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A Guide to British Vehicle Markings


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https://tank-markings.blogspot.com/

For the past few weeks I've been working on a guide to British Tank and vehicle markings - particular the arcane system of colours and numbers used for Arm of Service markings.

With help from people on other forums and social media I've been able to track down enough sources to come up with a vaguely coherent overview of the systems used throughout the war.

UK+-+Europe+-+Armoured+Division+-+1944-0

Apologies if this breaks any rules about shameless self promotion, but I'm hoping the usefulness of the resource outweighs any potential distaste!

Edited by SquireBev
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https://tank-markings.blogspot.com/ For the past few weeks I've been working on a guide to British Tank and vehicle markings - particular the arcane system of colours and numbers used for Arm of

It could be your lucky day SquireBev. I have a copy which I picked up for pennies many years ago and no longer need. If you PM your address I will put it in the post on the understanding that you make

Fortress Head Quarters Gibraltar Garrison Pete

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2 hours ago, DINGODOUG said:

This sounds useful. How far back are you going.? This is a very confusing subject ( to me anyway) so look forward to seeing the fruits of your labours.

 

Just the Second World War for now as that's where my primary interest lies.

 

1 hour ago, Surveyor said:

Are you just going to concentrate on tanks, what about other vehicles? 

The overview page mainly focuses on tanks at the moment, though the formation badges and the Arm of Service flashes in the division summary diagrams obviously apply to other vehicles as well.

I'm going to add a section about Royal Artillery markings, and flesh out the section on bridge ratings.

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Thanks Barry - that was actually one of the sources I used to begin with!

Armoured divisions in Normandy all followed the same pattern of Arm of Service flashes, at least in theory.

It's when you get to the independent armoured brigades that it starts to get complicated.

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Hello SquireBev

I think this is a good book on the subject you are researching:

British Military Markings  1939-1945 By Peter Hodges published 1971    ISBN 085524288. I have owned my copy since early 80's, but you might find one for sale somewhere.

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B Series

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7 minutes ago, B series said:

Hello SquireBev

I think this is a good book on the subject you are researching:

British Military Markings  1939-1945 By Peter Hodges published 1971    ISBN 085524288. I have owned my copy since early 80's, but you might find one for sale somewhere.

B Series

A very useful book indeed. I've been trying to track down a copy for ages, but I can't quite run to the £75 plus being asked on eBay and Amazon! 😨

I'm hoping I'll be able to find a copy in a library somewhere when (if?) they reopen...

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37 minutes ago, B series said:

Hello SquireBev

I think this is a good book on the subject you are researching:

British Military Markings  1939-1945 By Peter Hodges published 1971    ISBN 085524288. I have owned my copy since early 80's, but you might find one for sale somewhere.

 

Do you know if there are latter years books

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1 hour ago, SquireBev said:

A very useful book indeed. I've been trying to track down a copy for ages, but I can't quite run to the £75 plus being asked on eBay and Amazon! 😨

I'm hoping I'll be able to find a copy in a library somewhere when (if?) they reopen...

It could be your lucky day SquireBev. I have a copy which I picked up for pennies many years ago and no longer need. If you PM your address I will put it in the post on the understanding that you make a donation to HMVF. 
 

Steve.

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10 minutes ago, Ex-boy said:

It could be your lucky day SquireBev. I have a copy which I picked up for pennies many years ago and no longer need. If you PM your address I will put it in the post on the understanding that you make a donation to HMVF. 
 

Steve.

Oh wow, thanks!

PM and donation on the way!

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1 hour ago, SquireBev said:

A very useful book indeed. I've been trying to track down a copy for ages, but I can't quite run to the £75 plus being asked on eBay and Amazon! 😨

I'm hoping I'll be able to find a copy in a library somewhere when (if?) they reopen...

Hello SquireBev,

 

It seems you got luck and found a copy really fast.

Copies of these might be useful:

Armour camouflage and markings, No2 British North Africa by Kenneth M Jones published 1977

ISBN 085524 2792

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I have not seen a copy of No1 or if there was a No3.

 

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and

 

Military Vehicle Markings, Part 2, Tactical Signs & National ID Marks by Terrance Wise 1973.    No ISBN number shown.

I have never seen a copy of Part 1.

 

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Regards

 

B Series

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, B series said:

Copies of these might be useful:

Yep, already got them both, plus their respective Part 1s, and a few others! 

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Thanks for the suggestions anyway :)

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The Almark book on markings by Hodges is very much of its time.

In later years Cannon Publications in Doncaster republished the book with a additional long commentary on its contents, by MD Taylor which was enhanced by much more detailed and recent research.

