top of page

Trackpad In Depth


Dutch Leopard 1 – Armoured Fist of the Dutch Army

At the end of 1969, the first of 468 Leopard 1 tanks from the German manufacturer Kraus-Maffei were transferred to the Royal Dutch Army. The cavalrymen had waited anxiously for this new, reliable and above all, mobile tank. The superiority of the Warsaw Pact saw NATO forced to act in a mobile fight. In the eighties, the Leopard underwent an extensive improvement involving the military, the press and politics. After the fall of the iron curtain, and after twenty years of service, the end came for this defining tank within the Army.

The author, Willem Smit, affiliated with the Netherlands Institute of Military History, pays tribute to the operational deployment of this battle tank and also focuses on the development, testing, troubled service and phasing out of the Leopard 1 tank. Armoured fist of the Royal Dutch Army is a richly illustrated book, accessible to both the uninitiated, the modeller and the enthusiast.


What do you say?


From a military historical perspective I believe the book accomplishes the goal of explaining in detail the saga of the Dutch Leopard 1. From a modelling perspective, the book provides a good textual and pictorial view of the modifications done to the Dutch Leopards over the years should a modelling project be undertaken.

The images in the book are overall very good and show the unique aspects of the Dutch tanks very well. The layout of the test is easy to follow and it flows very well within each chapter.

I would recommend this book to those who want the full details on the Dutch Leopard 1.



The primary quality of the book is that it presents all dimensions of the Leopard program in the Netherlands, and not only the technological specification of the vehicle. Doctrinal, strategic, financial and, of course, political aspects are also considered. Overall, the way the information is presented makes for a good synthesis of the subject. It doesn't go too deep into details but covers the subject thoroughly. As a modeler, I also found much to be happy with. Like I mentioned above, pictures are great. Willem Smit's book on the Dutch Leopard 1 history offers a concise, well illustrated and thorough treatment of the subject. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the Leopard 1. If this is any indication of the scope and quality of Trackpad Publishing's future titles, I look forward to their future offerings.



I did enjoy reading this book and especially all the photos and close-up reference images. This a definite book to have if you are into the Leopard and like to build models of the Leopard 1.

Modeller's Social Club!trackpad-publishing/c1jme


Willem Smit hat es verstanden die Informationen detailliert aber nicht zu tief zu präsentieren. Das Buch ist interessant, zeigt es doch recht ausführlich die Geschichte des Leopard 1 in der Königlichen Niederländischen Armee.
Aufgrund der vielen Illustrationen über den Leopard 1 in unterschiedlichen Situationen halte ich es, neben der Attraktivität für den Militär-Enthusiasten, auch für einen Modellbauer als äußerst lesenswert. Daher hier meine klare Empfehlung.

Military Modelling Info


This book
bottom of page