Outside the Land Warfare exhibit at the Imperial War Museum Duxford is an Alvis FV432 APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier).
This British tracked armoured personnel carrier has a crew of 2 with capacity for 10 personnel, powered by Rolls-Royce 6-cylinder multi-fuel engine, armed with one machine gun.
The FV432 is the armoured personnel carrier variant of the British Army’s FV430 series of armoured fighting vehicles. Since its introduction in the 1960s, it has been the most common variant, being used for transporting infantry on the battlefield. In the 1980s, almost 2,500 vehicles were in use, with around 1,500 remaining in operation – mostly in supporting arms rather than front-line infantry service.
Although the FV432 Series was to have been phased out of service in favour of newer vehicles, such as the Warrior and the CVR(T) series, 500 have been upgraded to extend their service into the next decade.
This particular FV432 entered service December 1964 with the 1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders BAOR.
As well as the Brown Water Navy announcement in Battlefront’s Flames of War State of the Union, they announced a new period based on the Cold War.
October sees us diving into a brand new period as we release Fulda Gap. The period of the modern war when tensions between NATO and the Warsaw Pact were running high is a wonderful theatre to develop as the forces arrayed on both sides boast some of the coolest-looking equipment in history. And with the advances in technology, we are looking forward to seeing forces of M1-Abrams covered by A10-Thunderbolts pitting their might against the swathes of T-72s and BMP-mounted infantry. We plan for this to be a complete period with books covering nations and plastic sets for all the main vehicles of every nation. October is just the start and 2016 will have more books and additional miniatures.
Though there is very little information in the announcement, there is a mention of T72s and BMP-1s for the Warsaw Pact forces. So what of the NATO side? It appears that the US Army will be done first, with M1-Abrams and A-10 Thunderbolts, but I am looking forward to seeing the models for the BAOR.
It would make for a good game to have Chieftains, FV432s and Harriers in action against T80s and the odd Hind D Attack Helicopter.
As the announcement mentions the M1-Abrams, which entered service in 1980, we can assume that the period for the games will be the 1980s, the height of the Cold War. If Battlefront do decide to go with some BAOR British forces, we may also see the Challenger I which entered service in 1983.
As well as fighting across Europe, another possibility will be to recreate the original Red Dawn film and have Soviet forces fighting on US soil.
I might also look at doing some alternative history British Civil War games set in the same time period, this setting was described in an article I had published in Wargames Illustrated in the 1990s.
I also wonder what other nations we will see in 2016, the French possibly?