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Assault, Volume 12

by Walter Bohm, Carl Schulze and Tim Matzold, Clemens Niesner & Daniel Nowak

Concord Publications, ISBN 962-361-115-3. Price: unavailable.

The latest volume of the “Journal of Armored and Heliborne Warfare” contains three articles describing Swedish, German and American tank units on maneuver in Europe.

“Sweden’s Armor Might in Operation Vareld 2003”, by Carl Schulze, contains 80 photos and one spec chart, largely describing the activities of Swedish Stridsvagen 121 and 122 (Leopard 2A4 and 2A5, respectively) MBTs and CV9040A AIFVs as they conduct various training operations in urban areas during March of 2003. Several variations of the CV90 are also pictured including the Bargningsbandvagn 90 Armored Recovery Vehicle, Eldledningpansabandvagn Forward Observation Officer’s Vehicle and TriAD Air defense Vehicle. The unusual variety of AFVs seen in this transitional armored force also includes the Brobandvagn Bridgelayer (on ex-Soviet T-55 MBT chassis), obsolescent PBV302 Armored Personnel Carriers, a loaned AS-90 Braveheart 155mm SPG (a possible replacement for Sweden’s aging 155mm Bandkanon 1A), ex-Soviet MT-LB APCs and Patria SISU wheeled LAVs. Volvo and Scania trucks, 155mm towed guns, BV 206 all-terrain vehicles, Quad ATVs and helicopters complete the coverage. And, of course, the troops who man these assets are well-covered, to include details of their weapons, equipment and uniforms. The photos are all of excellent quality and feature extensive and detailed captions. The text ably describes the exercise as well as the overall structure and mission of Sweden’s ground forces.

Next in line is “Black Boar Leopards: Leopards in Schwarzer Keiler”, by Walter Bohm, containing 42 photos. This article describes an exercise conducted by Bundeswehr Leopard 2A4s and A6s, accompanied by Buffel 3 ARVs, Biber bridge-layers, Marder 1A3 MICVs, Fuchs LAVs, M113 ambulances and various trucks. Photos of interest include those of Leopards with deep-fording gear at a river crossing, as well as live-fire exercises, ammunition handling and vehicle insignia. Panzergrenadiers are also given brief coverage. The text and captions are informative as well as interesting, making this article a useful resource for fans of modern German AFVs.

The final article covers US Army M1A1 MBTs stationed in Germany and is entitled “1-1 Cav in Exercise Saber and Comanche Ramp”. A collaboration of Tim Matzold, Clemens Niesner & Daniel Nowak, it contains a total of 38 photos. The photos cover the M1A1 as well as Bradley IFVs, an M88A1 (in action during a recovery evolution) and variations on the tried-and-true M113 chassis. Of course, HMMWVs are present as well as HEMTT fuel trucks. The final items are OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters and, of course, the troops who “make it all happen”. The text and captions suffer from inadequate editing, but enough can be gleaned from both to satisfy.

As always in this series, there is a piece of center-spread art, which in this case, consists of a profile of an MH-60K from the 160th SOAR in 1/35th-scale, by Hubert Cance. So, altogether this book should satisfy fans of modern armor, especially the latest versions of the Leopard 2 as kitted by Tamiya.


Frank De Sisto

Reviewer’s note: Since May of 2005, I have been working on books for Concord Publications. The reader may wish to take this into consideration. For my part, I will attempt to maintain an objective viewpoint when writing these reviews.

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