Panzer M48, Cold War Warrior... from Tankograd


Title: Panzer M48

Author: Walter Bohm

Publisher: Tankograd

A new Militarfahrzeug Special from Tankograd is number 5064 in the series, and covers the operation of the M48 tank, supplied to the Bundeswehr by the US in significant numbers, across a mix of variants.  They helped form the defence of western Europe against the potential assault from the Warsaw Pact.  This one looks at the M48 in service with the Bundeswehr over a series of Cold War exercises. The M48 remained in service until the early 1980s when it was finally replaced by the newer Leopards.  Even before that, surplus M48s had been sold by Germany to Israel, where they were upgraded and used to replace their AMX-13 series.

With background text in both German and English, each section includes archive photos, with dual language informative captions to give the background detail of a series of major NATO exercises,  Starting with The Early Years it goes on to include Panthersprung 67: Certain Shield Reforger IV/73: Schneller Weschel 74: Certain Trek Reforger 75: Certain Wacht 77: Heersubung 80 Sankt Georg: Certain Rampart Reforger 80: Marne Magic 82: Mobilmachungsubung Heimatschutzbrigade 56 1982: Carbine Fortress Reforger 82: Bold Guard 82: Athena 85: Keystone 87 plus a couple more elements on particular unit exercises and rounding off with a look at the M48 A2C with dozer blade and the M48 A2 GA1 armoured engineer vehicle.

The number of major exercises gives a good indication of how much importance was given to these significant exercises, which considered the potential war scenarios that could have been met from the Warsaw Pact.  The different exercises took place at different times of year so we see the vehicles in both summer and winter operation.  As well as other vehicles they worked with, we get to see detail changes of the M48 variants over the years, camouflage colours and the regular use of natural foliage to help conceal the outline of the tanks.  The extensive photo coverage is a mix of both black and white as well as colour images.

The Cold War is behind us now and East and West Germany have been reunited.  At the time that was little more than a dream.  Now it is difficult for youngsters to fully understand what it felt like to live with the threat of the Warsaw Pact, and while WW2 was still relatively fresh in so many peoples memories.  For anyone interested in the development and deployment of tanks in Europe during the Cold War, this is another good addition to the series from Tankograd.

Thanks to UK stockists Bookworld for my example.