You should try and obtain a copy of this later publication. It has the same cover as shown but includes the name of MD Taylor and P Hodges as joint authors.

The books on order of battle by M Bellis are also very helpful, as is the book on Military Heraldry from WW2 by Howard Cole

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1 hour ago, simon king said:

The Almark book on markings by Hodges is very much of its time.

In later years Cannon Publications in Doncaster republished the book with a additional long commentary on its contents, by MD Taylor which was enhanced by much more detailed and recent research.

You should try and obtain a copy of this later publication. It has the same cover as shown but includes the name of MD Taylor and P Hodges as joint authors.

The books on order of battle by M Bellis are also very helpful, as is the book on Military Heraldry from WW2 by Howard Cole

I agree the Almark book is of its time, but for some reason that makes it more attractive to me than a new book. However it is good that the information has been updated in 2nd edition. Nowdays it is the trend to get all info on the web, and I can see that it will reach more people, and can be updated with new info. But I still like a hardback book on my shelf. I am amazed at how much money some used books cost to buy, but on the other hand, a similar book and a similar subject and you cannot give it away. Strange. 

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Agreed....you can’t beat a book in your hands and on the shelf 

The current prices of some of the books I have acquired out of an interest over the years never cease to amaze and shock me. Even relatively recent ones like the Warpaint volumes.

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55 minutes ago, simon king said:

Agreed....you can’t beat a book in your hands and on the shelf 

The current prices of some of the books I have acquired out of an interest over the years never cease to amaze and shock me. Even relatively recent ones like the Warpaint volumes.

Indeed. You're looking at £200 for Volume 3 of Warpaint now. It's ridiculous.

I'm amazed Osprey haven't done a series on vehicle markings. It's surely a popular enough subject.

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16 minutes ago, SquireBev said:

Indeed. You're looking at £200 for Volume 3 of Warpaint now. It's ridiculous.

I'm amazed Osprey haven't done a series on vehicle markings. It's surely a popular enough subject.

Have you seen volume 2 on Amazon?!

Warpaint: Colors and Markings of British Army Vehicles 1903-2003, Vol. 2 (Green Series, Vol. 41) by Dick Taylor (2008-06-02) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01K14LI96/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_rOL9EbSY6ZY2S

 

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5 minutes ago, sirhc said:

Have you seen volume 2 on Amazon?!

Warpaint: Colors and Markings of British Army Vehicles 1903-2003, Vol. 2 (Green Series, Vol. 41) by Dick Taylor (2008-06-02) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01K14LI96/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_rOL9EbSY6ZY2S

 

But what does it really mean if a book is for sale on Amazon at a really high price? Does anyone buy them? Does it mean that the book is worth that much?

I want a copy of this book if anyone has one, but the Amazon price is just crazy and I don't think it means anything other than it will not sell. 

 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Airfield-Firefighting-Eastern-England-Eddie/dp/190660049X/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=airfield+fire+fighting+in+east+of+england&qid=1593203526&s=books&sr=1-1

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25 minutes ago, B series said:

But what does it really mean if a book is for sale on Amazon at a really high price? Does anyone buy them? Does it mean that the book is worth that much?

I want a copy of this book if anyone has one, but the Amazon price is just crazy and I don't think it means anything other than it will not sell. 

 

I would suggest you try the independent book sellers I have done this on numerous occasions for out of print books.

Put the title into google with the ISBN number and mark for sale and you'll get a spread of realistic prices, I did this only last week for a book that on Amazon was advertised at £60,  when printed it was £38,  I bought a brand new unused copy from an online independent seller for £14.50 post paid.

Pete

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I am looking through some photos of my Grandfather taken in the desert during WW2.

One photo shows them in the back of a truck and it clearly shows the markings on the tailgate.

One, which I presume may be a formation sign (?) Is a stencil of a camel over the numeral 60.

Also of interest is a large stencil of a white hand within a white circle with a line through it, I presume its a 'dont touch' sign.

Kevin

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54 minutes ago, Rootes75 said:

I am looking through some photos of my Grandfather taken in the desert during WW2.

One photo shows them in the back of a truck and it clearly shows the markings on the tailgate.

One, which I presume may be a formation sign (?) Is a stencil of a camel over the numeral 60.

Also of interest is a large stencil of a white hand within a white circle with a line through it, I presume its a 'dont touch' sign.

Kevin

The Camel  was GHQ Middle East, brown or yellow camel on a black background the 60 will relate to the specific unit that the truck belonged to, I can't say Iv'e  seen any reference to the hand marking though

Pete 

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