Military Review

Tank camouflage: I see you, you don't see me!

49
Tank camouflage: I see you, you don't see me!
This little touching toad, like tank, there are a lot of enemies. But this camouflage helps her escape...



"... and you will look with your eyes - and you will not see,"
Matthew's Gospel, 13: 14

They stole this one, dressed in khaki,
And ate in the garden under a banana ...

Originally poems by Alexander Gorodnitsky

Tank camouflage yesterday, today... tomorrow. The fact that any tank is nothing more than an excellent object for observing it in a war zone, people understood literally immediately, as soon as they appeared. And it is not surprising that it can be more noticeable than such a three-meter-high moving box! And so, first the British, then the French, and finally the Germans began to paint them with camouflage of various shapes and colors.


Tank in living moss camouflage

Usually these were spots of yellow, green, brown and gray color and necessarily irregular in shape, which distorted the view beyond recognition. In addition, there was also a monochromatic blue-gray (French), dark gray (Germans) and dark green (British) color scheme, but the first tanks mostly had large-spotted camouflage.


"It's good when you're so green and flat!"

In the interval between the world wars, tanks were painted "medium green" by the British, grass green by us in the Red Army, and khaki by the Americans. And only the French continued to use camouflage. And although for identification they painted three-color round cockades and card suits on tanks, from a distance it all still merged into something unobtrusive.


Gray color is the most not easily soiled and versatile. Heavy German tank NbFz

German tanks met World War II in dark gray, but Soviet tanks were painted green in summer and white in winter. Green and olive were the tanks of the British and Americans, while the French continued to be striped and spotted. On the other hand, the Japanese not only began to use tricolor camouflage, but in addition they also applied a bright yellow winding cross to their tanks, which divided their hull, when viewed from above, into four parts.


PzKpfw III Ausf M. The Germans considered the yellow background and green stripes for the summer of 1942 to be a panacea ...

In 1942, German tanks began to be painted yellow with green and brown spots and stripes. Moreover, for one or another place of action, their crews often had to repaint them.

So, the yellow "tigers" sent to Tunisia in early spring were repainted with bright green paint to match the color of young grass, which dried up and turned yellow only in summer. On the contrary, the British painted their dark green "Crusaders" in the color of the desert. But the tanks on the island of Malta were painted, imitating the laying of wild stone.


"Tiger II", Henschel tower. The stripes are red-brown. This is how Hitler's tanks and self-propelled guns were painted in 1944

At the end of World War II, both Soviet and American tanks turned green again for a long time. Apparently, no one was going to fight them seriously. But already the Vietnam War showed that camouflage is needed, that one cannot do without it ... Therefore, today the bulk of tanks are painted with camouflage, and sometimes very whimsical.


But, of course, there were options. For example, a “hunting” coloring was invented with colored spots and “circles” on a multi-colored background. And besides the brown stripes, they also painted green ones ... Tank "Mouse"

It is clear that it would be ideal to make the tank invisible, as the inventor Q did in the movie "Die Another Day", which turned James Bond's car into invisible, covering it with a special layer that reproduces in front everything that was behind him. Indeed, an object protected in such a sophisticated way will be practically invisible. And yet, the tank, if it is a tank, will have problems with invisibility.


Typical olive khaki of the US Army - Jumbo assault tank M4A3E2

The fact is that it can be seen with the help of infrared devices operating in the infrared range. And what about then in this case?


American armored personnel carrier, Egyptian coloring ...

Here we need to remember that back in the 80s of the last century, the famous English inventor David Jones, in his book “The Inventions of Daedalus”, published at the same time in the USSR, proposed an interesting idea: to create artificial fur based on an unusual ... magnetic paint, representing a suspension iron filings in any coloring nitro base. Such paint, in his opinion, should first be applied to the desired surface, and then, while it was still wet, held over it with a powerful magnet. The magnet will attract sawdust, they will pull a thin thread of paint behind them, which will quickly harden, and thus the entire painted surface will turn out to be ... “shaggy”. A tank with such a shaggy carpet waving in the wind will be much more difficult to notice than if it is traditionally smooth. Moreover, instead of such paint (which is not quite clear how to make it yet!) You can also use ready-made coatings made of colored faux fur. In fact, it can be the same camouflage, but it protects much better from radar radiation and, in addition, reduces the IR visibility of the tank.


