Name is Stefan Liess, owner of this nice little website. I have been asked several times by visitors about who’s pulling the strings and why and all that. The answer is very simple, but I will give some more background info.
It must have started somewhat around the day I have set foot on this planet. Something happened then, coz my entire live I felt sort of fascinated by this steel monsters, especially the tracked ones. And finally the day arrived where I was allowed to serve in the Bundeswehr and be part of this small group of men always smelling oil and always being interested in going out in the field with the monsters. My main base was located in Heidenheim a.H., which once was the most crowded tank base the Bundeswehr had. Back in 1995 there were still plenty of tanks left with the majority sealed in a storage facility. I really enjoyed the time as a Leopard 2 tanker and came back several times during my time in the Army Reserve.
Back in the days I was trained as a driver for the Leopard 2A4, later turned into loader as well. Army reserve trainings allowed me to do Sergeant training and pick up all the missing pieces of gunnery and commander training. The journey came to a stop just after I managed to join my unit in a special M1A1 Abrams training at Fort Polk/LA. Tanks were sold to Poland and the base was shut down. I officially left reserve duty back in 2003, thought it was the end. But it wasn’t. Thanks to our friends in the east, Germany started once again to strengthen its armoured forced. In 2014 a new battalion was setup, which was partially filled with active soldiers and partially with reserve troops. And it says, there is no fool like an old fool, I signed up again. Now, almost 20 years after I first drove the A4, it’s the Leopard 2A6 I get my hands on. Tank is pretty much the same as in the old days. Just as many of us old folks, it took on some extra weight around the belly.
Now that my military background is somewhat clear, lets talk about the site itself. Right after my active duty had come to an end, I start studying. Around the same time, this new technology thing came up and changed the world as we knew it forever. That new thing, people called it the internet, was supposed to hold and provide all information one could imagine. As I was using it quite frequently I took very little time to find out it wasn’t. My area of interest, military technology in general and especially armour, was in bad shape. There was a massive amount of websites owned by storytellers who spent the day copying from other sites and making up details. But there were not so many folks around who were actually experts and knew what they were talking about from practical experience. And so I made the decision to start my own project. I began to collect information, validate and analyze them. And finally I wrote it all down and published it. I do it all alone, there is no team working on that website. But there are quite some supporters delivering or validating information or just asking questions to make my old brain start working again.
The website is privately owned, I don't make any money out of it. I created it just for fun and that's how it will stay for the future. As it costs me a fortune, donations are always welcome. Yes, I made mistakes too. But ever since, I try to publish information only after it was verified by trusty sources. You won’t find things like the indestructible Abrams or the weak Soviet tank designs here.
Making a website about armoured vehicles is quite a strange thing, especially as a German. We as a society have a problem with our history, especially the one of the 20th century. I am often seen as one who is too close with the military, that I'm fancy of wars; sometimes I'm even called a Nazi. But hey, none of it is true; this is not about politics and all that. I'm just somebody interested in technology and that's about it. And no, I don't want to buy any tank or tank engine and I also don't know somebody selling one. But yes, I'm always interested in getting my hands dirty and crawl around on armoured vehicles. I am still a tank driver and to get my arse in the driver's seat is about the best thing I can think of. To smell the oil, to feel the engine awake and to push the monster thru rough terrain. That's all I'm looking for. And as I can't have that every day, I just continue to collect information and to present them here.