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British Stuart Tank colour in Normandy
MAFVA5228
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Posted: Sunday, March 01, 2020 - 05:02 AM UTC
Hi all

This may be an old chestnut but I'm puzzling over the possible colours for a number of British tanks in Normandy. I've been building a Matchbox Stuart III as of the 31st Tank Brigade and a couple of MMS Stuart Vs of the 11th Armoured Division and was about to reach for the airbrush to apply various shades of US Olive Drab and thought I'd just check a few sources for colour references and ended up thoroughly confused as follows;
Mike Starmer's British Army Colours and disruptive camouflage in the united Kingdom, France and NW Europe 1936-45 states;
"Vehicles like the Sherman Firefly, M3A3 Stuarts and M3 half track series and other vehicles of American origin that were extensively modified to British requirements in 1943 were almost certainly repainted in the British colour of SCC2 brown."
Dick Taylor's Warpaint Colours and markings of British Army Vehicles 1903 - 2003 Volume 2
" Where US produced vehicles were modified by the British - for instance the Sherman Firefly or the upgunning of M10s with the 17 Pounder - patch painting seems to have been the most common method of making good the modifications." "This is not to say that some modified vehicles were not resprayed SCC15 overall, but it would seem reasonable to speculate that these were in a minority."

Concord's D Day Tank Warfare also has a M3A3 colour profile in SCC15
So this lead me to musing were M3A3s extensively modified for British Service? I thought they were built to a British spec but would have arrived in US Olive Drab and stayed in it. However could they have subsequently been repainted SCC2 and then SCC15? Might this apply to the Stuart III too. Although I've seen it stated that repainting was hardly a priority during wartime, a lot of units spent a lot of time training in the UK, years in some cases, that's an awful lot of time to keep men's minds and bodies active, I suspect there was a lot of time available for modification, maintenance, cleaning and possibly repainting. I appreciate it's hardly an issue as from our viewpoint deep in the 21stC who really knows and does it matter but having been content with US Olive Drab I now can't decide on any one of 3 colours. I'd be interested to hear views.

My next project are Churchills in Normandy and that seems fraught with confusion too, best left for another time!
barkingdigger
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Posted: Sunday, March 01, 2020 - 05:27 AM UTC
From what I've read, it seems up until 1944 anything needing a respray got SCC2, and would need it all over since it did not look anything like OD. But with Lend-Lease really ramping up pre-D-Day they needed a more efficient way to deal with increased demand for repainting damaged or modified US gear, and SCC15 was born as both a main colour and a handy patch-paint. So it kinda depends on timing, I don't know if Stuarts needed much external modification, but with a Stuart III it also depends where it served before getting to Normandy - if it got resprayed once (say in Italy or NA) then it would get resprayed again for Normandy (presumably in SCC15) along with the rest of the unit's vehicles.
MAFVA5228
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Posted: Monday, March 02, 2020 - 06:22 AM UTC
Thanks for your thoughts Tom, drawn towards SCC15 at the moment but a scruffy old Stuart III in SCC2 would liven up a collection of Olive tanks.
BootsDMS
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Posted: Monday, March 02, 2020 - 07:27 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Thanks for your thoughts Tom, drawn towards SCC15 at the moment but a scruffy old Stuart III in SCC2 would liven up a collection of Olive tanks.



Without I hope, teaching anyone to suck eggs, don't overlook the British Army's appetite for "good order and discipline"; the need for regimentality ie all vehicles for instance to be in the same colour, may well have been paramount for some units. We all know that paint doesn't necessarily win wars but I suspect that in the preparation for the invasion of Europe, there was probably no shortage of paint (or anything else for that matter) for the units concerned, and a Commanding Officer with his eye on the main chance would not, I suspect, overlook the requirement for his regiment to look the business, let alone from the purview of his Regimental Sergeant Major.

