bookArmoured Vehicles of the British Infantry Brigade Berlin

by Andreas Kirchhoff

Tankograd British Special No 9001.
Soft cover, A4 size, 64 pages

Review by Peter Brown

At the end of WW2 Germany was controlled by the various Allied powers. With the Eastern part under Russian control, Berlin was in the Russian area but was further split with a Western sector under British, American and French control. Each of these countries stationed troops there, the British contingent being an Infantry Brigade supported by a reinforced Squadron of tanks.

Several different units were stationed there before they were withdrawn after the reunification of Germany. Vehicles used in Berlin were an unusual mixture. Though many were standard types, during the later part of its service some supporting wheeled vehicles were provided by the Berlin authorities which were not the same as generally used by the British Army. The most unusual types stationed there were the armoured vehicles painted in an unusual camouflage scheme. This was specific to the Berlin Brigade, and was devised in the early 1980s during the period that 4/7 Dragoon Guards were serving there. Its three-colour block system broke up the vehicle’s outline in the urban environment win which they would have fought had the Cold War gone "live".

These vehicles are shown in great detail with 119 colour and 23 black-and-white photos, plus five-view scale drawings of each main type. Photos include general views of vehicles on the roads, taking part in the annual Allied Forces Day Parade, on exercise at the special urban warfare training area in Berlin and on at Soltau-Fallingbostel ranges which show an unusual mix of urban camouflage and rural dirt. Separate sections show each main type from all angles, including views showing them from above which are ideal for modellers. These cover -

Overall this gives a wealth of information and inspiration for anyone wanting to depict AFVs in unusual colours. This may not be for the faint-hearted, it will be tricky and maybe frustrating but will reward the effort. Patterns were fixed and with the plans and photos showing them from all angles there is no scope for getting them wrong due to lack of references. These vehicles did not carry a lot of markings but the photos show what signs were applied, including the Berlin Brigade’s "frozen orifice" badge.

Though it may appear to have limited and specific appeal, the walk-rounds of the vehicles show many types used over several years and are great reference for the vehicles even if the special colours are not to your taste.

First in what is to be hoped will be a long-running series, this is well produced and highly recommended as are all Tankograd publications. Available from Tankograd distributors, for more details contact the publishers Verlag Jochen Vollert on My thanks go to Justin Gainham at Bookworld for the review copy.

Page created March 6, 2006

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