Why Panzer GREY?

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Owen, Jun 8, 2007.

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  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    As Europe is a very green continent why on earth did the Germans decide to use dark grey as a camoflage colour?
    I see previously they were

    "Up to 1935, the Reichswehr colored their vehicles in the usual multicolor pattern, mainly green, brown, and yellow. Starting in 1935, the official paint for all German vehicles, including armor, was a dark grey/dark brown combination. Since 1940 the dark brown was discontinued and all vehicles were painted in dark grey only. . ."

    Thomas L. Jentz and Hilary L. Doyle
    Panzer Facts

    Other European Nations used a disruptive camo scheme so why go for plain grey?

    Silly bugger, if I'd read on it says ,
    Painting of Equipment: In order to save paint the following instructions will be observed for the duration of the war: 1. Equipment previously painted dark-grey/dark-brown will be painted in dark-grey only. (OKH. (Chef Ruest u. BdE) 31.7.1940.


    Still why not go for brown or green?
     
  2. Gerry Chester

    Gerry Chester WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi Owen,

    According to the records of PzABT 501 when it was ordered to North Africa, 2 Kompanie was stationed in France painted 'Westeuropisches Grün' - coloured as such they were deployed in Tunisia. The Tigers of 1 Komanpie before leaving Italy were overpainted in approximately the same colour

    As it is reasonable to assume that Panzers stationed in the west in 1942 were all painted 'Westeuropisches Grün' perhaps the July ruling of 1940 was superceded.

    Cheers, Gerry
     
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Cheers Gerry,
    That has reminded me that I was looking at a Tiger the other day that was green.
    See so many images on the net that I forget most of what I've looked at.
     
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Quite a sensible article on Panzer colours here:
    Germany_1939-45
    Makes a good companion to the Jentz/Doyle one. (though the ral numbers still throw me into confusion)

    Best I could think of as to why Panzer Grey is why not? As appropriate as any other dark camouflage colour perhaps? And sensible to be a different colour to the enemy?

    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I suppose once covered in crud and muck it'd blend in anyway.
    Just looking at those colour photos we linked to on Kev's Sdkfz 7 thread panzer grey vehicles seem to stand out from the background quite starkly.
     
  6. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    They were grey so they could better disappear in tree etc shades when parked, which is how vehicles spend a significant part of their time.

    As an equivalent, I call attention to the Brit Mickey Mouse pattern, where vehicle tops are painted black, again to provide cover under shade against aerial observation.
     
  7. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    They were grey so they could better disappear in tree etc shades when parked, which is how vehicles spend a significant part of their time.

    As an equivalent, I call attention to the Brit Mickey Mouse pattern, where vehicle tops are painted black, again to provide cover under shade against aerial observation.
    Fair point, as I helped cam-up our 4 tonners with hessian & cam nets under trees.
     
  8. Gerry Chester

    Gerry Chester WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    They were grey so they could better disappear in tree etc shades when parked, which is how vehicles spend a significant part of their time.
    Hi Za,

    With due respect, painting tanks grey simply to give better camouflage protection under trees does not stand examination.

    Before leaving factories, the primer colour was over-painted with colours most suited to the terrain to which they were to be deployed. Due to exingencies of war, after leaving the factory occasionally it became necessary to re-paint tanks with colours appropriate to a diverted destination. For example:
    Tigers of PzAbt 501 intended for delivery to Rommel left the factory with the grey overpainted in DAK colours. On arrival in southern Italy, being diverted to Tunisia, they were hastily repainted green before being shipped from Reggio. Tigers of PzAbt 504 were repainted brown after arrival in Tunisia as it was expected they would be doing battle in the south of the country.

    Regards, Gerry
     
  9. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018 at 12:35 AM
  10. kfz

    kfz Very Senior Member

    Restoration?

    Looks pretty good for 60 years old/ Primer under the can looks neat, seen worse on a 3 year old bike.

    Kev
     
  11. martin j

    martin j Junior Member

    wouldn't stand out in a bombed, dusty city?
     
  12. martin j

    martin j Junior Member

    sorry, i meant....wouldn't GREEN stand out in a bombed dusty city?
     
  13. Kitty

    Kitty Very Senior Member

    I seem to recall comments about th eGerman Grey uniform in WW1 beign hard to spot, only the British Khaki was harder. Grey just naturally blends away. Look at the old England 2nd strip for confirmation.
     
  14. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Hi Za,

    With due respect, painting tanks grey simply to give better camouflage protection under trees does not stand examination.
    ...
    Tigers of PzAbt 501 intended for delivery to Rommel left the factory with the grey overpainted in DAK colours. On arrival in southern Italy, being diverted to Tunisia, they were hastily repainted green before being shipped from Reggio. Tigers of PzAbt 504 were repainted brown after arrival in Tunisia as it was expected they would be doing battle in the south of the country.

    Hmm, Gerry, I understand there are a bit less shade-providing trees in Tunisia then say Pomerania, so it is natural those you meant were painted desert sand ;)
     
  15. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  16. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I still think 'why not?'.

    Nice smart colour that matches the Uniform & general look of the army quite well, & pretty much the same camouflage effect as any other basic AFV colour from bronze green & khaki to olive drab.
    The choice of Dark Yellow later on is perhaps a little more unusual than the Grey.
    All of 'em a nice base for more 'thorough' schemes to be applied later though ;).
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Never saw this Churchill before, it looks like the modern "digital" camo schemes. By the way, notice the Mickey Mouse Ear scheme on the Bedford (?) behind. The canvas looks very faded, there apperas to be a bit of bodywork black seen just below the Churchill's front mudguard.
     
  18. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I want to know what football ground that was taken in.
    See the terracing in the background.
     
  19. Kitty

    Kitty Very Senior Member

    Brittania stadium just before the Stoke derby? Joking aside would be interesting to know as it was obviously in use as a depot.
     
  20. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    She's from david Fletcher's Excellent 'Mr Churchill's tank' Za. Wearing the zimmerit style paste that Britain developed. The intention was to apply it universally but wars end put a stop to the plan. She's painted in one of the German yellow/green shades with black emulsion splashed over. I just included it here as I reckon (allowing for the monochrome photograph) it's about the best bit of camo I've ever seen. Kind of illustrates that the colour is perhaps less important than something that breaks up the overall outline of the vehicle.
    The 'fuzziness' is making her fade out in a car-park so presumably the effect would be superb in the field.
     

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