Book Review
Spear Point 80
Cold War Exercise Spear Point 80
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


The following introduction is as supplied by Tankograd Publishing:

Joint British and American Forces face the Threat from the East
After two years of preparatory work, the field training exercise Spearpoint 80 was conducted as part of the large-scale Exercise Crusader 80 between 11 and 26 September 1980. Since NATO came into existence, this exercise was the largest British one held on West German soil. Taking place in the area south of Hannover, the exercise also used lines of communication and resupply lines stretching right back to the United Kingdom. The scenario of Spearpoint 80 realistically and clearly was based on a massive attack from the east, a threat that British and American armoured formations had to face. This publication traces the various phases of the exercise in great detail and shows how a full scale armoured battle of the Cold War would have been fought.


Tankograd Publishing has released a British Special looking at Operation Spear Point, which was a part of Exercise Crusader. Exercise Spear Point was an exercise held in Germany in September 1980. This exercise saw 102,000 troops in the field, of which 76,300 where British, 22,000 American troops and 3,700 German troops. There were 855 main battle tanks in the field along with 2,788 other tracked vehicles, 18,000 wheeled vehicles and 360 helicopters, the sort of numbers we can only think about being in the field today. The British army had 471 MBTís in the field, more I believe than we have in total currently.

This book as with most from Tankograd Publishing is duel language, you get German down the left and British down the right of each page. The photograph captions are also supplied in German and English. Included in this book are 86 colour photographs, 32 black & white photographs and 4 maps over 64 pages. Photograph quality is a mix; the black and white photographs provided are all very good; however colour photographs of this period generally range from good to average. I should be very clear here; this applies to the physical look of the image rather than the content of it. Some of colour pictures have a fuzzy appearance; the good news is that for the most part Tankograd Publishing has managed to locate good to fair colour photographs.

One picture in this book that signifies to me just how big this exercise was shows 130 Chieftain tanks on Antarís for the exercise, this is listed as the largest number of British army tanks to be moved as a convoy since World War Two. How do you fancy getting caught behind that tail back? Tankograd Publishing has gone to a lot of trouble to depict a wide range of vehicles of the British Army in a good mix of settings from rural to urban. The American vehicles also get a good look in in this title. Something else I was pleased to see represented in this title is the soldier on the ground and the work they do when playing war.


As a modeller this book is not really of use for detailing a model itself, it does however show a good mix of how vehicles look in the field when they get down and dirty. This book also helps the modeller who has not served see just how vehicles were loaded and utilised in the field, such as added camouflage and use of ground cover. If you like to display your models in dioramas then this is just the sort of book for you.

Highs: This book has a lot of information both visual and written for the modeller to pick and choose from.
Lows: Some of the colour pictures used are not the best, but have been used to provide the widest scope and number of subjects.
Verdict: If modelling armour of the 1980ís is something that interests you, then this book will help you display it in a convincing manner.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: Nr. 9022
  Suggested Retail: Ä14.95
  PUBLISHED: Oct 20, 2014

Our Thanks to Tankograd Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2021 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.


As a Chieftain (four MBT's) troop CoH. (Sgt) with D Squadron The Life Guards, I remember this exercise 'Spearpoint 80' well. Some aweful weather with cold temps and heavy morning mists. The tanks reliabilty astounded some of the naysayers and we were able to have some enjoyable moments as well.. Hiding alongside a Gastoff now and then or farm provided some relief. A couple of pictures of my troop on Ex Goodwood (part of Spearpoint 80) can be found in one of the Osprey books. This is a book I will certainly obtain. Keith.
OCT 21, 2014 - 11:35 PM

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