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Camouflage Painting of Tanks - Painting in World War

Updated on April 23, 2012
Multicolor Tank
Multicolor Tank

Paintings on military vehicles

Many different camouflage paintings have been tried over the years to make tanks less visible on the battlefield.

When motor vehicles started to be common in military service, they were either in their civilian colors or painted in the colors used in artillery and horse-drawn vehicles. Usually in different olive green or gray shades.

Britons first armored cars were painted in a light gray color that was similar to warships. The exception was the naval aviation armored cars that were in Daimler khaki-green. And as they came up with the world's first tank, the Mark I, called Country Ship because they were seen as a type of battleship on land. It was reflected in the painting, which was light gray. That changed, however, even before their first use in war. Then a complex painting pattern developed by Colonel Solomon J. Solomon, who was an artist in civilian life was used. There were patches of red, green, blue and brown. Everything to break up the vehicle's silhouette. Soon, the painting was withdrawn and the gray color came back before it all soon again became khaki green, similar to Daimler's color.

The development was largely the same in all countries over the period, going from intricate patterns to a color. In view of the battlefield looked like during the war did not play camouflage make much difference. The vehicles were covered quickly by an eco-friendly camouflage of mud.

When peace came, there was again time for plastering and painting, something that was reflected on the tanks. Multi Color Camouflage became popular again and often semi-gloss or even blank so that everything would look good. Two notable exceptions were, however, the United States and the Soviet Union, both of which used the single-color, dark green paint. U.S. tint was the classic Olive Drab.

Colonial powers such as Italy and Britain had desert areas and used painting that would fit there. The base color was various shades of light brown camouflage on top. This served to break up the tank's contour. In the special, bright light in the desert the shadow colors were different. It was reflected in the mainly British used contrasting paint in light blue, gray-green and brown.

When World War II broke out, most nations vehicle were in some kind of camouflage paint. Almost immediately, during the Finnish winter war, came the need for winter painting. Here a washable white lime paint was used.

As during the First World War, the majority of combatants quickly transferred to a monochrome painting. Many sources have stated that all German armor from the outbreak of war was completely dark gray armor, but it was not. A chocolate brown camouflage was used until the fall 1940. However, this is difficult to see on black and white images of dusty vehicles.

The British abolished their three shades of green and started using an earth-brown color. On top of this, usually a black asphalt. It was painted on the large rounded box that looked like Mickey Mouse's ears, so obviously it was called the Mickey Mouse scheme. Similar painting was used on the sand color in North Africa. United States also developed an odd sand color with a pink stick, called Desert Pink. Before the Germans had to desert colored tanks they used makeshift smearing carts with clay or to they sprayed them with oil and sprinkle sand on top.

M41 walker bulldog tank
M41 walker bulldog tank

The Germans kept the armor black as the base until the spring of 1943 when it was replaced by a nuance yellow. They also used two camouflage colors, rust red and dark green. They came out to each vehicle as a paste which was diluted and applied by the crew for what they felt was appropriate. It gave space to an infinite number of variations. Then, when the Allies had air superiority, it was common that the Germans used the branches and shrubs to enhance the camouflage effect, especially when the vehicles were standing still. Towards the end of the war, the base color became green with brown and gray sand on top.

After the Second World War was the first single-color painting was the most common. The color changed only in the composition. It was IR safe to avoid detection when the enemy using night vision and thermal imaging cameras. It was also easy to wash clean from contamination by the ABC warfare agents.

The major change in American painting came in the early 1970s when the U.S. Army developed the eight painting schedules for different regions, mostly based on four colors. This complex painting could both be brush painted or sprayed. About the same time other nations, developed their own camouflage. One of the more odd was the one used by British forces in Berlin. The Chieftain-tanks was painted to look like brick walls.

A disadvantage of all camouflage was that you easily could see what nationality vehicles had. To get away from that the United States made all vehicles green. Later all NATO countries except Britain used dark green, maroon and black.


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