Historical Camouflages – U.S. Reforger 1983


This year’s upcoming U.S. Independence Day celebrations will bring (alongside the long-awaited AbramsX) a couple of historical camouflages that appeared on American vehicles during the REFORGER 83 military exercise.


M1 Abrams, REFORGER 83

As the name suggests, the exercise took place in Germany (the abbreviation Reforger stands for Return of Forces to Germany) in 1983. Until their cancellation in 1993, the Reforger exercises were some of the largest in Europe. The goal was, of course, to test the readiness and training of the NATO forces in Germany in case of a Soviet attack.

While ultimately proven false, the fear of hordes of Soviet tanks pouring through the so-called Fulda Gap (a lowland area near Fulda suitable for a surprise attack towards the river Rhine) was very real in the minds of NATO strategists. The exercises therefore used to be very thorough and included both ground units and air forces of the involved NATO countries – in fact, the 1988 Reforger 88 exercise was the largest military exercise in Europe since the Second World War with over 125 thousand men participating.


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The Reforger 83 "Confident Enterprise" exercise took place in September 1983 and included, amongst a number of other units, the famous 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, “Blackhorse Regiment”. Its history goes back to the first years of the 20th century but it would rise to fame during the Second World War and later on in Vietnam. In the 1980s, the unit was stationed in West Germany, guarding the free world against communism.


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During the Reforger 83 exercise, the unit’s Abrams tanks were painted in various atypical camouflage patterns, typically consisting of various shapes of green and light brown (sand) colors.

We have three of those for you, including the rather famous “Giraffe” pattern.


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Additionally, we’ll have three decals for you:

  • 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Blackhorse) emblem
  • 8th Infantry Division emblem (the unit also participated in the exercise)
  • Reforger 83 symbol “74 Blue” (appeared on Abrams tanks)

We hope that you’ll enjoy the camouflages and, as always:

See you on the battlefield!

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