Saturday, June 8, 2013

Camouflage Artist | Norman Wilkinson

Norman Wilkinson (1919)
Above At the end of World War I, British marine artist and poster designer Norman Wilkinson, who claimed to have invented dazzle ship camouflage in 1917, produced the illustrations for Henry Newbolt's Submarine and Anti-Submarine (New York: Longman's, Green and Company, 1919). This illustration of a camouflaged ship, titled "Does not look like any ship you have ever seen," was featured on page 47.


Anon, in The Evening Post (Wellington, New Zealand), Saturday, May 31, 1919, p. 16—

People who cannot imagine what practical advantage could be derived from camouflaging ships should read Sir Henry Newbolt's description, in Submarine and Anti-Submarine, of the extraordinarily confusing effect it has when seen through the periscope of a submerged submarine. "You look long and hard at this dazzle-ship. She doesn't give you any sensation of being dazzled; but she is, in some queer way, all wrong—her proportions are wrong, she is somehow not herself, not what she ought to be. If you fix your attention on one end of her, she seems to point one way—if you look way at her other end, she is doing something different. You can't see the height of her funnels clearly, or their relative positions. But, with care, you decide she is coming about southeast, and will therefore be your bird in two minutes' time…The bird ends up getting away to the northeast. Your error covered just ninety degrees, and the camouflage had beaten you completely…But this ship is nothing of a dazzle, the commander tells you—he can show you one whose cut-water seems always to be moving at a right angle to her stern!"

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