The following introduction is as supplied by Tankograd Publishing.
When REFORGER 87 - Certain Strike was conducted in northern Germany, evidence showed that, in a hypothetical war with NATO, the Warsaw Pact would attempt to break through NATO’s forward defences along West Germany’s eastern borders at their weakest point. REFORGER 87 was highly exceptional as it involved the deployment to Europe of a substantial part of III (US) Corps. As a result it saw the largest number of US Army troops deployed to Europe in a single exercise since 1949. In total, Certain Strike involved about 78,000 troops from six nations, 20,000 wheeled vehicles and 2,200 tracked vehicles. This publication allows us to follow Certain Strike forces into ‘battle’, showing the deployed vehicles in enthralling exercise photos supported by comprehensive text and maps.
This offering from Tankograd Publishing is one of their duel language offerings, German on the left and English on the right. The book consists of 64 pages with a glossy finish and printed in portrait format, the pages are protected by a glossy card cover with further relevant printed information on the insides faces. The first 9 pages of this title from Tankograd publishing is dedicated to text. The text element of the book does a fairly good job of explaining the ifs, buts, and maybes of the exercise; it certainly covered it to my satisfaction and someone looking for a more in-depth explanation will need to seek out a dedicated written offering.
The rest of this title concentrates on photographic coverage of the various stages of the exercise; it is these areas of the title that would attract me as a modeller to purchasing the book. All of the photographs are in colour and of very good quality. One area where Tankograd Publishing excels when it comes to photographs is the captions; they do go to some lengths to provide quite long captions that explains clearly what you are looking at and in some cases how the photographic opportunity came about; by this I mean that Tankograd explains the circumstances the vehicles were engaged in that led to the situation in which they were photographed.
Having taken a good look at this title from Tankograd Publishing covering the Reforger 87 Certain Strike, The Cold War’s Largest Transatlantic Bridge, I am hard pushed to say anything negative about it. Titles such as this are designed to explain who and what was where at certain points in time, but I look at this title and similar as diorama settings and accurate weathering reference. We are all aware of seeing armour from all periods with exposed bare metal that is rusting and it is titles such as this that provide me with a new perspective.
The photographs in this title offer great reference for anyone interested in the M113 and its extended family and also provide good coverage of American and German fire power. Some photographs that particularly caught my attention are of an Abram’s that has broken a track on the side of the ride (Beats a flat tyre), some photographs of Leopard tanks with fir trees all over them. Even the British get in on the act with a selection of vehicles covered in camouflage netting and a good quantity of flora present. The mix of photographs showing vehicles of all countries stuck in boggy ground and awaiting rescue particularly appeal to me, especially an early Abram’s that is well and truly stuck with its front right quarter well into a ditch.
Highs: The photographs of vehicles in situations (bogged down) that are rarely seen really appeals to me.Lows: None as far as I am concerned.Verdict: The captions supplied with the photographs and the photographs themselves make this a must for anyone interested in displaying vehicles of the period in Europe.
About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
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...