Monday, December 13, 2010

Painting of German Military Vehicles in North Africa

The German Military Vehicles used in Africa wore uniform painting of dark yellow or sand yellow, camouflage of reddish brown on a dark yellow ground or camouflage of dark green on a german grey ground. In 1942 the two kinds of camouflage for Africa were replaced with camouflage of reddish brown on a dark yellow ground.

On 18th February 1943, the military authorities decided to accept only dark yellow as the basic color for all German vehicles in all fronts.
This Sd.Kfz 222 uses the standard German
painting used in Africa: Dark Yellow or Sand Yellow

Sandgelb sand yellowAfrikakorps vehicles (inside),equipments(Helmets, gas mask cans)
Feldgrau feldgrau Nr. 3 field greyWehrmacht equipment and ammunition
Khakigrau khaki greyAfrikakorps, camou on Grünbraun up to 42
Sandgrau sand greyAfrikakorps, camou on gelbbraun since 42
Grüngrau green greyWehrmacht vehicles (inside), vehicle gears
Grünbraun green brownAfrikakorps basic for camouflage with khakigrau until 42
Gelbbraun yellow brownAfrikakorps, basis for camouflage since 42
The RAL colour system is a standard in Germany. the RAL institute had been founded in 1927, and published a first colour register in 1927, consisting of app. 40 colours. The abbreviation RAL stands for "ReichsAusschuß für Liefer- bedingungen und Gütesicherung" It had been a government commission, and the target was to set up a registration for standard colours used on government equipment, vehicles, plates, signs a.s.o. That did include all government organisations, such as e.g: Army, postal service, the railways, police, but also the industry did and does create own colour standards. The general intention was and is to set and to ensure a standard of used colours, to let products look equal. (E.g: The standard PC hardware colour is RAL 7035 lichtgrau)

The RAL system works with a four digit item number, the first digit stand for a basic colour direction, so a 3XXX should be kind of red, while 6xxx is more a green, the second digit is still the zero, and the last two digits are just simply showing the chronologic registration order, and no shade order of a colour. Since the system is a major standard in Germany, you can go into any good paint shop, and they will be able to mix you a gallon or two of the RAL number paint you want to buy, as well as a large number of ready to paint RAL colours are available anywhere.

40 colours had been registrated in 1927, in the basic 840 register, due to the large number of camouflage colours used by the military, it grew to ~120 in 1945. In 1952, the register had been revised, and some of shades beeing quite equal or no longer in usage (E.g: some Afrikakorps tropical shades) had been removed, the new 840-R (revidiert, revised) register had 90 colours, a new edition 1961 counted 110 colours, today there are 210 in the actual 840-HR, including the new actual Bundeswehr camouflage.


  1. I thought that was a good looking husband built it! :)

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  3. Thank you very much and will look for more postings from you.
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    1. Thank you very much. I will try to update it because I find more information about this.

  4. Wow what a Great Information World Day its very nice informative post. thanks for the post.
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  5. Uimitor,disciplina germana invinge natura si inamicii.

  6. I meet a WWII German Vet. of the Africa Korps in 1969 or1970, and he told me that the color Mustard is the closest to their color they used

    1. I meet a WWII German Vet. of the Africa Korps in 1969 or 1970,and he told me that the color Mustard is the closest to their color they used