5RAR Tiger Logo armour in support of 5RAR

Mk V centurion Tank Mk V Centurion Tank

     This 50-ton Centurion tank from 1st Armoured Regiment was in support of 5RAR during Operation Kings Cross in the Hat Dich region to the east of Route 15 in Phuoc Tuy and Long Binh Provinces in November-December 1969. It was surprising to us crunchies just how well these huge monsters adapted to the thick scrub but infantry protection during movement was still essential. Not surprisingly their progress was slowed greatly in the thick bamboo forests that existed in that area. The tanks really came into their own during assaults upon enemy bunker systems when the fire from the tank's 20 pounder main armament (with high explosive and canister rounds) and their .50-calibre Browning machine guns invariably gave us superior firepower over the enemy. As well, as we closed in on the defensive position, the tanks were able to drive over the bunkers and swivel their tracks so as to collapse the structure below them.
     Unfortunately tanks were not regularly available to assist the infantry in such operations.