The following remarks, prepared by the U.S. Ordnance Department, are
based upon British reports on the general examination of captured fuels and
lubricants. For further information on this subject, see Tactical and Technical Trends,
No. 22, p. 36.
* * *
The general high standard and uniformity of captured German materials
is noteworthy. Their supply system was found to be functioning well in North
Africa and their products were delivered in good condition. The same cannot be
claimed for the Italian materials or for their supply system. Lack of uniformity,
improper marking, and the use of substitute materials was common in Italian
b. Aviation Gasolines
German aviation fuels are of particular interest. These are of two types:
a blue B-4 fuel (bomber grade) of 89 to 91 octane
and a green C-3 (fighter grade)
of 93 to 96 octane. The B-4 grade consists of a 71.5 to 74 octane base gasoline
plus 4.5 to 4.75 cc tetraethyl lead per gallon, while the C-3 grade consists of 83
octane base gasoline plus 4.26 to 4.6 cc of lead. The C-3 fuel is outstanding in
that it has a particularly high rich mixture rating which is given as 110 British
Engine Performance Rating compared with 100 for British Air Ministry 100 fuel.
This appreciation in performance rating with rich mixture is undoubtedly due to
the high aromatic content of the green fuel which is reported as 37.42 and 38.59
percent on two samples.
c. Motor Gasolines
The remarkable uniformity of the enemy's aviation gasoline is conspicuously
absent in his motor fuels which include gasolines of various compositions,
benzol, benzol mistures, and alcohol blends. It would appear that certain of the
enemy's vehicles require a higher octane number fuel than others. Relatively
poor base stocks with octane numbers as low as 47 are blended with tetraethyl lead,
benzol, and alcohol locally. Samples which have been analyzed indicate octane
numbers ranging from 54 to 77. Hence there is no indication of a general standard
for motor gasoline.
d. Lubricating Oils
(1) German aircraft lubricants are of both solvent treated, straight mineral,
and compounded (with viscosity index improvers) types of viscosity grades, SAE
50, 60 and 70. The viscosity index (92.5 average) and general quality are being
maintained at a high standard. There is no indication that the Luftwaffe makes use
of oils of reduced viscosity during the winter.
(2) Their engine oils and diesel lubricants appear to be for the most part
a good quality high viscosity Pennsylvania type or solvent refined German oils
without additives. They occur in viscosity grades, SAE 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70.
Their gear oils which are in SAE grades 90, 140 and 250, are made from asphaltic
(Roumanian) crudes; some of them contain fatty oils. Very few of them are
extreme pressure lubricants containing sulfurized fatty oils or chlorinated materials.
It seems to be standard German practice to use the same recoil fluid
in buffer and recuperator cylinders for the entire range of artillery. This fluid
which is believed to consist of triethylene glycol and water, has no exceptional