I believe that their T-55s were seriously outclassed by the Leopard 1 series of tanks of the Bundeswehr, while the T-55s and M60 series tanks were on more equal footing,
Sorry... what? A KV-1 had thicker frontal armour than a Leopard 1...
At certain points in time different sides had different advantages... in the 70s I would say the thermal sight advantage of the west was not developed to a point where it would have as much an impact as most westerners seem to think. The advantage of the Soviets is that in almost every conceivable war it is a Soviet attack, which means the low mobility of the super heavy western tanks really counts against them. In the mid to late 1980s the improvements in electronics and armour shifts to the west but not completely, with Soviet tanks enjoying special armoured vehicles and ammo that is keeping pace with western improvements in armour, plus they have the enormous added advantage of the increasing deployment of Mig-29s and Su-27s with high off boresight missiles and helmet mounted sights... which would have been serious to the wests grip of the air... the Soviets could fight without air control... they learnt it and practise it and have their own air defence network. In the west the air defence is largely handled by their air forces.
I'm not saying the Leopard 2 is better than modern versions of the T-72, but the basic T-72 that the DDR had in the late 1970s and early 1980s would have been easy pickings for the Leopard 2 of that era.
I can't agree, you make it sound like it would be fought in a flat open desert where the Leopards could see the T-72s from great distances. Lets face it, the East Germans knew the Leopard has good optics so they will use smoke as a matter of course to negate their advantages, and of course use dead ground to get in close. I rather doubt the Leopard II would not do the same to ensure the effectiveness of its ammo.