[Lone Sentry: WWII Tactical and Technical Trends]
[Lone Sentry: Photos, Articles, and Research on the European Theater in World War II]
Photos, Articles, & Research on the European Theater in World War II
Home Page | Site Map | What's New | Intel Articles by Subject

"Summary of Captured Fuels and Lubricants" from Tactical and Technical Trends

An ordnance report on German military fuels and lubricating oils, from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 30, July 29, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


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.

*          *          *

a. General

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 products.

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 features.


[Back] Back to Articles by Subject | Intel Bulletin by Issue | T&TT by Issue | Home Page


Web LoneSentry.com