Canadian Leopard 2A6M CAN in Afghanistan
Using photos taken by Anthony Sewards and Rick Saucier, compiled into an attractive album, this first Model Foto Focus from Trackpad Publishing includes colour full-view and walkaround captioned photographs. Anthony and Rick actually served in Afghanistan at the time, either on or with the machines, and both had unlimited access to them. This makes for a compelling collection of photos. In the 80 pages are well over 200 photos, some of which are full page size.
The Canadian Leopard 2A6M CAN had a baptism by fire in Afghanistan as soon as it entered service. Under a Canadian ‘Tank Replacement Project’ for the Leopard C2, twenty Leopard 2A6s were leased from Germany. They received a variety of modifications in Germany at Krauss-Maffei and Rheinmetall Landsystemes. External modifications made in Germany included new T-shaped antenna mounts, additional glacis plate armour, slat armour on three sides, and increased mine protection in the form of belly armour and reinforcement bars under the rear hull (but not all vehicles). More modifications were applied while they served in Afghanistan.
By August 2007, they had been fitted with a turret-top C8 rifle box, a turret ventilator and turret-top electronics boxes. Later, the tanks were dressed in the Barracuda HTR/Mobile Camouflage System to cool the tank’s interior and the slats shortened because of continual damage. By February 2008, all modifications had taken place.
The tanks were very effective in combined arms operations providing over watch from high-ground positions, an immediate reaction force for securing sensitive areas, or in close combat in the fields and villages.
The 2A6s were joined by five Leopard 2A4M CANs, all equipped with Barracuda and slats, in December 2010 until mid-January 2011, to bring the tank squadron strength back to twenty Leopard 2s in service.
With the cessation of combat operations in Afghanistan in July 2011, all Leopard 2s were brought back to Khandahar airport, before returning to Germany and then Canada.
What do you say?
All in all this is a pretty comprehensive pictorial record of the Leopard 2A6M during it's time in Afghanistan with Canadian Forces. This IS an amazing collection of photos of that vehicles time in Afghanistan, as well as an amazing reference of the 2A6M CAN. With well over 150 full colour photos of all parts of the vehicle, there is little else you will need as a pictorial reference for your next 2A6MCAN build. As far as references goes, this is one of the best pictorial references of this particular vehicle in service that exists.
This book is a must get. It covers the entire range of variations present in the Afghanistan theatre, it looks closely all around the vehicles in great details, and the photographed tanks are in-theatre, in-action machines, with all that this entails in terms of proper colour, weathering and damage references, a priceless resource for modellers. Obviously this is a niche offering, but in that context, it gets the high marks. Highly recommended.
Well, I would say Trackpad Publishing hits the mark with their latest book, Canadian Leopard 2A6M CAN in Afghanistan – Model Foto Focus. Who better to provide detailed walk around photographs of a Leopard tank other than the fine military personel who worked in and around these machines in the field! This book is a fantastic pictographic breakdown of these beasts of the battlefield. The pictures are highly detailed supported by informative text giving a completely comprehensive view of the exterior and engine compartment of these Canadian Leopards. I highly recommend this book to any fan of the Leopard tank, more specifically the Canadian 2A6M CAN version, as well as any modeler needing a one-stop reference tool to help on their build a Canadian Leopard tank.