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US Armor - Camouflage and Markings World War II

US Armor - Camouflage and Markings World War II Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2005 Title US Armor - Camouflage and Markings World War II
Author Jim Mesko Publisher Squadron/Signal Publications
Published 2005 ISBN 0-89747-492-9
Format 64 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $14.95


One big misperception among many armor modelers is that US combat vehicles used in World War II came in a variety of colors - as long as they were all Olive Drab. US combat vehicles, especially armor, came off the production lines in that one standard color (that did vary in shade). That's why many modelers enjoy the color varieties of German armor.

What these modelers don't always realize is that the German combat vehicles came off of their production lines in standard colors as well. It wasn't until the tanks and vehicles arrived in their assigned theaters of operations that crews would apply local camouflage standards (if any) to blend their vehicles into the local environment. Germans tended to alter the camouflage of their equipment more often since their lines of logistics were much shorter than for the US, so paints, pastes, etc., did get into the field more readily for the Germans.

What author Jim Mesko has done is compiled an interesting array of images from World War II that illustrates the variety of camouflage patterns and techniques used by US crews in-theater to reduce the visibility of their vehicles. For example, the use of lime and salt mixed in water an interesting approach to apply winter camouflage on tanks and this is covered in this title.

The title looks at the colors, patterns, and personal markings applied to different types of combat vehicles applied by the US Army and US Marines immediately prior to WW2, in the North African, European, and Pacific theaters. The author has collected quite a few interesting combat photos showing the differences in camouflage even by season.

Color profiles are also provided to help illustrate the color perspectives of many of these vehicles from the multitude of black and white photos.

This will definitely provide a great reference for the modeler as well as for the military historian. You can get this title from your favorite book seller, hobby shop, or directly from Squadron Mail Order (

My sincere thanks to Squadron/Signal Publications for this review sample!


  • Notice: The appearance of U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Defense, or NASA imagery or art does not constitute an endorsement nor is Cybermodeler Online affiliated with these organizations.