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AAA Ground Recognition Signals

The following comments from the commander of the U.S. 5th Armored Division on the proper use of ground recognition signals were published in “Antiaircraft Artillery Notes,” No. 5, November 22, 1944.

Subject: Use of Ground Recognition Signals
Source: AA Section, Headquarters Twelfth Army Group

The following extract is taken from AAA Situation Report No. 98, First US Army:

*    *    *    *

“a. The following is quoted from a letter received at this headquarters from the Commanding General, 5th Armored Division:

“‘1. At approximately 1630, 2 November 1944, nine to twelve P-38s approached the CP of the 47th Armored Field Artillery Battalion located in a group of buildings about fifty (50) yards south of paved highway one mile southeast of ROETGEN (K-919273). After circling the CP twice, the three lead planes broke out of the circle and flew off in the direction of ROETGEN. The next three planes made a diving attack of the CP, dropping six bombs. ******* The 440th AAA thereupon fired six recognition flares, at which the remaining planes pulled out of dive without dropping bombs and dipped their wings and left the area.*******

“‘3 ******* AA did not fire on planes, other than recognition flares.’

“b. The AAA complied strictly with standing instructions, by firing flares and withholding fire of their weapons. The friendly A/C, recognizing the signal and the lack of fire from the ground, immediately ceased the attack. This exemplifies the manner in which such incidents must be handled.”


P-51B Mustang with Wing Gloves

A North American P-51B Mustang with wing gloves for research into low-drag performance in flight at Langley. Photograph courtesy NASA.

P-51 Mustang Research Wing Gloves

Panzerwrecks 14: Ostfront 2

Panzerwrecks 14: Ostfront 2 is scheduled for release in December 2012.

Panzerwrecks 14: Ostfront 2

Feature sections include “Odd StuGs: Ostfront Edition”, “Tehumardi Wrecks”, “Wrecks of Operation Bagration”, and “Panzer Wrecks in the Woods”. Oddities and rare vehicles pictured include Sturmgeschütz III and IV uparmoured with concrete and more; Bergepanzer III armed with a 2cm Kw.K; Lines of wrecked Panthers at Narva; Pz.Sp.Wg. 204(f) outfitted as a ‘Draisine'; Six photos of the rare 7.5cm Pak 97/38(f) auf Pz.Kpfw.740(r); Hungarian armour: Turán I and II, Nimród; Final production Pz.Kpfw.IV; Wrecked Bulgarian Pz.Kpfw.IVs in Hungary; and Panther Ausf.G infra-red ready.

Long list of vehicle include: Tiger I, Tiger II, Panther Ausf.D, Panther Ausf.A, Panther Ausf.G, Panther Ausf.G – I/R ready, Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.G, Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.H, Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.J, Sturmgeschütz IV, Panzer IV/70(V), Jagdpanzer IV, Hummel, Nashorn, Flakpanzer Möbelwagen, Sturmgeschütz III Ausf.G, Sturmgeschütz III Ausf.C/D, Sturmhaubitze 42, Pz.Beob.Wg.III, Bergepanzer III – 2cm KwK, Pz.Kpfw.II Ausf.J, Wespe, Pz.Jgr.II für 7.5cm Pak 40, T 34/76, 7.5cm Pak 97/98 auf Pz.Kpfw.740(r), Pz.Kpfw. M3 (a) Stuart, BT42 (Finnish), Nimrod (Hungarian), Turan I (Hungarian), Turan II (Hungarian), Sd.Kfz.251 Ausf.D, Sd.Kfz.251/3, Sd.Kfz.251/9, Sd.Kfz.251/16, Sd.Kfz.251/17, Sd.Kfz.250 Ausf.A, Sd.Kfz.250 Ausf.B, Sd.Kfz.10/4, RSO/01, 15cm Panzerwerfer 42 Pz.Sp.Wg.AB41 201(i), and Pz.Sp.Wg.P 204(f).

More information can be found at: www.panzerwrecks.com.

