Published four times a year, the Militarfahrzeug journal consists of 64 pages printed on glossy paper with card covers. Tankograd have a reputation for turning out high-quality publications which is upheld by the latest issue of this magazine. The article text is German, with dual German/English captions to photos, and an English précis of the articles at the back of the magazine. The précis have now been extended (compared to the previous issue reviewed) to provide increased coverage, which is probably better than having full bilingual text as this can reduce content in both languages. The English translation is good, though some content is lost in the photo captions, which are fuller in the original. Content in this issue is again mostly modern armour, while the standard of photography is excellent throughout.
The main content is in the following longer articles:
VCA Palmaria (8 pages) – extensive coverage, photographed on exercise in Patagonia, of this 155mm self-propelled howitzer developed by Argentina on an extended version of the TAM hull, and fitted with an Oto Melara turret. Also featured are the VCAmun ammunition carrier and VCCDF fire-control vehicle, both based on the standard TAM hull and also an M548. The text provides an insight into the long and complex development history of the type, together with information on fire control and deployment
Crossed Swords 86 (6 pages) – Back to the 80s for some classic coverage of a NATO exercise, very much in the style of some of the earlier Concord books (no surprise since some of the photos are by Pierre Touzin). Features lots of 80s armour, including a swimming Bradley emerging from the Weser and a Centurion AVRE 105mm. A second article later in the magazine shows a slightly earlier (1983) US Army exercise in Bavaria featuring M60s with barely-visible Dualtex camouflage.
M1A1 AIM and M1A2 SEP with TUSK (6 pages) – Featuring several tanks photographed in Iraq fitted with reactive armour tiles (both the flat ARAT I and curved ARAT II are shown) fitted to the skirts, tank infantry phone, and the shields for the commander and loader. There are some detail photos in this article, showing the reactive tiles, shields and Driver Vision Enhancer (DVE) thermal viewer, including both the sensor and screen. There is also the promise to cover the subject in greater depth shortly….
MAN-Power (7 pages) – coverage of the range of new 6, 9, and 16 tonne lorries being procured by the British Army to replace its motley collection of older vehicles. Photographs show a range of vehicles, including some with the Project Fortress protection upgrade and already painted stone. The text (evidently written in English originally) goes into some depth about the models involved and indicates that this procurement package was the largest single one ever in Europe for lorries.
MAN TGA (6 pages) – more MAN lorries, this time for the Bundeswehr. This article also includes a few more detail shots than the usual run of Militärfahrzeug articles.
This is really just a sample of the contents, among the subjects covered in shorter features are Elefant tank-transporters of the Polish Army, the British Army Case Medium Wheeled Tractor, and the presentation of a prototype Marder MICV to the Panzer Museum. Also featured is the Brückenleger IV, including a photo of one with the bridge covered in a huge purpose-made cover, not for the faint-hearted modeller! This issue covers a wide range of topics rarely touched elsewhere and is recommended for the modern armor enthusiast in particular.
Highs: The usual high quality images associated with Tankograd, with increased English text in the article précis. Wide spread of coverage. Lows: None reallyVerdict: Your interests would have to very obscure indeed not to find something of interest in this magazine. covers topics rarely touched on elsewhere (like Argentinian armour).
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About David Maynard (Drader) FROM: WALES, UNITED KINGDOM
From south Wales originally, I became an archaeologist by chance and have continued being one for about 20 years. Which is a lot of mud shifted. The nursing home where I was born is now part of the Celtic Manor and, by a nice bit of irony, I did the archaeology for several of their golf courses. I h...