Here we take a t the last large Scale British Exercise in Europe Lionheart 84 Courtesy of Tankograd


The following introduction is taken from the Tankograd website:

Exercise Lionheart ran for little over a month, from 03 September till 05 October 1984. It comprised three phases: a deployment phase (Full Flow), the employment phase (FTX Spearpoint) and a redeployment phase (Full Flow). Lionheart was the largest British Cold War exercise and designed to stress like never before the British Army's operational capacity to augment its forces in West Germany and to defend successfully the I (BR) Corps sector against the backdrop of a more threatening Warsaw Pact posture.

This publication shows the vehicles of the British Army in action with many impressive photos including those of the then new vehicle types such as the Challenger 1, the Saxon, the MCV-80 (Warrior) and the Tracked Rapier. Furthermore the vehicles of the participating West German, Dutch and American units are covered.


This offering from Tankograd is a soft backed publication, with a card cover protecting 64 glossy pages within. The card cover protecting this release will with reasonable handling protect the contents for many years to come. Both the cover and the pages have a high gloss finish, which presents the photographs included at their best. The authors of this particular release are Walter Bohm and Diego Ruiz Palmer. This release from Tankograd is one of their duel language releases, with German on the left and English on the right of each page where applicable.

The book begins with a look at the aims and objectives of this exercise, which looked to test the British militaries abilities to support, supply and re-enforce the British sector if the Cold war became hot. I remember this exercise particularly well, because we had to purchase two chest freezers to store food that would otherwise be thrown away at the end of the exercise. The text provided does a good job of covering these aspects of the exercise, including a weekly progression of it. A picture of note on the inside of the cover, shows a Dutch Leopard of an overall olive tank and light green pea dot camouflage over the top, which is something that I had not seen previously. 

The rest of this title provides a very good number of 87 colour photographs, and 45 black and white photographs plus 5 graphics of pre-dominantly British assets performing the roles for which they were intended. In addition to the British assets, there are a small number of West German, Dutch and American assets covered in the release. The British assets that are covered here for the first time in the field are the new Challenger 1 as was, the Warrior APC, the tracked Rapier system and the Saxon armoured car. I honestly believed that the Saxon was a much older vehicle, but that is neither here or there. As is usual for Tankograd each of the photographs is provided with a written caption, and as this is a duel language title both German and English captions are provided.


Tankograd titles covering exercises tend to be very popular from my experience and this offering should not be any different. I believe from memory, that this exercise covered the last very large scale deployment of British assets in a main land European exercise. The range of vehicles and assets going through their paces performing the roles for which they were intended, and provided in this title in high quality photographs make this a must for any modeller with an interest in the British military from the 1970 to the 1990s. 



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