Soviet SBs during Barbarossa

non-standard camouflages over green base

Updated on November 19, 2021

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Other non-standard camouflages were made on the base of the green-light blue livery.

Red 90

The plane red (?) 90 represented in these photos show a predominance of a light shade that doesn't seem to match the colors of the ground.

A detail of the fuselage side shows convincingly that the plane had a green-blue livery, and the light color was added on.

So the most likely interpretation is that it is a winter painting made with non-washable grey paint, likely the AE-9 light grey that was easily available in the inventory of the bombers units. This would date the photos in the time frame of spring 1942.

The green areas visible are limited to the fuselage sides (star area), the upper face of the stabilizers, the spinners and a small area around the pilot's canopy.

The prop blades seem to have preserved the original aluminum-black painting.

Unfortunately, the photo doesn't show if the intakes of the coolers had a fixed or adjustable opening; the small plates on the hinges of the rudder suggest that the cooler had fixed intakes.


Blue 9







Plane blue (?) 9 is a classic SB M-100A or M-103 with flat engines without particular updates; its prominent characteristic is the camouflage, where green is alternated with a very light shade with a splinter pattern; the undersurfaces preserved the original silver paint.

The light shade of the camouflage is a mystery, because it doesn't match any of the shades of the background of the photo; it is likely that it was AE-9 light grey, perhaps to break the shape of the plane in flight or to make a permanent winter camouflage.

Unfortunately we don't know if the photos are of 1941 or of spring 1942; this later timeframe would make the idea of a winter camo more likely.







profiles of plane blue 9.







Dotted SB

The image shows a most interesting SB with a non standard camouflage made with dark (green?) and light (brown?) dots on the base of the A-19f green.

On the rudder, one can see a red star but no any bort number.

The canopy frames suggest a late production SB 2 M103 with fixed cooler intakes.


White 9

Photo of a plane captured by Germans in winter or spring 1941-42. The snowy ground is noteworthy.

To avoid overexposition due to the snow, the photo has to show darkened colors. So, it is likely that the camouflage was made with green and another light shade, darker than the undersurfaces; these don't seem the original aluminum finish of this version, so they were likely repainted light blue.

The light camouflaging color could be some shade of light grey; certainly it is not temporary white.


Blue 7

This plane was widely photographed, but we don't know its unit, nor the date of the photos.

The base livery is green/light blue; it was likely repainted in this way in late 1940 or early 1941, probably when the MV-3 turret was installed.

On this base, we see a rough bands camouflage where we recognize black and a lighter unknown shade, hypothetically some light grey-brown comparable to AMT-1.

Although very crude and scarcely opaque, these bands were made with permanent paint; there are no traces of washing off due to rain.

The number is clearly lighter than the red star; light blue with white outline is a fair guess.

Photos don't show spinners; it is unclear if the plane flew without them, or they were stolen by souvenir hunters. If so, it is likely that they had something interesting as red stars on them.



Red 6


plane red (?) 6 seems a late production SB 2M103 of 1940, with MV-3 turret, green/blue base livery but no radio.

Its prominent characteristic is the improvised camouflage, likely made with blotches of light brown temporary paint crudely brushed on the upper and side surfaces of the plane, apparently including the prop blades.

The red stars on the back of the left wing seems not covered by the blotches, while the one on the right wing seems partially covered.


White 1, red 0




This photo shows an interesting wreck of SB.

An interesting characteristic is the camouflage, made adding bands of a lighter shade (light brown?) on the base green-blue livery.

Another surprising characteristic is the number 10 in two different colors. Perhaps the 0 was simply deleted in incomplete way.

Further images would be required for any attempt of tracing a profile.


Blue (?) 1 of 2 SBAP


photos of plane blue (?) 1 of 2 SBAP, operating in the Baltic area in summer 1941.

The plane is provided with sharp cowlings and engines M-103; unfortunately the intakes of the coolers are not visible, so we don't know if it is the type with fixed intakes or adjustable shutter intakes. The plates over the hinges of the rudder suggest the fixed intake.

An unusual characteristic is the radio mast on the nose, in front of the windshield; it appears inclined to the right side.

The original light grey livery was repainted with non uniform green on the upper and side surfaces; the green appears lighter where the brush strokes let traspare the light background.

On the left side of the rudder and fin we can see a darker area, possibly painted black or darker green. a small amount of the original light grey background is visible around the number on the rudder, that is roughly contoured.

On the right side of the tail, there is not such black area, and the part let see a wider amount of the original grey.

Some smaller darker areas seem visible close to the windshield and on the wings, and could be a sort of camouflage. It is not clear if the stars over the wings were preserved.

The trim tab seems painted red.

The areas left grey around the gunner's position are noteworthy, as the glossy spinners, probably painted red. The blades preserved the prewar aluminum-black painting.


Images of other planes of 2 SBAP can be found at:

Soviet SBs during the Winter War



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