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Question regarding a particular Leopard 2

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  • Member since
    April, 2013
Question regarding a particular Leopard 2
Posted by SchattenSpartan on Monday, June 04, 2018 3:07 PM

Hey guys,

I recently stumbled upon this photo of a Leopard 2 and I just love the way it looks in it:

My knowledge on armor after WW2 is very limited, so I really don't know much about this vehicle.

It seems to belong to 2./PzBtl 393 and judging by the gun length, it should be a Leopard 2A6. Unfortunately, that's pretty much all I know about it at this point, but I'd love to find out more if there's any additional information on this tank out there.

One interesting feature I noticed are the tarps hanging from the turret front and upper glacis.

Does anyone know what those tarps are for? They seem to be made out of rubber and just hang off the tank's front.

Also, does anyone have any good photos that show how they're held in place?

The hull tarps seem to drape over the headlights and tow hooks and it looks like they have cutouts for both. That means they should be fixed to the tank somewhere on the upper glacis behind the headlights?

The tarps on the turret look like they're attached to the edge of the added wedge armor, but again, I can't tell how exactly they're held in place. 

I'd really appreciate it if you guys could give me a hand in finding out more about this particular Leopard 2.

Cheers, Clemens

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Monday, June 04, 2018 3:40 PM

The tarps look as thoguh they are to aid in camoflage. If the tank was well hidden in cover, an enemy to the front would see the light underneath it with a dark mass above. I am guessing the tarps on the turret are the same. Not somthing i have seen on British tanks, but seems would be more suited to heavy forested terrain. It could be tied on, bungees or atached to hooks if they are fitted.

'I am a Norfolk man, and i glory in being so'

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by SchattenSpartan on Monday, June 04, 2018 4:45 PM

Now that you mention it, it does make sense.

The bottom half of the turret front usually has a very noticeable shadow on it. I guess that would create a sharp, unnatural line, making the tank easier to spot.

I guess British tanks don't have those tarps because their turret frotns don't have that arrow shape when you look at them from the side?

I thought about the tarps being tied down somewhere, but I can't find any suitable tie-down points anywhere near them on the vehicle.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, June 04, 2018 4:47 PM

I'm curious to hear what Rob knows. My guess would be to obscure the silhouette.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Monday, June 04, 2018 5:28 PM

Looking at the photo, that tank has a combo of tarps, camo nets, and pine boughs to camouflage it. As far as the tarps go, they could be attached in a number of ways... cord, commo wire, fastened to the grouser racks or other such point. It all depends upon the crew. Camo nets are easily attached as they snag on everything, and stay put. Then pine boughs can be jammed into anyplace they will fit without blocking optics, hatches, etc.

The bumper code shows that tank is from the 2. company of the battalion. German army units use numbered companies, not lettered ones. And their post WWII higher units are battalions and brigades, no regiments.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Monday, June 04, 2018 6:45 PM

Here are some better photos of the hull tarp and turret skirt without the pine boughs and camo nets. Same unit. The hull tarp appears to be an improvised piece for camouflage purposes, but the turret skirt resembles the ones on T-80U tanks to detonate shaped charges before they hit the armor.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 2:01 AM

Stik, if what your saying about the turret pieces is right, and that makes sense, those pieces would have to be quite rigid, sheet metal or somthing similar. From the shape of the front of the turret, it looks like without those pieces, it could face the same issues as the porche turreted Tiger II with rounds being deflected down into the hull.

'I am a Norfolk man, and i glory in being so'

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by SchattenSpartan on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 4:21 AM

Thanks for the pictures, Stik. They help a lot Big Smile

Looks to me like the tarp is just bolted to the upper plate. At least I think I can make out some bolts/rivets in that photo.

Since drilling holes in the actual armor plate doesn't sound like a particularly good idea, I suppose the tarp is just bolted to whatever attaches to the upper glacis...

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by SchattenSpartan on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 4:59 AM

Please just ignore this one, I accidently posted my reply twice.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 12:20 PM

Here is another one. Same PzBtl and company, but a different hull set up with rubber strips

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by SchattenSpartan on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 2:27 PM

Interesting. Looks like there isn't really any standardisation at all. I could probably attach the tarp however I wanted and it wouldn't look wrong.

I did some more digging and found this photo, probably from the same gallery you found:

Is it just me or is there some sort of support bar at the rear edge of the rubber tarp on that Leopard 2? 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 2:34 PM

SchattenSpartan

Thanks for the pictures, Stik. They help a lot Big Smile

Looks to me like the tarp is just bolted to the upper plate. At least I think I can make out some bolts/rivets in that photo.

Since drilling holes in the actual armor plate doesn't sound like a particularly good idea, I suppose the tarp is just bolted to whatever attaches to the upper glacis...

 

It's easy to weld on extra angles or channels as attachment points.

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by SchattenSpartan on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 3:29 PM

GMorrison
It's easy to weld on extra angles or channels as attachment points.

That's a good point. I honestly didn't think of that for some reason...

I guess when I get around to building a model similar to this one, I'm simply going to scratchbuild some mounting points for those tarps.

