dazzle ships

i remember my dad once told me about how during the first world war they used to paint warships in crazy colours to make them hard to see properly through periscopes (on submarines). as submarines shoot torpedoes ahead of the ships in order to hit where they're going to be (not where they are), someone had to work out it's trajectory and where it was going to be in order to shoot it. seeing as it's hard to camoflage a ship as the sea and sky always change, an idea was thought of where the ships were not disguised but their course made harder to read. some top graphic designers were hired to come up with ways of painting the ships.

there are no colour photographs taken of the ships at the time, only black and white, but some of the plans below give a good idea of what they would have looked like. eventually against plane attacks they were no good, and navy captains didn't really like painting their ships in such un-military colours. on the wikipedia page it questions their effectiveness overall, but i think it was a great idea. looking at the above pictures i think it would be pretty confusing to tell which was the real bow of the ship. plus, they look way better than plain grey ships any day....

link to 'razzle dazzle', with lots more images and in depth explanations

link to wikipedia page