WWII British tank camouflage 44-45

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by sunoficarus, Mar 14, 2011.

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  1. Was there any rhyme or reason to it? It seems to be rather random both in application, style and colours with some tanks camo'd up and others in OD.

    I've seen pictures of Shermans in a field in Normandy with some tanks looking very subdued in two tone with no marking and other tanks in plain OD complete with Allied white star aiming marks on the hull and turrets.

    Was it down to personal prefences, unit, divisional, WD guidelines?
  2. I suspect most of those 'in shot' in Normandy are battle casualty replacements, US>Ship>Field in UK>port>France, so if the markings weren't done prior to re-embarkation then the chance of getting a compo can full of paint and a brush through the system was pretty low at that time. The problem was mostly addressed later on AIUI.

    PS The cynic in me would also point out that any tanks so marked could not but help the survival rates of the older smellier troops...
  3. Was for the Royal Marines Armoured support group so they could fire from the landing craft.

    As for the rest IIRC the cammo pattern was called micky mouse ears was used on soft skin and tracked alike

  4. Centaur Mk IV 95mm Howitzer(51 rounds) for fire support, the marking are degrees to aid, I presume, target indication. Used by Royal Marines Armoured Support Group.
  5. daft question I'm sure, but can either of you explain how graduations on the outside help taget indication ?

  6. I asked this question last year (ish). IIRC it was for FOO to call for adjustments and/or so troops on the the ground could pass adjustments using the comms system on the outside of the tank. I have also seen photo's of warships turrets painted or marked in a similar way, so I assume it is more of a Naval/RM method.

  7. Dunno, ask a dropshort. If I had to guess it was either to aid a bootneck on the ground to point or adjust a target, or if there were some(not visible) datum on the hull to slew the turret in an emergency. This is the limit of my guesswork, us tankies generally, but not always, require line of sight to give someone the good news.
  8. The point ref cam schemes & colours etc is one that raises its head all the time in the mil modelling game that I used enjoy now & again.
    A point i used to make then is, as the campaign progressed supplies of paint etc were short so in effect as long as it is a shade of green anything could go. I've seen pics of tankies applying paint using yard brushes & thinning the stuff down with petrol as it was more plentiful than water.
  9. The graduations probably worked the other way around, as they appear to be intended for an external observer: ie the tank crew might spot a target and engage it; meanwhile a fire control officer of some type on the vessel can "fix" the target by combining the tank gun direction (by observing the marks on the turret, which show barrel direction compared to tank/vessel centreline) with the vessel heading (off the ship's compass), and then by using the vessel's location derived from a running fix provided by the navigator. Hence the target information can be passed over the net to whatever fire units need it.
  10. I know that on some of the sherman fireflies the cannons were camoflauged to appear as the smaller calibre 75mm as opposed to the 17 pounder usually involving the tip of the barrel being painted.
  11. I have often wondered why ww1 grand fleet battleships and battlecrusiers had graduation marks painted on turrets, often stern turrets and range clocks pointing astern. I presume this was to pass information "down the line" probably to prevent two ships firing at the same target as per Jutland. With tanks I presume the graduation marks were there to give a bearing to others in the squadron. I think it's a Cromwell or comet at Prgasus. It also has an odd gun fitted Either a "motar type" which would fit into a fire support role or a mockup. Anyone know what it is?

  12. Read post #5. Also, technically, it's not a tank, it's an SP gun so adjust your mindset accordingly.
  13. You mean a Centaur IV Close Support Tank ;)
  14. Given that the graduations are painted on the top edge of the turrent and start at the back, the view would have to be in a raised position, so a landing craft Bridge would make sense.

    thanks everyone