skull181 (20th June 2012)
very effective photos , that yellow paint only looks conspicuous when viewed out of context!
skull181 (20th June 2012)
Its very interesting to note the comment about 'blending in' to the background.
In fact the bright yellow paint finish was introduced to make the SD2 stand out more!! Let me explain a little more....
It soon became apparant that when the SD2's were dropped into areas into which the German troops were advancing that these weapons became a 'double edged sword'. That is to say that unexploded SD2's became as much as a problem to the German troops as to the enemy they were intended for. Before the introduction of the type 67 and 70 fuzes the only fuze used was the type 41, as in all types of munitions a number of them failed to go off as intended, one example is when the fuze was set for impact and the unit fell onto soft ground where the impact wasnt great enough to fire the fuze. These units, now fully armed and only prevented from firing by a spring loaded detent became very hazardous, in fact, they became anti-disturbance fuzes (in such cases the fuzes were extremly sensitive and a number of deaths occured in the UK in 1940 and 1941 due to malfunctioned type 41 fuzes). Add to this the field-grey paint and you have in effect an unmarked minefield!!!
Thus the SD2's were painted bright yellow......this then allowed easy recognition of unexploded units, not for the enemy but for the advancing German troops!!! After all the units armed with the 41 fuze which hadnt exploded either in the air or on the ground, had not funtioned as intended, which was as a cluster weapon not a mine. ( In May 1941 the Germans issued a booklet - D (Luft) 4002 - this focused on how to deal with blind SD2's)
There is a lot of information around which is misleading surrounding the colour of the SD2's........I have read a lot of articles which say they were coloured yellow for dropping in the desert or cornfields. I have read that the yellow and red stripes on the wings or bright colours were deliberately painted to attract young children and the unwary. None of this is true, I believe much of it was propaganda at time of war or people jumping to the wrong conclusion, after all why paint something 'BRIGHT YELLOW' ??
I hope this helps explain a little better the colour on SD2's
Of course if these weapons were being used in areas into which the Germans were not advancing then the field-grey colour could still be used with great effect - the UK and Malta being two good examples..... and yes, to add a little more confusion bright yellow units were also dropped on the UK, though this may be more down to what was available at the time than choice.
and just to add as a footnote, this is as I understand it, and by no means conclusive.....I have found that to be the case in any form of re-search, just when you think you are 'getting there' something else turns up!!!!!
kind regards Kev
Imagine the confusion if a mix of yellow and grey were dropped together and people were only watching out for the yellow ones!.
As an aside ,bright colours can be surprisingly concealed in shaded or high contrast areas....try spotting sulfur crested cockatoos (with bright white plummage) in the foliage of trees,they blend in very well!