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  1. While I did do a forum search on this topic and pulled up one from 2012, it only touched a little on the subject with some examples. The thread is called "Know your Camo's" and there's the link in case anyone is interested. I thought it was pretty cool to see how many of those that posted back then were still active today. These camouflages were developed in response to the German U-boat attacks in World War 1. I was also surprised at how much it took to get this to work and how it came together. The camouflage style is known as "Dazzle Camouflage" and it was first created by John Graham Kerr, who was a zoologist, based on a book published in 1909 by Abbott Handerson Thayer which was entitled "Concealing-Coloration in the Animal Kingdom". Now Thayer had a good base concept in his book with the principle of animals have camouflage, but he was asserting that every color of every animal was indeed camouflage. Which of course is not true and caught the attention of even Theodore Roosevelt, who even criticized him for his "unsubstantiated claims in place of evidence" (wiki) as Roosevelt as an avid hunter. Thayer's core principle was solid with regards to camouflage and in 1914, in the opening months of World War 1, John Graham Kerr wrote a letter to Winston Churchill advocating for a new naval camouflage known as "Disruptive Camouflage". Kerr's theory was to confuse enemy ships by "the use of paint to obliterate self-shading and thus to flatten out the appearance of solid, recognizable shapes" (wiki). He was thinking along the lines of Zebra's, Giraffe's, etc. This was the early version of the Dazzle Camo that was soon to come. Though Kerr soon found it difficult to promote or control the ideas and use of the camo's and they soon fell out of favor with Churchill. In 1915, after Churchill left the Royal Navy, the RN reverted back to standard grey paint. However, in 1917 here comes an artist named "Norman Wilkinson" who himself was a Volunteer Royal Navy Reservist. Wilkinson agreed with the base principle of Kerr that confusion was the way to go, he disagreed with the approach. "What Wilkinson wanted to do was to make it difficult for an enemy to estimate a ship's type, size, speed, and heading, and thereby confuse enemy ship commanders into taking mistaken or poor firing positions" (wiki). Wilkinson claimed to had never known about Kerr nor Thayer's zoology research prior to his and only admitted to having known of "old invisibility-idea" from ancient Roman times. This adaptation of the camouflage was not only applied in the Royal Navy, but in the United States as well where it was referred to as "Razzle Dazzle". Starting in August of 1917, over 4,000 British Merchant ships were painted with the Dazzle camo as well as 400 British Naval vessels. " from ff The success of the Dazzle Camouflage was debated and uncertain at the time. This was due to a misunderstanding of "ships being attacked" vs. "ships being sank" or "struck by torpedo's". Wilkinson argued that the sole purpose of the camo was to again confuse the enemy rather than to conceal their ships from the enemy. Surprisingly enough and although they still ruled the results "unreliable comparisons", here they are: 43% of Dazzle camo painted ships were sunk compared to 54% of uncamo'ed ships. 41% of Dazzle painted ships were stuck amidships compared to 52% of uncamo'ed ships. Where they said the data became unreliable is in the tonnage. 38% of the ships were painted in Dazzle were over 5,000 tons where 13% were not. (wiki). I assume that the other 49% were under 5,000 tons, but that isn't listed so I cannot say for sure. However, still just looking at the numbers, it appears to have been effective, especially when you start looking at the actual camo itself. For the sake of everyone's eyes, I will put them in spoilers. This one is hard to tell how wide it is and the angles are just a trip because you know it has smooth sides. EDIT: I think this is the French Cruiser Gloire (1935). About 4 seconds in on this YouTube, it appears to be the same ship. Looks to be a possible US ship, though I'm not sure. Regardless, it's a mix of schemes. USS Collett (DD-730) Commissioned May 1944 - Decommissioned Dec. 1970, Photo taken outside of Boston, Massachusetts. And finally, I mean come on. If this thing didn't have a smoke stack, it would be harder then all beat all to tell which way it was going from a distance or even at night back then (with the smoke stack). A general guess would be from the bow AA gun. Anyway, I know this was a long post and I'm long winded. I just found this really interesting, hope someone or a few others do as well. Miner
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