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Colour Conundrum

The Truth about Late War Luftwaffe Camouflage?


Junkers Ju 88A-4 trop, B3+MH, werknummer 550396, attached to 1./KG 54, landed at Dubendorf, Switzerland, October 1943. Finish is in overall RLM 24 Dark Blue (Vallejo 71.266 Dark Blue RLM 24), which has replaced the original RLM 70/71 splinter scheme. The undersides are in RLM 22 Black (Vallejo 71.057 Black RLM 22). The upper surfaces are finished in a meandering pattern of RLM 22 Black and RLM 79 Sand Yellow (Vallejo 71.278 Sand Yellow). The individual aircraft letter is in Yellow with the rest of the codes in Black. The Totenkopf insignia of KG 54 is carried on the nose.

Part 2 RLM 81 and RLM 82

Whilst something like two thirds of the Luftwaffe’s front line strength was deployed on the Eastern Front where a new land camouflage scheme was apparently found necessary, a certain proportion of the remainder was employed under vastly different conditions in North Africa and over the Mediterranean. The North African campaign had seen new camouflage colours introduced for that region in the form of RLM 78, 79 and 80 during 1941, but little appears to have been done to develop a maritime scheme for the Mediterranean until 1943.

The exact date and reason why the requirement for such a camouflage scheme first arose is unknown. It is tempting to speculate that it might be connected in some way to the deteriorating Axis position in North Africa. Thanks to Ultra, the Allies were increasingly able to intercept Axis shipping convoys between Italy and North Africa thus depriving Rommel of much needed supplies. In an attempt to ease the supply situation during July, August and September 1942, Rommel received some 40,000 troops and 4,000 tons of supplies by air.

The supply situation became much worse following Operation Torch, the Allied landings in North Africa on 8 November 1942. The Germans responded by implementing a massive transfer of air assets, especially anti shipping aircraft from Norway where they had been employed in attacking the Murmansk Convoys and some 320 Ju 52 Transport aircraft from both the Eastern Front and Germany itself to the Mediterranean theatre.

Thus it may be the case that it was the establishment of the air bridge to Tunisia and the escalation of the Luftwaffe’s efforts in the Mediterranean theatre during the summer and autumn of 1942 that gave rise to a requirement for a new specialised maritime camouflage scheme for application to Anti Shipping and Transport aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea.

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About Scale Aircraft Modelling

THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO In for review is the soon to be released Kinetic two seat Harrier. We have beer provided with an unboxed production sample in advance of its official appearance, so a massive thanks to Kinetic for providing the kit. Bear in mind that the kit has not hit the shelves of your favourite retailer so the usual caveat applies in regards to things changing before release. As far as Harriers go this is the first 1/48 mainstream injected moulded two seater of the famous jump jet, so an important release to say the least.