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Centaur and Cromwell Mk VI CS, what are the differences?


3DStewart
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Hello folks

I've just got the Cromwell and Centaur book by Ian Carter and I'm trying to work out what the differences are between the Centaur and Cromwell Mk VI CS.

The obvious differences I've found are:

Centaur

No hull MG; early wheels with 'drilled' tyres (but I note two preserved examples in France don't have them); sighting box on turret.

Cromwell Mk VI CS

Hull MG; later wheels with solid tyres; no sighting box on turret; spare wheels often mounted on turret rear.

I expect they're other differences, but I can't spot them. Can anybody help?

Thanks

Stewart

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Hi Stewart,

The Centaur had the Liberty engine and the Cromwell had the Meteor engine. Some Centaurs that were re-fitted with RR Metoers were renamed 'Cromwell IV's'

Regards,

Steve

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Well you've got most of it above. Otherwise there is;

Internal track tensioners on Centaur uprated external type on Cromwell. There are two small plugs near the headlights on the Centaur and a large hockey stick adjuster on the engine deck side for the Cromwell only.

The sight box was only used AFAIK by the RMASG Centaurs (same vehicles later used by 6th Airborne, Canadians and French. This is because they were to be employed as mobile artillery rather than as a support tank. In the British Army that's a huge difference!

Both types landing on D-Day and soon after have two angled brackets on the upper rear plate to tow a Porpoise sled with.

As built you are correct about the road wheels but the solid and perforated were interchangable and often were! The preserved Normandy tanks have been partly fitted with Centurion wheels as they were available in the Army Workshops who restored them for display.

The Cromwell had a different gearbox as well which needed a small rectangular access plate on the lower hull rear angled plate to access the gear change linkage.

Most Cromwells wore 15.5" tracks (very like Panzer III/IV types) with a different drive sprocket the Centaur always AFAIK had the earlier 14" type. As the NWE campaign went on the 14" tracks on Cromwells become rarer.

Finally the Cromwell could be fitted with the British all round vision cupola whereas the Centaur never got them.

I think that's it

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Hello folks

I've just got the Cromwell and Centaur book by Ian Carter and I'm trying to work out what the differences are between the Centaur and Cromwell Mk VI CS.

The obvious differences I've found are:

Centaur

No hull MG; early wheels with 'drilled' tyres (but I note two preserved examples in France don't have them); sighting box on turret.

Cromwell Mk VI CS

Hull MG; later wheels with solid tyres; no sighting box on turret; spare wheels often mounted on turret rear.

I expect they're other differences, but I can't spot them. Can anybody help?

Thanks

Stewart

The No Hull MG was a characteristic specific to the Centaur 95 CS, ordinary Centaur Gun Tanks (not used in anger) had the Hull MG

SleeperService pretty much nailed the major elements of any note.

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The No Hull MG was a characteristic specific to the Centaur 95 CS, ordinary Centaur Gun Tanks (not used in anger) had the Hull MG

SleeperService pretty much nailed the major elements of any note.

Not quite my Sherman specialist friend. The hull mg was removed on the early hull vehicles with the roof hatches for driver AND hull gunner. The crew was reduced to 4 as the hull gunners position was a death trap if the turret obstructed the roof hatches, which it did over about 320 deg of the traverse. The hull gunners other way out was through the drivers hatch after negotiating the part bulkhead between them, or the floor escape hatch behind the drivers seat. This applied to all gun tanks. A rare case of common sense.

The Centaur ARV wasn't affected and the OP vehicle had a charging set and other equipment in the hull gunners position.

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The Cromwell MkIV designation seems to have been used to denote Centaurs that had been built with Meteor engines (and therefore designated as Cromwells). As such, I think most had the 'C' hulls (per the Tamiya and Revell kits in various scales).

Centaurs were built to a slightly different technical specification to Cromwells (less powerful springs in the Christie suspension, internal track adjusters and a couple of other minor bits and bobs) but were largely identical externally to Cromwells.

You'll occasionally see notes to suggest that Centaurs didn't have the raised air louvres on the rear deck and that this is how to recognise them - unfortunately companies like English Electric and Harland & Wolf built their Centaurs with the raised louvres (and then started fitting Meteor engines)!

It is unlikely that any Centaurs were re-engined after manufacture - they either left the factory with Liberty engines or left the factory with Meteor engines.

D and E hulls were almost the same visually - the fitting of the one-piece 'Vauxhall' hatch was probably unique to the welded Mk V Cromwells (approx 100 built?).

By June 44, the F hull was entering service, which negated the need for expedient hatch designs (of which there were a couple) seen on earlier hull types.

Hope that helps?

Cheers,

Centaur

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It is unlikely that any Centaurs were re-engined after manufacture - they either left the factory with Liberty engines or left the factory with Meteor engines.

I agree with this completely Centaur. I have found mention of a party from Clan Foundry going to Rover to inspect an engine swop on an unidentified Centaur. In the rest of the Rolls Royce documentation I found no reference to a widespread re-engine programme and concur with others who suggest that designations were created but no vehicles were allocated it. Much the same thing happened with Fireflies.....

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