Finnish Leopards
Tankograd International Special n8005
Publisher : Verlag Jochen Vollert Tankograd
Author : Andreas Kirchhoff

Finland always relied on other countries to procure major military equipment. After the WWII, the Finnish armored units were equipped with Soviet tanks up to the T-72s.
However in 2002, Finland decided to procure Leopards 2A4 from German stocks. The contract concerned a hundred of vehicles in the tank role, twelve more to be converted into engineer armored vehicles and bridge-layers. An additional batch of twelve was kept as spare parts reservoir.

This volume of the International Special series covers the three variants in service with the Finnish army. As usually, it comes as a 64-page booklet with a soft cover. The text is written both in German and English and is illustrated by 148 color pictures and 1 black and white picture. This volume is divided in 4 main chapters. The first one is a brief historical introduction and highlights the modifications introduced into the Finnish variant. Each of the three following chapters covers one of the three variants beginning with the tank.

The Leopard 2A4 is covered in 7 pages with general views. 6 additional pages display detail pictures of all the Finnish modifications.

The following chapter deals with the engineer variant called Leopard 2R (Raivaus meaning Breaching). After a short introduction about the development of the vehicle, the crew compartment, the communication system, the armament and the optic systems, this chapter divides in 4 sub-chapters, each covering one of the various systems that can be adapted to the Leopard 2R, i.e. the Pearson High-Lift Adapter, the Pearson Full-Width Mine Plough, the Pearson Dozer kit and the Pearson Lane Marking System. The last part is a walkaround of the basic vehicle.

The fourth and last chapter is about the Leopard 2L (Leguan) which is the bridge-layer. As with the other chapters, the author introduces the vehicle with historical and technical data prior to illustrating the text with pictures. Along with the usual general views, this chapter shows a series of pictures during the launching procedure and concludes with detail pictures of the carrier vehicle.

Conclusion

Andreas Kirchhoff and Tankograd did a great job with this volume. It covers the three variants in a more comprehensive manner than the chapter dedicated to the Finnish variants of the Frank Lobitz Leopard 2 encyclopedia also issued by Tankograd. No picture is redundant with those of the latter.
It is highly recommended.

         
Index