Reconnaissance
(Recognition)

 

Well known recognition markings include the five pointed star painted on Allied vehicles hours before the D-Day landings and the inverted V used during the Gulf War. Such markings are intended to aid recognition and reduce the risk of casualties resulting from 'friendly fire' where the forces of more than one country operate together.

The recognition markings shown opposite (drawn by Jean-Louis Martin) have been used by the French Army on its vehicles including the M201 and include an indication of the weight category of the vehicle concerned.

 

 

armée de Terre 1950's & 1960's

  During the 1950's and 60's the French Army recognition mark was a white flaming grenade on each side of the jeep as shown but the position could be as low as just above the step. In the case of a jeep it included the number 1 painted in black to indicate that it was it belonged to the lightest class of four categories of military vehicles (1 - 4). This information was used to calculate how many vehicles could be safely loaded on to French Railway wagons for transportation. The marking was hand painted so these varied to an extent in both size and style though the official dimensions are given above. A tricolour was painted to the left of the registration number and unit badges were sometimes also painted on the bumper and / or windshields and even the side of the jeep.

armée de Terre 1970's

In the 1970's the flaming grenade was replaced by a white painted circle or vinyl sticker. The system of classification was also revised to include five classes (0 - 4), zero being the lightest group. The official dimensions are given at the top of the page but when jeeps were repainted variation in exact size, placement and style became common and the zero was sometimes stencilled on.  (Photo: Domaines)

A vinyl tricolour sticker was placed to the left of the registration number on the front bumper and rear number plate or cross-member.

 

armée de Terre 1980 & 90's

 During the 1990's a silver-grey 'Sword and Tricolour' vinyl sticker was added to each cheek of the jeep. This new  armée de Terre symbol also replaced the standard tricolour on the front bumper and at the rear of the jeep, usually on the cross-member. (Photo: Domaines)

On some jeeps the zero was on a grey circle background. Relatively few jeeps remaining in service rather than in reserve received these later recognition markings.

The vinyl sword and tricolour sticker applied to the left and right 'cheek' (left) was about 160mm in diameter in that the examples on my 106 SR were 156mm but vinyl stickers are apt to shrink a bit in the sun.

 

The bumper sticker (above) varied in colour from mid-grey to silver-grey.

Trois tons centre Europe / Central European Camo

During the latter period of active service a considerable number of jeeps were painted in Central European camo (Trois tons centre Europe).

According to Jérôme Hadacec (M201 no. 03432) he first saw the camo pattern in service at Mourmelon in 1986 at which time it was only in use by the FAR (Force Action Rapide).

On these jeeps the 'zero' recognition mark was painted on a brown circle rather than white. (Photo: Domaines)

 

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