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Old 7th September 2006, 01:02
GrahamB GrahamB is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New Zealand
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Re: RLM 64 and the Junkers Ju 52???

Thanks for the replies.

I don’t want to be pedantic or obsessive about this suggestion but there are problems with some of the previous interpretations of this all-dark scheme. Obviously, RLM 64 sits within the 61-65 bracket and the dark-olive it represents is a very useful military camouflage colour. The evidence suggests that all-dark Ju 52s existed in 1938 and probably earlier than that, when the Kamfgeschwader zur besonderen Verwendung were exactly that – bomber units. As the 70/71/65 scheme came in about late 1937 or 1938 the implication is that this is the scheme the Ju 52s should have been wearing; new-build (military) aircraft coming off the lines in 1938/1939 (probably g4e and even g5e versions) would certainly be painted in the familiar 70/71/65 camouflage, with the deletion of RLM 64. Conversions from earlier g3e, g4e and even ex-LUFTHANSA ge versions would have needed some sort of repainting (see original posting). Some Ju 52s originally with the 61/62/63 scheme did (at some point) receive a dark-coloured paint job on their undersides.

A few days ago I managed to obtain a copy of the original (1973) K. Merrick book Luftwaffe Colors Vol.1. In it he says that the dark under surfaces were temporary black, applied (eg. as on page 106) because ‘it saw service on the war front’. To me this is not a particularly strong argument: (a) the dark scheme was in place before WW2; (b) apart from Ju 52s where are the other Luftwaffe aircraft ‘on the war front’ with black under surfaces before the night bombing of Britain in late summer 1940 (i.e. why no He 111s with dark undersides during Polish campaign?).

The transport role of the Ju 52 in the early war years was primarily by daylight, including mass-landings on crowded fields such as during the attacks on Norway, Holland, and Crete.

Remember as well that there are no official German RLM publications (I think) to show the 77/76, 77/65, 65, 76, 77 or 02 high-altitude schemes, nor the 70/02/65, 71/02/65, 77/75/76, 76/75/76 day-fighter schemes or the 82/83/76 and 81/83/76 late-war defensive schemes that have been proposed over the years. We are fortunate that good colour photographs or real aircraft/fragments have confirmed some (but not all) of these. There is just one colour photograph that could just be interpreted as the RLM 64 scheme – page 104 of Transporter Vol.2: a very olivish Ju 3/m g3e, at least in comparison with the few blues and true greens left in the print. It is just not good enough for validation though.

What we need is a wreck of an early-war g3e in an unquestionably all-dark, unicoloured paint scheme!

Best wishes

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