Recent acquisitions: Centurion tank log books
A log book can reveal performance characteristics, reveal battle damage and document repairs made during each vehicle's period of service. The Memorial's Research Centre has acquired log books of six Centurion tanks that served in the Vietnam War, including vehicle No. 169056, proudly on display adjacent to Anzac Hall. The log books are in Official Records Series AWM350, and can be viewed in the Memorial's Research Centre.
By examining some of the twelve sections of the log book, the reader can gain a useful insight into the technical history of a tank as well as develop an appreciation for the conditions that enabled the vehicle to operate for over 25 years. The log books don't always have every section filled out, and are not always 'continuous' for the vehicle's entire life of service, as the books were often replaced.
Engine specifications: Rover Meteor Mark 4B 60° "V" 12 cylinder, 27 litre (1650cubic inch), developing 485 kW (650 bhp) at 2550 rpm
- Main engine history card and modification certificate;
- Vehicle mileage and hours running;
- Transfers between units and drivers;
- Inspections and classifications;
- Authorised modifications;
- Repairs, overhauls and assembly changes.
How did the numbers stack up for Centurion 169056? The record shows how this tank:
- Clocked up 861 miles to June 1971;
- Performed with 2 engine and 3 gearbox changes;
- Underwent 132 individual modifications at 4 Base Workshop Battalion, Bandiana.
About the tank:
Centurion 169056 was purchased from the UK as a new Mk3 in the early 1950s. It was converted to a Mk5 and later Mk5/1 in the 1960s. The tank was sent to South Vietnam in Sept/October 1970 aboard a Landing Ship Medium (LSM). Initially given the squadron call sign 92C, Centurion 169056 later became part of 5 Troop with call sign 5 Bravo (5B). It took part in Operation ‘Hermit Park' in June 1971 when the barrel was struck by a round from an enemy anti-tank weapon (RPG), wounding the driver.