Battleship Camouflage

Camouflage and chains on Thames battleship

A little detail from HMS Belfast, a Second World War battleship permanently moored on the Thames as a museum. Naval camouflage is rather interesting as it is derived from different principles than that used by the army. These principles were taken to extremes with the First World War concept of dazzle ships. Instead of using camouflage to make the ships appear to blend into the marine background the ships were painted in sharply defined black and white shapes. The idea, which clearly didn't work as it was abandoned pretty quickly, was that the brain would dismiss the preposterous image as unreal and the lookout would go on looking elsewhere while a barrage of torpedoes was unleashed. Other than the fact that the, more pretentious than talented group 'Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark' released an album called Dazzle Ships back in the 80s, I know nothing more of this concept. Go to Next Image or Previous Image or LDN 3 Gallery

Contact Ciaran