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"What color turret numbers for Panzer Lehr in Normandy?" Topic


12 Posts

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1,383 hits since 30 Sep 2012
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Windward30 Sep 2012 8:12 a.m. PST

I can't tell from photo. Where they black and white or black and red?

I'm painting the panthers.

spontoon30 Sep 2012 8:44 a.m. PST

Maybe they were in Waffenfarbe colours! Pink for the tanks; carmine for the Sturmartillerie?

Jemima Fawr30 Sep 2012 9:13 a.m. PST

Red seems to be the general consensus, though there does not appear to be any surviving written evidence or any colour photgraph of this. It is impossible to determine colour from black and white photos.

Note that the Panthers belonged to I./Panzer-Regiment 6 (3. Panzer-Division) and were only on attachment to Panzer-Regiment 130 in Normandy, as they lacked a Panther battalion. They weren't therefore formally part of the Panzer-Lehr-Division and I've not seen any evidence for these Panthers having Panzer-Lehr's 'L' sign (or indeed any formation sign or tactical marking).

dragonfan7903 Oct 2012 4:24 a.m. PST

Does that mean my Dragon pre paint Tiger II with a white number is not possible?

Jemima Fawr03 Oct 2012 10:33 a.m. PST

Dragon,

The five Tiger IIs theoretically attached to Panzer-Lehr actually belonged to an independent radio-controlled panzer unit (Funklenk-Panzer-Kompanie 316), along with three Tiger Is, ten StuG IIIs and a heap of B IV radio-controlled demolition vehicles (36 of them, iirc?). The Tigers and StuGs were intended as radio-control vehicles for the B IVs.

This curious unit didn't actually belong to Panzer-Lehr, so they weren't marked with the Panzer-Lehr 'L' sign.

The Tiger IIs (all of which were of the rare Porsche turret type) were marked with very large, non-standard, two-digit numbers in white.

The Tiger Is seem to have been sent back to Germany before the campaign and weren't deployed to Normandy (though the jury is out). The StuGs certainly saw action alongside Panzer-Lehr as standard SP guns rather than their intended role. The B IVs don't appear to have been used at all. The Tiger IIs remained in a railyard in southern Normandy until the retreat of August 1944, when they were unloaded and essentially fought as mobile pillboxes in a number of rearguard actions. The Tiger IIs therefore didn't actually fight with Panzer-Lehr at all.

picture

wargamer603 Oct 2012 11:19 a.m. PST

I have had a look through my sources and two seperate books indicate that Panzer Lehr (Panthers) has large Red numbers outlined in white on the turrets.

thomalley03 Oct 2012 11:51 a.m. PST

OK, now you guys can stop picking on Napoleonic gamers for their obsessions.

By John 54 Supporting Member of TMP03 Oct 2012 12:13 p.m. PST

hahahaha! nice!

PilGrim04 Oct 2012 3:02 p.m. PST

That's a big hole in the side of the turret – any idea what did it?

wargamer604 Oct 2012 10:50 p.m. PST

"It is impossible to determine colour from black and white photos".

I am not so sure Mark , the red colour of the number will always be comparatively lighter in shade to the black on the Balkan cross even on a monochrome photo . Check out the pictures of Panthers destroyed at the battle of Tilly.

Jemima Fawr05 Oct 2012 5:56 a.m. PST

That's generally true when the numbers are next to the crosses, but the Balkenkreuz on a Panther is usually low down on the hull front and covered in crap thrown up by the tracks, while the numbers are on the turret and relatively clean compared to the crosses. Most photos of Panzer-Lehr (I./6) Panthers in Normandy are also rather over-exposed, added to which the tanks themselves are clearly covered in dust, so the numbers and crosses are virtually invisible in most cases.

Black and white photography can do some weird things, however. For example, there are a great many b&w photos of RAF aircraft where the yellow outer ring of the roundel looks darker than the blue ring.

Which Tilly photos do you mean? The ones at Lingevres were all burnt out, so all the paint was burnt off, while the one of a Panther KO'd on the crest of the Bayeux Road annoyingly has a bloody great hole in the turret zimmerit, right where the shell went in and where they painted the number. I can't think of any other KO'd Panther pics from Tilly-sur-Seulles.

wargamer605 Oct 2012 11:37 a.m. PST

Yes thats the one, I was referring to the Lingevres battle. The Panther that Sergeant Harris hit, it carried motoring up the road and into the village before stopping in front of the Boulangerie where the crew bailed out. The picture I have shows a distinct variance in the shade of the number and the cross. Also I have a French magazine showing a colour profile of the same tank and it seems to agree with my interpretation. Other pictures of the Lehrs Panthers show that the turret numbers were distinctly large.

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