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Winter Camo

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 "GABTU Scientific Research Proving Grounds

Approved:
Proving Grounds Chief Colonel Romanov, December 15th, 1941

Approved
Proving Grounds Commissar, Regimental Commissar Dolgov, December 16th, 1941

Conclusions regarding experimental winter camouflage of armoured vehicles

Introduction

On orders from the GABTU, T-34, T-50, BT, T-26, and T-40 tanks were painted in winter camouflage patterns between September 19th and October 2nd, 1941. The trials were performed at the GABTU proving grounds.

The goal of the trials was to:

  1. Establish the pattern that was the most effective at breaking up the outline and shape of the tanks.
  2. Establish the shade of colours that blend together with the surroundings in winter.
  3. Develop a formula for paint that is sufficiently resilient and easy to produce.
After the pattern, colour, and formula are selected, the proving grounds will apply it to samples of all vehicles used by the Red Army. After experimental camouflage is applied, an instruction manual on winter painting will be composed and requirements will be distributed to factories.

Conclusions regarding experimental winter camouflage for armoured vehicles

On orders from the GABTU, T-34, T-50, BT, T-26, and T-40 tanks were painted in winter camouflage patterns between September 19th and October 2nd, 1941. The trials were performed at the GABTU proving grounds. The following vehicles were painted:
  • BT: two tone, vertical spots with jagged edges
  • T-26: three tone, made up with two colours based on optical colour mixing principles. Large spots with hatching.
  • T-34: three tone, spots with smooth curves.
  • T-50: three tone, droplet shaped spots.
  • T-40: three tone, large irregular spots.
  • T-40: control, solid white
The tanks were viewed from 400 meters away in cloudy and sunny conditions. The goal of observation was to establish which pattern broke up the outline and shape the most. Observation showed that:
  • T-34: the turret outline is broken up well. The outline of the tank is broken up with dark spots. The shadow under the fender and the edge of the fender stand out as a dark stripe.
  • BT tank: the turret outline is completely unrecognizeable, the shadow created by the fender is broken up with dark spots. On one side the pattern is too regular.
  • T-26 tank: the shape of the tank is broken up. The contrast of light and dark spots is satisfactory.
  • T-50 tank: the turret and hull are broken up well, but the contrast of light gray and gray spots is weak. There are not enough dark spots. The fender is well visible.
  • T-40 tank: satisfactory breaking up. The tank is difficult to see.
  • T-40 control tank: easy to see, the outline can be recognized.
Conclusions:
  1. The best results are given by the T-26 tank that is painted in white spots and rhomboid hatching applied over the summer camouflage.
  2. Painting in the field should be done using only white paint over top of summer camouflage paint to create a combined pattern: irregular and vertical spots with white hatching in the same white paint.
  3. Factories can apply camouflage of any of these types, with the exception of the pattern used on the T-50.
  4. Use chalk with a lime-casein, resin-casein, or starch bases (follow recipes attached to this document).
  5. Gray paint needs to be brighter, up to φ=0.18-0.20 compared to φ=0.23-0.26 of existing paint.
  6. The most revealing parts of the tank are the areas under the fenders where shadows are created. It is desirable to develop methods to break up the shadow under the fenders in further trials.
[Signatures]"



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