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Russian Armour Overview
All drawings © o5m6 2016. All rights reserved.
No publication in any form without the author's written permission.

Last Updated: October 01, 2016

Camouflage Net


T-40, Rail Transport, Moscow, August 1941

Overview


At the outset of the 1940s, Soviet industry began production of three paints in the form of a thick paste, which was to be diluted with oil varnish containing gasoline or naphtha.
These colors were

  • 4BO - Dark Green,
  • 6K - Dark Brown and
  • 7K - Green Black.
Dark Green 4BO paint remained the basic color, which was to be used to cover up to 50% of a vehicle.
Tanks were painted with two or three-color camouflage.
Irregular large spots were painted using colors 6K and 7K which were supposed to cover about 25% of the vehicle each.
Amphibious tanks and tankettes were painted with small Dark Brown 7K spots on standard 4BO paint.

In 1940-1941, units were supplied with new armored vehi­cles, including the KW and T-34 tanks.
They were painted with standard 4BO paint, for it was planned that appropriate camou­flage would be painted on after the complete formation of armored units.
Further, Stalin was planning an attack not defense, and during a massed attack the problem of camouflage was of lesser importance.
That is also why only a few armored vehicles had the required camouflage paint schemes during combat in the summer and fall of 1941.
Exceptions were armored trains that were particularly susceptible to aerial attack and had to be properly camouflaged.
Two and three-colored variations were used.
Camouflage paint schemes were used on a wider scale in the 1st Armored Division, in some units of the South-Western Front as well as oddly enough, the 6th Armored Division, 28th Mechanized Corps, whose T-26 tanks were sent to occupy Iran.

Near the end of 1941, the Red Army's Armored-Vehicle and Artillery Command began work on new instructions for camouflage and masking.
The use of a three-color paint scheme was recommended:

  • Dark Green 4BO (45-50% of the vehicle),
  • 7K Yellow (15-30%) and
  • 6K Dark Brown (15-30%).
The instructions detailed the locations of spots and their positioning with respect to the vehicle and terrain (e.g. masking a tank's gun).
The use of templates to paint deforming camouflage was forbidden.

As opposed to the winter paint schemes, which were used until the end of the war, the summer camouflage was used only in a few theaters of war, where there were many forests or long-term positioning combat was ongoing (e.g. in the region of Leningrad).
Multi-colored camouflage paint schemes were also used in self-propelled artillery units, which often hid to trap the enemy in ambushes.

Beginning with the summer of 1943, when the Red Army went on the offensive across the entire from, issues of using camouflage paint schemes receded, since the Soviet Army again became the attacking army, with lower importance being attached to appropriate securing of military equipment.

Vehicles received from Great Britain and Canada bore typical paint schemes for the British army Bronze Green and Dark Green (European variation), using one and two-tone schemes.
Vehicles made in the USA were painted Olive Drab.


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2-tone camouflage


T-34/76 Model 1943, Fall 1943

T-34/76 STZ production, Kharkov offensive, May 1942

KV-2 Model 1940, Summer 1941

ISU-122, Berlin April, 1945

ISU-122S, Hungary, Autumn 1944

B.I.T. Mk. II "Matilda II", August 1942

SU-57 SPG, Summer 1944

BA-64 Scout Car, Bucarest, Summer 1944

Willys MB, Poland, Autumn 1944

M-17 MGMC, Berlin, 1945

Voroshilovyez Artillery Tractor, Summer 1942

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3-tone camouflage


GAZ-64 Command Car, Stalingrad, August 1942

GAZ-60 with "M4M" Maxim Quadruple AA MG

BA-6 Armoured Car, North-Western Front, August 1941

BT-7 Model 1937, Eastern Poland, September 1939

T-26 Model 1938

T-26 Model 1940

ZIS-30 57mm SPG, Autumn 1941

T-30 with 20mm ShVAK gun, Karelian Isthmus, Autumn 1941

T-50, Leningrad, September 1941

KV-1 Model 1940, Leningrad, Spring 1942

T-28, Karelia, Summer 1941

SU-122 SPG, Autumn 1943

IS-2, 4th Tank Army, Summer 1944

PR-35 Armoured Loco of "S-32" Arm.Train "Baltiyez", Leningrad, Spring 1942

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4-tone camouflage


ISU-152, Western Ukraine, Summer 1944

T-34/76 UZTM production, Western Ukraine, Summer 1944

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winter camouflage


Appropriate white camouflage was used during the winter.
Armored vehicles were covered with white paint and later, paint allowing for special paint schemes was applied.
On a broad scale, the first time winter camouflage paint schemes were used during the Soviet-Finnish war, though in some units tanks remained unpainted until the end of the war.
The wide use of camouflage paint schemes was again applied during the Battle for Moscow in November and December 1941 using, of course, winter camouflage schemes.
In the winter peri­od, standard B type White paint was used for camouflage.
The crews remained responsible for the camouflage painting, and since they often did not have sufficient knowledge in this realm, they often painted angular camouflage paint schemes.
The tactical conditions of the battlefield were not taken into account, i.e. whether a given armored vehicle would be used during an attack or defense.
This factor was significant in selecting appropriate camouflage paint schemes.
In certain cases, the use of single-tone white paint was recommended.
This was recommended if the armored vehicles fought in open spaces.
Further, the use of available camouflage agents was provided for, e.g. tree branches.
The winter camouflage painted in units was periodic.
Winter camouflage was painted with B type White paint, white glue paint or resin-based white paint.
A special network winter camouflage was recommended.
In the event of a vehicle's transfer from open areas to e.g. the forest, a change of camouflage was indicated.
Further, winter camouflage was to be immediately removed if the snow cover melted.


GAZ-AA, "Road of Life", Winter 1942

T-40 Light Amphibious Tank, winter 1941/2

B.I.T. Mk. II "Matilda II", Moscow, winter 1941/2

B.I.T. Mk.IV "Churchill III"

T-26 sEkranami [applique armour]

T-26 sEkranami [applique armour], variant

T-26 Model 1934

ISU-152, East Prussia, Winter 1945

BT-2, Winter 1941/2

GAZ-61-73 Command Car, Moscow, Winter 1941/2

BT-5 Model 1934, Moscow, Winter 1941/2

ZIS-5, Moscow, Winter 1941/2

T-34/76 Model 1941 w/cast turret, Moscow, Winter 1941/2

T-35 Model 1936 Moscow, Winter 1941/2

KV-1s, Don Front, December 1942

SU-122, Volkhov Front, Winter 1943

OB Armoured Steam Loco

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All drawings © o5m6 2016. All rights reserved.
No publication in any form without the author's written permission.

Last Updated: October 01, 2016

Russian Armour Overview
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