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Brian J

Ta 152H colours: Is there a definitive answer?

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Posted (edited)

Yes, but regardless of older stocks being used up which was generally the preferred and often ordered process when replacement colours were introduced. The development of 81/82 was because of the undesirable desaturation of 70/71. Short term use of these colours to diminish old stocks was obviously deemed not to be an issue and was encouraged. Hence why we are likely looking at various combinations of 81/82/70/71 on late war machines.

Edited by Kaldrack

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Just surmising but apart from the economies of using up old stock paints, the desaturation of 70 & 71 when used with other shades was possibly not such an issue?

Steve.

 

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Gents,

 

Interesting discussion.  Previously on this website I articulated my thoughts on these subjects might be of interest to fellow readers: 

 

Cheers,

 

David

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Thanks for this input David, to my inexpert knowledge, I believe this represents what might be thought of as current consensus of the relationship of nomenclature to specific colours with strong circumstantial evidence for it, while still not representing rock solid fact, which is something we may never have. I for one am happy to go along with your interpretation.

Steve

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Excellent Dora post David. An excellent bit of research all 'round.

At least I know now where I initially read about the 'blue' in the mid-1970's, didn't remember it was on Ju 88's though, trust me to post the pages from another reference describing the same thing in this thread!!! Now I just have to find the other articles that culminate in agreeance as to what RLM83 was approx ten years later . . . I think it may've been in an 'Air Extra' maybe or even an IPMS/APMA mag . . . . . . "sigh", more searching . . . .

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Posted (edited)

RLM 81 and 82 were purposely developed because the older RLM 70 and 71 would fade to dark gray on exposure to the elements.  The new hues were successfully tested for resistance to fading and placed into service replacing the older 70/71 combination.  RLM directed manufacturers to employ residual stocks of 70/71 in combinations of 70/82 and 71/81.  Testing for color for the new shades was impossible because sample test cards for 81 and 82 had not been delivered.

 

 Extant factory camouflage diagrams (Oberflachenschutzliste) list RLM 81 and 82 with no mention of 83.

 

There are no RLM or Luftwaffe sources that describe the use of  RLM 83 as a late war camouflage color or in any combination with RLM 81 or 82.  Evidence for a late war green RLM 83 used as a camouflage color is exclusively based on speculative  interpretations of surviving relics and period photographs. 

Edited by Vonbraun
Punctuation

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An interesting period document can be found in Dénes Bernád and György Punka's Hungarian Fighter Colours, vol. 1.

 

It is an original Messerschmitt Augsburg document which was sent on 29th August 1944 and was translated into Hungarian on 2nd September 1944:

 

“Másolat.

Augsburg, 29.08.1944

Tárgy: Vadászrepülók rejtszinezése

A “General der Jagdflieger” legujabb követelményei szerint a vadászgépek rejtszinezését minden célra egységesen rögzitették a következó módon:

Felsó felület: 81-es szinü /oliva barna/
és 82-es szinü /világos zöld/

az eddig alkalmazott 74-es /szürkés zöld/ és 75-ös /szürkés lila/ szinek helyett. Alsó fele és a törzsoldalak továbbra is azt a /világos kék/ szinezést kapják, amivel a törzsoldalakat, függóleges vezérsikot, stb. az eddigi módon világosra festették. Ugyanez csata-, harcirepülógépekre /naponkénti bevetésnél/, rövid és hossztávfelderitó gépekre.

Magyar forditás kelte:
Budapest, 2.9.1944”

 

A rough translation below:

 

Copy.

Augsburg, 29 August 1944

Subject: The Camouflage of Fighter Aircraft

According to the newest requirements of the "General der Jagdflieger", the camouflage of fighter aircraft has been ordered for all purposes in the following way:

Upper surfaces: 81 colour (olive brown) and 82 colour (light green)

Instead of the 74 (grey green) / 75 (grey purple) colours used so far.

