This is a Centurion. There were many like it, but some were sold to Australia - and in Australia, it would seem they wanted to know just how good their British tanks were. So, in 1953, in the deserts of South Australia, a Centurion Mk 3 was battened down as it would be in combat. The parking spot was 500 yards from another British import - a nine kiloton
atomic bomb, which they set off. The tank rolled back 5 feet.
side plates that covered the treads, visible in the photograph above, were blown off, but these were frequently removed by crews anyway as they trapped mud. The canvas coverings around the gun mantlet burnt away and the aerials vanished. The hatches were also torn open and the engine stopped, after it ran out of gas. After three days it was fired up and driven back out of the desert, most of the radiation having gone straight up and drifted away in the wind. In 1968, with the 1st Armoured Regiment, Centurion 169041 went to Vietnam, unsurprisingly it returned home.