German 20x138B FlaK Round colour code


I have a German 20x138B FlaK round. It has a brown lacquered steel case headstamped “eej * [waffenamt over 767] 44 34d”. The primer cup is brass and sealed with red annulus. The projectile is steel and has an Aluminium fuse which can be unscrewed. The projectile is marked “44 bywtf [Waffenamt over WaA411] W”. Driving band is steel. Projectile has extremely faint traces of red paint around the driving band and 6mm above it. The yellow is from the fuse to around 20mm below the fuse. The fuse is marked “AZ49 gla 44 290 [Waffenamt over 600]”. The projectile is (obviously) empty, and has a small hole in the bottom of the cavity.

Anyway, after a long description, is this round a HEIT/SD loading? Can anone post a photo of one with the paint intact? Should I repaint it or is that a no-no with collectors?

This also appears to be chemically pitted around the belt/extractor groove/case head area, any ideas as to how/why this may have happened?

Here is a photo of the round:

The red paint on the projectile can just be made out but the yellow cannot.

Even though I try to specialise in British stuff, I had to have this when I saw it, the seller wanted


I would have to check my reference for sure tonight, but I would guess if its (was) a yellow body with a red base, its just a regular HE-T…I am not quite sure I understand how you are describing the yellow portion, are you saying there was yellow only on the front portion of the projectile, and it was unpainted or another color from there the the red stripe around the base?

In any case, I will try to check my reference for the colors on an HEIT/SD and verify…


It is a tracer-SD round indicated by the stencilled “W” on the projectile body.
If a HE or HEI is determined by the color of the markings stamped on the projectile.
HE - black markings
HEI - red markings

The colored band indicates the color of the tracer, there were white, yellow, red and green ones.

When a dark red band is above the driving band (a bit narrower than the usual) and below the fuze a red, yellow, white or green band it is a round for tropical climate. Same marking is applied on AP shells where the tip has the tracer color on then.

My personal opinion: do not repaint it


Thanks for your input, it look like the red band finished 5mm above the top of the driving band, and the yellow band comes doen 2omm from where the projectile meets the fuse. The middle portion does look unpainted. The paint traces are extremely faint. I can’t see a “W” on it anywhere. At first I thought the projectile was unpainted as the traces of paint are so light.


You mentioned above that the projectile is stencilled with “W”.


You mentioned above that the projectile is stencilled with “W”.[/quote]

I think that he meant the “W” is stamped into the metal.


Yes, I did mean that the “W” is part of the markings stamped into the projectile just above the driving band, I cannot see any lettering painted on the projectile.


Here is the color marking in the regulation

Yellow paint for HE, red lettering for INC, the W means w