And this is the desert coloring of the French BA of the rapid reaction unit ...

But so far there is no such paint, and it is not known whether it will ever appear at all. But the tanks of the future can be covered with ordinary forest moss! We take a fine-mesh plastic mesh, between its two layers we lay layers of soil with grass or moss. Today, this is how artificial lawns are made, but there the soil layer is thicker and such a strong mesh is not used. But tanks certainly need it, because moss and grass must be fixed on a moving vehicle! And it will also be excellent thermal insulation. The same gun barrel, so that it does not overheat in the sun, is now covered with special covers made of synthetics. But in the case of grass, it can simply be covered with such a net and ... watered!


"Merkava" Mk.4. Another tank in desert coloring

And if you regularly take care of such a “living paint”, the plants will intertwine with their roots, and the entire surface of the tank will be covered with a carpet of natural vegetation. And the "carpet" is quite durable. And by watering the grass cover with water, it can be very cool, again lowering the thermal signature of the entire tank. Suppose there is a small tank with a sprayer on the tower, filled with water, constantly cooled by a special device. In a critical situation, the commander presses a button, and a real fountain beats over the tank, covering its vegetation with dew drops. Here, no thermal imager will “break through” the moisture evaporating from plants. It will be too cold and in all respects "natural". Well, hill and hill, overgrown with grass ...


The Indians also, apparently, have deserts, and such “yellow tanks” operate in them

And the Israeli company Polaris Solutions has already developed a special TVC fabric for masking both in the visible and in the infrared range. It is somewhat reminiscent of the elven invisibility cloaks from Tolkien's saga about the ring of omnipotence. You hide behind it - and now you are most of all like a stone block, and besides, it’s also cold! And... you can also sew covers for tanks from it and use it in various inflatable and drop-down structures. A square meter of this fabric weighs from 490 to 700 g, so it will not add much weight to the tank, but you can easily create landscape elements from it - various stones, bumps there! However, we also already have something similar - the "Cape" coating, although it is arranged on other principles and is simpler.


But for some reason, the Indians paint their "Vijyanta" differently

That is, you can completely change the shape of the car with the help of inflatable blocks made of such a fabric, imitating stones, and if desired, even with a bush growing from them. Of course, it is necessary to put such a disguise on a tank so that it does not interfere with surveillance devices and weapons installed on it. But if they are already inflated, and even with a grassy surface and coloring to look like rocks, such structures (and you can inflate them with exhaust gases from the engine!) Can change the appearance of the tank so much that it will be impossible to recognize it. And even up close. It is important that no tank will be similar to the others. And… who knows the future? - maybe the time will come when at the next Victory Parade we will see tanks on Red Square, completely overgrown with lush green grass, and even with placers of yellow dandelions or white-pink daisies on the towers.


Al Khalid is a Pakistani tank named after the 592th century Muslim commander Khalid bin al-Walid (642-XNUMX). The camouflage is, well…very “camouflage”. The drawing is based on a photo from the Internet

PS Drawings by the artist A. Sheps were used to design the material.
Author:
49 comments
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  1. Luminman
    Luminman 20 December 2022 04: 58
    +6
    Moss, of course, is good - but where can he attack a regiment or division?
    1. your vsr 66-67
      your vsr 66-67 20 December 2022 05: 15
      +7
      Quote: Luminman
      Moss, of course, is good - but where to attack a regiment or division?

