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"US Armored Infantry camouflage" Topic


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9,667 hits since 26 May 2012
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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28mm Fanatik26 May 2012 10:14 p.m. PST

Why were some US armored infantry divisions issued camouflage uniforms and helmet covers whereas regular US infantry divisions were not?

link

Only the Marine Raiders had as much camo in the USA.

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member26 May 2012 10:40 p.m. PST

picture

"The photograph submitted was taken in July 1944, It is captioned U.S. soldier from the 41st Armoured Infantry Regiment somewhere in France 1944 wearing a two-piece herringbone twill (HBT) camouflage which was similar to those used by marines in the Pacific,It was a different cut from the Marines and not reversible either. They were designed to be worn over the woolen shirt and trousers.During 1944 this mode was quickly abandoned in North West Europe because of the similarity to the uniform of the Waffen SS.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began experimenting in 1940, but little official notice was taken until 1942 when General Douglas MacArthur demanded jungle camouflage uniforms. A 1940 design, dubbed "frog-skin" or "leopard spot", was chosen and issued as a reversible beach/jungle coverall but soon changed to a two-part jacket and trousers. It was first issued to the U.S. Marines fighting on the Solomon Islands and worn by regular Marine units in the Battle of Tarawa. Experiences on the battlefield showed that pattern was unsuitable , and production was halted in 1944 with a return to standard single-tone uniforms.
During 1944, specialized units of the 2nd Armored Division serving in Normandy along with elements of the 30th Infantry Division were issued with "frog skin"/"leopard spot" (frog suit)camouflage pattern uniforms, but again an apparent similarity to the uniform being worn by some Waffen SS troops in the area led to some friendly fire incidents, and it was withdrawn."

picture

"In France immediately after the 6 June 1944 invasion, some U.S. Army troops of the Second Armored Division wore the "Jacket, HBT, Camouflage, Army", a reversible shirt-length jacket and its matching trousers. An unfortunate result was that they were shot at by other Allied soldiers who identified camo uniforms with the Germans.

In addition to the problem of confusion with Germans in the ETO, in the Pacific Theater it was found that single color olive drab clothing was superior to camouflage for concealment when on the move. Due to these considerations, by late 1944 camouflage uniforms had been largely phased out, except for limited use by snipers and other special purposes."

link

Looks like they were being tested and didn't work out in addition to others mistaking the uniforms for SS. Robert

Lion in the Stars27 May 2012 4:33 a.m. PST

Might be fun to paint up a unit, just so that I don't have yet another bunch of Americans in khaki…

2nd Armored or 30ID in Normandy, huh…

28mm Fanatik27 May 2012 11:58 a.m. PST

@Lion in the Stars

Then you'll have to add a house rule that there's a chance that they'll be taken under friendly fire. :-)

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member27 May 2012 12:05 p.m. PST

"The US Army W.W.II Camouflage Uniform

Early in WWII, the Army developed two camouflage uniforms. They were made from HBT cotton cloth, printed with double-sided "Spring" and "Fall" color camouflage. (This was the same cloth used by the Marines for their P42 and P44 camouflage uniforms.) Both a coverall and a two piece jacket and trouser were produced. Unlike the uniforms made for the Marines, neither Army uniform was reversible. Both were green-side out. The coverall was quickly deemed too hot and clumsy to wear and was only issued in very limited numbers in both Europe and the Pacific. However, the two-piece uniform was more successful and was issued for troop trials in the summer of 1944. Unfortunately, the preponderance of camouflage worn by the Germans led to a large number of "friendly fire" incidents, and the uniforms were withdrawn around the end of August. A veteran of the 29th Infantry Division commented, "those guys should have known better than to wear camouflage like damned Germans. We shot the hell out of them." Apparently, troops in neighboring units were not advised of the "new" uniform being worn by their comrades and they reacted accordingly.

For the trials, most information indicates that troops of the 41st Armored Infantry Battalion (2nd Armored Division) were the primary recipients. Some evidence indicates that some units of the 2nd and 30th Infantry Divisons also participated. Lastly, several veterans of various armored battlions serving in France and Italy as well as a few units fighting in the Phillipines have reported that they were issued some camouflage uniforms. More details will be posted if we find any."

link

I like this photo,

picture

Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member27 May 2012 10:49 p.m. PST

Here is another soldier on a motorcycle wearing the camouflage uniform,

picture

link

Robert

Lion in the Stars28 May 2012 2:33 a.m. PST

Well, Flames doesn't really have much 'fog of war', but I could be persuaded to add a special rule for fun games.

If I was playing Force on Force WW2, I'd just add a note that the camo'd Americans were the most likely unit to get hit by any 'friendly fire' Fog of War cards.

