Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dazzled by Dazzle

SHIP SHAPE: A Dazzle Camouflage Sourcebook (2012)

From an article in the New York Sun, April 21, 1918, magazine section, p. 12—

Astern of the gray transport steams another ship, the second vessel crazily camouflaged—as if the skipper had said to a boss painter, "Mike, you and your whole crew go ashore and get stewed to the eyes and then come aboard again and paint this ship as you see fit."


From an unsigned article in the Coconino Sun, Friday, January 3, 1919, p. 5—

The sailor, returning a trifle saturated, found his hitherto respected and respectable ship camouflaged in the most modern cubist style. Running his eye over the whole mess of conflicting squares, triangles, lines, circles and sundry other nameless blobs of paint which graced the sides of his "home," and blinking stupidly at the hideously screaming color scheme, he slowly raised his hand while the tears coursed down his cheeks and murmured wearily, "Never again."


From Herman Whitaker, German Shark: The American Navy in the Underseas War. Century Company, 1918, p. 17—

Barred, striped, blotched, smudged, ring-streaked with vivid pinks, arsenic greens, blowsy reds, violent blues, they [dazzle-camouflaged ships] looked like—like—like nothing in the world unless it be that most poisonous of drinks, a Frisco pousse-cafĂ©. All of the giraffes, zebras, leopards, and tigers ever assembled in the "World's Greatest Aggregation" exhibit conventional patterns in comparison with this destroyer camouflage. The exception to this blazing color scheme, a recent arrival from home, looked, in her dull lead paint, like a Puritan maiden that had fallen by accident into a blowsy company of painted Jezebels.