      As where? What are swamps for?
      In general, I think that the author fantasized something a lot in his article with moss.
      1. mitroha
        mitroha 20 December 2022 05: 35
        +11
        Moss with earth on the tank? Sprinkle with water?
        What could be "better" for metal and electronics than water, earth and oxygen access. Author "burns"
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        2. merkava-2bet
          merkava-2bet 20 December 2022 09: 58
          +2
          The Swedes also created multi-spectral protection, based on spraying water around the tank, well, they can, they have a lot of water around.
        3. Duncan
          Duncan 20 December 2022 13: 44
          +1
          Tanks are not afraid of dirt, or are they already afraid? she and bulldozers are not afraid of roadheaders. It’s better not to talk about electronics, everyone has smartphones before the first rain.
          1. mitroha
            mitroha 20 December 2022 18: 50
            -2
            And you dig them under the moss, into the ground, for a couple of weeks. Don't forget to water as the author suggests. Do not forget that the batteries must be charged and the electrical network is powered.
            And then write here about the result, please. laughing
    2. PSih2097
      PSih2097 20 December 2022 05: 43
      +5
      Quote: Luminman
      Moss, of course, is good - but where can he attack a regiment or division?

      as far as I know, there are capes for BBT masking the latter both in the optical and in the IR range ...
    3. flyer
      flyer 27 December 2022 11: 43
      0
      Stabilized moss is successfully made in Russia, and in any color. With the desire and funding of this industry, you can cover everything with them.
  2. Luminman
    Luminman 20 December 2022 05: 21
    +2
    Quote: your vsr 66-67
    What are swamps for?

    What will environmentalists say? wink
    1. Lech from Android.
      Lech from Android. 20 December 2022 05: 36
      +2
      Quote: Luminman
      What will environmentalists say?

      Environmentalists Greta Thunberg will be released from the cage.
      1. kalibr
        20 December 2022 06: 23
        -5
        Quote: Lech from Android.
        What will environmentalists say?

        Environmentalists Greta Thunberg will be released from the cage.

        Comments in the style of "News" comments, I, Lech... don't like it here.
      2. And Us Rat
        And Us Rat 21 December 2022 01: 22
        -1
        Quote: Lech from Android.
        Environmentalists Greta Thunberg will be released from the cage.

        And take off the muzzle.
  3. Derbes19
    Derbes19 20 December 2022 05: 24
    +6
    It is necessary to introduce a gardener into the staff of a tank platoon.)
  4. svp67
    svp67 20 December 2022 05: 36
    +5
    At the end of the USSR, tanks of the T-80U \ UD series left the factories already camouflaged
  5. 1razvgod
    1razvgod 20 December 2022 06: 06
    -3
    Tankers will watch programs like "Gardener" :) order seeds, go to outfits to mow or dye grass on tanks, wonderful articles. The main thing is that Rogozin does not read them, this is a Klondike cut and there are no analogues more abruptly than space
    1. kalibr
      20 December 2022 06: 24
      -5
      Quote from: 1razvgod
      The main thing is that Rogozin read them
    2. Polite Moose
      Polite Moose 20 December 2022 07: 54
      +1
      Quote from: 1razvgod
      Tankers will watch programs like "Gardener" :) order seeds, go to outfits to mow or paint grass on tanks

      The main thing is that some irresponsible crews should not get into the habit of "watering the lawn" by extinguishing fires by the pioneers. It will not be comme il faut to fight later on such a tank.
      1. kalibr
        20 December 2022 08: 15
        +2
        Quote: Polite Elk
        method of extinguishing fires pioneers.

        This is a good, "testing comment"!
      2. 1razvgod
        1razvgod 20 December 2022 08: 47
        -3
        Camouflage will grow faster and greener :)))
        1. Polite Moose
          Polite Moose 20 December 2022 09: 33
          +1
          Quote from: 1razvgod
          Camouflage will grow faster

