The Chieftain Tank is one of the best known of the present generation of battlefield weapons, and is one of the most heavily armoured and armed fighting behicles in service anywhere today. It has not been without its detractors or critics, however, and there has been a running debate by military commentators for several years past on the relative merits of the British Chieftain Tank compared with the main battle tanks of other great military powers- the United States, Soviet Russia, France and West Germany – whose present equivalent designs afford a fasinating contrast with Chieftain in many key aspects.
The Chieftain, however, was developed as a result of British tank experience in World War II and after, and reflects the priorities which British tank men felt to be the most important terms of firepower, protection and mobility. British tank development in World War II resulted in the famous Centurion, which first appeared in 1945 in the closing weeks of the war. The Centurion, together with the Soviet T-34/85, and German Panther, represented the culmination of thinking (arising from actual experience) which pointed the need for a “universal” tank had, meanwhile, been disturbed by the appearance of the Soviet Josef Stalin II tank in 1945, with a powerful 122mm gun.
Asylgata 1, 4013 Stavanger