A guy spends upwards of $50 to $60 per model for a plastic kit before he
is through; superdetail stuff, tools, decals, and reference materials. Not to
mention the "sweat equity". He is all done and his markings are all nicely
sunk in, dullcoated-whatever. He has a beautiful Panzer IV of 3. Panzer
Division - rearing bear and all. Except that it is not of 3. Panzer Division
and never was.
Another hobbyist builds a great Sd.Kfz 7 and 8.8 Flak in 1/35. - all
painted, weathered and marked with the "acorn & leaf" or the black/red
"shield & feather" of a HG Flak unit. Except the acorn etc. marking is for
II. Flakkorps and the shield/feather is for I. Flakkorps. Actually, the acorn
bit is half correct. HG carried it as well as its own white disc mark when it
was with Pz.Grp. 1 ("K") during Barbarossa. But you get the drift.
This section will attempt to correct some specific errors which are found
in existing reference materials. In many cases these "errata" are simply a
factor of time. Simply put, we now know more than we did when some of these
were first published. In some cases, however .... PANZER COLORS (I) ...
I am OK in general with what I wrote long ago, so this is probably a
preemptive strike. Besides, the forthcoming markings/colors book Hilary Doyle
mentioned will probably make "Panzer Colors I" hopelessly out of date. So be
it. Sic transit something or other. Here are some errors I have found in my
own work. I will be surprised if others don't surface.
Page 47: Middle photo. The Tiger # is not 124. It must be either
724 or 824. At this time, s.501's panzers were integrated into the 7. & 8.
Kpn. of Pz.Rgt. 7/10.PD.
Page 47: Lower photo. The Tiger is probably not olive green and its
numbers are in white outline, not red/white. Ibid. for color drawing on page
Page 52: None of the Tigers involved at Kursk used this small solid
black number system. It is probably from s. 502. Ibid. for the page 68
Page 59: Text. Zimmerit was discontinued in late 1944 - not "early
1945" as stated at the end of paragraph two.
Page 60: Lower photo. These Panthers are not divisional but are
from I./Pz.Rgt.4, which was a Heerestruppe unit at this time. Italy is
Page 71: Middle photo. I no longer believe this Bef.Pz.III's code
(II) is in red/white. The unit is ID's as Pz.Abt.5 of 25. PzGrenDiv. The
StuG's of this outfit carried black/white codes at this time (late '43).
Page 74: Top photo. The Japanese ACHTUNG PANZER softcover on StuG's
pretty much nails this photo series as being of a LW Feld unit in Norway - not
HG in Italy as previously thought.
Page 88: Lower photo. II./SS PzRgt.12 Panzer IV's carried
black/white, not red/white numbers.
Page 90: A beauty. I missed a lot here. Dark gray was not an
applied base color at the war's end. The photos of latest war '45 "dark" AFV's
are either in red oxide primer (as a base) or the last official base color - a
dark green. I missed both of those developments completely in Panzer Colors I.
MORE MYTHS, ERRORS, AND OMISSIONS: PC II AND PC III
First, a general comment again. My mission here is to undo damage, not
cause more damage. Many of the errors in these publications are identified
because we simply know more now than we did when they were first published.
Some however are clearly purposeful attempts by someone to state things as
facts which are not true and which were either (to be kind) the product of
wrong guesswork or (to be less charitable) made up out of whole cloth.
Whatever. Frankly, I only care about the resulting mis-information which
continues to plague us. As usual, I don't have all the answers. There are
still gaps. I will close this intro by quoting an old college buddy of mine
(the real "Otter", by the way, for you "ANIMAL HOUSE" affecianados) who used
to say: "Totally unencumbered with the facts, I now proceed."
PANZER COLORS II PROBLEMS
Page 21: Top photo. The Bef. Wg. III coded white B01. This is not
"Befehlspanzer 1" as stated. It is from a Panzer Brigade Stabs. A few of these
Brigades lasted until 1942. B = Brigade.
Page 21: Middle photo. The 38(t) coded 1042 is not from a HQ light
company as stated. It is Panzer 2 of 4. Zug, 10. Kompanie, III. Abteilung,
Panzer Regiment 25, 7. Panzer Division. The Regiment had three Abteilungen
(Detachments/Units) at this time. Bottom photo. This is also a 7.
Panzer Division (7. PD) panzer.
Page 22: Top & middle photos. These are panzers of
Pz.Rgt.15/11.PD at Kursk. The caption regarding the middle Panzer IV photos
(black 923 and 933) is 100% wrong. These are from 9. Kp. of the III. Abt./Pz.
