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From: SteuryD@att.net Subject: Re: REPLY: Military Map Colors (2) Date: March 20, 2010 10:19:48 AM EDT To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> In prewar exercises, both the British Royal Navy and the German Reichsmarine/Kriegsmarine used colors to distinguish the different sides. Blue was always "us" for both navies and red was usually "them". However, the German navy often played out scenarioes out that involved at least a nominal two-front war, usually against Poland and France. In this case, each enemy country often was a different color. Insofar as I am aware, there was no systematic color designation, as in the US Rainbow plans. -- Donald P. Steury, Ph.D. CDC Historian Central Intelligence Agency Washington, D.C. 20505 -------------- Original message from Scott Hendrix <hendsn1@GMAIL.COM>: -------------- > 1st Reply > > From: McGrath, John J CIV USA TRADOC > Subject: RE: REPLY: Military Map Colors (UNCLASSIFIED) > Date: March 19, 2010 9:50:34 AM EDT > To: H-NET Military History Discussion List > > >>>> Commonwealth used blue for friendly units and red for enemy. >>>>> The Germans used black for friendly and red for enemy > The Brits only started using blue for friendly after being allied with USA troops. Before that they used red for friendlies as they did in WW1. The Brits also used their own system of unit symbols, not the NATO one we are all used to these days which was a universalization of the system US forces have used since WW1 when the Corps of Engineers developed the system. The Brits adopted the US/ new NATO system in 1949. Under the old system, for example, a brigade was represented by a triangle pointing to the right, which was somewhat similar to the German symbol for a brigade. The type symbol was placed above the unit size > symbol. A rectangle was used for armored units so an armored brigade would be > the triangle with a smaller rectangle above it. The US/ NATO system has a > simplicity and logic to it that made it a good choice for universalization. For > examples boundaries use the same size symbols found on units, whereas other > national systems used different boundary symbols for each echelon of command and > different symbols for units of different sizes. > > However, lately there has been an overcomplication to this system, something > that happened to the Germans in WW2 when they had to simplify their system twice > during the war because the symbols had become like hieroglyphics. > > The Germans clearly used red for friendlies and blue for the enemy. This can be > seen on the daily OKH situation maps for the Eastern Front. The color choice is > arbitrary. US forces adopted blue because in WW1 the AEF adopted a lot of > conventions of modern warfare from the French who used blue. The French did, > however, use a different symbols system. The section of the US Army responsible > for maps, the Corps of Engineers, devised a new system for US troops to use (the > original manual on it is a small pamphlet!) that has evolved into the NATO > system of today over time. > > Crossing the line of Departure available from CSI Press (and at > http://cgsc.leavenworth.army.mil/carl/download/csipubs/mcgrath_crossing.pdf) has > a whole appendix devoted to the development of military symbology. > > John J. McGrath > Leavenworth, KS > > > > 2nd Reply > > From: firstname.lastname@example.org > Subject: Re: REPLY: Military Map Colors (4) > Date: March 19, 2010 7:44:59 AM EDT > To: Scott Hendrix > > > I rather think the Franco-Prussian relationship may have a lot to do with the > "blue" = "us" and "red" = "the enemy" > > The Prussians invented wargaming. > > They had a blue uniform > > The French uniform was notable for its red trousers > > > No deep psychological analysis necessary > > > > Albert A. Nofi, Ph.D. > > > email@example.com > > > > > -----Original Message----- > From: H-NET Military History Discussion List [mailto:H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU] On > Behalf Of Scott Hendrix > Sent: Thursday, March 18, 2010 5:57 PM > To: H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU > Subject: REPLY: Military Map Colors () > > > 1st Reply > > > From: Gordon Rottman > Subject: Re: REPLY: Military Map Colors (4) > Date: March 17, 2010 6:23:02 PM EDT > To: H-NET Military History Discussion List > > > > During WWII the US and Commonwealth used blue for friendly units and red for > enemy. If only one color was available, black or pencil for instance, and since > unit symbols were indicated by a rectangle, enemy units had a box drawn around > them. The Soviets used red to indicate friendly rifle, armored, and rear > services. But black was used for friendly artillery, antitank, engineer, and > other supporting troops. The enemy was blue. If only one