          Definitely!
          Quote from: 1razvgod
          and greener

          Controversial moment. I think it's perfect for late fall.
    3. AlexTss
      AlexTss 20 December 2022 08: 34
      +2
      The main thing is that they don’t sow cannabis, otherwise it won’t be before the war ... wassat
  6. Sibiriya
    Sibiriya 20 December 2022 06: 12
    +1
    Interesting article, credit illustrations good
    1. Bad_gr
      Bad_gr 20 December 2022 12: 38
      -1
      Quote: Siberia
      Illustrations
      Add illustrations:
  7. Mikhail Maslov
    Mikhail Maslov 20 December 2022 08: 55
    +5
    The author’s normal reasoning and the approach are quite interesting. Now the trend is wall panels with live moss are coming into fashion, but why is a tank or an armored personnel carrier worse? I saw camouflage specifically for the Butterfly tank at the exhibition. I’ll tell you from a distance of 100-200 meters, it’s already difficult to determine the parameters of the tank. There is only one answer "who seeks, he will always find .."
  8. BAI
    BAI 20 December 2022 09: 40
    +4

    Well, about the Arctic camouflage it was necessary to say
    Although there are things from which no camouflage will save.
    Any tank has optics - a sight, means of observation. And the enemy has means of detecting optics. And the optics cannot be hidden anywhere - there is another principle here: if you see me, then I see you too.
  9. demiurg
    demiurg 20 December 2022 11: 21
    +4
    Today is April XNUMXst? I thought again Mitrofanov was throwing ideas, but no, dear person, Vyacheslav. belay
  10. tralflot1832
    tralflot1832 20 December 2022 12: 14
    +5
    Obviously, the Indians painting Vijayanta were familiar with the work of Norman Wilkinson with his sea camouflage (turmoil). For a few seconds, the camouflage disables the psyche, focusing on different points of the tank.
  11. dfk-80
    dfk-80 20 December 2022 12: 16
    +3
    The idea with inflatable camouflage has the right to life:
    - will distort the external dimensions of the tank (and you can make an option both for a standing car - I'm a haystack, and an option for movement, when only one side of the turret and hull is inflated).
    - in addition to visual distortion, an inflatable element can absorb rally waves or, on the contrary, depict an iron hangar
    - the presence of separate inflatable modules will make the enemy think: in front of him are 20 types of hangars or 20 tanks similar to a hangar.
    I think to place 5-10 inflatable tank divisions and a couple of real ones along the front line - this is a nightmare for zaluzhny and co. The main thing is that they don’t burn on communication vehicles, supplies or headquarters with walkie-talkies. Those. the work of creating decoys is very creative.
    1. Eule
      Eule 20 December 2022 20: 32
      +2
      Quote: dfk-80
      inflatable camouflage

      IMHO just inflate a few garbage bags 240l, tie and tie under the maskset. The silhouette and the proportions of the equipment will be distorted, it will not be clear what kind of car, even if they spot it from the air - before the shooting starts, it will not be clear whether the BMP is there or the tank.
  12. Fat
    Fat 20 December 2022 14: 32
    +2
    hi
    David Jones, in his book "Dedalus' Inventions", published at the same time in the USSR, proposed an interesting idea: to create artificial fur based on an unusual ... magnetic paint, representing a suspension of iron filings in any coloring nitro base. Such paint, in his opinion, should first be applied to the desired surface, and then, while it was still wet, held over it with a powerful magnet. The magnet will attract sawdust, they will pull a thin thread of paint behind them, which will quickly harden, and thus the entire painted surface will turn out to be ... "shaggy"

    There is a technique for creating a "hairy" surface - flocking.
    The fibers are glued with glue perpendicular to the surface to be decorated due to the action of an electrostatic field. And it doesn’t matter what fibers, even natural, even synthetics and without special requirements for the length of the fibers from several microns to several centimeters ...
  13. Former soldier
    Former soldier 20 December 2022 18: 01
    0
    It would be nice to learn from the experience of a chameleon. Somehow he manages to change color depending on the environment.
  14. Aviator_
    Aviator_ 20 December 2022 18: 16
    +3
    In fact, it can be the same camouflage, but much better protecting against radar radiation and, in addition, reducing the IR visibility of the tank.
    Vyacheslav, where did you get this from? The RCS of such a hedgehog with metal needles will be enormous, and if you believe that the metal needles will act as a radiator that removes heat into space, then you are in vain hoping that its visibility in the IR range will decrease, rather, on the contrary.
    1. kalibr
      20 December 2022 20: 28
      0
      Quote: Aviator_
      vice versa.

