Why no camouflage patterns?

Apr 2017
95
Cologne
#2
In that case if we would have started to give out camo-patterns to the army – you would have started to drop mines along the border.^^

For real: We copied the other NATO-members. So you maybe have to ask an American or French why they have that uniforms. There were ambitions on our side, but they did not made it and they were political again.
We tried in the 1950s to establish a European Defence Community (basically France, Germany, Italy and the west European smaller countries) and the moment that was on the table – we developed a camo-uniform again – but France bailed out, because they feared it would have had a to big impact onto their military sovereignty.
If they would have stuck – you can bet on we would have today a united European military and you would be part of it – because we all share the same defense interests – except of France who has colonies. That is a huge problem – or do you want to defend places in Africa, where Luxembourg holds some turf historically? ^^

But here again – the moment that was on the table – they started the development and after it failed they stopped it. So that movement – at least on our side – is directly linked to the military pact. Except maybe budget there is no other reason. We changed our uniforms over the decades slowly back to the Wehrmacht designs.

But even this – was mainly down to military guys who were really unsatisfied with their uniforms and one German politician you can describe as an intelligent opportunist of the worse kind. If it was about bling-bling – to impress that guy was first in line. So that he was the guy kisses the military – while you can of course take the position and say: Come on, tradition – that is no surprise.

But even that had no real reasons except – tradition vs. you set on deescalate. There was no real field advantage in the designs that were the cause for this or that decision (to revert back). At least in Germany and the no-camo-pattern is because of other NATO members.
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,239
Dispargum
#3
Everything has to be invented and then adopted. In the late 19th century some armies were still wearing bright colors. Then armies switched to neutral tans/blues/grays/greens etc trying to blend in on smoky battlefields. Camoflage came along in the 1970s and '80s, at least in the US military.

There is an element in the military that believes certain parts of the uniform should be highly visible, like badges of rank. Otherwise, how will anyone know who is in-charge? (Yes, I know about snipers picking off the senior officers. Sometimes the military works at cross purposes.) The idea that soldiers should be invisible was bound to encounter some opposition that had to be overcome before camoflage uniforms were adopted.
 

caldrail

Ad Honorem
Feb 2012
5,121
#4
Camouflage arrives earlier. Technically the drab colours of WW1 field dress was camouflage to a degree. The Germans made considerable use of camouflage patterns later in WW2. The US tried to equip the Rangers in Europe with a mottled green smock but it was found that they were victims of friendly fire because other troops mistook them for the enemy, so the cammo gear was withdrawn, though I do note some use of cammo was made by US Marines in the Pacific theatre. Also the Russians made some use of a mottled brown cammo pattern, but again, usage was limited.
 
Dec 2017
307
Poland
#5
There is an element in the military that believes certain parts of the uniform should be highly visible, like badges of rank. Otherwise, how will anyone know who is in-charge?
This is not a problem, they are badges of rank on camouflage uniforms. Simply everything is in dark colors, but a soldier standing close to a colleague will recognize his rank.

Some say: camouflage uniforms are more expensive and only elite army units can have them. But I think that such a thesis is wrong. Look at this uniform:

Wz. 68 Moro - Wikipedia

- actually there are two colors here, but from a distance it looks like one color. Strange.
 
Jul 2018
231
London
#6
If you wear a greenish, dull, uniform day and night while on training, sweat, dirt and grease will quite soon provide a very effective mimetic pattern, albeit a bad smelling one. So, single color uniforms aren't much worse than mimetic patterns.
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,239
Dispargum
#7
This is not a problem, they are badges of rank on camouflage uniforms. Simply everything is in dark colors, but a soldier standing close to a colleague will recognize his rank.

Some say: camouflage uniforms are more expensive and only elite army units can have them. But I think that such a thesis is wrong. Look at this uniform:

Wz. 68 Moro - Wikipedia

- actually there are two colors here, but from a distance it looks like one color. Strange.
I was in the military. I know how hard it is to see subdued rank insignia. I also know the importance officers place on being recognized, especially in peacetime which is most of the time. The 99 times that an enlistedman sees an officer's rank insignia and salutes him go unnoticed. The one time that an enlistedman can't see the rank insignia and doesn't salute the officer is the one time that gets all of the attention and drives things like uniform policies. Stupid? Yes. True? Also yes.

It's also less about whether this is an issue today, after camoflage uniforms were adopted. It's more about 50 years ago when camoflage uniforms were still being debated. The visibility of officer's rank insignia was an argument against camoflage that had to be overcome before camoflage was adopted. It was overcome, but not right away.
 
Last edited:
Dec 2017
307
Poland
#8
If you wear a greenish, dull, uniform day and night while on training, sweat, dirt and grease will quite soon provide a very effective mimetic pattern, albeit a bad smelling one. So, single color uniforms aren't much worse than mimetic patterns.
How long and how extreme do you have to use a one-color uniform to create such a pattern?

Wz. 93 Pantera - Wikipedia

The visibility of officer's rank insignia was an argument against camoflage...
You can have the insignia on your shoulders, on the collar, on the beret, sometimes there is a sign on your chest. In peacetime, these insignia can be colored (eg red) and are easy to see. If you could not recognize the rank of an officer, maybe he had a uniform without any significant rank during the war? Of course, subdued rank is a problem, but it is only used in war and exercises.
 
Last edited:
Dec 2017
307
Poland
#9
Post Scriptum

In peacetime soldiers sometimes also use the subdued rank as seen in the picture below (it's a bit stupid, but apparently they think it looks better), but they have at least a visible rank on the berets. So it's not a problem.

uroczystosc
 

Nemowork

Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
8,213
South of the barcodes
#10

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