Book Review
White Rhino 89
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


The following introduction is as provided by Tankograd Publishing:
The 1st (UK) Armoured Division of the British Army of the Rhine conducted Exercise White Rhino between 07 and 25 September 1989. The exercise covered an area of 7,500km² and included 13 districts in the provinces of Lower Saxony, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia of West Germany. The 7th and 22nd Armoured Brigades conducted the sub-exercises Rat Rhino and Stag Rhino in the two southern sectors of the exercise area. The last full force exercise of the 1st (UK) Armoured Division during the Cold War involved no less than 11,060 troops, 237 main battle tanks, 36 self-propelled howitzers, 957 light tracked vehicles, 2,200 wheeled vehicles and 35 helicopters. This publication grants a highly illustrated look back at a time, when British Army tanks ruled German plains!


This review takes a look at one of the latest releases from Tankograd Publishing and covers the White Rhino 89 exercise and shows what the British Army could field prior to the end of the Cold War. The author of this particular release is Walter Böhm who is a regular contributor to Tankograd Publishing. This offering is part of Tankograd Publishing British Special series and with the Number 9028. This is one of the duel language titles common to Tankograd Publishing and so has German on the left and English on the right side of each page. This is soft backed book with a good glossy card cover and 64 pages of good quality paper on the inside.

This offering from Tankograd Publishing begins with nine pages of text. Tankograd Publishing has become very good at getting the information across to the reader while keeping the text concise. The text has been broken down as follows:
An introduction to the exercise
Schedule of the exercise and exercise period
Deployment and preparation
Rat Rhino and Stag Rhino main exercise phases 10th – 15th September 1989
Sub-Exercise Rat Rhino of the 7th Armoured Brigade
Sub-Exercise Stag Rhino of the 22nd Armoured Brigade
Command field exercise White Rhino 89 16th-22nd September 1989
Redeployment and end of exercise
Why free-running field training exercises were discontinued after 1989
1st UK Armoured Division

I have to say that I rather enjoyed reading the block text supplied in this release as it covers a period of time when I was with the NAAFI and these exercises generated huge logistical issues for us. The section covering the 1st Armoured Divisions history is a must read and may encourage you to seek out publications covering some of this history dating back to the Napoleonic Wars.

The photographs utilised in this book area mix of quality as I feel some area little on the soft side, but I must point out that this comment does not apply to any of the images taken by Walter Böhm who has retained his usual high quality. Each of the photographs is accompanied by a very good caption in both German and English that makes it very clear to the viewer what they are looking at. The photographs in this offering from Tankograd Publishing cover the vehicles doing their thing, but I was particularly pleased to see the men that crew these machines and keep them running doing their thing such as working on the tracks of a Challenger 1.


Tankograd Publishing excels as a publisher when it comes to affordable titles looking at very specific areas of the military forces and vehicles of the world and this is not an exception to that role. The text was presented in a way that I found very readable and enjoyable which helps to get the information to the reader. The only negative I could find was that some of the photographs are a little soft and that detracts from the ability of the viewer to detect all of the detail present. The big positive of this title for me is the number of photographs showing the crews working on the vehicles and the infantry in the field.
Darren Baker takes a look at one of the latest titles from Tankograd Publishing covering White Rhino 89 "A Last Hurrah" - The last Large-Scale Cold War Exercise of the 1st (UK) Armoured Division.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: Nr 9028
  Suggested Retail: €14.95
  PUBLISHED: Oct 07, 2018
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

Our Thanks to Tankograd Publishing!
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About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s 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 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

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


These are great books and offer such incredible photos! I feel saddened that we will never again see such vehicles deployed and never again see the famous "Berlin Urban" cammo pattern on a deployed tank. Or will we?
OCT 08, 2018 - 11:16 AM

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