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Cromwell vrs. Centaur engine deck.

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This is a real can of worms.  In theory a Centaur had a flat engine deck whereas a Cromwell had a deck with a raised "pagoda" vent behind the turret.  This was because the cooling airflows and radiator positions for the Liberty and Meteor engines were very different.  Not helped by the fact that the A27 family had 6 different hull types - A to F - with different engine deck access hatch layouts.


So while it is true that all Cromwells had the raised vent it is not true that all Centaurs had the flat deck.  Many Centaurs were built with the raised vent, presumably to facilitate an easier later engine change.  And many tanks contracted as Centaurs were completed as Cromwells as the engine supply situation improved and manufacturers switched from Centaur to Cromwell.  The Centaur was already accepted as not being combat-capable so continuing to build them once sufficient Meteor engines were available made no sense.


The only Centaur gun tanks used operationally were the 80 MkIV CS used by RMASG from D Day until D+14, the survivors continuing in use with miscellaneous other units.  It seems that these all had the Cromwell-style deck and a mix of Type C and Type D engine decks and hulls.  Centaur dozers were deployed in the last couple of months of the war and these also had the Cromwell-style deck.  Illogically for an earth-mover, these retained the much more feeble 375BHP Liberty engine rather than being converted to the 600BHP Meteor.  The Centaur AA tanks were never deployed.  These were flat-deck hulls.


Post-war, Centaurs were certainly sold to Greece and Portugal.

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