BARVs on Gold Beach.

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Trux, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Beach Armoured Recovery Vehicles in general are quite well documented. However there is a small point that I have not been able to clear up. What colour were they?

    Several sources over the years have given the colour as light grey. However the photos of BARVs on Sword seem to show them in the same colour as any of the other vehicles. There is one photo, beach not given, which does show a BARV with a light coloured upper hull and dark coloured lower hull and suspension units. Could this be a light grey vehicle on Gold?

    The same seems to apply to wading D8 recovery tractors. I have seen a painting of one in grey with a Beach Group insignia but again those photos we have of them on Sword seem to be a darker colour.

    If any of these were in fact light grey would this be as camouflage in the surf or for visibility to avoid being run down by incoming craft.

    While on the subject did the DD tanks on Gold have the chequered pattern on the rear of the screen as did those on Sword?

    Thank you in advance for any thoughts.

  2. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    A BARV with light coloured upper hull and dark lower hull. Any idea which beach?


  3. Noel Burgess

    Noel Burgess Senior Member

    Some thoughts:-
    Your picture looks like the old tin was left in US Olive Drab whereas the new tin was painted grey (or at least a lighter colour) much in the same way as, I understand,some Sherman fireflies had the new parts painted in British Olive drab whilst the rest was left in US colour.
    I understand that BARVs were being manufactured right up to the last minute so there was probably some inconsistencies in paint scheme.
    There is some colour footage of D Day which shows a glimpse of a wading D8 in "Green" but I haven't seen it for some time.
    As a final thought, and I am sure you have already ruled this out, any wet areas will look darker.
  4. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Noel, and others.

    Thank you for your thoughts. The consensus seems to be that BARVs and deep wading D8s were painted grey. The few coloured photos show grey and the preserved examples are grey. These do seem to be a darker grey than is suggested by the tones on the photo posted above.

    Possibilities are numerous.
    Different Beach Recovery units had different ideas.
    Different beaches, Beach Sub Area or Corps had different ideas.
    Earlier ones issued for trials and for use in exercises were issued in drab and there was no time for repainting.
    The rush to get the vehicles into the hands of units meant that only the superstructure was painted grey.
    Late arrivals were painted by units or in formation workshops and were not consistent.

    It is difficult in black and white photos to distinguish between drab and grey.
    Colour photos often seem to show odd hues. Some drab vehicles look distinctly blue.

    Still thinking.

  5. Here's a slightly less cropped version, showing part of an LST, but not its hull number alas:

    I'm practically certain that this BARV is T-151058 on JUNO as seen in the last pic in my post here BARVs and Beach Recovery Sections. D Day.
    and on these photos:
    BARV T151058, Amphib Tractor E243709, LCT 2484 - juno_beach_lct_2484.jpg
    BARV T151058, Amphib Tractor E243709, LCT 2484 - Commandospushshipoffshore.jpg

    The markings on the BARV are exactly alike in shape and location, the peculiar superstructure is the same, lots of shipping in the background too, and I think the guy furthest right on the last photo above is again Lt Rayburn.

    On the linked photo of T-151058 no difference in shape in patent, so I think the darker area on the photo with the LST is just the wet area and/or a shadow effect. The superstructure looks the same shade as the LST (grey) hull (or as the olive drab on the truck's canvas top!), and on the other photos it's the same shade as the wading tractor E243709 and the grey camo on the LCT.

    As for colours, even on the rare colour photos or clips available, distinguishing between grey and drab is sometimes tricky. Here the Crab looks grey and the wading tractor drab, when it should be just the opposite!
    No.x5 Crab COLOUR.jpg

    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
    Aixman likes this.
  6. Gold

    Gold Member

    Dear All,
    Just found this picture from an original IWM footage of King Beach ( Gold sector)


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