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dseehafer

The Kriegsmarine's "Goth" phase

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Greetings all,

 

So have you ever noticed that sometime around 1942 and lasting until 1944 the Kriegsmarine became obsessed with painting their ships completely or mostly dark grey? I have dubbed this the Goth phase of the Kriegsmarine to give it some personality.

 

Here are some examples...

 

Scharnhorst

Related image

Image result for scharnhorst 1943 shipbucket

 

 

Gneisenau

Image result for gneisenau

 

 

Prinz Eugen

Image may contain: sky, ocean, outdoor and water

Image result for admiral hipper 1943

 

 

Admiral Hipper

Image result for admiral scheer 1943

 

 

Admiral Scheer

Image may contain: sky, ocean, cloud, outdoor, water and nature

file

 

 

Lutzow

25498280_1533888776660095_8072263853460203058_n.png

15Lutzow-august1942.png

 

 

Emden

Image may contain: outdoor and water

Related image

 

 

Tirpitz

Image result for Tirpitz 1944

Image result for Tirpitz 1944 shipbucket

 

 

 

Z38

Image result for z38 destroyer

unknown.png

 

 

Z32

Image result for german destroyer wwii

 

 

Jaguar

Related image

 

 

There are other examples as well, of course, but you get the point...

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They do stand out more than light grey ships, quite like goth people do in a crowd.

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Goth Emden can also be partially seen in the Goth Prinz Eugen picture

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5 minutes ago, nina_blain_73 said:

Nah these ain't goth... it's more like Death Metal Corpse Paint

corpsepaint-multipic1.thumb.jpg.859c0bb09134eabba1bd7530c50b7629.jpg

Looks like the guys at my office this morning!

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1 hour ago, nina_blain_73 said:

Nah these ain't goth... it's more like Death Metal Corpse Paint

corpsepaint-multipic1.thumb.jpg.859c0bb09134eabba1bd7530c50b7629.jpg

Bottom row, second from the right...

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The weather in the primary areas of operation was rough seas and overcast skies, and during much of the year darker skies period. Painting them darker was done for protection, it made them harder to see in real world conditions, hence the white splashings at the bows, enabling blending with both whitecaps on the seas, and dark grey for the horizon and sky. Looked pretty cool, too.

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Dark grey is a good choice to hide your ship from aerial observation.  If you are operating in primarily overcast skies with limited sunlight, white or very light grey is best for limiting both surface and aerial observation.  A very dark ship is a bad choice under most daylight conditions for avoiding surface detection.

The use of the light ends on the ship is an attempt at deception, trying to make the ship appear shorter than it actually is.

A dark grey lower area, or hull combined with light grey superstructure or upper works is a compromise.  It provides some reduction in observability by both aerial and surface observers.

Notably not done by the Germans was painting the decks in a camouflage scheme.  The RN didn't generally do this either.  This appears unique to the USN who regularly painted horizontal surfaces in camouflage colors as well.

What doesn't work very well are the "Death metal" camouflages (with a nod to Nina Blane above).

dazzle-camo-on-mine-ship.jpg

These don't work because the pattern is too small and at longer distances the human eye resolves them as one big patch of grey rather than individual shades.

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The RM didn't bother with deck camo for the most part either. Apart for the obvious fact that the candy stripes would hinder any camo affect, the reality is that a ship's wake will always, always give it away.

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30 minutes ago, Phoenix_jz said:

The RM didn't bother with deck camo for the most part either. Apart for the obvious fact that the candy stripes would hinder any camo affect, the reality is that a ship's wake will always, always give it away.

My understanding exactly.

 

Scheer's the goth-est here I think, she's so goth she cut herself in the hydraulics for the rear turret, but just a bit.

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1 hour ago, mofton said:

My understanding exactly.

 

Scheer's the goth-est here I think, she's so goth she cut herself in the hydraulics for the rear turret, but just a bit.

 

At one point, Lutzow was just as Goth

 

Image

 

 

Hipper was also this dark, the shipbucket image doesn't do it justice...

 

Image result for admiral hipper 1943

 

 

 

As for Scheer... its ok, she eventually lightened up a little...

 

file

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3 hours ago, Murotsu said:

Dark grey is a good choice to hide your ship from aerial observation.  If you are operating in primarily overcast skies with limited sunlight, white or very light grey is best for limiting both surface and aerial observation.  A very dark ship is a bad choice under most daylight conditions for avoiding surface detection.

The use of the light ends on the ship is an attempt at deception, trying to make the ship appear shorter than it actually is.

A dark grey lower area, or hull combined with light grey superstructure or upper works is a compromise.  It provides some reduction in observability by both aerial and surface observers.

