It seems like such a strange contrast to see ships painted this way in the context of WWI & II. It looks like a modern art project about something over-done like ‘playful painting on ominous battleship.’ But, unlike art, this actually has an intended function—camouflage (yeah yeah “art has a function: it makes me feel things”).
Developed by Norman Wilkinson (pictured at the end of the post) and first implemented in 1917 by the Royal Navy (Great Britain) and working with painters, sculpters, and even set designers, this camo doesn’t work in the traditional sense of trying to make an object invisible, but instead, this weaving of geometric madness serves to confuse an observer to not be able to make out it’s type, size, speed, and heading.
Creating this illusion is what rocked my world. I’m no Camologist,* but I always thought the idea was to make an object invisible, but now that illusion has been introduced into my camo-lexicon (lexouflage?), I wanna see some fucking Magic Eye submarines (even though I’m sure they don’t use bare optical observastion in the depth, but rather sonar like Ecco the Dolphin. I just like the term Magic Eye submarine). Perhaps, rather, a tank?
“I know, I can hear tanks too. But all that’s out there are space shuttles and unicorns. Here, look for yourself. No no no; you have to cross your eyes a little…” And this is why I help run a sideways blog instead.
Although it does look pretty cool, there really wasn’t sufficient data to show whether or not it actually worked. Plus by the time WWII rolled around, the advances in radar had made Razzle Dazzle as usefull as painting flames on your Geo.
*a person who studies camouflage, camels, or cameras probably