Response to Mark and Paul below: Colours of US M3 Light and Mediums supplied to Britain

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Response to Mark and Paul below: Colours of US M3 Light and Mediums supplied to Britain

Joined: June 21st, 2005, 1:33 am

May 9th, 2012, 3:49 am #1

Hi

Paul is partially correct regarding the colour. The best primary source I have found on this subject is the Dewar files held in the UK National Archives under series WO 185. These files comprise copies of signals exchanged between the War Office and British Purchasing Commision in the US regarding tanks. The collection covers circa late 1940 to Feb 1942 and each month comprises one or two files. Working backwards I am yet to obtain copies of the pre Feb 1941 files.

The question of colour needs to be addressed by looking at the various vehicles and their sources:

M3 Light 'General Stuart' - best guess is that they were finished in US OLive Drab. Both US and British vehicles came from the same production lines. I have found no information regarding the colour of either M2A4 or M3 Lights to date.

M3 Medium 'General Lee' - again best guess is that they were finished in Olive Drab. These vehicles were provided to Britain under the lend lease scheme. As monthly allocations fluctuated between planning forecasts and actual allocations it is unlikley that these vehicles were painted in an alternative colour specifically for British use. I have found no information regarding the colour of M3 mediums 'General Lee'.

M3 Medium 'General Grant' - these vehicles were directly contracted between Britain and the manufacturers. As such, the British were able to specify the paint colour which was Khaki Green No 3. A small number of Grants were finished in a US automotive colour, 'Coronado Tan' in late 1942 due to a misinterpretation of a vehicle painting instruction intended for North American supplied B vehicles.

hope this helps

Shane Lovell
Canberra, Australia
Last edited by shane1967 on May 9th, 2012, 3:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: February 16th, 2008, 4:10 am

May 9th, 2012, 5:02 am #2

Quote: "M3 Medium 'General Grant' - these vehicles were directly contracted between Britain and the manufacturers. As such, the British were able to specify the paint colour which was Khaki Green No 3. A small number of Grants were finished in a US automotive colour, 'Coronado Tan' in late 1942 due to a misinterpretation of a vehicle painting instruction intended for North American supplied B vehicles."

On page 43 of Squadron's "M3 Lee/Grant in Action", there are two photos of what are described as Grant tanks showing a dark color underneath a blown off visor, and around shell hits. Page 43 shows another grant that has OD around the serial number (registration number?), and it was masked off prior to being painted with a tan color.

Were some Grants painted and delivered in OD?



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Joined: June 23rd, 2003, 4:53 pm

May 9th, 2012, 8:43 am #3

In a monochrome photograph taken under unknown lighting conditions and subject to unknown processing and printing variations, I doubt that anyone could tell the difference between OD and G3, particularly when it appears as exposed wear under a different colour entirely.

If the contract specified G3, why would it not be G3 (it's not as though the US was experiencing the sort of materials shortages that applied in the UK at the time)?

Rob
There's nothing cushy about life in the Women's Auxiliary Balloon Corps
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Joined: June 21st, 2005, 1:33 am

May 9th, 2012, 9:40 am #4

Dear colleagues

Please see attached and draw your own conclusions











cheers

Shane Lovell
Canberra, Australia
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Joined: April 24th, 2005, 12:23 am

May 9th, 2012, 10:07 am #5

I was hoping you would jump in here Shane. Great to see the primary source material.
Thanks
Al
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Joined: March 11th, 2011, 5:58 am

May 9th, 2012, 10:26 am #6

the dark end in the tunnel (of modelling) gets bright.
Thanks a lot for sharing your infos.

Erich

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Joined: January 29th, 2006, 7:01 pm

May 9th, 2012, 10:31 am #7

Quote: "M3 Medium 'General Grant' - these vehicles were directly contracted between Britain and the manufacturers. As such, the British were able to specify the paint colour which was Khaki Green No 3. A small number of Grants were finished in a US automotive colour, 'Coronado Tan' in late 1942 due to a misinterpretation of a vehicle painting instruction intended for North American supplied B vehicles."

On page 43 of Squadron's "M3 Lee/Grant in Action", there are two photos of what are described as Grant tanks showing a dark color underneath a blown off visor, and around shell hits. Page 43 shows another grant that has OD around the serial number (registration number?), and it was masked off prior to being painted with a tan color.

Were some Grants painted and delivered in OD?


It's been awhile, but I believe that the UK contracts were 100% Grants and the US contracts 100% Lees. The UK contracts totalled 1361 tanks. Does that match the number of Grants made? If so, they were likely all in British colors.