Rgt. 15/ 11. PD. The Regiment fought Kursk with its II. (4-6 Kps.) and III.
(7-9 Kps,) Abteilungs on hand - as well as the attached Stu.G. Brigade 911.
Page 24: This whitewashed LUCHS is from the 4. PD, not the 3. PD as
stated. The man in the turret is von Saucken, 4. PD's C.O. I have another
photo of the whole Headquarters "O" group including this vehicle and the
Bef.Wg.III named "Barenfuhrer" which has also been mis-identified in another,
similar publication as being from 3. PD.
Page 32: All references to the "standing Bear" as being for 3. PD
are wrong. The Division did use a Bear in a shield design but not this one.
This Bear is the one for 4. PD. All references to the shield design with the
yellow swords and old (1940) 4. PD. sign on a black background as being for 3.
PD are wrong. Again, this is for the 4. Panzer Division.
Page 34: Bottom photo. This is an Sd.Kfz 251 of the 4. PD; not the
3. PD as stated. The caption is also mis-dated (1943-44). It cannot be earlier
than Spring, 1944 after von Sauchert got his Swords added to his KC.
Page 35: Both photos. Both captions are 100% wrong. These are 4. PD
Page 42: This Tauchpanzer III diving tank is from 4. PD. The Bear
design is for Panzer Regiment 35/ 4. PD. All references to 3. PD are wrong.
The notation concerning the temporary "addition" of a third "tick" to the old
3. PD Division sign is utter nonsense.
Page 46: Bottom photo. This is a Bef. Wg. III of 14. PD, not 5. PD
as stated. the shadow from the rear frame antenna has cut off the top part of
the 14. PD rune symbol. This is, I think, an honest error as opposed to some
others I have listed.
Page 63: Bottom photo. These Panzer IV's are from the Panzer
Pioneer Btl. of 16. Panzer Division which had 7 of them in its 3. Kp. at this
time. The black edging around the Division sign denoted the Pioneer outfit
whose color or Waffenfarbe was black. Other Divisional AFV's photographed at
this time and later show only the plain yellow version. If this was from the
Panzer Regiment (Pz.Rgt. 2) it would be numbered in the 5xx to 8xx series.
Only the II. Abt. had panzers. The III. Abt. had Stu.G.'s and the I. Abt. with
Panthers was away from the division.
TEMPORARY KURSK DIVISIONAL
Note 1: I have seen no photo evidence that LSSAH actually used its
assigned Kursk symbol.
Note 2: The Kursk symbol for the 23. Panzer Division - a white mark
similar to a "checkmark" with two bottom strokes, has also been added. Someone
also suggested it looks like a musical key or clef symbol. It appears on a
Panzer IV Ausf. F2 or G photo in the ACHTUNG PANZER series, and also on one
photo I have seen of Pz. Rgt. 201's 9. (s.IG)Kp. Stu.Pz. III's. Even though that
division was held in reserve, it was nevertheless, issued a special sign for
Note 3: I have one grainy photo of actual Grossdeutschland usage - an
Sd.Kfz 251/? Ausf. C. with the Kursk symbol on the front plate. I have not yet
seen any other examples.
Note 4: I have photos which show actual use by both the 106. Infantrie
Division and by LII Korps.
PANZER COLORS III PROBLEMS
This volume, like its immediate predecessor, PC II, should be considered
as an excellent collection of photos. Period. There is, actually, some
excellent research hidden in the book, though it is usually cheapened by the
attachment of more total fabrications passed off as fact. So, let's continue
(as the Bishop said to the ... oh, never mind):
Pages 6 & 7. Text. Various sections: Pz. Abt. 215 was not a
Stu.G outfit as stated. It had panzers - one of which is shown at the begining
of this web page. The 3. Pz.Gren.Div. was not held in Reserve during the
Bulge. It fought. The Division sign for the 25. Pz.Gren. Div. was actually a
white wide open inverted V or vee with a dot in the middle. The three antlers
sign described in the text is for its predecessor, 25. I.D. (mot). The 29.
"Falke" Division is missing from the list of PGD's. It is not true that most
PGD's had a full S.P. Artillerie Abteilung. The 29. "Falke" did have one Wespe
Batterie (3./Pz. AR 29) but most outfits were towed. The "Gliederung" or
TO&E chart for equipment authorized for a 1944 Pz.Gren.Div. does not show
any authorization for any SP artillery - none.
