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Urban Camo – RTR Reinvents The Wheel

Chequerboard Challenger 2 on transporter at Bovington [© Roland Groom]

Over the last 24 hours the internet has been buzzing about ‘UK Urban Camo Tanks For Estonia’ following a batch of pictures of Challenger 2 tanks being posted on social media by armour enthusiast Roland Groom… but all is not quite what it seems.

The Challenger 2 main battle tanks photographed on one of the roads leading out of Bovingdon Camp have clearly been freshly repainted in what some of our older readers will recognise as Berlin Brigade Chequerboard urban camo. COMBAT & SURVIVAL Magazine first asked our UK eFP media contact in Estonia about this and when he could not answer our queries we called a man who could in MoD Main Building.

UK Challenger 2 tanks in Estonia are plain NATO Green but heavily camouflaged for rural operations [© Bob Morrison]

So what is the true story? Essentially the Royal Tank Regiment is taking part in a exercise at Copehill Down later this year and they were asked to come up with an alternative to the usual two-tone green and stone scheme which has been used on some OpFor tanks for the best part of a quarter century. As this exercise is predominantly urban in nature the guys decided to revisit Chequerboard.

According to our man Schulze, who has an extensive collection of photographs of British armour in Chequerboard camo:-

“In the early 1980s, the British Berlin Brigade began the introduction of a special camouflage paint scheme for combat vehicles. The camouflage consisted of rectangular coloured surfaces in equal parts of white, khaki brown and medium grey, running both upright and across the vehicle. In addition to the Chieftain tanks of the British Berlin Brigade, Chieftain ARVs and variants of the FV 432, plus Ferret and Fox, were painted in this camouflage. The so-called Chequerboard was designed by Major Clendon Daukes, who commanded D Squadron of the 4th / 7th Royal Dragoon Guards in Berlin from 1981 to 1983. With the dissolution of the British Berlin Brigade chequerboard camouflage also disappeared.”

Chequerboard Chieftain in Berlin [© Carl Schulze]

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