Trackpad Publishing has been at the forefront of creating and providing publications focusing on the family of Leopard Main Battle Tanks. While Trackpad specializes in producing limited run books of military vehicles – any type, any period, the Leopard will always be the publisher’s subject of choice.
One of the latest titles from Trackpad Publishing is the Danish Leopard 2A5DK and QRF in their series of Model Foto Fucus books. This is a 136 page photographic manuscript focusing on the Leopard Main Battle Tank (MBT) currently in use by Demark’s Military, the 2A5DK and QRF variant of the tank. While the Danish Leopard 2A5DK and QRF is part of the Model Foto Focus Series, this book is a continuance to a previously released book from Trackpad at the end of 2016 titled Danish Leopards in Helmand: From the crew’s perspective. I will be taking a look at both books in this review.
Danish Leopard 2A5DK and QRF
By Bobber Møller and Carl Schulze
Published by Trackpad Publishing
MSRP – £23.50 / $30.57 US
As seen with previous releases of book from the Model Foto Focus series, Danish Leopard 2A5DK and QRF is all about getting up close and personal with the Leopard Tank. This book is a photographic referencing guide and is broken down into several chapters covering sections of the Leopard 2A5 MBT and variants. The premise of this book is to give the readers one of the most all-inclusive walk around looks at these main battle tanks.
There are 486 color photographs included in this book, with each of them accompanied by text written by the authors giving the reader an explanation and pointing out key focal points in these pictures. As seen in the first chapter, In The Beginning, we are given a brief color overview of the 2a4 Leopard which is the predecessor to the 2A5DK Leopard. Once we get into the book in the first chapter, In Action, we are show the initial 2A5 variant used by the Danish Military. Not only in this chapter are we treated to a full-color display of the Danish Leopard, we see the tank in full operational status as well as getting a look at the day to day activities of the men who serve in these beasts.
Moving right into chapter three, Head On, the highly detailed walk around of the 2A5DK begins. The entire front end of the Leopard has been captured in full-color photographs. The walk around continues in chapter four with Side by Side. This is a detailed look at both flanks of the Leopard including armor plating and storage bins. Chapter five, Running Gear, as you would figure is packed with up close and detailed pictures of the lower end to this Leopard MBT. The wheels, sprockets, suspension and tracks are on full display.
The Leopard details continue in chapter six, The Rear Hull, of this beast. As seen with the front and sides sections, the rear hull is meticulously photographed giving the reader an amazing look at the rear-end of this monster. Chapter seven jumps up onto The Rear Deck. Again, we get a complete set of detailed color pictures showing every inch of the rear deck. One of the larger sections of the Danish Leopard 2A5DK and QRF book, is chapter eight, Turret. This chapter covers every nook and cranny to the exterior of the 2A5 DK turret.
Chapters nine, ten and eleven give us a unique look at the Quick Response Force, or QRF, version of the Danish 2A5DK Leopard MBT. Chapter nine covers the many modification the standard 2A5DK that were made. Continuing the overview of this variant, chapter ten looks at the QRF in action during training of the QRF platoon. The final chapter in this book comes in the form of Afghanistan Action. As part of the Danish contingent in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2014, the Leopard QRF versions were deployed. These are the same Leopard 2A5DK’s with the upgrades to make them QRF variants with the distinctive characteristics of slat armor and the Barracuda thermal blanket camouflage coverings.
Hands down, Trackpad Publishing’s Danish Leopard 2A5DK and QRF book is by far the most definitive collection of walk around photographs of these main battle tanks. The authors have taken into consideration the Leopard fanatic and modeler’s lust for details and photographed pretty much every square inch of these battlefield behemoths. There are no interior photographs contained in the book, however, the authors have made up for the lack of interior shots by providing the most comprehensive walk around look at the Danish Leopard 2A5DK and QRF MBT’s.
As I mentioned early on in this review, I am including a review of what can be considered part one to Danish Leopard 2A5DK and QRF; it is Trackpad Publshing’s Danish Leopards in Helmand: From the crew’s perspective.