  • Member since
    April, 2016
  • From: Parsons Kansas
Posted by Hodakamax on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 4:12 PM

Here's a picture of the one I built. It might show how it comes from the factory. More angles if you need them. 

Max

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Tuesday, June 05, 2018 5:33 PM

Hello!

It's not a tarp (most of the time), it's a heavy rubber sheet that is supposed to protect the vulnerable lower front armor plate that is often a target of portable AT rockets. The heavy rubber sheets pre-detonate the shaped charge before it hits the armor, at the same time being durable enough for moving cross-country.

You can see the same arrangement on Polish PT-91 twardy:

And here's how the lower front armor plate (that is not as thick as the glacis plate) gets exposed for a nice direct hit:

Thanks for reading and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by SchattenSpartan on Wednesday, June 06, 2018 1:39 AM

Thanks, Pawel.

It does make sense to have them on the lower glacis for HEAT protection.

I just assumed they were simple tarps because I found some photos of Leopard 2s with them made out of some sort of fabric.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Wednesday, June 06, 2018 1:00 PM

SchattenSpartan

Thanks, Pawel.

It does make sense to have them on the lower glacis for HEAT protection.

I just assumed they were simple tarps because I found some photos of Leopard 2s with them madw out of some sort of fabric.

 

Looking at photos, it would appear that some are just tarps or fabric for camouflage purposes, while others are rubber strips more for protection against HEAT rounds. It is not a standardized fitting like the TUSK kits on M1s, and looks to vary even in tanks within the same unit. Many of the tanks in the photos have the bumper code for the same unit, yet it looks to be up to each crew as to what they have up front. I am wondering if they are based off of combat experience by crews in Afghanistan. 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by SchattenSpartan on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 4:13 PM

Thanks for your help, guys!

All I have to figure out now is the emblem on the turret side. I don't know a lot about Bundeswehr tank markings, but it doesn't look like the unit insignia. Does anyone here have any ideas?

Also, I have to find some decals for this unit. Are there any matching decal sets available or do I have to resort to custom decals/masks for this?

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 6:15 PM

Try Peddinghaus decals. I don’t know if they do this particular unit. But they do several modern/current Bundeswehr tank units sheets.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by SchattenSpartan on Thursday, June 21, 2018 3:07 AM

From what I can tell, unfortunately, they don't.

Not even their generic Bundeswehr insignia set has the emblem of the 393rd...

The unit markings on the fenders aren't really a problem, I can just take another unit's markings and rearrange the numbers.

Unless I can get some decals for them, there's not much I can do regarding the big emblems on the turret however...

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Thursday, June 21, 2018 3:10 AM

Just hide those areas under a camo net or some branches Wink 

 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by SchattenSpartan on Thursday, June 21, 2018 4:21 AM

I just had a look at reviews of every Leopard 2 kit out there and it turns out that Revell's A5 has a full set of decals for a tank of 2./393.

I'll talk to the owner of my LHS later today. Maybe they can get their hands on just the decal sheet.

If that doesn't work out, my Meng A4 also has the tactical markings of 2./393. It's missing the emblem however.

Now all I need is the emblem on the turret side. The problem is, I can't even tell what it is...

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Friday, June 22, 2018 5:53 AM

Hello!

What's the problem? It's right there on wikipedia:

Check out this article:

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_der_Panzerverb%C3%A4nde_der_Bundeswehr

Good luck with your project and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

GAF
  • Member since
    June, 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Friday, June 22, 2018 9:43 AM

On a side note, what strikes me about the original image post is that the camo makes the tank stick out like a sore thumb!  It's the only GREEN stuff in that winter landscape.

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by SchattenSpartan on Friday, June 22, 2018 10:12 AM

Pawel, the problem is that the emblem in question is definitely not the 393rd's insignia.

There is no pink visible at all and the shape of the emblem doesn't match up either.

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by SchattenSpartan on Friday, June 22, 2018 11:27 AM

GAF

On a side note, what strikes me about the original image post is that the camo makes the tank stick out like a sore thumb!  It's the only GREEN stuff in that winter landscape.

I noticed that as well and imo it's one of the things that make it so interesting.

I don't think the tank is poorly camouflaged however.

There's not a whole lot of snow visible in the photo, so I assume it just started snowing shortly before the photo was taken. 

Granted, you're not going to find a lot of green foliage in the winter months, but keep in mind that there are quite a lot of conifer forests in Germany.

This tank should blend in pretty well when hiding in one of those, even during the winter.

It does look out of place in the particular spot the photo was taken at. However, my best guess is that it just moved there recently and was hiding in a more suitable environment before.

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by SchattenSpartan on Sunday, June 24, 2018 5:27 PM

I did some more research on the 393rd's Leopard 2s and stumbled upon some amazing photos courtesy of Tobias Nordhausen on flickr.

Several of their tanks seem to have the same emblem on their turret side as the one I want to build.

The emblem in question depicts one of the Beagle Boys with what appears to be a Sabot dart in his hand!

Thanks to those photos I also have some idea what the markings on the turret rear look like, as well as some license plate numbers I can use. Big Smile

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