................Tankograd Publishing should require little introduction to the enthusiast who is serious about their reference material. This German company has published an enormous amount of material over the years covering a wide variety of vehicles from a diverse range of countries............. Jim Rae
The book: UHLAN EAGLE British Battle Group on Exercise in Poland
is a 64 page A4, soft-backed book which contains page after page of colour photographs. It covers all UHLAN EAGLE
exercises held between 1996 and 2005. The book is written by Clemens Niesner, Copyright Verlag Jochen Vollert – Tankogard Publishing 2006.
Use of Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area, Western Poland
The British Army has exercised on Polish military training areas since 1995 and the Royal Air Force (RAF) since 1998. The facilities offered by Poland are of an excellent standard and provide the UK with important operational training opportunities and provide revenue for the Polish government, much of which finds its way into the Polish defence budget to assist the programme of modernisation and restructuring. Involving anything between 3000 and 5500 troops, with thousands of vehicles in support, the exercise programme keeps the Defence Section busy, since it acts as a major interface between Polish and UK military authorities. This can involve everything from the negotiation of legal arrangements, to the clearances for aircraft over-flights or convoy movements. The exercises also give the Defence Section the opportunity to involve Polish forces in our training and exchange information on tactics and procedures. In addition Polish, British and Ukrainian Armed Forces take part in an annual training exercise together which is hosted by a different country each year.
Source: British Embassy, Warsaw
The first 8 pages outline the background of Ex ULHAN EAGLE which has been held since 1996 in Drawsko Ponrskie training area in Pommerania in the west of Poland and has probably become the British Army’s Main Battle Training Ground providing a more cost effective base for operations than the British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS) in Canada did with the added attraction of much more varied terrain.
‘The training area of Drawsko Pomorskie is a mixture of rolling hills, tended woodland and large expanses of open areas. The area is strewn with old Soviet training systems, burnt out hulks of tanks and mobile guns some dating back to the Second World War which adds a realism effect that is found in only a few areas.’
The introduction covers the political and cost implications and outlines the purpose of the exercise, giving some insight into the logistic support required and a breakdown of the Armoured Brigades currently in existence within the British Army and still stationed in Germany at the time of publication namely:
4th Armoured Brigade – Osnabruck
7th Armoured Brigade- Bergen/Holne
20th Armoured Brigade – Sennelager
Page 9 contains a list of abbreviations which are also helpful to the reader.
The remainder of the book is broken down into details about each specific exercise although only very limited information is given.
Ulan Eagle 1996
Ulan Eagle 1997
Ulan Eagle 1998
Ulan Eagle 1999
Ulan Eagle 2000
Uhlan Eagle 2005 – Name Changed to reflect a more English connection!
At the start of each exercise is a listing of the Armoured Brigade taking part together with all the units within that Brigade that participated. These ‘chapters’ are accompanied by a selection of photographs showing some of the vehicles and equipment used and each picture is accompanied by informative text. Where exercises also involved the Polish Army, pictures of their vehicles are also shown, some unusual polish amphibians.
This is a book for those interested in British Armour, whether it’s the Challenger 2, FV107 Scimitar, the Warrior FV511 or the humble AFV432. Yes, there’s a few still rolling. There are also a number of interesting photographs on a variety of AVRE vehicles, both recovery and bridging units.
Because of the time period 1996 to 2005 it is also interesting to note the old and the new in terms of vehicles and equipment.
Not a wildly exciting subject but a picture of a very necessary process if armoured units are to be able to train effectively in large formations and practice the skills and logistics necessary for battle in terrain that is varied and interesting.
Excellent photographic references for the modern British armoured modeller and another useful source of material.
Again this book is provided in German and English, but you soon get used to the format.
Considering that the subject is not that exciting they have tried to give useful background information, but the content (text) will probably be a bit ‘dry’ for some and no information is provided about actual tactics or operational problems and solutions , so don’t expect too much.
My thanks to Tankograd Publications
for the opportunity to review this book.