Larry Schaeffer studies Motorized
Inf. units including their K.St.N's and organizational histories. He finds
that a few of the earliest (1943) formed Panzer Grenadier Divisions were
authorized to have a self-propelled (Sfl.) Artillerie Abteilung per the
followings K.St.N's: *407 for Stab. Art. Abt(Sfl) of 16/1/43 *583 for Stabs
Bttr. Art. Abt(Sfl) of 16/1/43 *431b for Bttr. Le. F.H. 18/2 (6 Geschutz)(Sfl)
of 16/1/43 He notes that the Divisions authorized to do this included the 3.
(I. Abt.), 29. (I. Abt.), 90.(II. Abt), and "FHH" (I. Abt.) Pz.Gren.Divs. By
1944 Charts & TO&E's showed authorization for towed equipment only. We
still don't know who was actually issued what. A K.St.N is a theoretical
authorization. So far, just the couple of photos of 3. (Sfl)/Pz.AR Rgt. 29/29.
PGD. Can we find more?
Page 10, Lower photo: The pennant on this 20. I.D. (mot) car is for
an organic Bataillon or Abteilung and therefore for either Infantrie or
Artillerie; the two Divisional groupings with more than one sub-unit. It is
not for the Recon unit as is stated. Too, the tactical sign or "TK" is not a
"variation for motorcycle units" as stated. It represents the Btl. or Abt.
Stabs designator, the circle usually (but not always) represented the II. Abt.
or Btl. If this were from the 11. PD or 29. "Falke" it would be for the II. I
don't know the system for the 20. I.D.(mot) though, so let us keep searching.
But we do know what it is not. It is not what this caption says it is.
Page 18, Lower photo: These are not "Wiking" Panthers which were in
II./SS Pz. Rgt. 5 with 5-8 Kps. They are from the I./Pz. Rgt. "GD" of
Grossdeutschland, then serving as the Panther Abt. for 6. PD.
Page 19, Upper left photo & middle photo: Again, these are not
"Wiking" panzers. The upper one might be from 5. Pz.Div. but I can't get a
clearer look at the design in front of the turret code. If anyone else can -
and if it is the Pz. Rgt. 31 "Devils Head' - we have a winner.
Page 19, Lower right photo: The number next to the TK on the half-track
SPW must be Roman II, not arabic 14 for the 14. Kompanie. The code "25"
represents a Stabs; the first "3" in 2533 represents a third zug - therefore
we have a Stabskompanie vehicle#3 of 3. Zug/Stabs Kompanie/II. Btl./?? (one of
the Division's Panzergrenadier Regiments). It is definitely not as the caption
Page 21: I usually shy away from iron-clad statements about a
particular color given the vagaries of black & white photos and
interpreting. But here, with the 12. SS PD "HJ" we have plenty of evidence
that I. Abteilung Panthers used red with white edging codes and that these II.
Abteilung Panzer IV's used black with white edging codes - at least in
Normandy. So all references on this page to red/white numbers are wrong.
Page 23 Text of SS Unit Markings at Kursk. It is probably best if
you junk this whole section. It is full of outright fabrications and there is
just too much to even try and fix. Whoever wrote this has deprived a village
somewhere of its resident idiot. See the table included here, one of the AFV
NEWS issues or the last page of the Japanese Tank magazine special on Kursk
for a complete chart of these special signs which were issued to all major
(Division and up) units of H. Gr. Sud. for the battle. Incidentaly, I have yet
to see one verified photo example of LSSAH actual usage of its assigned Kursk
sign (the real one - not the trumped up "single bar" bumpf trotted out for
this PC III text).
Page 25: The middle and lower photos. All are of 11. PD. not 6. PD
as stated. The caption statement that the Panzer IV's (923 et al.) are
probably from a Btl. H.Q. is utter nonsense. The writer of this is ( I will be
charitable as always) totally unfamiliar with the actual makeup of these units
at the time of the battle. Yet much of this info has been available for years
and certainly was available well prior to the publication of this book. The
Panzer IV's are, of course from 9. Kp. of III./Pz.Rgt. 15/ 11. PD. III. Abt.
consisted of the 7., 8., and 9. Kps. at this time.
Page 30: Upper left photo. "2.Z." is for the 2. zug of a StuG.
Batterie, not the "2nd Batterie of the Battalion" as stated.
Page 32: Middle photo. I don't know what unit this is but it is not
StuG. abt. 203 which used the two digit system in all Batterien.
(Please note; I will deal with a few of the color renderings but most
follow either text or photo captions so I won't go into every one.)
Page 37: Rendering. Panther coded white 510 (510?). Not for
"Wiking" if this is from a real photo.
