“Heiner! I can’t believe it, you’re alive! Some people here had already started ‘mourning’ you, but I knew it was too early to start sniveling. What a lucky guy you are! By my count, you should have been sent ‘in for repairs’ at least three times, but you don’t even have a chip on your dozer blade. I’m sure you’ll be promoted-Herr Oberst already knows how many enemies you took out in that hell. But he thinks you didn’t make it out of there. Believe it or not, I think it’s all about the numbers on our tanks. Maybe magic numbers really do exist. Because otherwise I can’t explain this kind of luck.”
Suitable for vehicles: Kpz. 07 P(E)
In the summer of 1963, the defense committee of Bundestag approved the production of a batch of 50 “zero series” Leopards—the first post-war West German tank. However, by that time, work on a new generation machine was already going on, and it was to be put into mass production in the early 1970s. The main requirements were as follows: an ability to fire while on the move off-road, good mobility, best possible protection against radiation, and a strict limit of 32 tons of combat weight. No special attention was paid to the level of projectile protection, as at the time, high mobility and a low silhouette were seen as the basic survival features for a tank. The design, which was developed by Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG in cooperation with Wegmann & Co., was submitted for consideration in December 1963, but it was not accepted due to its weight approaching 60 tons.