AHC: Get US To Adopt Centurion Tank Post-WWII

Your challenge: cause the United States to desire to purchase, adopt, or copy the British Centurion MBT for its own usage at some point after WWII. It can be the primary battle tank of the US or merely one that is used; it can be employed by the Army or Marines.

To allow for some wiggle room, it can be a copy or near-copy of the Centurion too if it is clearly recognizable as a direct Centurion derivative, not just the exact actual tank imported or license-built. The main gun, etc. can be changed to suit Yankee preferences as desired.

Bonus points if this is done within five years of the end of WWII in Europe.

More bonus points if it (or its copy/derivative) is the primary MBT used by the US.

Have fun...


MalcontentRex
 
Chrysler is caught in a huge Payola scandal over Defence Contracts with General Maxwell Taylor, and loses XM60 Tank contract after a Congressional Hearing in 1958

General Motors submitted a proposal to build a version of the Leyland Motors Mk7 Centurion with the L7 105mm gun( that a version of was to have gone into the XM60) but would have Continental AVDS-1790 aircooled diesel, and Merritt Brown gearbox replaced with the Allison CD850, plus following US practice, would have a Commander Cupola, Xenon/Active IR searchlight, 'Live' Tracks and the aluminum Roadwheels that were planned for the XM60

Edit:

Oh, while I'm making up the 'Ultimate Centurion' the flat plates would ease the introduction of siliceous cored armor, an early composite armor planned for the XM60, but never done
 
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The Centy's nearing the end of its life by this point (the Chieftain appeared on 1966), so IMO earlier would be better.

Maybe after the Battle of the Imjin River (22-25 April 1951) the Americans are sufficiently impressed to trial the Centurion against either the M47, or prototype M48 and the Centurion comes up tops? These tanks might also be cheaper than home-developed ones, since I can imagine the British would be willing to provide the plans quite cheaply, in exchange for a reduction in the loan.

One question, do the Americans take to the idea of the BV for making drinks and heating rations, and if so, does this bit of equipment make it into subsequent armoured vehicles?"
 
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But in 1957, it was decided that the M48 was not going to cut against the latest Soviet armor, and needed a Tank now, and with Chrysler out of the tank business, they can't wait for the T95 to be fully developed.

The XM60 was a compromise mashup of the M48 and the easy bits of the T95 program.

It pretty much gives the US an Sho't a decade early, with the option of an early form of Chobbam.

But still expect a 'Starship' version with that dopey 152mm gun/launcher to be tried in it.
 
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Cent one of those immediate postwar MBTs like the T-54/55 that has "never died"? Aren't many (heavily modded) Centurions in use to this very day in places?
 
Yep, along with the M48. What might be an advantage here though is that the Centurion was a finished tanks when even the M46 was still on the drawing-board.
 
I'd place the PoD much earlier, back in 1942-43. The US Army Ordnance Dept botches the T20/26 project & in 1944 is casting about for a faster way to a next generation tank. Adapting the Centurion design which was in preproduction testing then would put a US version on the factory floor as early as 1945, tho much more likely 46 - 48.
 
Centurion instead of M-46?

I'd place the PoD much earlier, back in 1942-43. The US Army Ordnance Dept botches the T20/26 project & in 1944 is casting about for a faster way to a next generation tank. Adapting the Centurion design which was in preproduction testing then would put a US version on the factory floor as early as 1945, tho much more likely 46 - 48.
Agree with the POD, though I'd put adoption of the Centurion in mid-1945 after the end of the European War. The absence of the T-26/M-26 would show the US as being equipped with a tank/Tank destroyer combination that looks obsolescent compared with the Comet/Centurion and T-34/JS-3 tanks of the UK and USSR. The lack of anything capable of resisting the 85mm T-34 gun or able to knock out a JS-3 could push the US into adopting the Centurion instead of preserving with its own heavy design, though I think it's still more likely to produce a new tank with Centurion features.

Maybe a diesel engine design based on the Centurion chassis with a 90mm gun? Later adopting the 105mm along with the Uk in the 1950s.
 
Agree with the POD, though I'd put adoption of the Centurion in mid-1945 after the end of the European War. The absence of the T-26/M-26 would show the US as being equipped with a tank/Tank destroyer combination that looks obsolescent compared with the Comet/Centurion and T-34/JS-3 tanks of the UK and USSR. The lack of anything capable of resisting the 85mm T-34 gun or able to knock out a JS-3 could push the US into adopting the Centurion instead of preserving with its own heavy design, though I think it's still more likely to produce a new tank with Centurion features.

Maybe a diesel engine design based on the Centurion chassis with a 90mm gun? Later adopting the 105mm along with the Uk in the 1950s.
Yeah, this is basically what I was thinking of, not necessarily a Centurion outright but something very heavily influenced by it, likely with the 90mm gun of the Pershings/Pattons or some derivative of it--just maybe the super-velocity 90mm of the "Super Pershing".
 

jahenders

Banned
Hard to imagine shortly after we'd won the war, in part, by build immense numbers of tanks and are feeling the slowdown of production. It goes along with other threads like "why don't we use foreign built aircraft."
 