Page 43: Lower left photo. This is a Stu.G. III of Stu.G. Abt. 911
which was attached to the 11. Panzer division for the battle. It is not of the
3. SS Pz.Gren.Div. as stated in the caption. Note the horizontal bar under the
three vertical tick marks.
Page 46: Mid and lower photos. These stuG's are from a LW Feld
division - not in Italy. They are not from "HG" as stated.
Page 50: These s. 501 Tigers (112 and 14x) have white outline codes
- not red/white as stated.
Page 59: All photos. These Tigers are all from s. Pz. Abt. 508 in
Italy. they have nothing at all to do with anything described in the caption.
Not s. 503, Not s. Pz. Rgt. "Bake". Not Russia. Nada. Nein. Zip.
Page 64: The drawing for the s. Pz. Abt. 506 sign (white cross on
yellow disc) is completely false. It never was. that symbol was painted on a
Tiger II (#332) after its capture during the Bulge. It is a sign to show the
transporter and shipping people where to lift or to determine the center of
balance. It is not a unit sign. It was never a unit sign. Enough with this
thing already. Get it out of your mind. Note that s. 510's "Bear" insignia
is missing from the drawings of s. Panzer units on this page.
Pages 70 & 71: Text. Ferdinands at Kursk did not all carry
3-digit white codes as stated. I have a Kursk photo of Ferdy #113 (from s.
Pz.Jag. Abt. 653). The code is in black outline.
Pages 76 - 77: Hermann Goring Unit Markings. This is an excellent
table of markings. But ... once again, it is sullied by the inclusion of
obviously false data - probably after the good stuff came from Herr Otte,
author of the divisional history. Most of the markings included in the upper
left hand corner of this two page spread are spurious. They are real markings,
right enough. It is just that they don't belong to "HG" - and never did. One
of these is correct for 7. RGG in the 1940 or so period when it was part of
the Wach or guard units and equipped with the S.P. 2cm Flak mounted on the
s.E. PKW with folding sides. All other markings in this corner section - all
of them - are for non-HG units. the "Oak leaf and Acorn" design which the text
and photo captions make so much of is actually the insignia for a larger unit
- II. Flakkorps. "HG" was but a small part of this formation. When it was with
II. Flakkorps it wore that sign along with its "disc" system. When not with
II. Flakkorps - no oak and acorn. The other shield design - the feather on a
divided and partly red shield? That is the insignia of I. Flakkorps. "HG" had
nothing to do with them.
Page 80: Middle rendering. Not for "HG" as stated. This is from
another II. Flakkorps unit.
Page 83: Lower photo. Totenkopf's Tigers at Kursk were not numbered
in the 1xx series as this states. There are photos of them. They were in the
9xx series and codes were in black outline just as for the rest of the Panzer
Regiment for this battle. If this is a Kursk photo it must be for s. 503.
Page 88: Spurious text again re: the oak leaf and acorn.
Page 89: Both lower photos are for other Flak units -- not HG
Page 90: This, in my view is tied for "worst of the worst" with the
false, made up whole cloth stuff concerning the Bear and Shield for Pz. Rgt. 6
in PCII. Viz: None of the photos on this page represent HG. None of them. The
caption for the lower photo is particularly egregious. The Regiment General
Goring (RGG) served in Barbarossa as part of the II. Flakkorps supporting von
Kleist's Pz.Gruppe 1. Therefore, it wore the "white K" along with its white
disc system. It did not support Guderian's Pz. Grp.2-it wasn't even in the
same Armee Gruppe or sector of the front. It did not wear the "white G".
Please examine the photo of the Sd.Kfz 7 on this page. The rear of this
vehicle shows a white G, and next to it the top part of a yellow Panzer
Division sign (either the 17. or 18. PD - the bottom part of the sign is
hidden). It also show the insignia for the I. Flakkorps and a unit sign-a
bisected circle design - for a Flak unit but certainly not "HG". How on earth
could even the village idiot write a caption describing this as a vehicle from
HG? All of the correct info was not only available years prior to the
publishing of this book but - are you ready ? - was available from the
divisional history authored by the same Herr Otte who actually gave photos for
use in PC III. Please draw your own conclusions, of course.
Page 91. Upper right photo. the caption states that there is a
"non-standard shield on the left front fender" of the 2cm Flak 30. The
statement is only correct because this photo is of another unit entirely- not
Page 95: Upper photo. These are not "HG" Panthers. They are from
I./Pz. Rgt. 4 (then a Heerestruppen unit). Our "experten" did get the country
right though. It is Italy. The lower right photo might have been taken in
Italy or not. One thing is certain, though. HG did not have its Panthers
available for combat in Italy.
