Zimmerit. (And schurzen digressions)

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by von Poop, Jul 4, 2006.

  1. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    It was Monty himself who encouraged a British version of Zimmerit, in his Memorandum on British Armour No.2 of 21st February 1945.

    Para. 34, titled "Camouflage" spake thus:

    "A satisfactory camouflage is required which will eliminate all shine and reflection from the armour plate.

    Some form of plaster like the German "ZIMMERIT" should be produced and incorporated in the manufacture of all future tanks."
  2. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Thanks Minotti, I had no idea. Water paint may it be but rather thicker than the usual textured hallway stuff :)

    Don Juan, it's odd that Monty said that, British and everyone else's vehicles were/are so well coated in layers of diverse muck that applying Z wouldn't make much of a difference. Maybe he meant the benzene stink, which is rather cancerĂ­genous so don't lick it!
  3. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    As shown earlier in the thread it seems to work rather well with cammo.

  4. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    A magazine article on another attempt.

    British "Zimmerit"

    July 1995

    by Jeffrey D. McKaughan

    It is widely known of the Gennan practice of applying a paste-like substance to the lower surfaces of armor vehicles during the mid-stages of WWII. This is in response to the use of magnetic mines by infantry and partisans who would wait in hiding to attach one of the mines to the lower sides of a tank.. Called zimmerit, this paste was applied roughly to the lower surfaces. Different patterns were then applied so that there were no smooth surfaces for a mine to grip.
    However, according to a report, anti-magnetic plastic was tested by the British in the European Theater on vehicles at the 256 Armoured Delivery Squadronon 14 April 1945. The report does not clearly indicate if this was the first time the experiments were conducted by this unit or others like it.
    The material used was described as a "plastic" that is kept loose with an industrial alcohol. It was noted that because of damage to the containers that held the plastic, considerable evaporation had taken place. To make the plastic workable again, varying amounts of alcohol were added by the maintenance staff of the 256th.
    The material was to be sprayed on but it was found locally that application by trowel was also effective, if not more so. It was noted that the fumes from the plastic were difficult to work around even if the vehicle was out in the open.
    The plastic was applied to four vehicles for evaluation purposes. These included a Cromwell, Churchill, Ram Sexton. and the gun shield of a 25-pdr.
    The Cromwell was the first vehicle tried and it took 80 man hours and two days to apply the plastic. Because it was the first, subsequent vehicles took proportionally less time and material.

    Several mixtures were tried, including mixing wood wool with the top coat. The result was a finish that was far too smooth even after stippling with fingers. It was also determined that if too much alcohol was used in with the plastic it resulted in a very glossy surface and had a tendency to crack. By far the best mixture was with chopped straw added to the plastic.
    The 256th tried to duplicate a ridged-pattern to the plastic, similar to a pattern used by the Germans. Using a wooden roller to create the ridges, it proved exceedingly difficult as the consistency ofthe plastic seemed too critical for proper application. The results did not warrant the effort.
    There was no follow on report attached and no indication of a final conclusion by the 256th. however, one can assume that by this late stage of the war that the threat was not deemed very high and not requiring further action.

    von Poop and Za Rodinu like this.
  5. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Isn't that an Egyptian Ram? If I'm not mistaken who used to dabble with chopped straw were the Pharaoh's Hebrew slaves. They even made a movie about that.

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