Danish Leopards in Helmand: From the crew’s perspective
By Thomas Antonsen
Published by Trackpad Publishing
English copyright © Trackpad Publishing 2016
Danish Leopards in Helmand, Antonsen, Thomas
152 pages – Softcover
From 2007 to 2014, Demark supplied a contingent of main battle tanks to Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Early on, the tanks used in this theater were the Leopard 2A5. With increased modifications, the tankers of DANCON (Danish Contingent) would receive the QRF (Quick Response Force) variants to the standard 2A5DK leopard tanks. This book is a collection of photographs and stories from the batle-ready tankers of DANCON in Helmand.
- Introduction 5
- 1 Before Deployment Getting ready 6
- 2 Dancon 4 – October 2007 – February 2008 8 The first tank detachment arrives in country
- 3 Dancon 5 – February 2008 to August 2008 18 The ground becomes poisonous …
- 4 Dancon 6 – August 2008 to February 2009 28 Advance to contact …
- 5 Dancon 7 – February 2009 to August 2009 38 Operation Panther’s Claw …
- 6 Dancon 8 – August 2009 to February 2010 48 Supporting the scouts …
- 7 Dancon 9 – February 2010 to August 2010 58 Even tankers have to walk sometimes …
- 8 Dancon 10 – August 2010 to February 2011 68 From QRF to demolitions jobs …
- 9 Dancon 11 – February 2011 to August 2011 77 Those pesky bridges in Gereshk …
- 10 Dancon 12 – August 2011 to February 2012 86 Supporting ANA, British and Danish troops on the ground …
- 11 Dancon 13 – February 2012 to August 2012 96 Working for new masters …
- 12 Dancon 14 – August 2012 to February 2013 104 Fear factor and firepower …
- 13 Dancon 15 – February 2013 to August 2013 113 Leaving Price and supporting the US Marines
- 14 Dancon 16 – August 2013 to February 2014 123 Ouellette for the last time …
- 15 Dancon 17 – February 2014 to May 2014 132 Turning off the lights, closing the gate …
- Epilogue 142 Summing up …
- Abbreviations 144
- Glossary 144
- Further Reading 146
- Sponsors 147
Danish Leopards in Helmand contains 278 color photographs and diagrams spread out over the 152 pages contained within. The book is broken down into the chronological time frame of the DANCON presence in Afghanistan between 2007 and 2014. This books give the reader an in-depth look into the Danish tank force on the ground in Afghanistan. This is a visual documentation but a written account to the deployment of tankers and tanks during their service for Denmark.
Danish Leopards in Helmand is a beautifully documented accounting of the tank platoon of the Jutland Dragoons Regiment deployed in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) of NATO. The book is filled with the personal stories from the men who served on this regiment between 2007 and 2014. Provided every step of the way through this book, is a collection of color photographs of their deployment and the Leopard 2A5’s and QRF’s they manned. The book give us an up close and personal look not only at the Leopards main battle tanks, but the human aspect through personal stories from the battlefield allowing us to see the delicate balance between man and machine. There is a close bond between the brotherhood of tankers that is created through constant training and which grows even more once they hit the battlefields.
Danish Leopards in Helmand: From the crew’s perspective is an amazing look into the Danish armored force as see through the eyes of the men who called the Leopard 2A5 home during their deployment to Afghanistan. With the recent release of Danish Leopard 2A5DK and QRF from Trackpad Publishing, these two books intertwine giving us the most comprehensive look into and at the Danish Leopard 2A5 MBT’s there is. I would suggest to anyone interested in the Danish Leopard MBT and the Danish military forces that they pick up either or both copies of Danish Leopards in Helmand: From the crew’s perspective and the New Danish Leopard 2A5DK and QRF books. Each book alone is an amazing look into and around these main battle tanks…together they make an exceptional collaboration containing a plethora of photographic referencing and mound of incredible information. Both books receive an extremely high grade from me and my recommendations for adding to your personal collection of books.
The Modelers Social Club and MSC Review Connect would like to thank Mike Shackleton and Trackpad Publishing for providing us with copies of both Danish Leopard 2A5DK and QRF & Danish Leopards in Helmand: From the crew’s perspective for this review.