Thursday, September 17, 2015

Panzer III Colours 3

ART BY Carlos de Diego Vaquerizo

35- Pz. Kpfw. III Ausf. H (Sd. Kfz. 141), Pz. Rgt. 8, 15 Pz. Div., El Alamein, Egypt, October 1942. At first sight, the armored vehicles of the 15. Pz. Div. could be told apart from those of the 21. Pz. Div. by the numeral system: The first ones had a single big digit on both sides and on the back of the turret, while the second ones had three digit numerals. The "lonely" numeral in this case is a "6" the numeral identifies the company so this Panzer III belongs to the 2. Kp. of the II. Abt. The formation numerals can be seen in full on both sides of the frame in a smaller size. On the rear of the turret, on top of the division insignia, we can see the emblem of the Pz. Rgt. 8, a "Z" shaped rune reversed and lying down. This motif was called "Wolfsangel". Some armored vehicles in this unit had the top of the rear wooden box behind the turret painted red in order to be properly identified by fellow German aviators.

36- Pz. Kpfw. III Ausf. N (Sd. Kfz. 141/2), sch. Pz. Abt. 501, Kairouan, Tunisia, January 1943. In the Stab of this schwerepanzerabteilung we could find the Tiger "01" and "02" and a leichte Zug (light squad) with eight Panzer III's armed with a 75mm gun and numbered "03 to "10". The Panzer III arrived to Northern Tunisia painted with Braun RAL 8020 paint, a color tone which was not appropriate for this region with lots of green vegetation, so most vehicles were covered up with green paint, although in some cases only large green spots were painted. It makes sense to assume that we're dealing with Grün RAL 6007, but Feldgrau RAL 6006 and even Olive Drab paint
(captured from US forces) could have been used. The insignia for this unit; a lurking tiger, can be seen in the front right by the drivers' sight

37- Pz. Kpfw. III Ausf. M (Sd. Kfz. 141/1), 4./SSPz. Rgt. 3, SS-Pz. Gren. Div. "Totenkopf", Jarkov, U. S. S. R., March 1943. The Heer armored vehicles' divisionary emblems were usually painted yellow, but the Waffen SS vehicles were painted white. This Panzer III with white Weiss RAL 9001 camouflage paint, has its division emblem (a skull) right by the drivers' sight. The 4. Kp. from the SS-Pz. Rgt. 3 was a schwere Panzerkompanie (heavy armored vehicle company), and was equipped from the start with nine Tigers and ten Panzer III, but in May 1943 it was reduced to six Tiger and was reorganized as the 9. Kp.

38- Pz. Kpfw. III Ausf. M (Sd. Kfz. 141/1), 8./SS-Pz. Rgt. 2, SS-Pz. Gren. Div. "Das Reich", Jarkov, U. S. S. R. March 1943. The 8. Kp. from the SS-Pz. Rgt. 2 was a schwere Panzerkompanie which as it was customary and due to the slow manufacturing process of Tiger armored vehicles, had at first ten of these and twelve Panzer IIIs. The commander of this vehicle died in combat in March the 14th 1943 while conquering back Jarkov. Towards the end of that month, the company had some days off to get some provisions and recover from battle, and crews wrote the name of their fallen companion on both sides of the turret. The division emblem a "Wolfsangel", can be seen right by the drivers' sight and on the rear plank of the vehicle's frame. On top of the factory painted Gelbbraun coat, thin irregular lines of Dunkelgrau have been painted.

41- Pz. Kpfw III (FI) Ausf. M (Sd. Kfz. 141/3), Pz. Rgt. 11, 6. Pz. Div., Kursk, Southern Sector, U. S. S. R., July 1943. For the offensive that took place in the Kursk peninsula and with the purpose of confusing the Russian secret services, the Germans changed their insignias on every division that was to be a part of this offensive. The new insignias were simple geometric figures. The new one for the 6. Pz. Div. was a reversed double "T" with uneven arms; it was usually painted on all four sides of the vehicle and was simultaneously used along with a small four armed star, although this star was only painted on the front and back of the vehicles' frame. The system for identifying the different units of this division was to paint the abbreviated form of the commander's family name. For example the commander of the Pz. Rgt. 11 (only the second battalion was available here) was Von Oppeln- Bronikowski, his armored vehicles were painted with the letters "Op". The Flammpanzer (armored vehicle with flame thrower device) portrayed in this color profile has been camouflaged with the color pattern of 1943: Dunkelgelb RAL 7028, Olivgrün RAL 6003 and Rotbraun RAL 8017.

42- Pz. Kpfw. III Ausf. M (Sd. Kfz. 141/1), SS-Pz. Rgt. 3, SS-Pz. Gren. Div. "Totenkopf", Kursk, Southern Sector, U. S. S. R., July 1943. The temporary insignia for this division of the Waffen SS in the "Zitadelle" operation was a "Dreizackrune" or trident shaped rune: Three vertical bars painted in either white or black paint on the front and back of the vehicles. In spite of having three authorized battalions, the SS-Pz. Rgt. 3 only had two, with three companies each. This armored vehicle has numerals "II5" on both sides and the back of the turrets' shielding, indicating that this vehicle belongs to the Stab of the II. Abt. Camouflage consists of a series of irregular Olivgrün paint gun strokes on top of the factory painted Dunkelgelb.

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