During the Cold War, the Fulda Gap, at the inner-German border, was one of the hottest points of potential contact between the military alliances of NATO and the Warsaw Pact. If it had actually come to a war, the East Hessian region would have become the gateway for Warsaw Pact troops to enter the metropolitan region of Frankfurt. Overrunning West Germany was scheduled to take only five to seven days, and within fifteen days the Warsaw Pact wanted to be on the French coast to prevent American and British main forces from landing there by sea.
This publication shows the planned defence of the Fulda Gap by the US Army exemplary with the exercises Caravan I 1972, REFORGER 81 Certain Encounter and REFORGER 83 Confident Enterprise. This is illustrated with a large number of hitherto unpublished photographs of the US vehicles that were ready for the defence against the aggressor from the east.
This offering from Tankograd Publishing covers US war games that occurred during the Cold War around the Fulda Gap. This release from Tankograd is authored by Walter Bohm, and is a soft backed book. The glossy card cover protects 64 pages of A4 gloss paper that shows the pictures off well. This release is one of Tankograd’s duel language publications with German on the left and English on the right of each page. The text in this title covers the exercises in a good level of detail, which for those modellers specifically interested will help you tie down dates and locations for specific units. The font used in this release is clear, but again due to getting old I found the size of the font a little on the small size. Each of the exercises covered in this publication gets a short additional introduction and so you will be in no doubt as to what exercise the photographs come from.
The photographs supplied in this release are a mix of black and white and colour, and I have noticed that some of the photographs, when it comes to colour has that fuzzy slightly out of focus look about them - but to be clear this is not in all cases. Each of the provided photographs is provided with a caption, which is provided both in German and English. Some images that I particularly liked is one of the M48 Chaparral as it is a vehicle that I have never seen in real life and also a vehicle that I believe had a short service life, one of the black and white images that caught my eye shows an M60A1 of the 5th Battalion, 68th Armour Regiment, 3rd Brigade 8th Infantry Division attempting a recovery of another vehicle. Looking at the predicament it has got itself into I would not be surprised that it did not have to be recovered by another vehicle itself.
Titles from Tankograd covering Cold War exercises are very popular titles. I believe that this release will be equally as popular as previous offerings, and while Tankograd have been forced to slightly increase their prices I still feel that €18.95 is a reasonable price for one of their releases, with this one offering 122 photographs. Finally while I have criticised the quality of some of the photographs, it has to be remembered their choices are limited and the issue seems to affect most of the colour photographs taken from the very late 1960s through to the early 1980s.