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Centurion Tanks in Omagh

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  • Centurion Tanks in Omagh

    I met a man a few weks ago who told me that he did his national service in the british army in Omagh back in the late 1950's/early 1960's. He stated that there was a squadron of centurion tanks based there at the time. Any truth to this story?

  • #2
    Originally posted by paul g View Post
    I met a man a few weks ago who told me that he did his national service in the british army in Omagh back in the late 1950's/early 1960's. He stated that there was a squadron of centurion tanks based there at the time. Any truth to this story?

    What unit was he with, maybe 5 Inniskilling Dragoon Guards. Tanks in NI I dont know.

    Comment


    • #3
      St Lucia barracks,Omagh was depot Royal Inniskilling Fusilers. There is also Lisanelley Camp which I understand was a TA centre until taken over by the regular army at the outbreak of violence in 1969. Interestingly, in the 1970's, Omagh was a RAC Regiment posting (Ferret armoured cars).

      2 RTR were based in Aldergrove in 1962- http://www.regiments.org/deploy/uk/reg-cav/rtr2.htm That said, they need not necessarily have been equipped with tanks.

      If you could find out what Regiment your friend was in, it would be easy enough to check his story out on the above website. Its quite detailed in relation to postings.
      'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi all
        Centurion bulldozer tanks were used to breach barricades in Operation Motorman. I read somewhere that the BA decided to withdraw the heavy armour when they realised that they would be too vulnerable in urban operations.
        regards
        GttC

        Comment


        • #5
          Or was it that they didnt want the negative press which would come from having tanks on British streets, like Prague in 1968 (which I have read was the real reason)?
          "Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here...this is the War Room!"

          Comment


          • #6
            He told me he was in the RTR, he said that one squadron was equipped with Centurions, the others with armoured cars, and the date would be late 1950's early 1960's, just wondering if his story checked out.

            Comment


            • #7
              Paul, that might be right enough if he was RTR, they were here in 1962.

              Re Motorman, AFAIK the tanks were shipped in on a RFA. They were of the engineering variety and had no main armament http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/melaugh/portfolio2/f2p37.htm

              I think both of you are right in your reasons as to why they were withdrawn, it certainly was a gaffe of the highest order to use tanks when they could have cleared the areas on foot, secured a perimeter and used JCB's :redface:

              Interesting short article http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwa..._tank_07.shtml

              Tracked vehicles were not going to look good. That is why these yokes were pressed into service http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/melaugh/portfolio2/f2p36.htm

              Note the desert camoflague.
              'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi all
                I dunno, might have saved a lot of future bother if the tanks had been let loose. I can't help thinking that if the British Army really had taken the gloves off, they would have squashed the IRA. People who think the total casualty rate and economic cost of the NI conflict was excessive haven't been reading their history books. NI got off lightly compared to other countries and it's still British territory. If the conflict had inflicted heavy casualty rates on the Southern population, then you'd have seen real action being taken by our Government, instead of the appeasement of the IRA.
                regards
                GttC

                Comment


                • #9
                  To: rhqrtr@btconnect.com
                  Sent: Monday, September 04, 2006 2:07 PM
                  Subject: Centurions in Omagh?


                  Dear Sir,

                  I am trying to settle a debate on http://forum.irishmilitaryonline.com/showthread.php?t=9488

                  The question is whether there was a tank squadron consisting of Centurions based in Omagh in the late 50’s early 60’s?

                  Any help would be appreciated.

                  Best Regards

                  ***** ******






                  Dear Mr ******,
                  Many thanks for your e mail. 2 RTR were based in Omagh in the early 60s, I can confirm that they definitely did not have any Centurions, their Sqns were equiped with both Saladins and Ferret Scout Cars.
                  I hope this helps.

                  Regards

                  **** *******
                  Support the Search Function.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Don't tracked vehicles also do a lot of damage to the roads?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I did see a mention of centurion ARVE in a photo some place..but this would have been with the Royal engineers. These were mentioned in relation to the troubles in the late sixties..I wonder would these be the 'tanks" in question.


                      In answer to your question Rooster..tanks are very rarely brought any where under their own power..they normally are carried from one location to another on transporters, due to wear on tracks and enormous fuel consumption.
                      hptmurphy
                      Commander in Chief
                      Last edited by hptmurphy; 8 September 2006, 21:34.
                      Covid 19 is not over ....it's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Joshua, that settles that debate, good thinking !!
                        'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by hptmurphy View Post
                          I did see a mention of centurion ARVE in a photo some place..but this would have been with the Royal engineers. These were mentioned in relation to the troubles in the late sixties..I wonder would these be the 'tanks" in question.


                          In answer to your question Rooster..tanks are very rarely brought any where under their own power..they normally are carried from one location to another on transporters, due to wear on tracks and enormous fuel consumption.
                          Yeah, I know but the point I was making was that whenever they are used there gonna wreck the local area, so if they were used even a little bit the tax payer would still be picking up one hell of a bill.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I can confirm that Centurion AVREs (with the 165mm demo gun) were used in NI, but I am unaware of any other heavy track usage. Withdrawn mainly for political/perception reasons.

                            NTM
                            Driver, tracks, troops.... Drive and adjust!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It was not a centurian tank proper, it a was a sapper/ engineer version possibly used as an armoured bulldozer.

                              http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/melaugh/portfolio2/f2p38.htm
                              rod and serpent
                              In Arduis Fidelis
                              Last edited by rod and serpent; 27 October 2006, 17:26.

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