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Armor/AFV: Modern - USA
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REFORGER M2 Bradley question
HeavyArty
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Florida, United States
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Posted: Friday, July 19, 2019 - 01:32 AM UTC
I am planning on starting an M2(A0) Bradley to be set in the mid-late '80s in a REFORGER Exercise in Germany. I have been doing some research and am finding M2 Bradleys in REFORGER looked to be pretty much all Forest Green (early '80s) or NATO 3-tone camo (later '80s-'90s). Were REFORGER Bradleys in MERDC?
GulfWarrior
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Posted: Friday, July 19, 2019 - 01:43 AM UTC
Hey, Gino! I was in Germany with 1st ID(Forward) JAN '90 to AUG '91. The Bradleys I saw (4-16 INF) were all three-color NATO camo. I may have seen one or two all green that had recently come from the depot. No MERDCs though.

CONUS units (4th ID that I can think of) might have had a few MERDC vehicles. I remember seeing them when I rotated back to Fort Carson after ODS.
AKirchhoff
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Germany
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Posted: Friday, July 19, 2019 - 04:31 AM UTC
Hi Gino,
M2 Bradley that I saw during exercise "Trutzige Sachsen" (in which I also took part) in September of 1985 were plain forrest green and came, as far as I know, from 2nd Armored Division (FWD) based at Garlstedt in Nothern Germany.

Andreas
Garrand
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Posted: Friday, July 19, 2019 - 05:07 AM UTC
The Tankograd REFORGER books cover this. IIRC they were all forest green until much, much later.

Damon.
panamadan
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Posted: Friday, July 19, 2019 - 05:45 AM UTC
Gino,
What kit will you be using?
Dan
HeavyArty
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Posted: Friday, July 19, 2019 - 05:55 AM UTC
Thanks guys. You have confirmed what I have been seeing. I may do a stateside MERDC vehicle then. We'll see.

For the model, I will be using Tamiya's original M2 kit with interior; Meng M3A3 turret interior and a few other parts; Eduard interior, exterior, and turret PE; Aber metal main gun, coax, and port gun barrels; Hobby Boss early (chevron block) indi-link tracks; and a bunch of odds and ends I have collected for it. We'll see how it goes. I should get started on it soon, after I finish up the M49A2 rebuild.
panamadan
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Posted: Friday, July 19, 2019 - 06:38 AM UTC
Gino,
How does the original Tamiya kit hold up compared to the newish Meng kit?
Dan
Sabot
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Posted: Friday, July 19, 2019 - 11:30 AM UTC
I think I have a photo or two of one of our Bradleys. It may take some digging so shoot me an email to remind me.
2CAVTrooper
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Posted: Friday, July 19, 2019 - 02:24 PM UTC
IIRC They were all green until around '89 when the NATO scheme started coming out.
HeavyArty
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Posted: Friday, July 19, 2019 - 02:36 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Gino,
How does the original Tamiya kit hold up compared to the newish Meng kit?
Dan



Its pretty good for what it represents, an original M2. It is missing the turret interior and can use some updating, but is still a good base to start with.


Quoted Text

I think I have a photo or two of one of our Bradleys. It may take some digging so shoot me an email to remind me.



Thanks Rob. I am looking forward to seeing what you find.
billflorig
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Posted: Friday, July 19, 2019 - 06:00 PM UTC
Gino, I served in 2-30 Infantry 3rd ID in Schweinfurt from 87-90. Our original M2s were overall Forest green. We received M2A2s in 1988 and they arrived in NATO three color camouflage.
Reforger-Victim
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Posted: Friday, July 19, 2019 - 07:23 PM UTC
m1s and m2/3s were all forrest green until early 90s.definately i have pictures of them in forrest green in 2007 still...never saw a merdc m1 or m2 and i took part in almost every reforger from 1978 -1992..
Sabot
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Posted: Saturday, July 20, 2019 - 04:53 AM UTC
Didn't find my Reforger pictures, but had this one from a gunnery at Graf in 1988.
b2nhvi
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Posted: Saturday, July 20, 2019 - 08:53 AM UTC
Hey, Gino. If you go with the Reforger option I have the Verlinden Reforger marking set . If you need anything off it let me know.
M4A1Sherman
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Posted: Saturday, July 20, 2019 - 09:04 AM UTC
Hey, People!

YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!!!

Thank You All for your Service!!!
GulfWarrior
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Posted: Saturday, July 20, 2019 - 09:54 AM UTC
Thanks for letting me play with automatic weapons and explosives without asking too many questions!



M4A1Sherman
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Posted: Saturday, July 20, 2019 - 10:00 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Thanks for letting me play with automatic weapons and explosives without asking too many questions!






F***in' A!!!
2CAVTrooper
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Posted: Saturday, July 20, 2019 - 04:44 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Thanks for letting me play with automatic weapons and explosives without asking too many questions!






HeavyArty
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Posted: Sunday, July 21, 2019 - 03:55 AM UTC
Thanks guys. I'll consider it and see what I decide on later.
frank01
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Posted: Sunday, July 21, 2019 - 06:13 AM UTC
some more food for thought.
https://military-database.de/1987-reforger-certain-strike-teil-1-galerie-garbe/
HeavyArty
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Posted: Sunday, July 21, 2019 - 10:59 AM UTC



Thanks, great pics.
HeavyArty
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Posted: Monday, July 22, 2019 - 05:30 AM UTC
So, continuing my research, I have been looking for pics of MERDC M2s. I am assuming most of these were stateside. I have not really found much evidence of them though. I have found a few that are meseum pieces in MERDC, but the colors and/or patterns are suspect.

I know that the most common pattern was Winter Verdant. How common was it? Was the Forest Green or Winter Verdant more common in Europe or the US? Which units wore MERDC?

I have found a couple pics that say they are at gunnery and swimming at Ft Benning that appear to be in a variation of MERDC.


I have also found a few in MERDC that look like promo shots.

Winter Verdant


Summer Verdant


One looks close to the Tamiya boxart w/soldiers coming out the back in a variation of Winter Verdant (Ft Benning again?).


Mostlyharmless
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Posted: Thursday, August 08, 2019 - 08:56 AM UTC
I dug into this same question a year or two ago. It's hard to find definitive answers, but here are some of the conclusions I came to-

Apparently there were no official MERDC patterns issued for the M2/M3 or the M1 (and now that I say this, I wish I could find the reference where I saw it).

Obviously a few vehicles were painted up in MERDC, but likely it was only a mere handful of early issued units. Maybe a platoon here and there, maybe a company- and maybe not even that many. It's also very possible that these few tracks were heavily over-represented in photos- the prettied up tracks got the attention and pics, while the much more common plain green ones didn't. So I'm suspicious that they were widespread never and nowhere.

I've also never seen pics of a Brad or Abrams in other contemporary schemes, like MASSTER or Dualtex- but I certainly can't find evidence it didn't happen.

One thing that was done on at least some M1s in Germany was mud camo. Tankograd has some pics of this, apparently it was often done on cav vehicles. I haven't seen pics of an M2/3 in mud camo- but if a cav troop was mudding up its M1s, it's hard to imagine they wouldn't have done it with their M3s also. Tamiya's original 105mm M1 is shuffling around my workbench- it's going to be finished in forest green and mud. I'll be tempted to do an early M2 or M3 mudded up to go with it.
Frenchy
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Posted: Thursday, August 08, 2019 - 09:02 AM UTC

Quoted Text

One thing that was done on at least some M1s in Germany was mud camo.





Full size

Talking about the Bradley in REFORGER, this one, pictured in 1985 (from the 1st Battalion, 7th Infantry, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division) appears to have a (faded) temporary camo scheme :



Full size

and maybe this one as well...

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fc/DF-ST-85-13244_A_German_couple_passes_a_parked_M2_Bradley_fighting_vehicle_from_the_7th_Infantry_during_Exercise_REFORGER_%2785.jpeg

H.P.
HeavyArty
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Posted: Thursday, August 08, 2019 - 11:52 PM UTC
Thanks for the additional info. It has further confirmed what I was finding.


Quoted Text

Tamiya's original 105mm M1 is shuffling around my workbench... I'll be tempted to do an early M2 or M3 ... to go with it.



That is what I plan on doing as well, just using the Panda M1 kit instead.