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Armor/AFV: Axis - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Axis forces during World War II.
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German usage of green as base color 1944/45?
crucial_H
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Södermanland, Sweden
Joined: January 15, 2008
KitMaker: 150 posts
Armorama: 147 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - 11:32 PM UTC
I need some expertise opinion on this subject. I've tried to study photographs in books and on the internet, and it's very hard to find pictures of tanks with green as a base. Aside from some late Hetzers, "octopus" Tiger II and late Panthers many seem to be painted with yellow as the base and green and/or red as secondary colors, judging by how the paints "flow" and how they follow each other.



One example: In my opinion, if you look at how the brown and green patches relate to the yellow, the yellow must be the primary color? If you think from an artists point of view of how the hand moves this makes more sense.
BUT, the Jagdpanther in the second picture might have a green base, judging by the yellow seeming to be sprayed very lightly. So, how common would the green been as a base color?

I know this is a can of worms, but I have thought about it and cant put it aside! I'm by no means an expert on this, but I want to learn more! haha

Biggles2
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: January 01, 2004
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Posted: Thursday, May 02, 2013 - 02:24 AM UTC
Although green was ordered the new base color for AFV's in December 1944, the practice probably didn't take place until weeks later. And with bombing interdictions of rail transport, parts, and assembly factories, few made their way to the fronts. There is a published pic, somewhere, of a group of very late Panther G's, knocked out/abandoned in the countryside (maybe Frenchy can help with this pic) allegedly in green and yellow. But in B/W photography, and on a bright sunny day, green could look very light like yellow (and vice versa) so sometimes colors can be mis-identified. But definitely some late production tanks were finished in overall green. As an after thought, some Panther G's of 1st SS in the Ardennes campaign had a lot of green and a lot less yellow and brown, so maybe these were some of the first in overall green.
crucial_H
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Södermanland, Sweden
Joined: January 15, 2008
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Posted: Thursday, May 02, 2013 - 04:06 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Although green was ordered the new base color for AFV's in December 1944, the practice probably didn't take place until weeks later. And with bombing interdictions of rail transport, parts, and assembly factories, few made their way to the fronts. There is a published pic, somewhere, of a group of very late Panther G's, knocked out/abandoned in the countryside (maybe Frenchy can help with this pic) allegedly in green and yellow. But in B/W photography, and on a bright sunny day, green could look very light like yellow (and vice versa) so sometimes colors can be mis-identified. But definitely some late production tanks were finished in overall green. As an after thought, some Panther G's of 1st SS in the Ardennes campaign had a lot of green and a lot less yellow and brown, so maybe these were some of the first in overall green.



Yeah, I think you mean the "last steel wheel" Panthers. I have some pictures of these and I think those might actually be green. But it seems like there should be more late war vehicles painted green? I've never seen a green half track or armored car, or at least not that I can remember.
Biggles2
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Quebec, Canada
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Posted: Thursday, May 02, 2013 - 06:28 AM UTC
The steel wheel Panthers only numbered no more than 50 examples, and were an experiment on standardising parts. One or two were photographed in and around La Gleize after the Battle of the Bulge so they were built in November/early December 1944. They probably went back to using the original pattern wheels because of stockpiles of them.
tread_geek
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: March 23, 2008
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Posted: Thursday, May 02, 2013 - 07:04 AM UTC
To paraphrase the Panzer Colors book, from late 1943 on the German army paint system was marked by a lack of system and many variations in colours, patterns and application were found. It further goes on to say that, "Occasionally, vehicles used for special purposes (reconnaissance, etc) were painted in special schemes (overall green has been mentioned) but again these colours depended entirely on local terrain conditions, and orders usually issued at the unit level." To add to the confusion, the book also mentions that the end of winter 1945 saw some large vehicles, especially JagdTigers and Tiger II's, painted is early war overall dark grey. Whether this was due to a lack of supply, left over supply from the switch to dark yellow or was a deliberate attempt to hide the vehicles in shadows is open to speculation.

