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"Cold War Goes Hot - US Stars Come Off?" Topic

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Thresher0110 Mar 2020 7:57 a.m. PST

So, if/when the Cold War went hot, would those bright, big US stars plastered onto the sides of the American tanks and APCs come off, or get covered up?

Seems like they'd be great targets for the enemy to aim at like in WWII.

I'm guessing at least some crews would attempt to remedy that issue rather quickly, and to even take their chances with fratricide, instead of giving the Soviets and their allies something to aim at from long distance.

Obviously, once they switched from O.D. to the four-color paint schemes, things got quite a bit less obvious.

Thoughts, conjecture, actual doctrine plans?

Garand10 Mar 2020 8:04 a.m. PST

I remember in Shep Paine's modelling book how he commented that during an alert with his unit, the M113s drove out from base with their start covered up with OD. The point he was making was that no two shades of OD were exactly the same, but for our purposes it seems that the stars could be covered up in a shooting war. I think its one of those things totally up to the unit commander.


Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Mar 2020 8:21 a.m. PST

I put turret numbers and stars on my Soviets, because I like the look. It's a fictional war so I can easily justify anything, including camo for my Soviets:


Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP10 Mar 2020 1:44 p.m. PST

I'd think the stars may be left black and have other IFF devices/panels link and markings as well. E.g. like we saw during Desert Storm, GWII, etc. link

ReallySameSeneffeAsBefore10 Mar 2020 2:26 p.m. PST

Check out the brilliant Tankograd books especially the REFORGER volumes. They give you very good detail about what US vehicles actually looked like from contemp exercise photos- markings, camo patterns etc. They also show a wealth of other details such as one that immediately springs to mind- how some USAREUR infantry units in the 1980s who were waiting for Bradleys were given Vietnam era ACAV kits for their MII3s. Not widely known but there's photos to prove it- and much else.

One word of warning about those books- they aren't cheap and once you buy one- you'll be hooked.

jekinder10 Mar 2020 2:44 p.m. PST
Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP11 Mar 2020 7:02 a.m. PST

USAREUR infantry units in the 1980s who were waiting for Bradleys were given Vietnam era ACAV kits for their MII3s.
We had M113s in our Mech Bns in the 2ID in the ROK, '84-'85. We did have the ACAV turrets.

Also when our Mech Hvy Bde was deployed from Ft. Benning, GA to REFORGER '88 we still had M113s … But no ACAV turrets … Those M113s were not replaced with M2s until '90-'91 when the Bde deployed to Desert Storm …

Many Infantry units in the '80s did not have all their authorized equipment, etc.


When I was a Rifle PL in the 101, '80-'81. The Company was short an entire Rifle Plt. We had no SAWs either. They were still working on getting those in the inventory, etc.

As an M113 Mech Co Cdr, '87-'89 with the Mech Bde at Benning. Which was part of the 18th ABN Corps. My Company was short about 25 NVGs. No M203 ammo vests, rebuilt M60s prone to jamming. And as I said, M113s without ACAV turret attachment. We were still using M151 Jeeps until about '87 when replaced by HMMWVs.

What it says on the TO&Es and what you had on hand was not always the same …

ReallySameSeneffeAsBefore11 Mar 2020 12:50 p.m. PST

Yes quite so- definitely only some units had the ACAV kit in USAREUR- there are pics of others without it, at around the same time.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP11 Mar 2020 2:33 p.m. PST

Glad we didn't have to go to war with M113s ! huh?

The only thing I liked about M113s you could carry a full 11 man Squad. With the Driver & TC remaining in the Track, you'd have 9 dismounts.

The M2 only carried 9. Leave Driver, TC and Gunner on board. You'd only have 6 dismounts. IIRC the Mech Inf Squad was reduced to 9 to fit them all in the M2.

And yes the M2 has a lot more firepower and armor than the M113. But you can't take the M2's firepower everywhere. Infantrymen do their best work on the ground. And many times in the dark …

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