Me 109 Drop Tanks

Me 109 Drop Tanks (Betriebsstoff-Zusatzanlage) photographs and diagrams from Bf 109 G-4 Flugzeug-Handbuch:

Me 109 Wing Drop Tanks Betriebsstoff-Zusatzanlage Me 109 Betriebsstoff-Zusatzanlage Bf 109 Drop Tanks Fuel Diagram Me 109 Betriebsstoff-Zusatzanlage Bf 109 Drop Tanks

26th Panzer Division

The following opinions are from German General Leutnant Linnarz, commander of the German 26th Panzer Division in Italy, concerning Allied airpower and its effects on German forces. Source: Defeat, Headquarters Army Air Forces, Office of the assistant chief of air staff–2, Washington, D.C., January 1946. Defeat was prepared by the Headquarters Army Air Forces, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, Intelligence Section to record the views of Allied air power from those who were on the receiving end.

Commanding General of 26th Panzer Division in Italy

26 JUNE 1945.

The following report is the result of several conversations with General Leutnant Linnarz who was the Commanding General of the crack German 26 Panzer Division in Italy.

The Role of Air Power

“Single battles, in my opinion, are not decisive; they are only apparently decisive. The same thing is true of air battles. The complete havoc wrought by Allied air power toward the end of the war when we no longer had an air arm worthy of the name, may give an entirely false impression of the role of air power in deciding the victory. Such overwhelming air supremacy is not so much the cause of Germany’s defeat, but the result and visible evidence of Germany’s defeat. The war was actually decided long ago, and if the German government had given up earlier, before air power had devastated the German cities, and before the Eastern and Western land armies had joined, the results of great decisive air and land battles preceding Germany’s military collapse would not have been known. The great destructive capacity of giant air armadas would not have been realized.

“In the same category as the overwhelming Allied air and ground offensive toward the end of this war are the battles of Vittorio, Venato and the rapid Allied advances in the Balkans at the end of the last war. There are no more battles in the old classic sense. In France we styled our reports in the old manner. The result of the impression was thus one of gigantic land battles and clever generalship, a totally false impression. In my opinion, the Allies are in danger of making the same erroneous interpretations of air victories.

Continue reading 26th Panzer Division

Painting the M4 Tank

Instructions for painting the M4 Sherman tank from the Technical Manual TM 9-731B: Medium Tank M4A2, January 1943.



a. Ordnance materiel is painted before issue to the using arms. One maintenance coat per year will ordinarily be ample for protection. With but few exceptions, this materiel will be painted with ENAMEL, synthetic, olive drab, lusterless. The enamel may be applied over old coats of long oil enamel and oil paint previously issued by the Ordnance Department if the old coat is in satisfactory condition for repainting.

b. Paints and enamels, usually issued ready for use, are applied by brush or spray. They may be brushed on satisfactorily when used unthinned in the original package consistency or when thinned no more than 5 per cent by volume with THINNER. The enamel will spray satisfactorily when thinned with 15 per cent by volume of THINNER. (Linseed oil must not be used as a thinner in this enamel, since it will impart an undesirable luster.) If sprayed, enamel dries rapidly enough to permit repainting after one-half hour, and dries hard in 16 hours.

c. Certain exceptions to the regulations concerning painting exist. Fire-control instruments, sighting equipment, and other associated items will not be painted.

d. Complete information on painting is contained in TM 9-850.

Continue reading Painting the M4 Tank

Organization of the Luftwaffe

Organization of the WWII German Luftwaffe from the U.S. War Department’s Handbook for Combat Air Intelligence Officers, Army Air Forces Air Intelligence School, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, March 1944.


a. General.

(1) The German Air Force (Luftwaffe) is one of three branches of the German Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) and is organized and administered independently of the Army and the Navy.

(2) The Luftwaffe itself is divided into three parts: air, air signal, and antiaircraft artillery. Included in the Luftwaffe are parachute and airborne troops, air engineers, air medical corps, air police, and certain special air divisions used as regular fighting troops.

(3) Organized on a territorial rather than a functional basis and with operational and administrative commands separated, the GAF achieved a mobility and flexibility which was largely responsible for its initial success. (Organization of the GAF is shown on Chart B.)

