By kjfitz @ 2009-09-14 09:58:43
The Centurion was the primary British main battle tank of the post World War II period, and was a successful tank design, with upgrades, for many decades. The chassis was also adapted for several other roles.
Manufacture of the Centurion began in January 1945, and six prototypes arrived in Belgium soon after the war in Europe ended in May 1945. The Centurion served in more wars than any other western tank. It first entered combat with British forces in the Korean War in 1950, in support of the UN forces. The Centurion later served in the Indo-Pakistani wars of 1965 and 1971, successfully fighting US supplied Pakistani M47s, then with the Royal Australian Armoured Corps in Vietnam. It was sold to Israel who used Centurions in 1967, 1973, and during the 1975 and 1982 invasions of Lebanon. It became one of the most widely used tank designs, equipping armies around the world, with some still in service until the 1990s. As recently as the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict the Israel Defense Forces employed heavily modified Centurions as armoured personnel carriers and combat engineering vehicles