[Lone Sentry: Marking of German HE Bombs, WWII Tactical and Technical Trends]
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"Marking of German HE Bombs" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following U.S. report on German bomb markings during WWII originally appeared in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 20, March 11, 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.]


From German sources it is revealed that the distinguishing color given to this particular type of ammunition serves to identify its category and characteristics. The following document (translation) is reproduced as of interest in this connection.

*          *          *

Technical Sheets Issued by the Quartermaster General (Air equipment)

Berlin, 29th August, 1941

Subject:--Distinguishing colors of HE bombs.

HE bombs are divided into various groups according to their effect, regardless of their caliber. Each group has a distinguishing color to facilitate handling and avoid confusion. This measure can only fulfill its purpose if the distinguishing colors are known to the units.

As it has been found that these colors are frequently not known, the meaning of the various colors is given below:

(1) Green--all bombs with purely splinter effect (cement splinter bombs);

(2) Yellow--all mine bombs with the distinguishing letters "SC";*

(3) Red --SD2*, SD50, SD250 and SD500, thick-walled HE bombs (splinter and mine effect);

(4) Blue--all bombs with particularly powerful penetration (armor-piercing bombs);

(5) Yellow with blue stripe--SD 1,700 HE bomb with increased penetration.

The bombs referred to under (1) are painted green all over; the other colors are painted in stripes on the conical part of the fin assembly.

* SC is the designation for the bomb with a thin casing, which achieves its effect chiefly by blast.
** SD is the designation for the bomb with a thick casing, which achieves its effect chiefly by fragmentation. The SD has greater penetrating power than the SC, and was designed for attack on modern reinforced concrete structures.


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