PM, said:


DStegCat #57 Posted 21 January 2016 - 08:59 PM

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On a side note (historically)...

Glad that this is a debate and not something that was decided on a battlefield....


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VNinjaShmugV #58 Posted 22 January 2016 - 04:13 PM

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View PostDStegCat, on 21 January 2016 - 08:59 PM, said:

On a side note (historically)...

Glad that this is a debate and not something that was decided on a battlefield....

 

Well, in a way it WAS decided on the Golan Heights, as mentioned before. Israeli Centurions engaged Syrian T55s at long range, benefiting from better visibility and superior optics and of course training).T55s suffered also from limited gun depression

 

A fairly poor video, but relevant:
 

I love the fact that, with the T55, as with Soviet space suits, they chose the man to fit the machine. Cosmonauts had to be the right size to fit space suits. Russian tankers had to be five foot six or less to fit in T55 or T34.

 

 


Edited by VNinjaShmugV, 22 January 2016 - 04:37 PM.


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View PostTurboclicker, on 19 January 2016 - 09:37 PM, said:

 

It definitely didn't enter service in 72.

 

Wikipedia says 1964, as the name sake says, T-64.

 

passed field tests in 62

Started being mass produced in 63

Entered active service in 66 (30th dec).

What's your point?


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Matthew J35U5 #60 Posted 22 January 2016 - 05:16 PM

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View PostBlossomy_Hippo, on 22 January 2016 - 11:42 AM, said:

passed field tests in 62

Started being mass produced in 63

Entered active service in 66 (30th dec).

What's your point?

Bring up the T-34, T-54, and T-80 as well. :trollface:

View PostVNinjaShmugV, on 22 January 2016 - 11:13 AM, said:

 

Well, in a way it WAS decided on the Golan Heights, as mentioned before. Israeli Centurions engaged Syrian T55s at long range, benefiting from better visibility and superior optics and of course training).T55s suffered also from limited gun depression

 

I love the fact that, with the T55, as with Soviet space suits, they chose the man to fit the machine. Cosmonauts had to be the right size to fit space suits. Russian tankers had to be five foot six or less to fit in T55 or T34.

Well, Israel did prove definitively that the Sherman was the greatest "MBT" of the post-WWII era. 

 

I fail to see a problem. If I build a vehicle that only a 5'6" tall man can fit in, so long as I have enough 5'6" tall men to crew all of my vehicles, how am I hurt?


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