Book Review
Challenger 2
Challenger 2
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


The Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank is the British Army’s tank of choice in today’s market. The Challenger 2 has become a popular modelling subject due to its use in Iraq I suspect. The Challenger 2 only lost one tank in combat and that was due to a blue on blue contact and so this tank has a great history. Kagero as part of their Photo Sniper series has got their sights set of the Challenger 2 and this title is the subject of this review.


This offering from Kagero as part of their Photo Sniper book series is a soft back book written by Dick Taylor. The card cover is fairly robust and should do a good job of protecting the 88 pages of good quality paper in A4 size. Dick Taylor is a busy man having authored a very good number of books covering armour from World War 2 to the present day for a wide range of publishers.

Dick Taylor has provided the text in this title in a pleasing manner as far as I am concerned, instead of providing pages of text it instead flows through the book and so is of a quantity that is likely to be read rather than skipped in favour of the photographs. The text covers the Challenger 2 from its Design and Development through to its service and onto its alterations in service; also covered are the Trojan and Titan based on the Challenger 2 hull.

The photographs in this book are all colour offerings totalling 198 in total, this are presented on gloss finish paper that shows the images at their best. The photographs cover the Challenger 2 from its earliest days through to the current vehicle in use; one of the development vehicles for the Challenger 2 is on permanent display inside Bovington Tank Museum. Towards the end of this title you are shown images of the training vehicles used at Bovington Camp, one of these shows the knife edge hill which if you go there on the right day you can watch the vehicles or accurately the drivers put through their paces.

The photographs show the Challenger 2 in many situations being it training, peace keeping and war, the result is a very good mix of images showing many varied finished looks to the Challenger 2. These are further enhanced via the addition of a number of colour profiles in the book. I did enjoy seeing the training vehicles, Titan Bridge layer and Trojan Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers (AVRE) get coverage in this title but it is another aspect I particularly liked. This book covers the crew performing various tasks on the tank, tasks that are rarely shown such as track bashing and cleaning the barrel, there are even images showing aspects such as engine maintenance and the bivies that are hung from the sides of the vehicle for the crew to sleep in.


This offering from Kagero and written by Dick Taylor is a fantastic visual reference for the modeller. The text is presented in a style that encourages the viewer to read it as it is not intimidating in quantity and so you will find yourself learning about the vehicle as well as looking at it without realising. The photographs are of course the reason that most modellers will look to purchase the book and I don’t think you will be disappointed. The photographs cover a broad spectrum and are also of a very high quality that enables the viewer to pick out specific details on the vehicle.
Darren Baker takes a look at a Kagero title covering the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank courtesy of Casemate Publishing.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 9788365437853
  Suggested Retail: £20.50
  PUBLISHED: Jul 04, 2019
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

Our Thanks to Casemate Publishers!
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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.


sounds like an excellent read. I had no idea about the blue on blue involving British challenger tanks and since I have one on standby by in my stash so this book might be a useful source of pictorial information. thank for posting.
JUL 04, 2019 - 01:38 PM
I found this for you The first reported ground fratricide incident during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) occurred shortly after midnight on March 24, when a British Challenger II tank fired on another near Basra. This incident is of particular interest. The two tanks, Britain’s most advanced MBT types, were part of a squadron of the Queen’s Royal Lancers attached to the 1st Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusliers Battlegroup of the 7th Armoured Brigade. The tanks were engaging pockets of Iraqi soldiers near a bridge over the Qanat Shat Al Basra canal which runs along the western edge of the city. In a nearby sector, a troop of CR2 of 2RTR was tracking a group of enemy personnel through their thermal sights, which had been reported by the battle group HQ. The ‘target’ was indicated as an enemy bunker position. The QDL Challenger was, unfortunately, in turret-down position, below the skyline, its crew working on the turret top, visible to the 2 RTR crew as the reported “enemy” troops. The RTR TC requested clearance to shoot, which was granted. Firing two shots of HESH at 4000 yards blew the turret off the QDL Challenger, killing two of the crew and seriously wounding the two others. Both tanks were fitted with visual identification systems in working order, but could not render clear visual contact, due to the hull-down positioned tank. According to reports, tanks in OIF were issued bolted-on identification panels, including those emitting thermal signature which can be seen at long distance using IR observation devices. However there seemed to remain also some of the older fluorescent sheets, used during Desert Storm on some of the AFVs.
JUL 04, 2019 - 10:34 PM

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