Darren Baker takes a look at one of the latest releases from Tankograd in the form of ‘Farewell BAOR the last years of the British Army of the Rhine 1989-1994’.

Introduction

Tankograd continues to produce titles for the modeller and military enthusiast despite these difficult times with one of the latest offering being Farewell BAOR the last years of the British Army of the Rhine 1989-1994. So if you wish to continue to see their great titles going on make sure to treat yourself.

 The following portion of this introduction is as supplied by Tankograd:

During the late 1980s, the threat level for NATO in Europe changed significantly due to dramatic political and military developments in Eastern Europe. The Cold War ended soon after. These fundamental changes also had an impact on the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR). A new aim was to create a much smaller force, but one that still allowed the UK to engage globally if required. The new structure was called "Options for Change". In August 1990, however, the discussion was interrupted by events in the Middle East that led to the Gulf War which the UK joined by deploying troops.
This publication grants a last view on the military vehicles and structure of the British Army of the Rhine, in Germany, to the Gulf and back, before the BAOR was officially disbanded on 31 March 1994.

Review

This offering from Tankograd is authored by Walter Bohm who is a  regular contributor to Tankograd’s prolific number of releases. This title looking at the British Army of the Rhine in decline as the need for a counter force to the Soviet BLOC forces is a soft backed booked of 64pages of glossy paper that displays the photographs well. The card cover offers a reasonable level of protection against normal usage with fluids being the only major issue. The text in this issue is a dual language offering with German on the left of the page and English on the right. The contents of this issue are presented as follows:

Farewell BOAR

1.        BAOR Support for Operation Granby

2.        War Establishment

3.        Desert Sabre

4.        Return to Germany

5.        Options for change

6.        Soltau-Luneberg Training Area

The End of the Cold War

Support for Operation Granby

Adopting the Options for Change

The REME Corps 50th Anniversary Parade Sennelager, 9th May 1992

Soltau-Luneburg Training Area, the Tank Heathland

Structure of the BAOR in 1989

 

This offering from Tankograd covers a period in the British Army’s existence that was a real turning point in terms of what we could do. The book covers the period of the British Army departing Germany for the first time since the end of WW2 and saw forces being sent to fight a war in the Middle East. It covers the end of Chieftain and the rise of Challenger as the British Armoured Fist. The contents outlined above show the written sections as numbered and pictorial section as a listing. The text is well presented and does its task well while not being wordy.

The photographic sections are the area the modellers want to see and they will not be disappointed. The photographs chosen for inclusion are all of a superb quality and show a broad spectrum of what was available during this time and as it prepared for a drive in the sand during the First Gulf War.

 

The photographs are all provided with very well written duel language captions that do their task well. This period in history marked a huge change for the British Armed Forces and so this book is one you have to get if you are interested in what the British Army was sporting at the end of the Cold War and before the severe cuts really started to bite. Looking over the photographs as a whole I was pleased to see the REME actually performing parts of its role such as lifting turrets and removing large gun barrels; These images stick with me as I remember being a volunteer for them at Arborfield REME 50th celebrations and I still have a Zippo lighter given to me at the time with the REME badge on it.

Conclusion

For anyone interested in late Cold War armour or the British Army prior to cut backs biting then this is a great title for you. The text is well written and the photographs are first rate; the captions with each photograph is the icing on the cake and provided in both German and English. We have all had a hard year with Covid 19 and I know it has effected the booksellers very hard due to the numbers that have now gone and so I urge you to support the publishers whose offerings you enjoy during their time of need.

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