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member28 May 2012 2:26 p.m. PST

From what I quoted above,

"A veteran of the 29th Infantry Division commented, "those guys should have known better than to wear camouflage like damned Germans. We shot the hell out of them." Apparently, troops in neighboring units were not advised of the "new" uniform being worn by their comrades and they reacted accordingly."

The odds of getting "friendly" fire would certainly go up quite a bit. Robert

Charles Besly Inactive Member30 May 2012 5:51 a.m. PST

The Marines tried a number of Camo uniforms settling on what they mostly called frogskin. There were two basic color patterns. Green/tan/brown over khaki and a tan/brown over slightly different khaki. The Marines didn't like The double sided reversible clothing or the one piece because the clothes were thicker and the Marines said it was too hot. Arguably the most professional of the Marines at the time were the Marine raiders and in most of the pictures they make extensive use of the camo uniforms. I suspect that the HBT plain uniforms were easier to supply and that most of the complaints were from Officers who were more interested in solving supply issues than what was best for the men. My own experience is that salt water,sweat (body salts) ,infantry wear and tear and the exposure to intense sunlight will fade all uniforms to a much lighter color at the expense of the effectiveness of the camo pattern.

Charles Besly Inactive Member30 May 2012 5:59 a.m. PST

Most of the pictures of the army soldiers were trial units right after D-day. Unfortunately the common soldier was trigger happy and could not get past the mindset that if it wore camo it was German. The camo uniforms were pretty quickly removed from service. P.S. It is pretty common for young soldiers and Marines not to want to look like the new guys they are. You want to look like an old salt. The funny thing is once you are an old salt you don't care, you are damn happy when you get something new.

Lion in the Stars30 May 2012 6:25 a.m. PST

Someone have a good painting guide for the Army camo, or at least a suggestion for Vallejo paints?

PiersBrand30 May 2012 8:05 a.m. PST

I have pics of guys still wearing the camo uniforms during the fighting around Metz. Not too mention pics from July, August and Septemeber 1944.

Kinda goes against the whole 'quickly removed from service' angle…

Lion in the Stars30 May 2012 9:37 a.m. PST

When you're talking about a bureaucracy, 3 months *is* 'quickly removed from service'…

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member30 May 2012 11:57 a.m. PST

I Agree with Lion. 3 months is a very short time for use in the Military. Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member30 May 2012 7:11 p.m. PST

I wonder if the Marine detachments from battleship USS Augusta and the cruiser USS Philadelphia that went ashore on the island of Retonneaux in Marseille harbor on 29 August 1944 during the invasion of southern France wore the Pacific camouflage or the HBT uniforms. So far it looks like most of the Marines wore just the HBT uniform. I have seen a photo of some with a captured German flag but that was when they were back in the US. Robert

link

Lion in the Stars30 May 2012 7:59 p.m. PST

However, the two-piece uniform was more successful and was issued for troop trials in the summer of 1944. Unfortunately, the preponderance of camouflage worn by the Germans led to a large number of "friendly fire" incidents, and the uniforms were withdrawn around the end of August.
Last time I checked, 'summer' started in June. June, July, August. 3 months. Just long enough to get the reports of friendly fire up the chain and the decision to withdraw the uniforms back down the chain.

Again, anyone have either a painting guide or at least some Vallejo color suggestions for this camo?

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member30 May 2012 9:26 p.m. PST

There is a color plate G #3 in the Osprey Men at Arms # 70 The US Army 1941-45 By Philip Katcher, Chris Collingwood of a Pvt. 17th Armd Engr Bn 2nd Armored Division,Normandy 1944.
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I have read somewhere there is some evidence that some soldiers were still wearing the uniforms or parts of it past the time they were pulled from service.
Robert

Charles Besly Inactive Member31 May 2012 5:56 a.m. PST

I believe the pattern was the exact same as the green Marine "frogskin" Base would be Khaki or maybe Pastel green you may have to experiment with the base color. The Brown= German camo Black-brown. Tan next to brown= English uniform. Green= Luftwaffe camo green. Last Yellow green next to the green. You may have to experiment a bit with the last color it will fade on 28mm figures and as such wont be clearly visible at 2ft. Those are all vallejo paint colors which I just started using on my Marines. I am infatuated with their paints. There are also vallejo color suggestions by Mike Farnsworth under Marines on this board. I hope this helps.

