Here we take a look at a Major Military exercise in Europe from Tankograd 'Reforger 88 Certain Challenge'.


The following is taken from the Tankograd website:

The REFORGER 88 Certain Challenge field training exercise took place under the 'AirLand Battle' doctrine, at the army group level and was led by two corps: V (US) Corps and VII (US) Corps. It became the largest ever exercise of the REFORGER manoeuvre series, approximately 125,000 soldiers were involved: American, German, Canadian, French and Danish. The command and umpire sections alone were 10,000 strong. In the field were 15,000 wheeled vehicles, 7,000 tracked vehicles (including 1,095 M60, M1 Abrams, Leopard 1 and Leopard 2 MBTs), 795 anti-tank missile launchers, 400 artillery pieces, 92 M270 multiple-launch rocket systems and 631 helicopters (including 200 combat and anti-tank helicopters).

This publication tells the story of the exercise in great detail and shows the involved military equipment in many action-oriented and hitherto unpublished photographs.


This offering from Tankograd looking at Reforger 88 is authored by Walter Bohm. The book is a duel language offering with German on the left and English on the right of the page. The book is a soft backed offering, with a glossy card cover that should do its job well of protecting the 64 pages if used and stored correctly. The first page in this book, has a fault in the paper which is almost like a crease but it has caused not difficulties with the book other than feeling a little odd. 

The font used in this book, does make for clear presentation, but the size of the text did make me struggle a little as my eyes deteriorate as I get older. Reading through the contents of this offering, I did not realise that Reforger 88 was the largest military exercise since 1969, and the largest exercise ever of its kind. The dedicated text on the exercise itself, covers seven pages, and does a reasonable job of giving the reader an outline of the exercise itself, you then move onto the imagery.

The photographic presentations in this title are provided in full colour, and cover vehicle of each and every kind as far as I can see, from soft skinned offerings through to the main battle tanks. So far as I can see, all of the vehicles covered are either German or American and cover the build up to the exercise, during and after. Each of the images is provided with a caption that is written in both German and English, and adds context to the imagery. 


This offering from Tankograd is limited in what it offers the modeller, as regards what is its main purpose, covering a specific military exercise. However, when you look past the exercise element of the title, what you are presented with as a modeller, is military vehicles all from a specific period being used for the purpose intended. You get to see the wear and tear, the typical patterns of weathering, and how they are utilised in the field. This title enables the modeller to pick a specific subject and show it in the field with realistic presentation of what effect the elements have on it, and how much crew stash on the vehicle. Perhaps the best thing about books of this nature, is that the modeller on a budget can obtain photographic imagery of a wide number of vehicles and setting at a reasonable price.



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