Home Forums WWII Soviet Early War Tank Turret Stripe Markings

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    Rod Robertson

    I am trying to understand the meaning of the turret stripes and dashed lines on Soviet Pre-WWII and Early War tank turret’s sides. These are not the broad white air identification stripes on the tops or sides of Soviet tank turrets but thin lines running horizontally on the sides of the turrets in white, red and/or blue. I need to know what these lines mean as I suspect they are markings for corps/brigade, battalion, company and perhaps even platoon designation. I have done a search on the web and gotten no where because search engines are no good if you don’t know the name of the thing you are searching for. Does anyone know what such markings are called so I can look them up or have a reference where I can go to learn about these markings. I have bunches of 15mm Early War Soviet tanks which are complete but for these markings and I want to finish them off. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

    Cheers and good gaming.
    Rod Robertson.


    I know they mean something but I don’t remember what. I wish Allen E Curtis was still alive he could have told us.


    From Zaloga: top band battalion, bottom (broken) band company.

    Red, 1st bn or coy.

    White, 2nd bn or coy

    Black, 3rd bn or coy.

    Platoon and vehicle marked by a numbered square.

    The system fell into disuse from 1938 and was no longer in use at the start of the war, although these markings could be seen on older tanks into 1942. Units in the new 1940 mechanized corps were almost entirely devoid of markings.




    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    Rod Robertson

    Thank you Martin and Kyoteblue! That was quite helpful. My T-28’s, T-26’s, T-35’s and BT-#’s will be decked out accordingly to emphasize the anachronistic nature of the Soviet Army c. July/August, 1941!

    Cheers gents and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson.

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