Military Camouflage (Need ARRSEs HELP!)

#1
Gents,

I somehow ended up down the path of writing a short thesis on the history of the camouflage of the individual soldier.

My paper begins with the transition from Red/Yellow/Blue to Khaki/Grey, and runs through to contemporary IR retardant materials and digital camouflage schemes.

'What the soldier wears' is an oft skimmed over and rarely properly researched area of interest, so I'm having quite the struggle in the research department.

Just wondering if anybody has any good links/websites/online articles or gems of knowledge they are happy to share about the art, science and technology of camouflage!
 
#3
The Light infantry were the 1st soldiers to break rank, and skirmish, and wore green to aid them. The 1st real camouflage if I recall.

Look at the history of the Green Jackets (or watch repeats of Sharpe) ;)
 
#4
Suggest you try making contact with the Imperial War Museum initially. Last year they had an exhibition on the art & science of camouflage, & they may be able to put you in touch with the staff members who researched & organised it.
Hope this helps.
 
#5
French air force doctor Borsarello wrote several books on the subject.

Also look up Andre Mare, a french painter who was drafted in the "Sections de camouflage" during WWI with other impressionists such as Guirand de Scevola, Dunoyer de Segonzac, Fernand Léger, Forain, Charles Camoin, Charles Dufresne, Villon, or Marcoussis; their work form the basis of the theories of modern camouflage.

Of note, Mare got an MC in 1916.

Also look up at "dazzle" the maritime camouflage used on ships; many studies were done on the subject.



This book is a good reference to see how camouflages evolved, based on Mare's war diaries.
 
#6
Brush_Dust_Shake said:
Suggest you try making contact with the Imperial War Museum initially. Last year they had an exhibition on the art & science of camouflage, & they may be able to put you in touch with the staff members who researched & organised it.
Hope this helps.
Good call on the IWM. They also hold original patterns of the cloth used to make various uniforms from a long time back.
 
#7
smudge67 said:
The Light infantry were the 1st soldiers to break rank, and skirmish, and wore green to aid them. The 1st real camouflage if I recall.

Look at the history of the Green Jackets (or watch repeats of Sharpe) ;)
Almost, but not quite.

It was the 60th Royal Americans, later to become King's Royal Rifle Corps, 2nd Green Jackets, RGJ and now Rifles. As the name suggests, they were fighting insurgents in America in the C18 and found their red coats made them an obvious target to the guerilla tactics favoured by the Americans. They adopted the green jacket and abandoned standing in lines waitng to be shot, copying the Yankees' form of skirmishing.

When the 95th, (later the Rifle Brigade, 3rd Green Jackets, RGJ etc), was formed, it started life in Greenjackets, with rifles instead of muskets, and found fame with Sir John Moore's Light Division fighting in the Peninsula War. The rest of the Light Division, including the Light Infantry Regiments, continued to wear red coats until we all started wearing khaki.

BD6
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
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#9
Big_Duke_Six said:
smudge67 said:
The Light infantry were the 1st soldiers to break rank, and skirmish, and wore green to aid them. The 1st real camouflage if I recall.

Look at the history of the Green Jackets (or watch repeats of Sharpe) ;)
Almost, but not quite.

It was the 60th Royal Americans, later to become King's Royal Rifle Corps, 2nd Green Jackets, RGJ and now Rifles. As the name suggests, they were fighting insurgents in America in the C18 and found their red coats made them an obvious target to the guerilla tactics favoured by the Americans. They adopted the green jacket and abandoned standing in lines waitng to be shot, copying the Yankees' form of skirmishing.

When the 95th, (later the Rifle Brigade, 3rd Green Jackets, RGJ etc), was formed, it started life in Greenjackets, with rifles instead of muskets, and found fame with Sir John Moore's Light Division fighting in the Peninsula War. The rest of the Light Division, including the Light Infantry Regiments, continued to wear red coats until we all started wearing khaki.

BD6
But now they are just like the rest of the infantry. (without whom there would be no army - infantry rules OK!)
 

Bowmore_Assassin

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#10
You might want to try contacting the Defence Clothing Integrated Project Team (DC IPT).

'The Defence Clothing Integrated Project Team (DC IPT) is a tri-Service organisation is part of the DE&S organisation within the Commodities Cluster. The IPT incorporates the development, procurement, supply management and support functions required to provide clothing and associated items for the UK armed forces and MoD civilian dependencies.'

Fax to +44 (0)1869 875709. You can also Google it.

Good luck.
 
#11
Bond said:
Gents,

I somehow ended up down the path of writing a short thesis on the history of the camouflage of the individual soldier.

My paper begins with the transition from Red/Yellow/Blue to Khaki/Grey, and runs through to contemporary IR retardant materials and digital camouflage schemes.

'What the soldier wears' is an oft skimmed over and rarely properly researched area of interest, so I'm having quite the struggle in the research department.

Just wondering if anybody has any good links/websites/online articles or gems of knowledge they are happy to share about the art, science and technology of camouflage!
My bold - I don't support your view. I recall in 1970 visiting SCRDE (Services Clothing Research & Developement Establishment) then based in Colchester to review items of clothing for the then nascent HALO trials. There was a lot of consideration (believe it or not) given our clothing and equipment in those times.

They would be well worth a search for. I can only draw your attention to their existence as having been out of the service quite a few years, this organisation may no longer be in place.
 
#12
#15
Alec_Lomas said:
Bond said:
Gents,

I somehow ended up down the path of writing a short thesis on the history of the camouflage of the individual soldier.

My paper begins with the transition from Red/Yellow/Blue to Khaki/Grey, and runs through to contemporary IR retardant materials and digital camouflage schemes.

'What the soldier wears' is an oft skimmed over and rarely properly researched area of interest, so I'm having quite the struggle in the research department.

Just wondering if anybody has any good links/websites/online articles or gems of knowledge they are happy to share about the art, science and technology of camouflage!
My bold - I don't support your view. I recall in 1970 visiting SCRDE (Services Clothing Research & Developement Establishment) then based in Colchester to review items of clothing for the then nascent HALO trials. There was a lot of consideration (believe it or not) given our clothing and equipment in those times.

They would be well worth a search for. I can only draw your attention to their existence as having been out of the service quite a few years, this organisation may no longer be in place.
IIRC they ended up and Andover as part of LE(A) and may now actually be the Grandparent of the IPT mentioned above.

But you are correct, they were into all sorts of things such as designing gloves for the Arctic etc.
 
#16
BIG DUKE SIX, quite right.

KHAKI I have heard is an Afghan work for dirt, which was in fact used to Dye the white uniforms that our chaps were wearing at the time. This then became the norm. I could be wrong but i am sure this is correct, this may help in your research.

RCGJ
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#17
RedcoatGreenjacket said:
BIG DUKE SIX, quite right.

KHAKI I have heard is an Afghan work for dirt, which was in fact used to Dye the white uniforms that our chaps were wearing at the time. This then became the norm. I could be wrong but i am sure this is correct, this may help in your research.

RCGJ
Almost. 'Kukh' is an all purpose word in Hindi and Urdu for dirt, mud or dust. The white uniform were originally stained with tea to give the khaki effect. The Abysinnian War of 1867-8 was the first major campaign in which some troops were khaki which had officially been approved for working dress in 1861.

Approval had actually been revoked in 1864, but many troops, especially those that saw active service on the NW Frontier, continued to dye their white drill uniforms with tea leaves and other substances.
 

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