Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Cammo Maddness


Yes, like everyone I at one time collected camouflage. Of course I also collected everything else so I am not sure what that means. It ended up with me writing the definitive(so far) history of US Army camouflage in WW2- to include a pre-WW1 aborted test of a reversible dual color uniform.

Now I am looking at the sheer massive number of cammo patterns and colors in the world and wonder just how many people that love the stuff have done their homework on it. Camouflage is a funny thing. You have to match color to background, and you have to match size of splotches to distance to viewer to be effective. And then once you start moving it generally makes you more visible than if you just wore plain old olive drab.

Good ol' OD#7 is at a low spot in the human visual receptors that make it "not stand out." Just like bright yellow and lime green at area high spot where they stand out more than other colors and are thus used for fire engines. Consider that at one point they were painting emergency vehicles that bright lime green for safety. They stopped. Why? The loss of morale in the fire crews.

But every soldier in the world is camouflage crazy and if they don't wear a cammo uniform they feel left out and unloved. I cannot help remember a U.S. Army cammo designer that once told me a pattern they were working on was reasonably effective, but the soldiers thought it looked stupid, so they had to stop their tests as it would end up lowering morale. After having read so many reports and tests on the stuff I can't help but think that camouflage is, to a certain extent, a con game in which the major benefit is a boost to soldier morale.

I was reading some web reports by so called "camouflage experts" and it was very clear to me that all they are interested in is pretty colors and designs, as they did not seem to have done any actual reading up on the history and background of the subject.

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