      Dear Sergey! Of course, with "hedgehogs" it will be so. But why not cut this fur? After all, metal is needed only to pull out the villi. In the hairs themselves it is not, only in the tips. Here's something we'll cut.
      1. Aviator_
        Aviator_ 20 December 2022 21: 01
        +2
        But why not cut this fur?
        Why then wear it at all? The task of camouflage is to disguise an object to make it difficult to detect it against the background of the terrain and increase the complexity of identifying the contour of an object (the so-called "breaking" camouflage). Fur will not help here, it will not hide unmasking signs.
        1. kalibr
          20 December 2022 21: 44
          0
          Quote: Aviator_
          The fur will not help here, it will not hide the unmasking signs.

          Yes, most likely. But the idea itself is beautiful.
  15. Alf
    Alf 20 December 2022 19: 51
    +6
    In the interval between the world wars, the tanks were painted in the "medium green" color of the British, grass green in our Red Army
    but Soviet cars were painted green

    Apparently, Mr. Shpakovsky has no idea about the camouflage of Soviet tanks of the 30s and the beginning of the Second World War. I'll give you a hint.



    1. hohol95
      hohol95 20 December 2022 20: 11
      +3
      Camouflage coloring of equipment in the Red Army before the Great Patriotic War and during it was not of a mass nature.
      The main color was green 4BO!
      Variants of camouflage colors for military equipment were developed, but the bulk of tanks and armored vehicles were painted in plain 4BO.
      1. Alf
        Alf 20 December 2022 20: 26
        +2
        Quote: hohol95
        Camouflage coloring of equipment in the Red Army before the Great Patriotic War and during it was not of a mass nature.

        But there are a lot of photos and drawings based on them.
        1. hohol95
          hohol95 20 December 2022 20: 36
          +1
          “Immediately before the start of World War II, deforming paint was used on a small part of armored vehicles. Since the materiel of the armored forces of the Red Army was replaced in 1940-41, due to a lack of paint, it was believed that camouflage coloring would be applied to new vehicles when they, according to the state However, at the beginning of hostilities, the tanks arrived only partially, and the bulk of the personnel had not yet mastered this technique.New vehicles were painted at the manufacturing enterprises with protective green paint 4BO.
          ...Perhaps the only exception to this rule was armored trains. Since their number was small compared to the number of tanks, and the features of the production and combat use of "land ships" provided them with the possibility of a much longer existence as a combat unit, the crew of the armored train had much more time for careful maintenance and painting of the latter.
          M. Kolomiets
          "Camouflage on the tanks of the Red Army 1930 - 1945"
    2. kalibr
      20 December 2022 20: 32
      -2
      Quote: Alf

      Alf

      You can draw anything! Including 1941 and 44, use drawings, but it was about the 30s. Is not it? So, no matter how much I looked at the photos of our tanks of those years, I didn’t see camouflage. The beginning of camouflage is the Finnish war, but this is already the 40s. Explained clearly? By the way, about our camouflage will also be ...
      1. Alf
        Alf 20 December 2022 20: 53
        +4
        Quote: kalibr
        So, no matter how much I looked at the photos of our tanks of those years, I didn’t see camouflage.

        Would love to see...

        Quote: kalibr
        You can draw anything!

        Have you tried looking through the Armored Collection? It is there that all the photos and pictures based on them belong to the tanks.
        By the way, what about the confirmation of the order of the 41st year on the bombing of retreating units? "Someone" swore and swore that "just about", "right already" the proof would lead, but something interferes all the time ... At first, the malicious virus interfered, and then what? Bring a screenshot?
        1. kalibr
          20 December 2022 21: 41
          -3
          Now I'm busy, I ordered 3 books, so everyone there ... I'm not at all interested in proving something. I also have a "victory" ... As for the armored collection ... then ... I'm not very interested in this either. It was interesting to work with the materials of the Kirov Plant, at the invitation of their director Popov, it was interesting for the KaPRIVO archive in Kuibyshev, in the same archive of the Moscow Region, but the "collection" does not interest me, I know its author personally and I know on the basis of what and how it is created.
          1. Alf
            Alf 20 December 2022 21: 57
            +2
            Quote: kalibr
            I'm busy right now, I've ordered 3 books, so everyone...

