Landing Craft Tank(Armoured) specification details

Discussion in 'General' started by GRW, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist

  2. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    historian -
    often wondered about the Centaur as I recall seeing one of these at Barnard Castle in 1942 which was to be in the line up from Crusader - Cromwell - Comet et al for the second front... heard all about the Sherman - Churchill - Cromwell and finally Comet and Challenger 1 in NW Europe but never a word about the Centaur - one of those strange disappearances - it looks as if with the designation of CS - it was a " funny"
    of Hobo's 79 Div....?
  3. Bodston

    Bodston Little Willy

    Tom the Cruiser Mark VIII A27L Centaur was a bit of a throwback from the Cromwell programme. It was called Cromwell II for a while.
    It stemmed from the percieved problem of cooling the new Rolls-Royce Meteor engine, and later the fact that these superb engines could not be produced in adequate numbers quickly enough.
    Basically the Centaur is just a Cromwell fitted with the venerable Nuffield Liberty engine.
    The CS refers to the Close Support weapon with which these Royal Marines tanks were fitted. A 95mm Howitzer.
    Incedentally these RM tanks were first intended to be engineless static guns, designed to be fired from onboard landing craft stationed a short distance offshore. Good sense prevailed and they were refitted with their engines, enabling them to land and move inshore with the troops.

  4. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Thought it a bit odd - but then we never did get anything newish out in the MEF although we finally got one Churchill CS 95mm per squadron around the August of '44- came in handy - who used the Centaur in Normandy ? - never see them mentioned in any of the battles.
  5. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Royal Marines Armoured Support group operated the CS centaurs Tom.
    BBC - WW2 People's War - A Journey Through War: Royal Marine Commandos

    Thanks Gordon,
    My old man mentioned these last week but I'd not seen any photographs yet. The Torygraph has a little more detail, and a claim that the crews all survived OK:
    D-Day tanks found on seabed - Telegraph

    These might actually be worth recovering mightn't they? I seem to recall the other survivors (3? not including dozers) may be rather 'reconstructed' examples rather than true Centaurs... would have to check though. I know that the Cobbaton Collection one has a mock-up turret but they apparently have a correct one awaiting restoration.

    Wonder what happened to the ones we shifted to Greece?
  6. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Von Poop -
    It seems that the longer I live - the more I learn - which is good and keeps the batteries recharged - but little is known about the Marines Tank outfits - I frankly had never heard of them landing at Juno with the Canadian 3rd Div - but then I am no expert on the NW Europe carry on - no expert on anything come to that !
  7. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist

    Cheers Bod and Adam!
    One of the reasons I always buy The Express and The Mail on a Saturday is because both always have double-page features on a WW2 story of some kind.
  8. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Historian - and like most newspapers - you can read four and then check the source to find he truth such as ....."Only 80 of the unusual tanks, specifically adapted for use in the D-Day landings, were ever made."

    " In all 950 were made of which 80 were fitted with a 95mm howitzer and an uprated engine. These 80 were designated Centaur Mk IV and were issued to the Royal Marines Armoured Support Group. They were mounted on LCT's and came in firing from the sea before landing.

    Nor were they a modification of the Cromwell, in fact the Centaur was completed and in trials ahead of the Cromwell. The essential feature of both is that initially they were a Leyland design designated Cruiser Tank Mark VIII (A27). The A27L (L for Liberty) had a Liberty engine which dated back to 1917, this was the Centaur and the engine was the reason it was ready first.

    The other was the A27M (M for Meteor), this, the Cromwell, was fitted with a Rolls-Royce Merlin aero engine adapted for tank use and named 'Meteor'. However, due to the shortage of Merlin engines needed for aircraft production, the Liberty engine was fitted and the name changed to Centaur, the Cromwell designation being retained exclusively for the A27Ms

    The Centaur Mk I, the original production model, had a 6pdr gun. The next variant was the Centaur Mk III (the Mk II was a Liberty engined Cromwell). The Mk III had a 75mm gun and was the equivalent to the Cromwell Mk IV. All the Mk IIIs were later converted to specialist roles (mainly ARVs, Kangaroos, and RE Dozers)."

    As I now recall - the Centaur was on our training schedule long before we saw the Cromwell as it was the 6 pdr which was fitted - it certainly was a big improvement on the Crusader and Covenanters in which we were sliding down Richmond Hill - and keeping a house at the bottom in perpetual repairs l Don't know who got the bill for that house - probably WSC.
  9. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist

    Historian - and like most newspapers - you can read four and then check the source to find the truth

    Aye, ain't THAT the truth, Tom! :)
  10. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

  11. Ali Mayor

    Ali Mayor Member

    Hi everyone,

    I am hoping to find and identify the wreck of LCT(A) 2428 along the South Coast and I have a couple of dive sites which may be the right one. However, after 65 years underwater and being upside down, the wreck will not be easy to identify. I am looking for details of LCT(A) contruction and in particular measurements of the distance between the 3 propellers.

    LCT(A) 2428 capsized whist under tow from HMT Jaunty on the 6 June 1944. Her cargo of tanks and armoured bulldozers were lost at sea but the LCT was reported to float upside down for some time afterwards - eventually being sunk by gunfire by HMT Jaunty.

    After completing a scuba diving survey project on the Tanks & Bulldozers last year Divers solve D-Day tanks mystery - BSAC I am now leading another project to locate/survey LCT(A)2428. Any help would be much appreciated.


  12. militarycross

    militarycross Very Senior Member

    Greetings from Canada, Alison. Wow! What a neat adventure. Wish you best of luck on the dive, and look forward to reading more news in a link soon. phil
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Hi and welcome to WW2 Talk

    Here's a picture of HMT Jaunty

    JAUNTY W 130 / A 140
    ON 181622
    Royal Navy Rescue Tug Assurance class
    Call Sign MJKD
    854 grt; 588 brt
    180ft 6ins x 36ft 11ins x 17ft 6ins
    Triple expansion. 1,350 ihp; 12 knots
    1 cylindrical Boiler
    262 tons Oil Fuel
    2 screw; 1 rudder
    Complement 31
    1941: Built Cochrane & Sons Shipbuilders Ltd., Selby, UK
    Launched: 11th June.
    1941 November Delivered to UK Admiralty, Based Chatham; Reg London
    1958 In reserve Pembroke Dock
    1963 At Portland, Target towing
    1964 Based Chatham
    1965 15th November Sold for scrapping; Joseph de Smedt, Antwerp, Belgium
    1966 Reported Sold 21st December; unknown buyer; unknown fate.
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Here's some info on the LCT:

    Clickety Click

    And a picture of the Mk5:

  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I'm curently reading ATB's D-Day and on page 171 she is shown on Appendix 'B' to Part 111.

    She's listed (The ink isn't very clear) on the Left (Port) Flank to land in the 1st wave H-Hour on Red Beach Juno araea behind the DD Tanks. So if she made it she would have landed her cargo of tanks at St. Aubin-Sur-Mer although they would have turned left on landing and exploited the left flank towards Langrune-Sur-Mer.

    Probably not exactly what your looking for but it gives you a bit of background as to where she was heading I guess.

  17. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

  18. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Welcome to the forum Alison and i wish you sccess on your venture.

    Looking at the dimensions on the sketch supplied by Phil it looks to be in the region of 8 feet between centres of the propellers.

  19. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  20. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

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