If nothing else, I hope this article answers the question of why I am so quick
to tell anyone who asks that I only wrote PC I and had nothing to do with
either PC II or III. Still a super collection of photos though. But please do
your research elsewhere.
Just so I don't take all the heat .... I actually found a photo error in
one of the PANZERTRUPPEN volumes from T.L. Jentz. The photo on page 89
of Volume 2 states that the two Panzer IV's depicted are from 6./Pz.Rgt.
11/6.PD at Kursk. Not so. The 11. PD Kursk mark is quite visible. They are
from 6./Pz.Rgt. 15/11.PD. Kursk is right, though. Another clue is the solid
black number system. 6.PD used white outline numbers at this time. Ergo .....
I must report that these volumes are only 99.99999% accurate.
THE PANZERKAMPFWAGEN III AT WAR by Concord Publications.
Like its Panther predecessor, this one has some great photos and excellent
artwork. However, several photo captions are definitely incorrect and I have
questions on others. Viz:
Page18, lower photo. this Panzer III ausf. F is part of 2.PD - not
5.PD as stated. It appears in the Divisional photo history and several other
pubs - with a clear Division sign.
Page 32, upper right photo. This is actually a FKL Panzer III of
1./Pz.Abt.(FKL)300. Note the large box welded to the rear of the turm for B-IV
control gear. Crimea/Sevastapol venue for the photo.
Page 33, lower color rendering. Afrika researchers please help
here. Red outline numbers in Pz.Rgt.5 ? Could be, but I have never heard of
Page 36, lower color rendering. This does not represent a Panzer
III of SS Pz.Rgt.3 at Kursk as stated. The "Totenkopf" panzers used black
outline codes for this battle - not solid black. If this is from a photo it
would fit 4./II./Pz.Rgt.15/11PD. (II. Abt.=4.- 6.Kpn.)
Page 39, upper rendering. Here is my problem. The caption states
that this Flammpanzer III coded white outline 411 was captured from the 16. PD
at Salerno and tested by the U.S. Army. Problem: Pz.Rgt. 2 of 16 PD did not
have its I. Abt. at Salerno. It fought this part of the war with Panzer IV's
in II. Abt. (5-8 Kpn) and StuG III's in its III. Abt.(9-12 Kpn). It did have 7
Flammpanzers as of August, 1943 and a Panzer-Flamm-Zug was authorized as an
addition to an Abteilung Stabs Kompanie (per K.St.N. 1190-see Jentz. Vol 2
page 48). For this caption to be accurate, either the II. or III. Abteilung
Stabs identifier would have to be "4". Further, every photo seen to date of
16.PD panzers shows the codes in black outline - not white outline. Even
further, the other Divisional unit with Panzer IV's was - Pz.Pion. Btl 16.
According to its listed TO&E chart and the Divisional photo history this
Engineer outfit had 7 of them in the 3. Kompanie. All those Panzer IV photos
we have seen in various pubs (303,306 etc.) have been mis-identified by the
"experten". They are actually from 3./Pz.Pioneer Btl. 16. the 7 Panzers were
numbered in order. I have photos of an 8.Kp. Panzer IV and a Stabs Bef.Wg.III
(code A51). All are in black outline. So who owned 411?
Page 39, lower rendering. A dark grey, partially whitewashed Bef
Pz.III from 6.PD coded white outline 905. Another question here. I am sure the
caption part which dates the subject for late 1943 is a typo, and they meant
1942. More than one Div. history and other photos show that one of the
Division Stabs units coded its panzers in the 9xx series upon its return to
the front in late '42 to try and relieve the 6. Armee at Stalingrad. I have a
photo of a Bef.Pz. III coded white outline 902. I also have one in the same
series for another Stabs Bef. Pz. III coded R03. The "5" part of the
rendering's code bothers me. However, the Osprey softcover on 6.PD has color
photos of 1941 Bef.Wg.III's coded white R06 and White II07 so a "5" designator
may not be out of line. Also, if both Abteilungen (I. with 1-4 Kpn. & II.
with 5-8 Kpn) were present at this time - as well as Regimental Stabs - and
they were - then we have first digits 1 through 8 accounted for in the line
Kpn, "R" for Rgt. Stabs and - if the caption is correct - "9" for II. Abt.
Stabs. Here is my question: What was the identifier for I.Abteilung Stabs? I
would love to see the photo used as the rendering's subject.
Well, I hope you guys find this stuff useful. Comments and corrections are
welcome as well as suggestions for looking at other works.