            Yes, yes, except for how rude you are, when you are caught in outright lies, you don’t know how to do anything else.
            Quote: kalibr
            As for the armored collection ... then ... I'm not very interested in this either.

            Of course, this is not your work ... Now, if you wrote it, you would be PR to the fullest - Look how smart I am.
            1. kalibr
              21 December 2022 06: 52
              -3
              Quote: Alf
              except how to be rude, when you are caught in outright lies, you don’t know how to do anything else.

              What are you, I haven’t even started yet ... But I can do a lot, you have seen photos of book covers and homemade products for children. Thanks to me, our region received the first gold medals of VDNKh of the USSR ... So I can do something, no need to exaggerate. But do you really want to be wiped off your feet? Because I can, after all, deal with this topic, and even find something. And then the epithet "...." addressed to you will be the mildest. Do you need it?
              And about the "Armored Collection". Baryatinsky has his own work and his own scale, I have mine ....

              This is the last one. And so on tanks there are 5 of them. There are 450 pages in it. And others ... the same. So if you add up all the issues of the armored collection, and these books, they will outweigh.
              Quote: Alf
              Look how smart I am

              So yes - look, you don’t care .... (a vernacular expression of the Russian language rich in hyperbole, forbidden in VO).
  16. faterdom
    faterdom 20 December 2022 23: 23
    0
    There are two different disguises.
    One in places of concentration or transfer of tanks. Long term. From types of intelligence from simple eyes to satellite in different wavelengths.
    The second - during the battle, or an ambush, or an exit from a blow.
    And here it goes from the use of smoke, to the use of special aerosols that guarantee opacity from optical to all others, radar, infrared, and so on. That will not allow to fire accurately at such a tank with any anti-tank weapons.
    It is expensive, and so far it is used only by the most mobile missile systems in the course of their combat evolutions, but someday it will reach tanks.
  17. alextrace
    alextrace 21 December 2022 06: 00
    +1
    Moss is a good thermal insulator to camouflage in the heat range, but only when dry. Wet moss will have almost the same temperature as the base on which it will lie - there will be no masking effect from it. Another thing is if there is an air ventilated gap between the moss and the base, and the air from this gap must be removed to the side. Then the tank will rust much less.
    It is also not advisable to inflate anything with exhaust gases, because. they are hot - at sub-zero temperatures, large trucks heat the body with these gases. Exhaust gases need to be vented to the side through a pipe instead of a fire pot. Perhaps due to the energy of the exhaust gases, it is possible to organize the extraction of air from the ventilated gap.
  18. cpls22
    cpls22 22 December 2022 16: 39
    0
    As far as I understand, the "cloak" is a rather voluminous coating, produced in sets for each type of armored vehicle.
    If necessary, camouflage something abnormal, maybe. a few rolls of "foam" in a suitable tourist color will help. Its thermal insulation is good, it takes up less space in a roll, with a little imagination you can distort the shape, or use it only from the side of probable observation. But this is for parking - in motion it will sail.
  19. Sevastiec
    Sevastiec 25 December 2022 10: 53
    0
    In a critical situation, the commander presses a button, and a real fountain beats over the tank, covering its vegetation with dew drops. Here, no thermal imager will “break through” the moisture evaporating from plants


    I can offer a better way (it has long been known in our army, though not to everyone): a mixture of gasoline and ether is pumped into the atomizer, and in a hot area, it becomes simply invisible.

    And the Israeli company Polaris Solutions has already developed a special TVC fabric for masking both in the visible and in the infrared range.


    Even in the USSR, camouflage suits were made that protected from thermal imagers.
  20. Canna Steinfeldgrubber
    Canna Steinfeldgrubber 21 January 2023 17: 51
    -1
    About moss and grass is, of course, game.