Notably not done by the Germans was painting the decks in a camouflage scheme.  The RN didn't generally do this either.  This appears unique to the USN who regularly painted horizontal surfaces in camouflage colors as well.

What doesn't work very well are the "Death metal" camouflages (with a nod to Nina Blane above).

dazzle-camo-on-mine-ship.jpg

These don't work because the pattern is too small and at longer distances the human eye resolves them as one big patch of grey rather than individual shades.

 

Ze Germans dabbled a little with deck camo...

 

Image result for tirpitz camo

 

 

And again in 1943/44

Image result for tirpitz aerial

 

 

The Brits also dabbled in deck camo...

 

Related image

 

Related image

 

 

Even the Japanese...

 

Related image

 

Image result for zuikaku

 

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The difference is the USN pretty much specified all ships being camouflaged, which meant all ships, got their decks painted 20-B Deck Blue.  Ships with disruptive patterns like Measure 31, for example, got a pattern of usually 5-O ocean grey in addition.  Also, the USN specified for many lighter schemes that the undersides of all overhanging surfaces on the superstructure be painted bright white to help eliminate shadows.

IJN camouflage was more of a ship by ship thing based on the captain's views and on available paint than something that was organized and standardized.  The Japanese also used a lot more greens in their patterns.

The British are in between.  They had standard camouflages issued but ships could still be painted in variants depending on the Captain's wishes and local requirements.

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On 12/27/2017 at 4:33 PM, Th3KrimzonD3mon said:

The weather in the primary areas of operation was rough seas and overcast skies, and during much of the year darker skies period. Painting them darker was done for protection, it made them harder to see in real world conditions, hence the white splashings at the bows, enabling blending with both whitecaps on the seas, and dark grey for the horizon and sky. Looked pretty cool, too.

^^ This

 

Depending on where a ship operated, that usually forced a change in the camo used.

In that Scharnhorst photo, she is painted to appear smaller, hence the camo curve matching the bow and stern. This in turn might cause visual targeting to be off. The later photo of the Scheer 'lightening up' was a painted bow wake, causing visual targeting to misjudge the speed. Other camo like on the IJN CVs, might misdirect a DB pilot on the ships course.

Most of the camos I have seen were done in such a way to mess up visual targeting, so you see alot of those in WW1. By WW2, radar defeated for the most part all camo schemes.

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If only modern ships had some spicier paint jobs. They're all an industrial grey, no more exciting than a washing machine.

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15 hours ago, LordGomes said:

If only modern ships had some spicier paint jobs. They're all an industrial grey, no more exciting than a washing machine.

Eh, no real reason to. Unless, you're trying to hide small craft from reconnaissance, all targeting is done by radar nowadays, so these ships would be not harder to target if one was invisible to the human eye and the other neon orange. Camo has lost it's functionality, essentially.

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On 2/19/2018 at 10:13 AM, Phoenix_jz said:

Eh, no real reason to. Unless, you're trying to hide small craft from reconnaissance, all targeting is done by radar nowadays, so these ships would be not harder to target if one was invisible to the human eye and the other neon orange. Camo has lost it's functionality, essentially.

Not really - if that were true we would have seen a return to the old pre-WWI national ship colors. What happened was that the world's navies determined that uniform grey camo schemes were both the most versatile and the simplest. Note how the complex schemes disappeared immediately after the war even while weapons hadn't changed at all. And despite the use of radar to detect and track targets, optical sensors still very much have a place in modern naval warfare.

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Obligatory "Battlefleet Gothic" jokes.

14 hours ago, ARCNA442 said:

optical sensors still very much have a place in modern naval warfare.

Yep

IIRC there was a military exercise back in 2008 where Red Force commander simulating Iran whupped a US carrier group in the simulated Persian Gulf so fast the judges had to "refloat" most of the ships for Day 2 of the exercise, berate him for "cheating" and force him to play in a way that let the Americans "win".

He was putting anti-ship missiles on all sorts of random rafts and boats barely large enough to hold and fire them, coordinating defences through motorcycle messengers, and IIRC using flashlights in shoeboxes with a hole cut in the side for directed near-radio-speed communications in Morse Code that all the US drones over the area couldn't intercept.

So yeah, high tech is great, but when your bridge crew can't figure out what a CBDR (Constant Bearing, Decreasing Range) on the machines means, it's time to LOOK OUTSIDE (and either overclock the engines and steer for a ramming or steer/speed change to avert one).

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On 18/2/2018 at 8:16 PM, LordGomes said:

If only modern ships had some spicier paint jobs. They're all an industrial grey, no more exciting than a washing machine.

Chile is using black paintinf for his Sa'ar 4 missile boats. I think they look cool. They also used camouflage till the lates 70s
SAAR+IV+fotosmilitares.jpg

8e8e5c3ec379c0b33df8da33289532a8o.png

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