British Vehicle Markings - a rough guide

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by SquireBev, May 30, 2020.

  1. Christian Fletcher

    Christian Fletcher Well-Known Member

    Both RHA and Foot Artillery wore blue uniform jackets with red facings (still do, in full dress). Just joking - red is for red-coats, green for those pesky Riflemen (and brown for the also rans?) The strangest would be light blue for the RE - I thought the facings on their uniforms was grey but there's no sign of a light colour in their current dress uniform.
  2. I went here:
    Army Group Royal Artillery (AGRA) – 21st Army Group 1944
    Showing the composition of AGRAs assigned to the 21st Army Group in North West Europe in 1944.
    Link: AoS Markings – Higher Formations

    Question: Any ideas where i might find 1st Cdn AGRA markings for Italy and NWE?
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2021
  3. MarkN

    MarkN Banned

    The first idea would have been some junior staff officer in the BEF with his idea being progressively approved or rejected as it went up the chain of command.

    As regards written evidence, Commander in Chief BEF (Gort) wrote to the Army Council in December 1939 with his (their) request to introduce AoS flashes and his/their proposal on what colours for which arm.

    Army Council sat, in January I think, to approve the request and the colours. Some they agreed on, others they amended. I think the red/blue for the RA was one out of HQ BEF that was approved.
    Christian Fletcher likes this.
  4. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    Thank you
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  5. jackojock

    jackojock Junior Member

    With regard to the vehicle markings of the 2nd Lothians in North Africa, can anyone tell me if, when the Regiment re-equipped with Shermans in 1943, the vehicle markings from their old equipment (Valentines, Crusaders etc) transferred over to the new equipment or were new vehicle markings developed
  6. Christian Fletcher

    Christian Fletcher Well-Known Member

    Further to this discussion...
    I was looking at the differences between Arm of Service strips (not stripes, apparently) on battledress and vehicle AoS. Some strange differences.

    R Artillery - red/blue
    R Engineers - blue/red

    R Army Service Corps - yellow/blue (which was used post-war for vehicles)
    (Army) Pioneer Corps - red/green

    ACI 1118/1940 'Arms of Service distinguishing marks'. Re-designated as 'strips' ACI 2587/1941
  7. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    The Gunners and Engineers is obvious. Both had blue uniforms with red facings. Both shop (Woolwich) trained officers. One red over blue on blue over red.

    ASC & RPC - these fish and chip mobs got two contrasting colours - what was left....
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2022
    Christian Fletcher likes this.
  8. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Not entirely sure what you mean by "new vehicle markings developed". The only markings that really could be developed by a regiment would be the tank callsigns, I think. But on the other hand there is definitely variation about which of the official markings actually got painted on, and where. I would be interested in what you had in mind. (I do not have any info on 2nd Lothians, sadly, and there are virtual no photos on the IWM website, which is a shame.)
  9. jackojock

    jackojock Junior Member

    Many thanks for your reply.
    I am in the process of creating a diorama of 2nd Lothians and 2/5 Leicesters at the Battle of Thala. I just want to be correct when it came to marking up the Valentines & Crusaders with the appropriate TAC signs of the Junior Regiment in 26th Armd Bde. I note on various photos I have seen that some tanks, in some Regiments had TAC signs and some had not. Essentially I was looking for a confirmation that there wasn't a real uniformity of tank markings in North Africa
    Chris C likes this.
  10. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Cool :) In North Africa, I think we see a lot of variation on which of the officially mandated markings were painted actually on the tanks.
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  11. Wg Cdr Luddite

    Wg Cdr Luddite Well-Known Member

    I agree. At this period in the war markings were still under development.
    Eighth Army was a law unto itself and although First Army had the latest promulgated markings, when they met the "veterans"of Eighth Army there was a proper mish mash going on.
    jackojock and Chris C like this.
  12. NathanGLD

    NathanGLD New Member

    Hey There, I'm trying to track down a copy of Od Acromy Do Zwyciêzcy vol 10 for a friend. I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction. Would you happen to have a link to a PDF?
  13. Christian Fletcher

    Christian Fletcher Well-Known Member

    Hi Nathan - I've never seen any of these appear as a PDF! I would like to find #9 which I'm missing. Unfortunately they are very difficult to scan as they can't be laid flat on a scanner without breaking the binding - all the pages are glued in, meaning the pages are all at right angles to a very rigid spine! They're difficult to photo as well because of the high gloss finish. I occasionally check but almost never get any hits!
  14. NathanGLD

    NathanGLD New Member

    Cheers! Thanks, I'll keep looking
  15. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    Hope you don`t mind i added these to show where to put the unit signs. The last two photos are from the India booklet.

    veh markings humber staff car.jpg veh markings colour.jpg veh markings india.JPG veh markings cover (2021_02_08 15_29_23 UTC).jpg
    Laochra Beag, Chris C and 8RB like this.
  16. ACL

    ACL New Member

    Hi there. I've been looking at tac signs and vehicle markings for 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards (the senior armoured regiment in 7th Armoured Division from July-Aug 1944). I know what all the correct markings should be, in part thanks to the excellent information on this thread.

    However my question is, on the front of a Cromwell, where should these markings be? Pictures and photographs tend to be very inconsistent! Sometimes, the unit number and division symbol are right down low by the tracks, while on other images they are on the front glacis and much more visible. (examples below).

    Is there any particular reason for these variations and would a single troop of tanks say all look uniform? Also, the tac signs (the squadron shapes) also appear inconsistently, visible in some images, always in the fancy paintings in modern books but often not visible in actual war time photos - as below. Any guidance would be much appreciated.
    800px-Winston_Churchill_during_the_Second_World_War_H37169.jpeg The_British_Army_in_the_Normandy_Campaign_1944_B9329.jpeg
    Chris C likes this.
  17. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Whatever any regulations stated (I feel like there were statements about where to put markings, but I'd have to dig), at the regimental level there was evidently a fair amount of leeway. I would expect tanks within a regiment, let alone squadron, to be consistently marked.

    There could also be a number to identify the specific tank in the squadron/regiment but with no consistency as to the size of the number or the placement. I think that's the 26 in your first photo, and the 'A' would identify the ... squadron? Troop? There are so many details that I always have to refer to my books to make sense of things.

    It was even "worse" in the desert in the sense that many markings would be left off.
  18. ACL

    ACL New Member

    Thanks Chris!

    I have managed to find the below clip which shows the Inniskillings in Normandy during Bluecoat from 1.35 onwards. Somewhat rare to see contemporary footage that shows the markings as clearly as this, so that clears things up as far as this regiment goes. However there's still inconsistencies, some tanks rolling past with no discernible markings and no sign of any tac signs at all. As you said, it appears the only consistent thing is inconsistencies!

    Chris C likes this.
  19. I was going to direct you to this film! I'll attach some screen grabs anyway as an illustration:
    A70 113-14 - 1944-08-05 - Ginger - 01.34 - Cromwell 5DG.jpg
    A70 113-14 - 1944-08-05 - Ginger - 01.47 - Cromwell 5DG T121747.jpg
    A70 113-14 - 1944-08-05 - Ginger - 01.47 - Cromwell 5DG T121747 - name on turret COR xxx.jpg
    A70 113-14 - 1944-08-05 - Ginger - 02.07 - Sherman Ic Hybrid 5DG T263037.jpg

    plus another from A70 116-10 showing a less standard (for 7 Armd Div) marking:
    A70 116-10 - 1944-08-09 - Ginger - 01.31 - Cromwell 5DG.jpg
    Christian Fletcher and ACL like this.
  20. ACL

    ACL New Member

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