• Get Paid to Write for Comando Supremo: We are looking for talented researchers/writers who are fluent in English and can write original content on Italy in World War Two. Please reach out to webmaster@comandosupremo.com if interested!

Artiglieri -- what color uniforms did Italian artillery use (North Africa)

Folgore77

New Member
Hi guys,

I'm new here. I am currently making an Italian army for the Flames of War game. I just painted a Flak 88 gun and am also building North Africa dessert terrain for it to mount on (see attached pic).

Next I will paint the artillerymen (in the pic you can see circles where they will stand) for this Flak 88 gun unit. But first I need to know what color or camo did the Italians have for their uniforms. Specifically their artillery units that fought with Rommel in North Africa.

When I research it I see mainly tans/light browns. However, I have come across other photos where it looks like some of the artillerymen have green uniform tops on.

If you're aware, please advise so I can make this Italian army as historically accurate when I take it to the field. :)

Thanks!

Sincerely,
Danny
Folgore77


flak88.jpg
 

jwsleser

Administrator
Staff member
Benvenuto nel forum Danny!

As your gun crew is for an 88/53 gun, they wouldn't be dressed in the prewar/early brown desert uniform.

The Italians in the desert worn the uniformi coloniali (colonial uniform). This was a khaki uniform cut the same as the continental uniform but made with cotton cloth. They could wear either the steel M33 helmet (painted g-v or sand) or the casco coloniale (colonial pith helmet). Leather gear would be grigio-verde (g-v). The puttees would normally be g-v with brown or black boots.

As it does get cold in the desert, the continental wool uniform was also worn. Common was a mix of both, usually with g-v wool pants and khaki tunic. Overcoats were normally the wool g-v cappotti, although a few brown coats were issued.

A mix of uniforms was common, so your gun crew could wear caschi and helmets, wool or khaki pants, etc. Artillerymen normally were issued the Carcano ammo bandolier and not the ammo pouches worn on a belt.

Here is a 88/53 gun crew in action. All are wearing M33 helmets in g-v. There is a mix of M41 sahariana tunics and M40 khaki uniform shirts and no M1909 leather equipment. The soldato with the round is wearing shorts.
88 gun crew.jpeg


Here is another picture of a 88/53 gun crew. Again all are wear wearing helmets, but this crew is wearing their M40 g-v wool tunics. Two are wearing the Carcano g-v M1909 leather ammo bandoliers, while the soldato standing on the gun is wearing M1909 g-v standard ammo pouches. They are armed with M91 TS carbines (standard issue for artillerymen).
88 gun crew 2.jpeg


Pista! Jeff
 

jwsleser

Administrator
Staff member
This drawing of an artilleryman from Osprey is pretty good. He is wearing the M40 uniformi coloniale. Note the g-v shirt, not uncommon. The only thing to correct is that he wouldn't be wearing the brown leather gaiters, but likely g-v wool puttees. The leather gaiters were only for mounted units.

Pista! Jeff
Artilleryman uniform.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Folgore77

New Member
Grazie, Jeff!

I really appreciate your thorough response! I shall study every detail. Also, much appreciation for the Osprey reference, I do enjoy their books and have one on Italian special forces in WWII. I just ordered the one on Italy in North Africa (which may be the one you reference?). Anyway, thanks again, Jeff! I look forward to perusing this wonderful forum and talking to you fine folks on various Italian WWII topics.
Cheers!
-Danny
 

1089maul

Member
Danny,
Your Flak 88 is impressive! When completed with its crew, can you post another picture on this thread?
Regards,,
Bob
 

Folgore77

New Member
Danny,
Your Flak 88 is impressive! When completed with its crew, can you post another picture on this thread?
Regards,,
Bob

Hey, Bob!

Will do! I do have a question regarding one of the crew members that came with this kit. See attached pic with arrow. This pic is from the kit but isn't very helpful.

Can't tell if he is a spotter looking through some kind of scope? Or does he have some sort of cannon rammer? Note that it indicates the crew consists of: a gunner, an NCO, and three ammunition number. So which one is this guy and what is he holding? Thanks in advance for anyone who can clarify.

Avanti!
-Danny
flak88.jpg
 

jwsleser

Administrator
Staff member
The man is using a stereoscopic rangefinder.
Rangefinder.jpg


RE: Osprey. Yes, it is The Italian Army 1940–1945 (2). Getting the g-v color right is a challenge. The book has it a bit too grey.

Pista! Jeff
 

Folgore77

New Member
The man is using a stereoscopic rangefinder.
View attachment 1152

RE: Osprey. Yes, it is The Italian Army 1940–1945 (2). Getting the g-v color right is a challenge. The book has it a bit too grey.

Pista! Jeff
Ah, thanks again, Jeff! By chance do you know what color this rangefinder was? Also, what color were the 88 shells that were used?

The colors suggested by the kit manufacturer also seem questionable at times (they never seem to have G-V in the crew, and the G-V leather you mentioned seems to be a very light green on the crew members). I'm going to try and mimic the real colors the best I can with the paints I have.

Sincerely,
-Danny
 

jwsleser

Administrator
Staff member
The range finder could be German grey or sand. Google 'German 88mm ammunition' and there are many modeler sites that provide the paint information.
 

Folgore77

New Member
The range finder could be German grey or sand. Google 'German 88mm ammunition' and there are many modeler sites that provide the paint information.
IMG_20230210_124539743_HDR~3.jpg

Regarding G-V....Probably the closest color I have to G-V. Seems I need to add a little white to lighten it up a bit once it dries.

Danny,
Your Flak 88 is impressive! When completed with its crew, can you post another picture on this thread?
Regards,,
Bob

Here is an Italian P26/40 (which was Italy's best heavy tank of WWII and modeled after the Soviet T-34, I read) I recently did for the game. Besides the division decals I added an Italian flag to signify that it is the tank unit's CO/or HQ.

May be hard to see in the pic but I added some sand effect to the tank's hull and tracks. Although it was never used in North Africa, I still use it in the game with the rest my Afrika korp/Italian unit.

IMG_20230210_135059255.jpg


IMG_20230210_135029225.jpg
 

Folgore77

New Member
Danny,
Your Flak 88 is impressive! When completed with its crew, can you post another picture on this thread?
Regards,,
Bob
Hey Bob, here's the 88 flak gun I painted. This is my first attempt and imo it turned out decent. I also did a 100mm artillery unit. The uniform colors came out a little darker than anticipated but I'm still experimenting. The pics don't do the best justice, tried to get as clear of a shot that I could. Hope you em!
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20230211_114845130_HDR~2.jpg
    IMG_20230211_114845130_HDR~2.jpg
    1.3 MB · Views: 264
  • IMG_20230211_113516636_HDR~2.jpg
    IMG_20230211_113516636_HDR~2.jpg
    1.5 MB · Views: 251
  • IMG_20230211_113429111~2.jpg
    IMG_20230211_113429111~2.jpg
    941.2 KB · Views: 257
  • IMG_20230211_113306242~2.jpg
    IMG_20230211_113306242~2.jpg
    1.1 MB · Views: 249
  • IMG_20230211_123730467_HDR~2.jpg
    IMG_20230211_123730467_HDR~2.jpg
    716 KB · Views: 268

1089maul

Member
Danny,
Very impressive modelling. In the event you do any more WW2 Italian modelling the I would suggest that this is an excellent forum for advice! Thanks for sharing!
Regards,
Bob
 
Top