Danish MBTs, or NATO horde

Danish MBTs or NATO horde

Danish MBTs or NATO horde
By For Warned Forearmed

Hi all and welcome to another article with your local S2, this time I’ll be discussing the forces from the land of Ice and snow or more specifically the Danish/ Denmark armoured formations available to you in the new Nordic book. First off let’s look at what formations we have and some of the Danish military history surrounding the Danish MBTs that we will use to make our 115pt competitive themed list.

First up, a brief history of the Danish MBTs; the NATO workhorse the Leopard 1 and the humble British export the Centurion.

The NATO Workhorse: The Leopard 1

The Danish Army received a total of 120 Leopard 1A3 tanks which were delivered to them between 1976 and 1978. Further to this in 1991, these tanks were further supplemented with 110 used German Leopard 1A3 and 1A4. The Danish army’s 230 Leopard 1s were upgraded to the new Leopard 1A5 DK standard in 1993. The purpose of this upgrade was to give the tanks the ability to fight effectively at night. They were thus equipped with a new fire control system thermal sight and a laser rangefinder (which I will elaborate a bit more on when I talk about the tactics). While the vehicle was in service, it was common practice, that one Leopard 1 in each platoon (the so-called “third vehicle”) was equipped with a dozer blade. In addition, two different recovery vehicles and an armoured bridge vehicle were also acquired.

Danish MBTs or NATO horde

The Danish Leopards were used on deployments in the Balkans and took part in Operation “Bøllebank” (Hooligan Buster) in Bosnia in April 1994. These Leopards were involved in one of the most important engagements in modern Danish military history. It was on 29 April 1994 near the city of Tuzla that seven Danish Leopard 1A5 tanks were involved in a skirmish between UNPROFORs Nordic Battalion (NORDBAT 2) and Bosnian-Serb military forces from the Šekovići brigade, this is also believed to be the first hostile engagement involving the Leopard 1 tank in its service history. Denmark was also the only Scandinavian country to send a significant tank force to support the peacekeeping deployments in Croatia and Bosnia.

The Humble British Export: The Centurion Tank

The Centurion was the first modern tank of the Danish Army, which replaced the aging Sherman M4A3 that the Danish army was using. About 216 units went into service in the Danish Army in 1953, while the centurion was in use it served both in Zealand and in Jutland at the Guard Hussars Regiment in Næstved and the Jutland Dragoon Regiment in Holstebro.

Originally, the Danish Centurion was equipped with an 84 mm gun, which was a good gun when it went into service, however in the sixties, about 100 of the Army’s Centurions were upgraded with the British 105 mm L7A1 rifled gun.

Danish MBTs or NATO horde

The Danish tanks received several updates while in service. In the mid-80s, the most extensive upgrade of these tanks took place. Most of the tanks were fitted with a new fire control system, which included a laser rangefinder and thermal sight for the ability to fight effectively at night and was at the time more advanced than the fire control system fitted to the Leopard 1.

The Centurions that remained, which were equipped with the 84 mm gun were transferred to local defence units as ‘tank destroyers.  The tanks were withdrawn from service in the mid-1990s from Danish military service.

So now that we have had a bit of a history lesson about the force that we will be using to create our Danish tank horde, let’s have a look at our list and some of the tactics we can use to get the best out of our Danish MBTs.

The Danish forces have two tank formations to choose from however the example has both. The options for Danes are the Leopard 1 and Centurion tank formations. I have also created two other forces that you can use which are either pure Leopard 1 or Centurion tank forces.

Danish MBTs or NATO horde

The Leopard 1 pure force will benefit from the use of cheap smoke to manoeuvre into a favourable position to push your opponent off the objective through the sheer value of numbers and firepower.

Danish MBTs or NATO horde

The Centurion List gives you the NATO horde you deserve with plenty of tanks to defend and attack, however, be mindful of your platoon size.

Moving on to the combined list. We have two formations; one is a Leopard 1 and the second formation is a Centurion formation. Both have maxed-out tank platoons, as this gives us a good core of tanks to use. However we need to be mindful that we only have 3 team platoons, so this does make it tricky especially when we start losing tanks. Both formations have an infantry platoon included as well as a TOW platoon. One has mortars the other some M109s, both these arty units will come in handy, especially the smoke. Rounding out the remaining force is an op to direct the arty some recce, another Centurion platoon and some AA, which includes the Gepards on loan from the Germans.

Danish MBTs or NATO horde

This list is best used on the attack due to the number of tanks available, however, if we are forced to reserve some units the best bet would be to leave the Centurions and 2 Leopard platoons in reserve, the reason for this is that the Leopards have the rate of fire and the movement to act as a mobile QRF till the rest of the force arrives. If this isn’t the case then it’s time for the Warpact/Soviet forces to be on the receiving end of cheap NATO tanks for a change.

The biggest downfall to the Danish forces is their skill and this is why it comes in handy to have an OP. You might have noticed that the Danish Leopard has Thermal Imaging (TI) rather than the standard Infra-Red (IR) that the rest of their NATO brethren are equipped with. This is important as that OP gives you that plus 1 to your ranged in rolls especially when you want to use smoke on the opponent's forces to get the full effectiveness from the Danish Leopard's use of the TI.

Danish MBTs or NATO horde

Another tactic we can use with this list is the use of the Tank-hunter Centurions as an ambush unit, they may not be as powerful as their 105mm armed brothers but they still pack enough punch to go through the side armour of Tier 1 MBT like the T80, Challenger and Leopard 2. Another use is to keep them close to the infantry to give them some AT punch that isn’t HEAT in defensive fire.

The two platoons of infantry can be used to hold objectives and when used in conjunction with other elements can hold their own. The use of the Gepards gives you the added bonus of more AA, however, it can also be used in a dual role to bolster your firepower against hordes of infantry.

Danish MBTs or NATO horde

The 2 TOW AT platoons gives some extra AT to the list to help hold off or hold up your opponent’s tanks and AFVs for when either your reserves arrive or all your pieces are in place for a coordinated strike on an objective.

This force packs plenty of punch, however, must be used wisely, so you must choose where to concentrate your main efforts. As far as being a competitive list it’s up there as this is a lot to get through for an opponent, it may not win games 8-1 due but definitely has the potential to win games at that level of competitiveness.

So I hope you enjoyed this article on the use of the new Danish MBTs and a little history on them. Till next time, Good hunting.

~ For Warned Forearmed