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Interesting article over on TwistedSifter about the use of so-called “dazzle” or “razzle-dazzle” camouflage beginning during WWI. (The Wikipedia article is pretty good, too.) It’s a kind of practical op-art: The idea was not so much to make the ship invisible against the background, but to confuse enemy weapons operators as to its distance and heading. The Rhode Island School of Design has a wonderful online collection of various paper plans for dazzle camouflage schemes donated by Maurice L. Freedman, who was district camoufleur for the 4th district of the U.S. Shipping Board, Emergency Fleet Corporation, and would go on to invent the board game “Battleship.” [via Dude Craft]

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.


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Comments

  1. Oceaneer99 says:

    Be sure to check out this article on aircraft dazzle camouflage by artist McClelland Barclay:

    http://www.history.navy.mil/ac/artist/b/barclay/barclay%201.html

  2. Bill Coleman says:

    Some of those designs would make good clothing designs.

  3. rekinom says:

    Also cool is the story of the HNLMS Abraham Crijnssen, a Netherlands minesweeper that escaped the Japanese invasion of Java after the crew disguised it as a tropic island.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HNLMS_Abraham_Crijnssen

    http://www.hnsa.org/ships/img/crijnssen3.jpg

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