Military Camouflage (Need ARRSEs HELP!)

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Bond, Oct 10, 2008.

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  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!
  2. I believe he was an awfully big marine. Hope that helps.
  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. Good call on the IWM. They also hold original patterns of the cloth used to make various uniforms from a long time back.
  7. 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.

  8. [​IMG]

    An example of Mare's work, here on a 280 mm artillery piece. The section de camouflage also worked on sniper suits and observers suits.
  9. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

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

    Bowmore_Assassin LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    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. 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. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer

    Mate try this book:

    Imperial War Museum - Camouflage

    A comprehensive history of the development of camouflage right through to the modern era, including a chapter on how it has been appropriated by the fashion industry.

  13. 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.