University of Northern Iowa, to advertise an upcoming talk on WWI ship camouflage by RISD scholar Claudia Covert. This is one of three posters designed by Chelsey Mcnamee. Copyright © 2012 by the designer. All rights reserved.
Francis Rolt-Wheeler, The Wonder of War at Sea. Lothrop, Lee and Shepard, 1919, pp. 346-347—
“Do you suppose, Chief," asked the lad, as they were standing on deck, rejoicing in the capture of the submarine and looking at her checkerboard colored conning tower, "that this marine camouflage is really useful? Some of it looks so absurd?"…
[The Chief replies] "The ‘dazzle’ system o’ camouflage, which is British, is designed to puzzle the eye. At a mile and a half or two miles, ye can’t tell whether a ‘dazzled’ ship is comin’ or goin’. Ye can’t tell if she’s high out o’ the water, or low. Ye can’t tell, sometimes, if she has one, two, or three funnels. For a soobmarine, with a periscope maybe four to six feet out o’ the water, a ‘dazzled’ ship is like shootin’ at a ‘now ye see it an’ now ye don’t’ target. Soobmarines have been known to fire torpedoes as much as eight degrees out o’ line, when thinkin’ they were firin’ straight at a dazzled ship, even at close range. The human eye, after all, is no’ a pairfect mechanism.”