Modify and produce not buy

Hard to imagine shortly after we'd won the war, in part, by build immense numbers of tanks and are feeling the slowdown of production. It goes along with other threads like "why don't we use foreign built aircraft."
As you say, the US wouldn't simply buy from abroad. But IF it feels the need for a heavier tank to match the Soviet ones than the M4/76 without having the M26 as a basis then it might feel inclined to fill the gap in its inventory with a foreign design.

The suggestion from Malcolm (and I)is that the US takes the Centurion design and modifies it for its own production rather than go through the M46 to M48 development process. This is because the M-26 is either unsatisfactory or butterflied away. (Maybe McNair doesn't die until later in the war, so stalling the M26 programme). Perhaps the decision to produce a licensed and modified version is a bit later during the Cold War but before Korea. When the US Army wants a better tank than the M-4 but no US design is ready or as good. Berlin blockade maybe?

After all, the USAF did buy the Canberra as a light bomber (B-57 variants) when their was no suitable US design available to replace the B-26.
;)

It's all a bit implausible but not ASB, I think.
 
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Cent one of those immediate postwar MBTs like the T-54/55 that has "never died"? Aren't many (heavily modded) Centurions in use to this very day in places?
True, even the Merkava designed by the IDF has a lot of Centurion in them.
 
M31 Centurion-to M1A5 Chariot

Hmmmm

How about Britain and the US agree during the war to develop a heavy Universal tank in 1942 based on experiances

Britain Proposes the Centurion with a 17 pounder gun (76.2mm) and later a 20 pounder gun (84mm) in 1944 and 1945

The US Test these tanks agaisnt the Early T26 Pershing familiy of tanks armed with 76mm and 90mm guns and find the British tanks to be more 'mobile' and the 20 pounder gun to be a superior hole puncher

The Americans modify a early Cent with a more powerful US Engine and Gearbox as well as fit a commanders copula with a 50 cal HMG and this tank with the 20 pounder is chosen as the Universal tank design.

The US Made M31 "Centurion" Mk2 Enters service with the US Army in 1947 and British Built versions of the tank replace Earlier Centurions in British Service in 1949 after British Factories Re-tooled to build it.

The Tank proved to be rugged and capable of amazing feats of Cross country Mobility when used in fighting in Korea in 1951-56.

A 'Heavy' Version of the Tank the M31A4 or Conqueror in British Service enters production in 1953 and mounts the 120mm M58 Gun - intended to match the IS3 heavy tanks then in Russian Service - the turret and gun were beset with problems though out the service life of this varient.

This version of the tank was very similair to the 84mm armed version except it had a larger turret designed to accomodate the larger gun and ammo.

The most famous verison is of course the M31A7 or Centurion 7 that started production in 1957 with the deadly 105mm L7 / M68 Rifled gun that was designed to fit into the same space as the existing 20 pounder gun and intended to allow all existing tanks to be retorfitted and subsequant tanks to be armed with all in order to defeat the then Brand new Russian T54/55 tank - which the 20 pounder gun would have struggled to defeat.

This version of the tank was effectively different from the first Centrions - Powerplant, gearbox, Armour, weapons (including deletion of the oversized commanders copula), sights and suspension where all different - however both Britain and the US kept the name.

It was this tank and upgunned earlier varients that allowed the Indian Army in 1964 and 1972 to defeat the Russian and Chinese supplied Pakistani tanks and the Isrelies to handily defeat pretty much all of their Neighbours in both 1969 and 1972.

However by this point the design had reached its zenith and even the 40 ton version mounting an improved 120mm gun was not going to match the expected new Russian tanks (T73 and T80) - thought to start arriving within 5 years.

So designers from the US, Britain along with those Indian and Isrelie companies involved with updating the design in their armed forces collaborated on a design called the XM1 Chariot.

This would innitially mount the improved rifled 120mm L11 (M75) main gun

By 2015 this tank - now in its 5th MK would still be in production in Britain, USA, India and Israel - mounting a crewless Turret with a German Designed 140mm CTA smoothbore auto loading main gun.

 
I like your time-line, but would the XM1 not more likely look more like a cross between the Abram's, Challenger 2 ? (maybe Leopard 2 as well as it would likely be the main NATO tank for everybody but France ?) .
Israel and India are interesting from a combat experience point of view but mid cold war they will not be massively significant for such an important program as the XM1 IMO.
JSB
 
Hard to imagine shortly after we'd won the war, in part, by build immense numbers of tanks and are feeling the slowdown of production. It goes along with other threads like "why don't we use foreign built aircraft."
Well the US does buy foreign aircraft, or accurately domestically produce foreign aircraft, on rare occasion - the English Electric Canberra as the Martin B-57 Canberra, the Hawker Siddeley Hawk as the McDonnell Douglas T-45 Goshawk and the Hawker Siddeley Harrier as the McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II being the three obvious examples I can think of. In all of these cases domestic production also involved making some design changes to better suit the American services.


If MacCauley was still around, he'd give this challenge a thumbs up. :p
I was literally about to post 'And somewhere, for some unknown reason, Mac suddenly started grinning'. :D
 
How about a late introduction?

Australia deploys centurions to Vietnam in 1966, the us is impressed by how well the cent takes mine damage which would ruin us tanks. So the us army grabs a hundred or so surplus cents from Britain and deploys them to Vietnam, abandoning them when they wear out or take too much damage.
 
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