 

The lower surfaces, fuselage sides and vertical tail continue to receive the light blue colour from available stocks. So far it has been painted clear.

 

Same for battle, fighter aircraft / day-to-day operations, short- and long-range reconnaissance machines.

Date of Hungarian translation:
Budapest, 2.9.1944

 

The last section of the translation regarding types of aircraft is a little difficult, especially the “battle” text. I think it means “Zerstörers”? 

 

Also the text regarding the lower surfaces and “clear”. I’m wondering if this is in relation to the fighters not receiving paint on the undersides, but could do if the stocks of RLM 76 were available?

 

So from this document one can assume that the order to replace the 74/75 colours with the new 81/82 colours on fighter, heavy fighter aircraft and recon versions of those types serving with the Luftwaffe was 29th August 1944.

 

 

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On 1.4.2018 at 12:04 PM, stevehnz said:

 

Yet Ullman hypothesized in the links to TOCH that I put up ages ago that the dark green late war colour was merely 70 or more likely 71 being used up before newer shades were used. Kari's theory of ex bomber paints being used up has an attractive logic to it, will we ever know for sure? :unsure: 

Steve.

This theory has a lot going for it ( see my line of thinking in #47). I have no idea what the average life expectancy of a fighter was in late 44/early 45, but it can’t have been much - 15 to 20 flying hours ( I think I read such a figure somewhere) , or 6 weeks in total?. Colour desaturation may have been a theoretical problem, but  a practical one only to the most diehard Endsieg believers. No idea how many of them were left at the time to take decisions. 

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1 hour ago, Kaldrack said:

The last section of the translation regarding types of aircraft is a little difficult, especially the “battle” text. I think it means “Zerstörers”? 

 

Literal back-translation for battle would be „Schlacht“, which may refer to Schlachtflieger - Fw 190F, Ju 87D and the like. 

The section about „clear“ sounds a bit odd, as I read the translation to indicate „continue“ to use light blue and „so far“ being „clear“, at the same time? With my admittedly limited knowledge, I thought the dispense with underside painting was confined to wing undersurfaces from metal.

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This is what Ullmann states which is sourced from various reports for the testing and reasoning for the new 81/82 colours:

 

“Test order E2-45/19 (Flight verification of camouflage „Land“)

 

• Report June 1943: The to darken RLM 70/71 will be replaced with color 281 H (olivgreen) and B657 (brightgreen). After 9 month of environmental testing they are very lightresistant.

 

• Report August 1943: The new colors RLM 81 and 82 (brown tint) introduced

 

• Report October 1943: The exposure of the colors (also small production batches) after finishing the summer sun period showing no discoloration.

 

• Report December 1943: RLM 81 and 82 introduced. Lightresistant without objection 

 

• Report February 1944: RLM 81 and 82 accordingly report 2138/43 dated 02. July 1943 introduced. Lightresistant, including serial production, without objection.”

 

So it appears that they determined that the colours remained light resistant for at least 9 months including a summer period.

 

I agree that many aircraft were lost before the desaturation of the paint would even become an issue, but we also have a great number of aircraft surviving to be used in various units and as trainers. Desaturation was obviously deemed a serious issue hence the development of new light resistant paint colours. The fact that they waited 9 months to check the light resistance of 81/82 means they must have required the paints to last at the very least longer then 9 months. Which also suggests that 70/71 didn't last that long until it started to desaturate.

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5 minutes ago, tempestfan said:

Literal back-translation for battle would be „Schlacht“, which may refer to Schlachtflieger - Fw 190F, Ju 87D and the like. 

The section about „clear“ sounds a bit odd, as I read the translation to indicate „continue“ to use light blue and „so far“ being „clear“, at the same time? With my admittedly limited knowledge, I thought the dispense with underside painting was confined to wing undersurfaces from metal.

Not sure. I just used several different online translation sites to get a general translation that made some kind of sense because not all of the sites did well with the full translation. 

