Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Conqueror Tank

The British-produced Conqueror was designed to be fielded in conjunction with the hugely successful Centurion Main Battle Tank (still in service in many parts of the world today) in post-war Europe. The system was classified as a heavy tank and charged with long-range fire support on the battlefield, wielding it's large-caliber 120mm rifled main gun.

As heavy tanks go, the Conqueror (from the official designation of FV214), was derived from a series of universal chassis design that was to make up the future of British armored forces. To go along with the mammoth chassis, the base Centurion turret - in full - was mounted to make the Conqueror in essence, a heavy gun tank version of the Centurion itself. With production covering a mere three years, few Conqueror forces were fielded in any quantitative value alongside Centurion groups.

The Conqueror maintained several benefits over the Centurion as a whole, but was sorely lacking in other areas of major importance. The Conqueror's long range main armament of 120mm pattern, along with 39 projectiles, was a definitive advantage over the 105mm Centurion tank. A coaxial 7.62mm and a commander's mounted 7.62mm machine gun complimented the Conqueror's main gun. Additionally, as with most heavy tanks, armor was another inherent benefit and the Conqueror did not disappoint in that area. Unfortunately, the system's sheer size, lack of mobility cost/troubles of maintaining the complex system would limit both production and fielding of the Conqueror.

In all, just about 200 Conquerors were ever produced. With the vision of a universal family of chassis being unfulfilled, the design produced just two notable additions in the form of an Armored Recovery Vehicle and a heavy self-propelled anti-tank weapon system. The Conqueror would not see the production successes of its predecessor, the Chieftain, but it would nevertheless find a footnote in the history of British armored warfare.

FV214 "Conqueror" - Official Production Model Series
FV219 ARV Mk 1 - Armored Recovery Vehicle based on the FV200 chassis.
FV215b - Heavy Self-Propelled Anti-Tank Gun based on the FV200 chassis.
FV 221 Caernarvon - test bed for the 120 mm main gun
FV 222 - Conqueror Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV) 


Length: 37.99ft (11.58m)
Width:13.09ft (3.99m)
Height: 10.99ft (3.35m)
Speed: 21mph (34km/h)
Range: 96miles (155km)

Accommodation: 4
Weight: 71.7 US Short Tons (65,000kg)
Engine(s): 1 x 12-cylinder pertrol engine generating 810bhp.
1 x 120mm main gun
1 x 7.62mm coaxial machine gun
1 x 7.62mm machine gun (commander's cupola)
35 x projectiles



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