The Challenger tank was introduced to the British Army in 1983 and has served operationally in Op Granby (ODS), the Balkans, and Op Telic (OIF) in Iraq. In the late 1980's, the British Army saw a need to upgrade the Challengers and a new version, named the Challenger 2 was introduced in 1993. It incorporated a new turret onto a similar hull, which gave better crew protection and improved fire control systems.
This book is another great example of Osprey's excellent, in-depth vehicle guides. It is written by Simon Dunstan, an accomplished author, filmmaker, and photographer. He has written many titles for Osprey and other publishers and focuses on armoured and modern warfare. Tony Bryan, who is a frequent illustrator to the New Vanguard series, does the illustrations.
The book focuses on the development of the Challenger 2, the research that went into it, testing and fielding, and its operational use. It has a total of 48 pages with 21 black & white and 24 color photos and illustrations. It is divided up into 5 chapters that focus on The Chieftain Replacement Programme, The Choice of the Challenger 2, Challenger 2 Trials and Tribulations, Operational Deployment of Challenger 2, and Operation Telic (OIF). It also contains a chapter that gives detailed descriptions of the color plates that are in the book. There are in-depth descriptions of the development and testing of the Challenger 2 and its deployments over the last 10 years. It also shows different versions such as the CAARV recovery vehicle and a Challenger bridge layer. There are also 10 color illustrations showing various Challenger 2's in both camouflage and sand versions. These illustrations show markings and painting details well. The figure description chapter gives great detail on each vehicle pictured and is a great resource for modelers to use for markings and unit history. Lastly, there is also a two-page cut-away drawing that shows the interior of the tank as well.
Nearly half the book is first-hand accounts of the Challenger 2's deployments. Almost 11 pages are devoted to its recent actions in Op Telic, in Iraq. These are very good accounts of its capabilities and how it is deployed in combat. The soldiers themselves mostly tell these stories. They give great insight into the soldiers and their equipment.
In conclusion, this is a good book for British armour fans and modelers alike. It shows good details on the Challenger 2 and its development and history. It is definitely an asset to have on the shelf.
My Thanks to Osprey for the review sample.
A great referance for the British or modern Armour builder. Tells the full story of the Challenger 2 from development to present deployment in Iraq. It also has great color plates for markings as well.
About Gino P. Quintiliani (HeavyArty) FROM: FLORIDA, UNITED STATES
Retired US Army Artillery Officer, currently a contractor at MacDill AFB in the Tampa, FL area. I have been modelling for the past 35+ years, really seriously on armor and large scale helos (1/32, 1/35) for the last 30 or so.