Cheers,
Jan
Kurmark
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Canada
Joined: February 28, 2010
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Posted: Thursday, May 02, 2013 - 07:56 AM UTC
I have seen a number of late war 251s that have a fairly standardised factory camo that is predominately green.Some are 2 colour(green/dark yellow) and others are tricolour.The factory camo looks hardedged but may be a very tight spray edge.Several are shown in Marek Solar's book on abandoned German vehicles in Czechoslovakia,and there are others in various issues of Panzerwrecks.Tom Jentz's book on the Panther says that after mid Sept.44 Panthers were ordered to be painted at the factory.Dunkelgelb was no longer to be the base colour,red oxide primer was.Dunkelgelb,Olivegrun and Rotbraun were to be painted sparingly in adloining patches over the red oxide primer.MNH received this order on Oct.31/44,so they may have started painting this scheme later than MAN and DB.The late war 2 colour Panthers appear to be MAN products.Hope this helps,Cheers...Murray McLennan
SEDimmick
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New Jersey, United States
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Posted: Thursday, May 02, 2013 - 08:46 AM UTC

Quoted Text

To paraphrase the Panzer Colors book



The only problem with Squadron's Panzer Color book is the data in it is VERY OLD. They are good picture books (hold on to them since the books can't be reproduced any more!), but the data and some of the information in them is plain wrong.

I know Jentz was working on a German Camo book, but I'm not sure what the status of it is since he passed away a few months ago.

TheGreatPumpkin
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: April 20, 2009
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Posted: Thursday, May 02, 2013 - 09:27 AM UTC
Hi All,
Using Tom Jentz's book on the Tiger II, he states in sect 6.3.4.5 (p 138),

"On 29 December 1944, further orders were issued by OKH Wa J Rue (WuG 6) VII regarding a new camouflage paint scheme. The external surfaces of all armor components were to be delivered to the assembly plants already covered with a base coat of Dunkelgruen (RAL 6003) paint. The assembly firms were then to complete the Buntfarbenanstrich (multicolored) camouflage scheme by spraying on Rotbrun (RAL 8017) or Dunkelgelb (RAL 7028) in sharp contours. The new camouflage scheme for completed Panzers was to go into effect starting on 1 March 1945. By 20 December 1944, armor suppliers had been issued orders to immediately start coating armor components with Dunkelgruen (RAL 6003) paint prior to delivery."

Hope that helps.
Regards,
Georg
crucial_H
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Södermanland, Sweden
Joined: January 15, 2008
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Posted: Thursday, May 02, 2013 - 09:21 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I have seen a number of late war 251s that have a fairly standardised factory camo that is predominately green.Some are 2 colour(green/dark yellow) and others are tricolour.The factory camo looks hardedged but may be a very tight spray edge.Several are shown in Marek Solar's book on abandoned German vehicles in Czechoslovakia,and there are others in various issues of Panzerwrecks.Tom Jentz's book on the Panther says that after mid Sept.44 Panthers were ordered to be painted at the factory.Dunkelgelb was no longer to be the base colour,red oxide primer was.Dunkelgelb,Olivegrun and Rotbraun were to be painted sparingly in adloining patches over the red oxide primer.MNH received this order on Oct.31/44,so they may have started painting this scheme later than MAN and DB.The late war 2 colour Panthers appear to be MAN products.Hope this helps,Cheers...Murray McLennan



This helps me somewhat. Like you wrote, the 251's are predominately green, but If but if you look at the shapes of the green parts, it looks like they're a secondary color? Maybe this is just something I'm hung up on. Maybe this is because of the "standardized" camouflage stencils being used straight on the primer? I know I might come of as stubborn, but to prove something right you have to question the alternatives.

Also, are there any factory pictures of all over green vehicles? My guess is MAYBE. And if there are any, they're probably owned by people waiting for the right publishing deal. haha