KL



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Joined: June 21st, 2005, 1:33 am

May 9th, 2012, 12:12 pm #8

Kurt

There were three contracts for M3 Medium 'General Grant' totalling 1685 tanks. See the table below from AVIA 38/337 'Tanks'



cheers

Shane Lovell
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Joined: May 24th, 2003, 3:07 pm

May 9th, 2012, 12:24 pm #9

Hi

Paul is partially correct regarding the colour. The best primary source I have found on this subject is the Dewar files held in the UK National Archives under series WO 185. These files comprise copies of signals exchanged between the War Office and British Purchasing Commision in the US regarding tanks. The collection covers circa late 1940 to Feb 1942 and each month comprises one or two files. Working backwards I am yet to obtain copies of the pre Feb 1941 files.

The question of colour needs to be addressed by looking at the various vehicles and their sources:

M3 Light 'General Stuart' - best guess is that they were finished in US OLive Drab. Both US and British vehicles came from the same production lines. I have found no information regarding the colour of either M2A4 or M3 Lights to date.

M3 Medium 'General Lee' - again best guess is that they were finished in Olive Drab. These vehicles were provided to Britain under the lend lease scheme. As monthly allocations fluctuated between planning forecasts and actual allocations it is unlikley that these vehicles were painted in an alternative colour specifically for British use. I have found no information regarding the colour of M3 mediums 'General Lee'.

M3 Medium 'General Grant' - these vehicles were directly contracted between Britain and the manufacturers. As such, the British were able to specify the paint colour which was Khaki Green No 3. A small number of Grants were finished in a US automotive colour, 'Coronado Tan' in late 1942 due to a misinterpretation of a vehicle painting instruction intended for North American supplied B vehicles.

hope this helps

Shane Lovell
Canberra, Australia
Shane Lovell, our very own Kew Gardens!

That is a really excellent bit of detective work there, man. Grants off the production line in "Coronado Tan". Try getting a Tamya mix for that!

Hmmm. The well known photo of a Canadian Grant in England sitting next to a Ram would look pretty damned sharp with a G3 Grant next to an SCC2 Ram...

Another idea into the pile of unbuilt models.

I've also edited my post below to reference this new info.

Thanks again, Shane.

Paul

Paul Roberts

Join AMPS!
www.amps-armor.org
Last edited by tankmodeler on May 9th, 2012, 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: April 18th, 2005, 11:30 am

May 9th, 2012, 6:24 pm #10

Hi

Paul is partially correct regarding the colour. The best primary source I have found on this subject is the Dewar files held in the UK National Archives under series WO 185. These files comprise copies of signals exchanged between the War Office and British Purchasing Commision in the US regarding tanks. The collection covers circa late 1940 to Feb 1942 and each month comprises one or two files. Working backwards I am yet to obtain copies of the pre Feb 1941 files.

The question of colour needs to be addressed by looking at the various vehicles and their sources:

M3 Light 'General Stuart' - best guess is that they were finished in US OLive Drab. Both US and British vehicles came from the same production lines. I have found no information regarding the colour of either M2A4 or M3 Lights to date.

M3 Medium 'General Lee' - again best guess is that they were finished in Olive Drab. These vehicles were provided to Britain under the lend lease scheme. As monthly allocations fluctuated between planning forecasts and actual allocations it is unlikley that these vehicles were painted in an alternative colour specifically for British use. I have found no information regarding the colour of M3 mediums 'General Lee'.

M3 Medium 'General Grant' - these vehicles were directly contracted between Britain and the manufacturers. As such, the British were able to specify the paint colour which was Khaki Green No 3. A small number of Grants were finished in a US automotive colour, 'Coronado Tan' in late 1942 due to a misinterpretation of a vehicle painting instruction intended for North American supplied B vehicles.

hope this helps

Shane Lovell
Canberra, Australia
(whilst waiting to get on a plane to Juba)

1 What does Coronado Tan look like?

2 Any indication that Grants thuis painted remained in CT or were repainted before shipping?

If they WEREN'T repainted in the US, presumably they were delivered to NA in CT. They might have been repainted on arrival, but equally likely they were not, particularly in regard to the date (eg before the 8th Army Cam. Dir. whip was cracked),and that CT was already an acceptable colour for softskins.

So, once we have an idea on how CT might look on a B&W image compared to the other colours in use, it might be worth reviewing photos of Grants up to c Oct 42 to see if any can be tentatively identified.

Enough of that, back to work...

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