History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days. ~Winston Churchill

13 January, 2012

Dazzle Paint

In World War One, ships were frequently dazzle-painted-- painted all over with crazy lines and stripes, which served to confuse their locations and outlines to enemy submarines and ships in the days before radar.  These were not only black and white, as they appear in these photos-- shades of blue and acquamarine alternated with grey and black (as in this terrific painting by Group of Seven painter Arthur Lismer). Even at the time observers noted how harbours ended up looking like a floating modernist art show! Fascinating and beautiful... why don't we bring dazzle paint back? :)

Note: some of the very best dazzle paint photographs I found were unavailable for free use by me; if you are interested, dozens more are here. 

Gunboat H.M.S. Kildangan. Source

HMAS Borda. Source

Liner turned troopship HMS Aquitania. Source

HMS Argus, the first British aircraft carrier. Source

Minelayer USS Shawmut, left, being surronded by a smokescreen by the HMS Vampire. Source

HMAS Melbourne. Source

HMAS Kanimbla, WWII. Source

French cruiser FFS Gloire. Source

The Mauretania. Source

HMS Nairana. Source

A brilliant London Transport poster for the Imperial War Museum, 1936, by Edward Wadsworth. Source

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now thats a way to fight a war! Dress up your ships abit! :-)

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