by: Darren Baker [ ]
One of the latest releases from Tankograd Publishing covers the British Army of the Rhine in the American REFORGER exercises held between 1975-1991. The British involvement in these exercises is covered from the very minor participation of the early years, to the large scale involvement in later years.
This book consists of 64 pages printed on a good quality paper with a semi gloss finish, bound in a heavy card outer sleeve of roughly A4 size. As with all of the Tankograd books I have seen so far this is a dual language book with German and English text side by side.
The book starts with a brief introduction of British involvement in the REFORGER exercises, and the purpose of the REFORGER exercises. It then proceeds to give brief details of the various REFORGER exercises in which the British took part providing regiment details, locations, and to which force they were assigned.
The following is a list of the REFORGER exercises the British were involved in the years 1975-91:
● 1975 Certain Trek with only 100 British troops involved.
● 1977 Carbon Edge when 300 SAS troops took part.
● 1978 Certain Shield involved Devon and Dorset’s and the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon guards.
● 1981 Certain Encounter was supported by 20 Armoured Brigade.
● 1987 Certain Strike had the 4 Armoured Brigade take part.
● 1991 Certain Shield:
▪ Brigade HQ and 210 (24 Airmobile Brigade) Signal Brigade
▪ 1st battalion The Green Howards
▪ 1st Battalion The Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment
▪ 1st Battalion The Gloucestershire Regiment
▪ 51 Field Squadron, Royal Engineers
▪ 9 Regiment Army Air Corps (657, 672, and 673 Squadron)
▪ Logistics Support Squadron
▪ 24 Airmobile Field Ambulance
▪ 27 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
▪ 150 Provost Company
▪ Royal Military Police
The book contains 83 colour photographs and 39 black and white photographs which depict a large number and variety of vehicles in use by the BAOR over the time period covered, including the motorcycle of the dispatch rider through to the early days of the Challenger 1, plus a fair selection of everything in between.
I am unable to recommend this book for a few reasons. I found myself unable to decide who the book is aimed at mostly due to it trying to cover too many vehicles over a long period of time. There is not enough text, and therefore written information for a person who is interested in these exercises, along with the picture quality, is really showing its age, therefore making it of questionable use to the model maker as reference material.
I will say that there are some very nice pictures of unusual subjects, although there are also pictures with an almost fuzzy quality about them. I believe that in this book the publisher has tried to cover too long a time period, which encompasses too many vehicle types with the pages available. The book does provide inspiration for anyone who builds dioramas, especially if you like using mud.