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|UK||Heavy Tank||Tier VIII|
Development of this infantry support tank started in 1944. The first prototype was ready for trials in 1952. A total of 21 tanks were manufactured but never entered service. Some of the vehicles were later converted into the Conqueror heavy tanks.
A big change in the British heavy tank line, the Caernarvon marks the beginning of the "universal tank" part of the tree. Therefore, its mobility is much better than that of the Black Prince. However the armor is not as thick despite being sloped which is something previous tanks lacked. The top gun is an improvement of the one from its predecessor in terms of aim time, accuracy and rate of fire and has an ideal role for hulldown tactics as its large gun mantlet can eat shots with no consequence.
Unfortunately, it takes quite a while to realize this tank's potential if one has not previously unlocked modules on the British Medium tree, and even with the top gun, the low alpha damage can be a problem at that tier, and the grind can be slow and even frustrating that can kill the enthusiasm of many for British tanks. Still, despite its flaws, this can be a fearsome tank to have to face down from over the hills or far away.
The Caernarvon leads to the Conqueror.
|Guns compatible with this Turret:|
|Guns compatible with this Turret:|
Pros and Cons
- Very accurate firing on the move, can fire and advance
- Good gun depression combined strong mantlet on second turret
- Good RoF combined with reasonable Penetration
- Fast shell velocity, ideal for hitting moving targets
- Improved speed over lower tier British heavies
- Good view range
- Upper frontal armor is well angled and can bounce several shells from the same tier
- Lower plate is easily hit and penetrated, especially on flat ground
- Traverse speed is bad
- Armor is not sloped on the sides and rear
- Ammo rack is incredibly weak and can be damaged through the front
- Horrible stock grind; this tank requires an enormous amount of high XP module unlocks before it feels like an upgrade from the previous tier
- OQF 20-pdr Gun Type B Barrel is a major letdown for a tier IX gun; while very accurate, alpha and DPM are terrible for a tier VIII heavy tank
- High ammo cost per damage done
The Caernarvon is a huge departure from the Black Prince in terms of playstyle; this tank is a FULLY dedicated support unit, and requires a quite different set of tactics. No longer are you able to act as a battering ram, zig-zagging your way up the front with your forward armor more or less exposed. Because while this tank might be played successfully with something approaching the same maneuvers as the BP, it is let down by its inferior hull, which is this tank's foremost weakness. Experienced players will recognize the strengths of the Centurion turret, however the hull does not hold anywhere near the same standards; poorly armored, fragile and with a large silhouette which attracts plenty of artillery fire, it also sports terrible traverse speed and lackluster acceleration, often making it a pain to position this tank right. And in order to unlock the top modules that simply render the Caernarvon decently playable, you will have a long grind ahead of you. Thus, this tank should be driven with a great deal of care and attention to detail. Use your slightly tall turret seat to peek over hills and the rear of other tanks' hulls, make plentiful use of cover, and always move a step or two behind the main front. Your DPM is good and your accuracy excellent, and a gunner with the Deadeye perk can make a great deal of difference to the fight if you pick your shots right in this tank. Note that while Wet Ammo Rack can help, it is certainly not required if you are careful about exposing your lower plate. Skilled players will find Coated Optics to improve on your excellent sight range or vents to maximize your DPM a bigger benefit.
- The WS No. 22 radio carry over from the Black Prince and can be installed immediately.
- FV221A suspension must be researched/mounted before upgrading the turret, unless you use your Class 3 Enhanced Mounting Springs. (Taking into account that you want a gun rammer, stabilizer and vents on it.)
- Start by researching the upgraded turret. The extra meters of view range, additional 100 hit points and strong gun mantlet can make a difference.
- Researching the OQF 20-pdr Type A Barrel next will boost firepower.
- Researching Rolls-Royce Meteor Mk. IVC engine, than can choose between Rolls-Royce Meteor M120 engine to improve speed or FV221A suspension to improve agility.
- Finally reasearch the OQF 20-pdr Type B Barrel to make this a perfect support tank.
- The SR C42 radio to improve range.
The chassis was from the A45 Infantry Support Tank, started in 1944 shortly after that of the A41 Centurion. After the war the project was relocated to that of the "Universal Tank" design of the FV 200 series. The 200 series was to have used a common hull for all uses (self-propelled artillery, armoured personnel carrier, three varieties of tank, etc.). One tank type was to be the heavy FV 201 of 55 tonnes, armed with an 83.4 mm gun.
In 1949 it was decided to bring the armament up to 120 mm. As this delayed the project, in 1952 the FV 201 hull was combined with a 17 pounder-armed Centurion Mk 2 turret to give the FV 221 Caernarvon Mark I. Twenty-one were built with the Mk III 20 pounder turret as the Caernavon Mk II. The FV 221 may originally have been intended to be the "Main Battle Tank" member of the FV 201 series, but with the success of the A41 Centurion such a vehicle was no longer required. In either event, the Caernarvon was only used for chassis development work serving in troop trials. In 1955 the first Conqueror was produced. Twenty Mark 1 and 165 Mark 2 Conquerors were built including conversions of Caernavon MkIIs. Production continued until 1959. It had lost much enthusiasm once the Centurion was upgraded to an L7 105 mm gun.
The gun design was American, the same as used on the US M103 heavy tank; with separate charge and projectile, as would also be the case in the Chieftain that followed. The charge was not bagged but in a brass cartridge, which offered some safety advantages, but reduced shell capacity to 35.The armour was very heavy for the time, especially in the front, where it was seven inches (178 mm) in the horizontal plane. Unfortunately, this, along with the weight of the huge turret required to house the large gun and the very large hull volume, made the vehicle very heavy, giving it a relatively low top speed and making it mechanically unreliable. Also, few bridges could support its weight. However, rather like the Second World War Churchill tank, the Conqueror had exceptional terrain handling characteristics and proved to be as capable cross country as the lighter (and on paper slightly faster) Centurion tank.One feature of particular note was the rotating commander's cupola, which was at the heart of the Conqueror's fire control system, advanced for its time. The commander could align the cupola on a target independently of the turret, measure the range with a Coincidence rangefinder, and then direct the gunner on to the new lay mechanically indicated to him by the cupola. In theory, when the gunner traversed to the new lay he would find the target already under his sights, ready to be engaged. Meanwhile, the commander was free to search for the next target. (The Soviet bloc also used similar devices, such as the TPKU-2 and TKN-3, on all of their post–World War II tanks though theirs did not use a rangefinder.) The system may have been inspired by a similar device, without range finder, installed in WWII German Panzers which was apparently highly successful, but was not repeated in subsequent tanks until an updated electronic version of the same idea appeared in the American M60A2 variant of the Patton series.