Home Forums Air and Sea Naval Paint Scheme Of German Merchant Ships

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  • #66843
    Cuchulainn
    Member

    I haven’t been in any way involved with wargaming for the best part of a year now, but I’m kinda thinking of giving it another rattle.  So I’m going to finish off the preparations for a game based on the sinking of the German raider “Komet” as she tried to break out into the Atlantic via the English Channel in Oct. 1942.  I wonder what colour the Komet would have been while attempting this breakout?

    My initial thoughts were to have her disguised as a neutral ship, but then I couldn’t come up with a plausible reason why such a ship would be getting escorted by German T-boats sailing down the English Channel.  And then the penny dropped… this ship wouldn’t have been disguised as anything other than a German merchant ship!  The snag is I haven’t the slightest idea what colour those things were, so can any of you help me?  I’ve tried Googling it, but with no real success.  Neptun has a photo on their site of this ship wearing a basically black and white colour scheme, but I’ve no idea if this is to represent her in disguise or as she would have looked in German colours.

    If any of you can shed some light on this I’d very much appreciate it.

    Thanks all

    Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

    #66850
    Mike Headden
    Participant

    The black sides, white upper works, black funnel colour scheme seems to have been common for merchant ships of the period.

    I’ve seen pics of “Komet” disguised as a Soviet and as a Japanese freighter in that same colour scheme but with prominent national flags on the hull sides and, in the case of the Soviet disguise, with the letters USSR painted on the sides too.

    Picture of the Japanese disguise in the link below.

    https://www.bismarck-class.dk/hilfskreuzer/pictures/hk_komet/hk_komet_04.jpg

    For the final run from Vlissingen to Dunkirk she was masquerading as a sperrbrecher or auxiliary minesweeper so may have been painted grey or even camo colours. Whether she changed identity during the week spent at Dunkirk I have no idea.

    So, basically, no idea what identity she used for the run down the channel but hopefully that gives some ideas!

    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!

    #66852
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    I asked a friend who may know what Komet looked like. If he knows and gets back to me I’ll let ya know.

    #66861
    Volunteer
    Participant

    Mal Wright might know. He’s written books on this sort of thing. He is here on TWW somewhere.

    "Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing"
    Wernher von Braun

    #66895
    Etranger
    Participant

    Here you go The marine archeologist who found the wreck has a photo of what he’s calling the ‘final iteration’ of KM Komet. A dazzle scheme by the look of it.
    https://www.facebook.com/pg/innes.mccartney/photos/?tab=album&album_id=188476614626259

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Etranger.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Etranger.
    #68055
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Heard back from Mal Wright and he is doing a book about them and said it was in Merchant grey, at that time.

    #68081
    Cuchulainn
    Member

    First I want to thank everyone for taking the time to help me with this.  Also an apology for not getting back quicker, overseas relatives visiting has taken up a fair bit of my time and I’m only getting back to this today.

    I have been advised by Dr. Innes McCartney who discovered the wreck of the Komet that she was indeed wearing the disruptive scheme as shown in the link posted by Etranger, on the night she was sunk.  The next question now is pretty obvious I suppose: what colours were they?  Does anyone know as I wouldn’t have a clue.  If I’m stuck I would paint her in the scheme Mal Wright recommends through Kyoteblue’s post, but having her in a multi coloured scheme would add some colour to the tabletop which I would like as this might end up being played as a public participation game, if it work out to be a good game.

    So if anyone can point me in the right direction for identifying the colours, I’d very much appreciate it.

    Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

    #68083
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Maybe two models one painted grey the other in disruptive camo ??? That way you could swap them out. Er …never mind if it’s too silly.

    #68088
    Cuchulainn
    Member

    It’s not silly at all, indeed I’ve done it in the past.  And with raiders such as Komet, if you really wanted to be picky, you could have models painted in different schemes to represent her in disguise.

    However I don’t know what colours are in that disruptive scheme, so it might end up being “Boring Grey”… 

    Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

    #68117
    Etranger
    Participant

    At a guess they’re different shades of gray, dark, medium & light. There may be a fourth colour but it’s not exactly a great photo to assess that.

    I’ll ask Mal next time I see him.

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