Dead Eye Open

This marking appeared on the Nutrocker decal sheet as the insignia of the 500th Independent Heavy Battle Car Battalion.

"The 500th Battlewagon Batallion, 1st through 3rd division were deployed from the Middle East extending through North Africa. When on maneuvers in the desert, all vehicles were painted with a dessert pink. The dry, sandy environment caused many problems for the NutRocker hover tank, with sand frequently being sucked into the turbines. Advanced filters were attached to the air intakes of some tanks to solve the problem. Peeling paint was also very common and noticeable on the tanks because of abrasion from the sand."

The emblem was actually the Holzauge ('Wood Eye') insignia of 1.J/88. Jagdgruppe 88 (J/88) was a German Condor Legion fighter group serving in the Spanish Civil War.

"The colors chosen for this emblem were already the habitual ones used by the Legion Condor in the majority of the standards that represented their Staffel, that is to say white and black. The image of 'Holzauge' appeared on a white disk trimmed by a black circle, located on both sides of the fuselage under the cockpit of the Messerschmitt Bf-109. From the 2nd of September 1938 and to the end of the war in April of 1939 the pilots of 1.J/88 'Holzauge' had several “mounts”. The Messerschmitt Bf-109 B was replaced on 17th of November 1938 and with that the Staffel accomplished missions on the Catalonia front from the aerodrome at Cenia. After occupation of Catalonia the Staffel received the new Messerschmitt Bf-109E “Emil”, that featured great advances such as the incorporation of a radio and oxygen masks. Like its predecessor the “Hababuk”, the image of “Holzauge” was not used by the Luftwaffe during the Second War World."

The 'Wood Eye' (English equivalent - 'Dead Eye') represents an expert marksman.

“The first Staffel has a Holzauge. Wood Eye -- what the Americans would call a dead eye. He was a cartoon figure, his eyes peeled skyward."

"The new emblem of 1.J/88 presented/displayed the image of a peculiar clown registered inside a white circle. This figure appears to be pointing at its eye while at the same time it glances at the sky. The name of this figure, which at that time would have been the indicative name of the Staffel, was 'Holzauge', that is to say 'wood Eye'. 'Holzauge 19' was the code name that was used by the Luftwaffe to designate an airplane or airplanes whose main mission was to watch the formation, warning others of the presence of the enemy and entering into combat with them so that their comrades could continue with their mission. As well, the Germans also called the adversary who undertook the same mission “Holzauge”. The gesture shown in the emblem corresponds nevertheless to a typical Spanish gesture, to put oneself on guard when danger is present by placing the forefinger on the eye."

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