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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Razzle Dazzle

Dazzle paint, USS Nebraska, April 1918
Posthip Scott sent me this picture of the battleship USS Nebraska wearing a WWI Razzle Dazzle camouflage paint job. It is unfortunate that all such photos are in black and white, because the actual paint jobs were done in a variety of colors. While there don't seem to be any color photos, there are a few color paintings, like this one:

Ocean liner RMS Mauretania in 1918 camouflage.
The object of these eye catching paint schemes wasn't to conceal the vessel, but to make it difficult for U-boat commanders to judge the speed and distance of their target. WW1 torpedoes were a bit primitive, they went where they were told, and if you told them wrong, you missed. For the allies, confusing the enemy might mean making it all the way across the pond to England.

There is also a country called Mauretania, though it also spelled Mauritania.

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