Jump to content

In-service date for Leopard 2 A4 in Fulda Gap theater


deees
 Share

Go to solution Solved by Ssnake,

Recommended Posts

There are numerous references that list the manufacturing date for the A4 variant of the Leopard 2 as 1985.  Does anyone know the actual date that the A4 variant was fielded, (specifically in the Fulda Gap region?)

 

If you have personal knowledge, please state that.

 

If you have a reference, please include a link to it?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Gibsonm said:

 

He's after specifically when they were deployed in Fuda, not the more general date for introduction into service.

As that area was the AoR of an US corps, the question may be moot....

Or answered with: Not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
19 hours ago, deees said:

There are numerous references that list the manufacturing date for the A4 variant of the Leopard 2 as 1985.  Does anyone know the actual date that the A4 variant was fielded, (specifically in the Fulda Gap region?)

Going by the book from Walter Spielberger "Waffensysteme Leopard 1 und Leopard 2", the prime reference about the early production variants... pages 319ff.

The first 2A4 variants were produced in the fifth production lot, 370 vehicles, from (end of) 1985-1987. (This suggests a production rate of about .5 tanks per day; with 54 tanks required for a tank battalion per TO&E of the time 108 days would be required, about four months; therefore, by the end of 1986 three tank battalions can be expected to be equipped with it).

The sixth production lot was 150 vehicles, delivered between January 1988 to May 1989, roughly another three tank battalions. This was followed by the seventh production lot, 100 vehicles, from May 1989 to April 1990 (exactly one year), the equivalent of two tank battalions. The final, eighth production lot was 75 vehicles, delivered between January 1991 and March 1992. Aside from producing new tanks, older variants were upgraded to the A4 standard (which explains the drop in production rates).

As the biggest threat was seen in the northern half of Germany (e.g. by a Soviet thrust towards Bremerhaven to deny the port facilities for Reforger reinforcements arriving by transatlantic convoy), the 1st PzDiv was also the first to receive Leopard 2s (but these would have been the older production lots).

 

It is quite conceivable that the Bavarian and Hessian tank battalions received the 2A4 production lots straight from the factory; the division in Schleswig Holstein (north of Hamburg) held on to their Leopard 1s the longest (expecting to fight Polish PT-76s and T-55s). But I have never cared about which battalion received which tank model when exactly. My focus is on the technical development (and then only up to the point that it has a direct impact on combat value; that FEX the smoke dischargers in early production lot had no protective rail or that the position of a roadwheel pair was adjusted to reduce wear on certain weld joints is the kind of information that Steel Beasts will happily gloss over, and so will I.

Which unit where received which production lot when exactly is the kind of detail that falls into the wargaming domain. There are more qualified people than me in that field, and I'll happily cede the battleground to them in the Alpha Nerd contest. The Spielberger book at least doesn't mention to which units the production lots were delivered.

 

I remember from Tank Commander's course at the Armor School in Munster that classmates from the Southwest (Baden-Württemberg) proudly reported having received tanks from the seventh production lot, and we looked at at least one eigth lot tank with the different side skirts in the Armor School motorpool while I was there for the platoon leader's course (which must have been in spring '91). Eighth lot (possibly also the seventh) received new radio sets that took up less space in the turret which I remember because the old SEM25s were a bitch to mount and to remove due to two 8mm bolts at the far back where you could barely slide the wrench in, so you could turn them only a sixth turn on every attempt and had to pull the wrench and re-set it every time. And then the thing was heavy and you could barely slip your fingers between it and the recess walls to pull it out. Bah.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, Ssnake said:

The original question asked about personal knowledge, so I figured it might be justified to include this bit in my reply, rather than just quoting from a book (as good as it may be).

Ssnake,

 

Thank you for your response. That was what I was requesting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...