color was available > enemy forces had a double-line around the symbol or were highlighted by some > other means. The Germans used black for friendly and red for enemy and the > Japanese the reverse. > > Gordon Rottman > > > > 2nd Reply > > From: firstname.lastname@example.org > Subject: Re: REPLY: Military Map Colors (4) > Date: March 17, 2010 5:44:14 PM EDT > To: H-NET Military History Discussion List > > > WRT to the the British being red on their own maps, when I was research the > World War 2 Battle of Arras, I had to continually remind myself that red, in > this case, meant friendly. If I didn't remind myself, I would keep > reorientating the map to put red on the "correct" side of the battlefield, but > then the terrain didn't make sense. :) > > Mike Robel > Merritt Island, FL > > > > > -----Original Message----- > From: Scott Hendrix > To: H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU > Sent: Wed, Mar 17, 2010 2:39 pm > Subject: REPLY: Military Map Colors (4) > > > 1st Reply > From: Christoph Nübel > Subject: Re: QUERY: Military Map Colors > Date: March 16, 2010 3:19:50 AM EDT > To: H-NET Military History Discussion List > Dear Bob, > I am not into US map painting, but I have dealed with German military maps. You > ay wonder why it's quite the same there: own troops blue, enemy red (at least > ince the franco-prussian war 1870/71). > think the reason for this goes a little bit deeper, into the general human > nderstanding of colours. Theories of psychology which also has dealed with the > ymbolism of colour extensively assign red e.g. with danger. Some investigations > n this kind of literature may contribute to your research. > Best > Christoph Nuebel > > 2nd Reply: > From: McGrath, John J CIV USA TRADOC > Subject: RE: QUERY: Military Map Colors (UNCLASSIFIED) > Date: March 16, 2010 9:13:28 AM EDT > To: H-NET Military History Discussion List > > lmost all our modern map conventions originate in World War I. The US > dopted many of the conventions of the French (including staff > rganization) in that war and the French depicted friendly forces in > lue. The British and Germans depicted friendly forces in red until WW2 > r after. The modern NATO map symbols were created (in an earlier form) > y the US Army Corps of Engineers in World War I. Up until the formation > f NATO, the French, British and Germans used a different system > related to the system still used by the Russians and the USSR before > hem). The Germans had a complicated system of map symbols in both world > ars that had to be simplified several times during WW2, that was also > sed to mark vehicles. > For a more detailed discussion of this see my work Crossing the Line of > eparture available from CSI Press. > John J. McGrath > > 3rd Reply > From: Allen Bass > Subject: RE: QUERY: Military Map Colors > Date: March 16, 2010 1:03:03 PM EDT > To: H-NET Military History Discussion List > I think blue for the US is one of those primordial forms of Jung. :) > Regards, > llen Bass > est Bloomfield, Mich. > > 4th Reply > From: Matt Clark > Subject: Re: QUERY: Military Map Colors > Date: March 15, 2010 6:30:01 PM EDT > To: H-NET Military History Discussion List > > here did this come from? I am assuming that the logic was the American > raditional uniform of blue and our first "enemy" was the British "redcoats." > ut that got me to thinking: did the US military adopt the colors, as we did so > uch else, from the British, where the "Good Guys' wore red - and the > raditional "enemy" was the French, with their blue uniforms? > - > efore WWII, the U.S. devised several war plans and assigned colors to each. War > gainst Japan, Orange, Britian, Red, Germany, Black, Mexico, Green, the > aribbean, Gray, etc. > Matt Clark > > Original Message: >> From: Bob Huddleston > Subject: Military Map Colors > Date: March 13, 2010 12:17:41 AM EST > To: H-NET Military History Discussion List > > > On American military maps the Yankees are always depicted in blue and the Bad > uys, whether British in 1775 or Germans in the 20th Century are red. The > arliest maps I have seen are the ones in James Longstreet's _Manassas to > ppomattox_ (Philadelphia, 1896) - ironic, since Longstreet's own Confederates > re in the "enemy" color of red, and the Yankees are the ones in blue. I assume > here must be earlier uses, that Longstreet or his publisher did not invent the > oloring. > > Where did this come from? I am assuming that the logic was the American > raditional uniform of blue and our first "enemy" was the British "redcoats." > ut that got me to thinking: did the US military adopt the colors, as we did so > uch else, from the British, where the "Good Guys' wore red - and the > raditional "enemy" was the French, with their blue uniforms? > > > ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----