German Air Force Organization

Continue reading Organization of the Luftwaffe

Organization of the Japanese Air Force

Organization of the WWII Japanese Army Air Service and Naval Air Service from the U.S. War Department’s Handbook for Combat Air Intelligence Officers, Army Air Forces Air Intelligence School, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, March 1944.


a. General.

(1) Owing to the excellence of Japanese counterintelligence during the years in which they were building their air strength, and owing to the difficulty of the Japanese language, Allied information about the organization of the Japanese Air Services is scanty and possibly inaccurate. (Charts C and D give the latest information available about the organization of both the Army and Naval Air Services.)

Japanese Army Air Service

Continue reading Organization of the Japanese Air Force

German Radar of WWII

From Japanese Electronics, OPNAV-16-VP101, Photographic Intelligence Report 1, Air Intelligence Group, Division of Naval Intelligence, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, January 1945:

German Radar Summary

Examples of German Radar are included here to cover the possibility that the Japanese may have access to German equipment and technicians.

The Germans employ several types of land based installations covering the functions of Air Search, Fire Control, and Coast Watching.

These types are quite well standardized and are much more efficient than those the Japanese are known to have.

There is now some photographic evidence of German Radar equipment in use by the Japanese. Also, it is knowrn that many other types of German electronics equipment are being used.

The following table represents the latest list of German Radar types with salient information concerning each.

NameSize of Screen*Top of Screen Above GroundFrequencyRange in Nautical MilesUse
IFF – 16¼ x 3½’
30′ with IFF
116-146 MCS.75A.S.
POLE FREYA 20’x 16′
IFF – 16¼ x 3½’ or 20′ x 8′
32′, 35′ or 40′ with IFF116-146 MCS.100A.S.
GIRDER CHIMNEY19½’ x 97½115′120-130 MCS.110A.S.
IFF .22′ High
110½’120-130 MCS.160A.S.
GEMA COASTWATCHER20′ x 8′25′370-390 MCS.Depends on elevation (ASL) of siteC.W.
LARGE COASTWATCHER35′ x 34′40′70-90 MCS.60-75C.W.
SMALL HOARDING63¾’ x 44¾’50′  C.W.
LARGE HOARDING98′ x 36½’50′120-130 MCS.100-115C.W.
SMALL WURZBURG10′ Diameter12½’ in Vertical Position550-580 MCS.25F.C.
GIANT WURZBURG24′ Diameter27′ in Vertical Position470-580 MCS.40G.C.I., A.S. & C.W.
* – Width (Horizontal Dimension) Given First
A.S. – Air Search
F.C. – A/A Fire Control
C.W. – Coast Watching
G.C.I. – Ground Control Intercept

Drawings of all of the basic German Radar types are included on this page. Best known popular names are used for the designation of each type. It will be noted that these designs are quite well standardized for each particular use, and identification is easier because of this fact.

In most cases, this German equipment is superior to that now in use by the Japanese. A constant watch for German type designs of Radar in Japanese held territory is therefore in order.

German Radar of WW2


Tactical and Technical Trends #34

The U.S. intelligence articles from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 34, September 1943 have been added to the main Lone Sentry website:

The Me-410 Aircraft  ◊  Protection Against Japanese Aerial Bombing  ◊  General von Arnim’s Orders for Ground Deployment  ◊  Italian L Type Grenade  ◊  German Conversion of French 75s into Antitank Guns  ◊  Japanese 70-mm Howitzer Model 92  ◊  Notes on German Artillery Tactics in Tunisia  ◊  Russian Artillery Support in Tank Attacks  ◊  Notes of a British Armored Force Officer on German Tank Employment  ◊  Detailed Report on the German “Tiger” PzKw 6  ◊  Italian Portable Flame Thrower, Model 41  ◊  German Compass Card  ◊  German Butterfly Bomb  ◊  Notes on the German Infantry Division  ◊  Notes on Mobile Surgical Units in the Middle East  ◊  Axis Use of Skoda AA/AT Gun  ◊  Testing Antiaircraft Gun Barrels in Combat Areas  ◊  Japanese 12.7-mm (Fixed Mount) Aircraft Machine Gun  ◊  German Recognition Signals  ◊  Drinking Water from the Rattan Vine  ◊  Lessons from the New Zealand Division Operations in Cyrenaica