It may seem these days counterintuitive to paint brand new kit donated by the Americans (which is already in a reasonable enough colour), but as I say, that's not how it may have seemed at the time.

Brian
barkingdigger
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Posted: Tuesday, March 03, 2020 - 11:17 AM UTC
True, Brian. And we all know the only thing nature abhors more than a vacuum is a bored trooper with empty hands!

(It was good meeting you at Folkestone!)
tanknick22
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Posted: Tuesday, March 03, 2020 - 02:07 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi all

This may be an old chestnut but I'm puzzling over the possible colours for a number of British tanks in Normandy. I've been building a Matchbox Stuart III as of the 31st Tank Brigade and a couple of MMS Stuart Vs of the 11th Armoured Division and was about to reach for the airbrush to apply various shades of US Olive Drab and thought I'd just check a few sources for colour references and ended up thoroughly confused as follows;
Mike Starmer's British Army Colours and disruptive camouflage in the united Kingdom, France and NW Europe 1936-45 states;
"Vehicles like the Sherman Firefly, M3A3 Stuarts and M3 half track series and other vehicles of American origin that were extensively modified to British requirements in 1943 were almost certainly repainted in the British colour of SCC2 brown."
Dick Taylor's Warpaint Colours and markings of British Army Vehicles 1903 - 2003 Volume 2
" Where US produced vehicles were modified by the British - for instance the Sherman Firefly or the upgunning of M10s with the 17 Pounder - patch painting seems to have been the most common method of making good the modifications." "This is not to say that some modified vehicles were not resprayed SCC15 overall, but it would seem reasonable to speculate that these were in a minority."

Concord's D Day Tank Warfare also has a M3A3 colour profile in SCC15
So this lead me to musing were M3A3s extensively modified for British Service? I thought they were built to a British spec but would have arrived in US Olive Drab and stayed in it. However could they have subsequently been repainted SCC2 and then SCC15? Might this apply to the Stuart III too. Although I've seen it stated that repainting was hardly a priority during wartime, a lot of units spent a lot of time training in the UK, years in some cases, that's an awful lot of time to keep men's minds and bodies active, I suspect there was a lot of time available for modification, maintenance, cleaning and possibly repainting. I appreciate it's hardly an issue as from our viewpoint deep in the 21stC who really knows and does it matter but having been content with US Olive Drab I now can't decide on any one of 3 colours. I'd be interested to hear views.

My next project are Churchills in Normandy and that seems fraught with confusion too, best left for another time!



OK here is what I was told all US made lend lease armor was kept in US OD such as M10,M4 Sherman composite,M4A4 Sherman and M7 Priest and M3A3 Stuart now here where the repainting was done

SCC-15 was used for the following 1944-1945

M4 composite and M4A4 Shermans rebuilt into fireflies

M10 rebuilt into Achilles
any remaining M7 Priests not returned to the US ARMY that were conveted into kagaroos
Jimmie
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Posted: Monday, March 09, 2020 - 09:59 AM UTC
Evening All,
Late catch up:
Litterally just outside my front door was the wartime Baldock Sherman Tank Farm. I've found very little about it, but a former neighbour (Wally) who was the Movements NCO '43-'45 gave me some useful information.
The camp was primarily to store imported Lease-Lend vehicles (A + B) which arrived at Baldock Station and were unloaded then driven through town, or towed by an old turretless Matilda to the 'Farm'. The tanks were then sent out to various local engineering companies (Letchworth was then a serious industrial town) for modifications, and/or paint jobs. This would seem to indicate a complete spray job, and I would opt for SCC 15 from Wally's description. Once all the relevant boxes were ticked the vehicles would be delivered by road or rail to user units.
Wally would take any opportunity to chat about the Sherman power plants, and was pleased to find a willing 'ear' who had a vague idea about the subject. I wish I had longer to talk with him.
The 'Farm' continued in use post-war, and my brother-in-law can remember convoys of Antars parked along the London Road whilst forming up.

Paul M.