The Leopard tank, later known as Leopard 1 after the Leopard 2 was introduced, was the first armored vehicle built by Germany after the end of WWII. Drawing from experience with the US-built M-47 and M48 tanks that were the first tanks in the Bundeswehr inventory and prior German tank knowledge; the Leopard tank was born. It served well in the modern German army and the armies of other NATO countries and is still serving in countries far from Germany.
Many books have been written about the Leopard 1 tank but this is the first in the style of the Haynes Owners' Workshop Manual
. The authors are Michael Shackleton who is an authority on the Leopard family and author of the Leopard 1 Trilogy and
Michael Cecil who is the former Head of Military Heraldry and Technology at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia and has published several books on Australian and other armor.
The book is in hardcover portrait format of 192 pages with mostly color photographs and very high-quality printing. Good coverage in photographs and diagrams.
Nice opening foreword from Frank Lobitz, who has also written a few books on the Leopard tanks, and an introduction to how the Leopard tank came to be in the early years of Bundeswehr.
The subsequent chapters are:
1. Development of Leopard - history of the five years of development and evaluation of the prototypes that led to the finished product.
2. Anatomy of Leopard 2 - explains the components of the Leopard 1 and their functions and operation
3. Leopard 1 - production, upgrades and attachments - details the 6 productions batches of the Leopard 1 and the upgrades that were applied after production
4. Leopard 1 variants - covers the multitude of anti-aircraft and engineering vehicles that were built on the Leopard 1 hull
5. Foreign Service - details about the Leopard variants that were, and still, employed by other countries including variants unique to certain countries
6. Operating and maintaining Leopard 1 - procedures for normal and special operation of the Leopard 1 tank
I've never read a Haynes
armor book before but I like the technical slant to it. Regardless, this book has a lot of information contained inside including the most current disposition of Leopard 1s still in service. It's well written and well constructed so it will hold up to the many times I will go back to reread sections when researching a Leopard build. It's a worthy addition to my Leopard library.