French Armor Color Photographs, Hugo Jaeger Collection Part II

These are color photographs taken by German photographer Hugo Jaeger.  They are currently held in the Life Magazine archives.  These were likely taken in May – June 1940.

A pair of knocked out AMR 35 reconnaissance tanks.
A Renault FT-17.  The design dated to the First World War but many were still in French service in reserve battalions.  The Germans later used captured examples in secondary roles in occupied countries.
Two more knocked out Renault FT-17s.
This Char B1 of the 37e Battalion was hit on 16MAY40 at Solre le Château.
A Hotchkiss H35.
Another view of the same Hotchkiss H35.
Two abandoned AMD Panhard 178 armored cars. These were used for reconnaissance.
French and German soldiers walk through Senlis, France, German military vehicles in the background.
Captured French troops.
German trucks cross a pontoon bridge at Senlis France, approximately 20 miles from Paris.

Hugo Jaeger color photographs part III here:

13 thoughts on “French Armor Color Photographs, Hugo Jaeger Collection Part II

    1. It’s surprisingly hard to tell, even with color photos. The Panhards appear to be in an overall gray of some sort. The French paint doesn’t appear to hold up well, and I suspect some of these shots may have been taken weeks after the battle was over (look at the weeds and path around the Renault). You can see the camo pattern on the Char but it’s fading.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah, I noticed the weeds too, and wondered the same thing. I also noticed a lack of “chipping” which seems to be all the rage now on any piece of armor or softskin. (I guess “chipping” is the new “dry brush”?) 😉

        Liked by 3 people

      1. Indeed, vindicates the various ‘unifying’ techniques that can be used at either end of the painting process. I would submit that black basing imparts a muting/unifying effect, as do dot filters.

        One other note is that the black demarcation between major camouflage colors on the AMR 35s is clearly soft and sprayed, and not solid and sharp-edged as often modeled. Would be curious to know more about those black demarcations—sometimes sprayed, perhaps by specific factories/depots or units? Or on specific vehicles or in specific regions? Or is this photograph suggesting that received wisdom on French armor camouflage is actually inaccurate? At another level, is the body of knowledge on French armor complete enough to even answer such a question?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. All great questions, Steve. It makes one consider how many of our accepted paradigms are wrong. Another example is in the last photo, the German trucks clearly show the brown camo, not just overall Panzer Gray as was thought for decades.

        Liked by 1 person

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