by Stefan Marx
Tankograd Militarfahrzeug Special No 5004.
Soft cover, A4 size, 64 pages
Review by Peter Brown
First of these was the M74, based on Sherman M4A3 chassis rebuilt with a fixed "turret", lifting boom and winch. Outclassed as soon as it entered German service, it was superseded by another American type, the M88 which was based on the same mechanical components of the M48 tank it was designed to support. Designated Bergepanzer 1, they served for some years before being rebuilt into the M88A1 series with German smoke grenade launchers. Both these are described, with original black and white photos and colour views.
Both the Leopard series of tanks are backed by their own series of ARVs. Based on the engine and suspension of the basic tank, these have a purpose-built hull with a traversing boom for lifting operations as well as a winch for recovery operations and a front-mounted blade to steady the vehicle which can be used for dozing tasks and building tank hides.
Supporting the Leopard 1 was the Bergepanzer 2, widely used in the German and other NATO Army it has also been supplied to various countries which have produced the Leopard 1 series following disposals as forces have been reduced. It was improved during service and further enhancements are available. Capable though it is, it was not powerful enough to support the heavier Leopard 2 series which has its own AFV version. The Bergepanzer 3 Buffel (Buffalo) is built along the same lines as the earlier series but is bigger and more effective.
Both these series are described in detail with walk-round photos mostly in colour showing them inside and out, as well as in the field in German and foreign service. Five-view 1/35th plans of both are included.
Alongside these are shorter sections dealing with private-venture ARVs, Jung Jurgenthal conversions based on redundant M48 and Leopard 1 chassis as well as upgrades designed to bring the Bergepanzer 2 series up to more modern standards.
Highly recommended, it is available from several distributors world-wide, for more details contact the publishers Verlag Jochen Vollert on email@example.com
Page created 27 March 2004