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Battle (-aircraft) means Schlachtflieger indeed in that case ...

'Flieger' (= German colloquial expression) is another word for Flugzeug. 

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I’m just wondering why there is a time difference between the introduction of 81/82 between the Ullmann documents and the Augsburg/Hungarian document.

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„Introduction“ *** may*** mean the hue was „elevated“ to official RLM status, though admittedly it doesn’t make much sense to introduce colours without specifying what to use it for. Maybe the shades were initially intended for craft working low down and later extended to interceptors when ground concealment took priority over a/a camouflage? Just guessing...

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22 hours ago, Kaldrack said:

I’m just wondering why there is a time difference between the introduction of 81/82 between the Ullmann documents and the Augsburg/Hungarian document.

 

Perhaps it’s just when that message was sent (August 1944), opposed to the earlier general order to use the new paints. 

 

As in there was a lttle subcontractor somewhere In Hungary they forgot to tell about the change in colours and they intercepted it? 

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Bingo! You hit that nail on the head, Tony! That wouldn't surprise me in the least. Contractors/subcontractors not getting a notice occurs in peacetime; the late war period in Germany almost guarantees that some producers were never notified; or, were notified very late, or too late to make whatever changes were mandated/needed, etc.

Joe

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It’s certainly possible. Although the document is from the Messerschmitt-controlled Magyar Waggon és Gépgyár (MWG) plant at Györ in Hungary. It was producing Bf 109 Gs in 1943. So it wasn’t a small, oft forgotten and obscure sub-contractor. It was directly controlled by Messerschmitt to produce entire airframes.

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Thinking about that time difference between the two documents Kaldrack mentioned:

 

During the war there was a great number of all kinds of "special officials" traveling around Germany and the occupied territories. They all knew someone "important" who gave them a special brevet to execute "Fuhrer Befels" on different matters. This is of course guess work but let's assume that shortly after the publishing of Sammelmitteilung 2 an official appeared at an aircraft factory and said that despite the orders from RLM this is what you actually should do. After one week another official came with different instructions. In many cases those "special brevets" were signed by Hitler himself so it must have been confusing for the aircraft factory's management to decide what to do and whose orders to obey. Make the wrong move and you'll pay for it...

 

Albert Speer used this "multi-layer" bureaucracy to his own advantage. For example at one point Hitler personally ordered him to produce nothing but anti-aircraft guns. Speer knew that it would take at least a year to modify the industry to fulfill that order. So he answered to Hitler that he would personally take care of that matter without giving it really a further thought. After a couple of weeks factories were still producing fighter aircraft and AA -guns. So from Berlin's point of view it was necessary to send the first "special official" to find out why a "Fuhrer Befel" was ignored. This official was then explained that actually the factory was waiting for lorries to take out all aircraft aluminium and return loaded with steel for guns.

 

My point here is that the further the war went the more all kinds of high ranking "special officials" there were giving their own orders at all government levels. Everyone knows how much delays such a system can create; especially if people are afraid on their own lives.

 

Kind Regards,

Antti 

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A great thread demonstrating that a reputable author ought to publish a document that updates all the great published works by Ullmann, Merrick, and others to bring us to 2018.

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Ullmann did state that he has plans for an updated volume of his book published by Hikoki. Hopefully we will see it at some point. 

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Just a misundestanding worth noting. The Sola He 115 was raised from Hafrsfjord, i.e. seawater, not a fresh water lake as some seem to think. Whether and how that has any effect on the way the paint deteriate us anyones guess. I think the most interesting find is that in all likelyhood the gelb (RLM04) theater bands on the underwing was repainted by locally sourced maritime paint. 

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I think it's worth keeping in mind that until someone who is competent at analysing historical paint samples has examined that wreck then it would be wise to take anything mentioned in that report with an incredibly large pinch of salt. (no pun intended). ;)

Edited by Kaldrack

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