Book Review
Leopard 1 in Danish Service
The Leopard 1 in Danish Service
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by: Paul Truhe [ PTRUHE ]

Trackpad publishing continues their great coverage of the Leopard 1 tank with The Leopard 1 in Danish Service. The Royal Danish Army has a long history with the Leopard 1 tank starting in 1976 till retirement in 2004. This period includes the first time a Leopard 1 fired a shot in combat which was during Operation Bøllebank with the UNPROFOR mission in Bosnia. A very substantial book and quite full of details of the Danish Leopard 1 and other variants.

The hardcover book is A4 size in portrait format with 340 pages and over 1,400 photographs. It is essentially the whole life story of the Leopard tank in Danish service. The author, Kim Hartvig Sørensen, is a former Leopard 1 tank commander and troop leader so the book contains his valuable personal insight and that of his colleagues. The voluminous amount of pictures ranges from the minutest detail to the Danish Leopard in action during training, maneuvers, and combat operations.

The contents of this book are:
    Choosing the Leopard
    Leopard 1A3DK Arrives
    Early Operations
    Squadron Life
    Leopard 1A5DK
    Peacekeeping Operations
    NATO Operations
    More Modifications ...
    Biber AVLB
    Bergepanzer 2 ARV
    Wisent 1 ARV
    Wisent 1 AMCV
    Wisent 1 AEV
    Training Equipment
    Crew Dress
    The Royal Leopard
    The Funny Side
    All Good Things ...

Choosing the Leopard explains the process to replace the Centurion in service and evaluation of the Leopard 1A3 against the Chieftain and final selection. Very good insight into the evaluation criteria.

Delivery of the new tanks is highlighted well in Leopard 1A3DK Arrives and Early Operations shows the field maneuvers of the new Leopards during the 1980s.

Squadron Life is an extensive look at training, maintenance and live-firing. The many photographs exhibit a wide variety of camouflage and stowage. Very nice details of crew weapons and the ammunition. The last part of the chapter covers the evaluation and introduction of female tank crew members.

The Modifications chapter covers the early additions/changes to the 1A3 with some good details on the dozer blade and extensive coverage of the thermal mats that were applied for a few years. More extensive upgrades are shown in Leopard 1A5DK with the most prominent being the EMES 18 sight head that is normally seen on the Bundeswehr cast turret Leopard 1A5. The added bonus of this chapter are several pictures of the 'black' Leopards from the Reconnaissance Battalion of the Jutland Division and the odd-looking evaluation German Leopard 1A3 with EMES 18 and 20 pounder gun. The chapter continues with daily life in the 1A5DK squadrons and exercises in the early 2000s.

The Peacekeeping Operations and NATO Operations chapters showcase the Danish Leopards, including some ARVs, during deployment to Bosnia with UNPROFOR, IFOR, SFOR, and KFOR missions. You get to see the Leopard in UN white and snow paint schemes as well as the regular green and black. Also included is the enemy engagement during Operation Bøllebank.

Mine plough fitting, stowage changes, and other modifications like air conditioning are detailed in More Modifications with some of these comprising the DK1 package. Experiments in up-armoring are also shown.

It's not all about the gun tanks as the Biber AVLB, Bergepanzer 2 ARV, Wisent 1 ARV, Wisent 1 AMCV, and Wisent 1 AEV each get their own chapter with details and actions shots including deployments in the Balkans and Afghanistan.

Next, Training Equipment explores subcaliber training devices and simulation gear followed by Crew Dress with uniforms and headgear from the early years through the Balkans and beyond.

The Camouflage chapter highlights the paint schemes through the years and operations as well as unit markings with Transportation demonstrating the movement of Danish Leopard vehicles by rail, road, sea, and air.

The Royal Leopard chapter is dedicated to members of the Danish Royal Family that have served on Leopard tanks and The Funny Side has some less serious Danish Leopard moments.

Wrapping things up is All Good Things with retirement plans, the sad ending of scrap and hard targets for some, and the lucky ones headed for museums. Supporting this chapter is Appendix 1 - Vehicle Fates which is an extensive list of the disposition of all the Danish Leopard 1s.
Highs: The complete story of the Leopard 1 in Danish service. Details of the Danish Leopards you won't find anywhere else. A massive number of pictures.
Lows: None
Verdict: This is all you could hope for in a book about the Leopard 1 tank. The whole life story for the Leopard from birth to retirement and preservation with some Danish Leopard 1s still firing. Well worth the price!
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: TP012
  PUBLISHED: Sep 17, 2020

About Paul Truhe (ptruhe)

Built military models in my youth but didn't pick it up again until a few years out of college. Served in a mortar platoon in the 2nd Armored Division from 1986-1990 at the end of the Cold War. I only build armor now with primary interests being M113s, CVR(t)s and Leopards.

Copyright ©2021 text by Paul Truhe [ PTRUHE ]. All rights reserved.


These are always such a great source for photos and information and I value each that I can lay my hands on.
SEP 18, 2020 - 12:32 PM

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