Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Wehrmacht Traffic Jam in the West 1940

An early World War II traffic jam of Wehrmacht vehicles on the road to Belgium through Koningshoeven, Netherlands, 12 May 1940. Interestingly there is not a horse in sight, and note the bright fluoro yellow recognition panels (even though all the vehicles are in dark gray and brown color) as an identification to friendly aircrafts. The second car from the front is an Opel Olympia, followed by a Büssing-NAG Type 350/400 truck. Left bus is a Ford V8-51 and the one in the background is a Mercedes. The picture was taken by Hugo Jaeger. As with all of their procurement efforts, Germany established a program to control manufacturing and application of camouflage paints. Specifications were sent to the paint suppliers detailing the exact method for preparing test specimens to send in for examination and approval. In addition, the inspectors at the assembly plants were provided with color swatches to use in accepting products painted in accordance with orders specified in contracts. This strictly controlled and enforced program ensured uniformity in both the paint and the final assembled product. These camouflage paints were used for the entire range of military equipment and vehicles intended for frontline use - not just panzers. At the start of the war, all panzers and military vehicles were painted in a two-tone scheme of Dunklegrau (dark grey) and Dunklebraun (dark brown). Dunklegrau RAL 46 (later renumbered RAL 7021) was the base coat. Irregularly shaped patches of Dunklebraun RAL 45 (later renumbered RAL 7017) were to be spray painted onto 1/3rd of the surface. In June 1940, a general order was issued to stop applying patches of Dunklebraun and only use Dunklegrau RAL 46 for the entire surface.

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