Re: Am I Blue?

Mick Fauchon (
Mon, 9 Jan 1995 12:07:15 +1100 (EST)


> Just couldn't restrain myself from tossing my $.002 worth in
> on the "blue" discussion.

Why not? Evertbody else has 80)

> I *don't* know the exact shade of the German underside WWI
> blue (I suspect it was actually several shades) but I would
> be most wary of assuming any relationship between the
> various RLM WW2 blues and the WWI color (or colors).

I agree, a similarity doesn't presume a direct relationship. My
assumption is that the RLM would almost certainly referred to already
existing colours.

> 1. I've never seen any reference to any official German WWI
> color specifications.

I've seen them, but they're pretty vague and descpiptive. There are
Methuen and Munsell references to them, which I can give you if you want
them, but the colours, particularly of the pre-printed fabric, varied, in
some cases quite considerably.

Even assuming the Luftwaffe wanted
> to avoid "re-inventing the wheel" by simply resurecting the
> WWI color, it would have been difficult to have done so without
> some sort of reference available.

Some sort of specification must have been given to paint manufact-
urers, I would imagine.

> 2. The new Luftwaffe was doing a lot of "re-inventing the
> wheel" with a/c camo schemes anyway. The original 4-color
> brown/green/RLM gray/light blue "splinter scheme" had no
> WWI conterpart nor did the later dunkel grun/schwartz grun/
> hellblau scheme. As the Luftwaffe was obviously going to
> some considerable trouble to devise completely new camo schemes,
> it seems unlikely that they wouldn't have taken the same trouble
> in selecting the colors for these schemes.

Except maybe in a couple of cases. Most of the old colours, at
least on the printed fabric, do not seem to have been used after 1918.
True, the RLM was working to completely different camo specifications.
BTW, my aim in all this was to provide a comaptable usable colour, not to
necessarily to imply a direct line of descent from one batch of colours
to the other.
I'll post my list of colours [tentative] to the list later today.
> 3. There had been some significant advances in paint technology
> between 1917 and 1935. It seems unlikely that the old paint
> formula (or color) would have be reused when much better, more
> modern paint formulations were available.
Absolutely. A whole different ball-game.

> 4. What was a"good" undersurface color in 1917 would not have
> been a good undersurface color in the 1930's or '40's. WWI
> aircraft routinely operated at under 10,000 feet where a
> brightish blue might, in fact, come close to matching the
> sky. As altitude increases however, the blue of the sky
> tends to "wash-out" so that a gray or grayish blue or whiteish
> blue would give a better undersurface camo. match. Assuming
> the German WWI blue was a reasonably good camo. for a/c
> flying at 5,000 ft., it would probably be not so good
> for a/c at 15,000 or 20,000 ft. Presumably (?) the RLM was
> smart enough to figure this out and select more appropriate
> undersurface color than the WWI blue.
> Oh well, I'm probably wrong on this 'un too.

No, I think you're quite correct. That's presumably why they changed
from 63 to 63/65 to 70/65 to 70/71/65 to to 71/02/65 to 74/75/76 and all
points in between, and kept the process going with new colours as they were
BBut RLM 65 as the basic under-surface colour [for day-fighters] had
certainly disappeared by the time the first Bf-109Fs were introduced to
JGs 2 and 26 on the Channel Coast.



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Mick Fauchon | Internet:
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