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Ordnance 5 - Centaur CS Mk IV Support Tank


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They are degrees of the compass. Marked on these tanks are they are artillery support pieces rather than anti-tank versions.


The tank (or the entire battery) sets up with the vehicles on a known bearing. The artillery observer tells the battery commander the bearing and distance of the target from where the battery is situated. The tanks turn their turrets to the required bearing, elevate the guns to the required range and are ready to fire.  


 This system was pretty much unique to this Royal Marine unit, they were formed from Royal Marines on warships, who traditionally formed the crew of one gun turret, which would have had similar reference markings. 

Edited by paintybeard
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58 minutes ago, kristof65 said:


What's with the "measurements" on the tank turret? 


The 'measurements' are deflection markings to indicate bearing. Originally, these tanks had their engines removed and they were arranged in in rows. Once a target was designated the lead gun would aim at the target and the other tanks would swing the turrets to the lead tank's bearing. According to a number of sources, the higher-ups, and perhaps Churchill, thought it was a bit stupid to de-engine perfectly good support tanks and leave them offshore when they could go on the beach and provide additional fire support. The engines were put back in and the tanks landed with orders to stay on the beach. That lasted a few hours. Once the Brits and Canadians broke through, the tanks followed. They continued to provide support until the main artillery units were landed. The Centaurs were withdrawn at the end of June and apparently never used again.




And... what paintybeard said.

Edited by GlenP
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