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Painting captured equipment
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Ontario, Canada
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Posted: Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - 01:16 PM UTC
During WW2, when the German's captured equipment, ie British equipment from Dunkirk, how thorough was the repaint to Dunkel Grau?

Would they paint the bottom? Was the turret removed to paint under it? Were the backside of the wheels painted?

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Washington, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - 02:47 AM UTC
I would just paint the outside. Not the bottom, not under the turret. It was captured. A quick paint job, a large cross if it were tactical and put it back into service. It was a disposable asset.
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New Jersey, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - 03:19 AM UTC
Think about it as busy work for otherwise idle occupation troops. How thorough would the top sergeant be to the work detail?

How much of a hurry are they in or is it busy work?
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Rhone, France
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Posted: Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - 03:46 AM UTC
Here's a related article :


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Ontario, Canada
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Posted: Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - 05:02 AM UTC

Quoted Text

During WW2, when the German's captured equipment, ie British equipment from Dunkirk, how thorough was the repaint to Dunkel Grau?

Consider how thorough any army is when repainting their own equipment.

I know that sometimes Allied armour was repainted with stowage still in place. Tarps, blankets, boxes, tools, the lot.

Go from there...


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Washington, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - 09:26 AM UTC
It really kind of depends on the situation and time as others have alluded to above. If itís for a totally reconditioned vehicles as some of the captured T-34s were on the Eastern Front, it might have a full paint job, if itís a quick turn around, it might get less attention. For the stuff the British and French left on the Channel Coast in 1940, the Germans had quite a bit of time to return them to service. On the other hand, British and American equipment captured in N. Africa might not get much more than a cursory insignia job. Some of the Kubelwagens captured by the allies in Normandy didnít get a lot of attention other than insignia. It just depends on whoís using it, and for how long.
VR, Russ
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California, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - 10:11 AM UTC
I had a history teacher in high school who was in the German army during WW2 and he told me a story about when he realized they were gonna lose the war. Him and his mates came upon an abandoned US jeep, they opened the hood, fiddled with some wires and it started right up. His thought being, if the Americans were willing to abandon a perfectly good jeep with a loose wire, they knew there was no hope, as they figured they had endless inventory... they just painted brown over just the stars and drove it around for about a month...
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Louisiana, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - 10:21 AM UTC
The location and period or time during the war matters greatly to this question.

In particular, French, Belgian, Dutch and British vehicles captured during the Blitz were actually carefully collected fort for evaluation, refurbishment and, in some cases, extensive modification for repurposing for Wehrmacht service. Major Alfred Becker headed up a refurbishment and rebuilding center at the former Hotchkiss tank plant to accomplish this work (aka "Baukommando Becker"). At this center, captured vehicles were detail-modified to make them compatible with German use and regulations - new lighting and communications systems added, some weapons changed out for types compatible with German supply systems (i.e., 7.5mm and 8mm French MG and .303 British MG swapped out for MG using German 7.92mm ammo, etc.), mechanical parts refurbished (to the limit of available spare parts and appropriate bits salvaged from other captured units) and vehicles substantially completely repainted to meet applicable German painting regs. Some captured vehicles were substantially modified to meet growing Wehrmacht needs for mobilized guns, etc.

From this, builds depicting these "Dunkirk" - era captured vehicles under new (Wehrmacht) management might reasonably be substantially and completely "Germanized". These early refurbed captured vehicles also typically sported standard-size and style German vehicle markings as seen on the general types (trucks and cars versus tanks, etc.). They were, for the most part, "permanently" entered into the Wehrmacht TO&E and assigned to units.

As noted by Russ and others, stuff acquired later on and elsewhere experienced rather different levels of both refurbishment and updating / standardizing for German use and repainting and marking. Field-captures post-1940 and in the early phase of the Russian adventure were mostly collected and sent to rear-area regimental and division-level shops for varied amounts of detail repair and conversion. Captured T-34, for instance, mostly went only as far back as division shops - no large central "all Russia" refurb center was created for these, unlike for French stuff in 1940. These conversions and refurbs were less extensive, and probably painting sometimes less-complete as well. Later in the war, captures were more commonly simply used by the capturing unit - in some cases, with some repainting, more often with simple large crosses to reduce possible "friendly fire" issues.

So, the vehicle, the time, the location all matter in answering the question!