Why no camouflage patterns?

caldrail

Ad Honorem
Feb 2012
5,216
#21
Camouflage is not a single state but a matter of degree. Uniforms designed to avoid attention begin to be used much earlier than 1915 and indeed, mirror the increasing effect of firearms on the battlefield. With the introduction of rifled weapons in service so does the idea that concealment is a good idea, although it began as a means of concealing units used for skirmishing rather than the rank and file of musket battalions. Thus in the history of uniforms we can see the trend emerging in the 1700's.
 

Nemowork

Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
8,329
South of the barcodes
#22
Camouflage was originally developed to counter aerial surveillance. The military saw no need for it before the advent of aircraft.
It depends how you define camouflage. The use of muted colours was adopted by the British army on the north west frontier from the 1860s.
One of the main points of coloured uniforms is that it allows Generals to identify blocks of their own troops and blocks of the enemies troops when a battlefield is run visually then move the blocks around as needed.
On the north west frontier the locals liked to use small units, ambushes and snipers and there were unlikely to be large set piece battle so the risk of making yourself a target wasn't paid off by easier command of the units involved.
Thats also why french colonial troops had abandoned the blue uniform and gone over to green ones long before WW1.
 
Dec 2017
309
Poland
#23
All this is true, but for me the most weird is regression after World War II. In the 1950s uniforms with camo pattern were produced, then they disappeared. Some say that it is irrelevant in a nuclear war - but in that case, light automatic weapons is irrelevant too. I think shooting live people was still part of the plan. So good individual camouflage should also be valued (?)
 
Jan 2019
1
Dublin, Ohio
#24
Perhaps this is a segue, but...along with camo uniforms, I've often wondered about the sense of painting an aircraft in camo-pattern, and then putting brightly-colored roundels on it, or a high-contrast black-and-white Iron Cross on it.

Does anyone here have an answer as to why this was done -- by many countries, both sides of a conflict ?
It just seems so self-defeating to me.
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,816
Dispargum
#25
Perhaps this is a segue, but...along with camo uniforms, I've often wondered about the sense of painting an aircraft in camo-pattern, and then putting brightly-colored roundels on it, or a high-contrast black-and-white Iron Cross on it.

Does anyone here have an answer as to why this was done -- by many countries, both sides of a conflict ?
It just seems so self-defeating to me.
From the distances that aircraft are observed in combat the roundels and iron crosses etc are for all intents and purposes invisible because they're too small.
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,816
Dispargum
#26
All this is true, but for me the most weird is regression after World War II. In the 1950s uniforms with camo pattern were produced, then they disappeared. Some say that it is irrelevant in a nuclear war - but in that case, light automatic weapons is irrelevant too. I think shooting live people was still part of the plan. So good individual camouflage should also be valued (?)
This is partly explained by the differences between war time and peace time. In peace time other priorties can sometimes supercede the purely tactical considerations. When no one is shooting at you, you can sometimes forget the value of not being seen. A major priority in peace time is recruiting. If camoflage uniforms are perceived as ugly, that can discourage recruitment or re-enlistment in the case of national service armies. Another factor is cost. Camoflage uniforms might be more expensive. During my career we switched from olive drab to camoflage, and the new uniforms were almost twice as expensive.
 
Dec 2017
309
Poland
#27
Camoflage uniforms might be more expensive. During my career we switched from olive drab to camoflage, and the new uniforms were almost twice as expensive.
This is definitely a strong argument - if there really is such a difference in price. For me it seems strange, because many civilian clothes, curtains, bedding also have two colors (or more) and probably for that reason they do not cost much more ... (?) But I'm not an expert. Camo patterns also have a big advantage because the dirt on them is hard to see. You clean them less often.
 
Dec 2017
309
Poland
#28
I remember about two weeks ago in forest I saw a sport-runner in a civilian hoodie, in color... something between dark green and bronze and I think: "This could be pretty good military uniform. I almost can't see this guy. Probably this hoodie it is more comfortable clothing and giving better camouflage than many military uniforms from the 20th century." - but on the other hand, I have no knowledge about the technology of clothing production. Maybe this type of clothing, very good for runners, wasn't good for army.
 

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