By experts considered as the best main battle tank in the world, the Leopard 2 in 2014 reached a vital stage of modernisation: the 2A7. This publication covers the introduction and the many technical improvements of the new 2A7-variant of the Leopard family in great detail. It is the updated and enlarged version of the previous Special 5058 and now for the first time includes all upgrades and modernisation measures carried out on the 2A7 between 2016 and 2019. With this work the gap that existed in available documentations between the first Leopard 2A7 and the new Leopard 2A7V is now closed on sixteen additional pages.
This offering from Tankograd looking at the Leopard 2A7 is authored by Ralph Zwilling. This is a soft backed book with a gloss card cover, protecting 72 A4 sized gloss paper pages. This is one of Tankograd’s duel language publications with German on the left and English on the right side of each page. The font used is a good and easy to read, the size did make me struggle a little. The contents of this title are presented as:
Wheels and Suspension
On Board Communications System
Fire Suppression System
Optimisation of On-board Network
Preparation of Additional Armour
Thermal Protection Equipment
Due to the page count in the title, the text to image content is restricted due to being a duel language publication. With that said the text provides a very fair understanding of the goal this book is intended to fill. The book is not aimed directly at modellers and so the text is an important aspect for those purchasing the title for information purposes. It is also my understanding that a portion of this title was a previously available title that has been updated, with according to the Tankograd introduction now offering an additional 16 pages.
The modeller who purchases this title will be looking at it for visual reference, and despite the page count Tankograd has again done a very good job of meeting the modellers needs in this respect. The book offers a full package of images, going from the overall view of the vehicle to a very well done detailed walk-around which while the sections covered are titled in German only the captions that accompany each photograph are in German and English. I was especially pleased to find 1/35th scale drawings showing a Leopard 2A7 in five plains which will enable you to check a piece of the model against the scale drawing. Looking at the photo individually a series of images showing the barracuda netting I found particularly informative for both the way it looks and connects to the way the netting is applied.
The Leopard series of tanks has provided Germany with an incredible export success, with a huge number of countries now fielding various Leopards. This title fills in a gap that previously existed and while some may feel that replacing a book for 16 pages in a questionable expense, I feel that value for money wise Tankograd titles do offer a very good level of content, especially photographic wise for the cost of €18.95. The photographs are all of a very high standard, and looking at it from a modellers viewpoint the walk-arounds are of particular value.