Charles Besly Inactive Member31 May 2012 6:16 a.m. PST

P.S. Remember when you are painting your figures,Painting is an art so your figures have to make you happy. It is more important than to be super duper exact correct. People will respond to your figures and your scenery when it is beautifully done. Frequently the guy that has to argue over the color of the buttons is the one walking around all alone. I always to try to leave a spot at my games for guys like that ,at times it may have well been me…

Bills Occasional Sock Puppet Inactive Member20 Jan 2014 9:59 p.m. PST

Found another example of a GI wearing Camouflage in the ETO.Robert

picture

link

MiniPigs Supporting Member of TMP23 Sep 2018 8:17 a.m. PST

In 20mm, to achieve this sort of soldier, is it better to paint standard NWE GIs in camouflage schemes or should one use 20mm US Marines?

Legion 423 Sep 2018 8:41 a.m. PST

"those guys should have known better than to wear camouflage like damned Germans. We shot the hell out of them." Apparently, troops in neighboring units were not advised of the "new" uniform being worn by their comrades and they reacted accordingly."
I have heard the same. And as we know the US ARMY in the ETO quit wearing the camos for at least that reason. And they were withdrawn.


Minipigs, you could do either, as it depends on what Theater you want to represent/game.

donlowry23 Sep 2018 9:47 a.m. PST

"Withdrawn" possibly just means they stopped issuing them -- doesn't necessarily mean they stopped wearing what had already been issued.

MiniPigs Supporting Member of TMP23 Sep 2018 10:14 a.m. PST

I wanted to do some Americans in Normandy wearing this uniform

So i could use either ETO GIs or Pacific Marines?

Mark 123 Sep 2018 3:31 p.m. PST

I wonder if the Marine detachments from battleship USS Augusta and the cruiser USS Philadelphia that went ashore … on 29 August 1944 during the invasion of southern France …

Ahem. Uh … I'm not too much of an expert on navy stuff, but [Mr. Picky] I am pretty sure there was no battleship USS Augusta. USN battleships were named for states. Remember the Maine? In fact, from BB-1 USS Indiana all the way to BB-64 USS Wisconsin (the last battleship commissioned in the USN), and even the never completed Iowa-class BB-65 (USS Illinois) and BB-66 (USS Kentucky), and the 5 Montana class battleships (Montana, Ohio, Maine, New Hampshire and Louisiana) that were envisioned to follow, but which were never even laid down (much less commissioned), every US battleship EXCEPT Kearsarge (BB-5) was named for a state.

The only USS Augusta that served in WW2, to my knowledge, was CA-31, a Northampton-class cruiser. It did participate in Operation Dragoon, as well as Operation Torch, and also is frequently shown in period pictures and newsreels serving as the President's USN transport on occasions when both FDR or Truman went abroad during the war.
[/Mr. Picky]

That said, it's still an interesting question about US Marines going ashore in southern France. I was unaware of this foray. Any info on what they did ashore? (Other than cause trouble for the SPs, that is.)

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Lion in the Stars23 Sep 2018 7:15 p.m. PST

@Minipigs: I'd go with USMC minis.

I decided I was going to paint my Cavalry Recon Patrols in camo for Flames, and I just used a USMC camo guide.

(My German recon are also in camo, as are my Russians.)


That said, it's still an interesting question about US Marines going ashore in southern France. I was unaware of this foray. Any info on what they did ashore? (Other than cause trouble for the SPs, that is.)

Marines NOT causing trouble for SPs would be newsworthy! evil grin

MiniPigs Supporting Member of TMP23 Sep 2018 7:31 p.m. PST

Hey Lion!

So, who makes the smartest Marines in 20mm? FAA, Platoon20, Eureka? I would like them to be in the AB sort of category.

Legion 424 Sep 2018 7:22 a.m. PST

"Withdrawn" possibly just means they stopped issuing them -- doesn't necessarily mean they stopped wearing what had already been issued.
Very true … E.g. no doubt you found some US Paras still wearing the older fatigues that they used at Normandy even as late as '45. Though newer uniform designs were issued later, etc.


That said, it's still an interesting question about US Marines going ashore in southern France. I was unaware of this foray.
I have heard similar. But again only in small numbers. E.g., IIRC, there were @ 63 USMC on one of the USN ships supporting the Normandy landings. That offered to land and support the RANGERs at Point Du Hoc. But the RANGERs basically said "No thanks, we got this !" … Of course I guess that should have come as no surprise to anyone. wink

Lion in the Stars25 Sep 2018 6:44 a.m. PST

@Minipigs: Dunno, check with Piers. I game in 15mm.

Thomas Thomas26 Sep 2018 10:49 a.m. PST

I did a armored inf battalion in mostly camo using ESCI marines. Good for Cobra but not much else – still a fun variant.

Interesting that the Germans felt their camo was effective (at least they keep using it in both Wehrmacht and SS) but US did not. Perhaps subtle difference in design.

TomT

donlowry26 Sep 2018 6:24 p.m. PST

Maybe a difference between offense and defense. When you move, camouflage is not as effective.

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