Book Review
BIBER The Brückenlegepanzer 1 Armoured Vehicle Launched Bridge in Modern German Army Service
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


When it comes to armoured vehicles one type of vehicle is often over looked, the bridging family of vehicles. Well I am glad to say that Tankograd has decided to rectify that short coming with the release of a title looking at the BIBER The Brückenlegepanzer 1 Armoured Vehicle Launched Bridge in Modern German Army Service.

The following portion of the introduction is as supplied by Tankograd:
The crossing of trenches, obstacles and small water channels always creates problems for combat forces, which eventually led to the development and fielding of special bridge-layer systems.
The current Armoured Vehicle Launched Bridge (AVLB) of the Bundeswehr is the Brückenlegepanzer 1 Biber (Beaver). After the end of trials, MaK in Kiel received a contract in December 1971 for the delivery of 105 Biber bridge-layers with bridges. By April 1975, all vehicles and bridges had been handed over. This publication shows the history and technology of the Biber in great detail using many hitherto unpublished exercise photographs and walk a rounds as well as technical scale drawings.


Tankograd has released the latest of their titles for this years 2nd quarter, one of this looks at the Biber bridge layer. This offering is a duel language publication with German on the left and English on the right of each page. This is a soft backed book with a card cover and good quality glossy paper. This title offers 142 colour photographs, 20 graphics, one organisational chart and one five-perspective 1/35th scale technical drawing over 64 pages. The author of this release is Ralph zwilling.

The book begins with a text section covering the development of the Biber before moving onto the vehicle in service with the German army. These sections are accompanied with some excellent photographs that also have very good captions applied. The ones showing the bridge being deployed are a great series of images, but of special interest are the ones showing its trials prior to being taken into service. The text is well written and an informative section of the title.

The next sections of this title look at the hull and interior of the vehicle. Tankograd do a pretty good job of walk a rounds and this is no different when it comes to supplying great detail shots of the exterior with the star being the interior as I suspect very few will have seen this area. This area closes with six pages of 1/35th scale drawings that I know the modeller gene in us all will love. The title then looks at the commander’s station, radio intercom system and NBC protection system in detail both in text and images.

The book then moves onto the chassis of the vehicle along with the power pack. The chassis did not hold any real surprises for me, but it has to be said that it does need to be covered and it has been well done. The power pack section is one I really like as it covered the power pack out of the vehicle and the engine bay with the engine removed.

The rest of the title covers the smoke grenade discharger system, bridge laying system, Hydraulic system, front support blade, cantilever launch arm, rear support arm, bridge, crew and finally bridge support section. These sections are well presented in text and images that I feel will meet the needs of the modeller and the generally interested party.


This title is one of the best presented I have seen from Tankograd, I cannot tell if it is because of the subject matter or it is just better in my eyes due to my own interest. The English text is well written and the images well selected. All told a good book all round.
Darren Baker takes a look at one of the latest titles from tankograd covering the BIBER The Brückenlegepanzer 1 Armoured Vehicle Launched Bridge in Modern German Army Service.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: Nr. 5078
  Suggested Retail: €14.95
  PUBLISHED: Mar 18, 2019

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2021 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.


Now ve are haffing "biber fever"! Seriously, this is a great addition to the reference section of anyone interested in post-war AFVs and their ilk. I'd be interested in exactly what the current vehicle looks like after that many years of updates.
MAR 19, 2019 - 11:41 AM

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