Camouflage: History and Progress

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posted on Dec, 28 2010 @ 11:54 AM
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The 19th Century:

The 19th century saw many military innovations that formed the basis for the modern battlefield. Up until the 19th century military uniforms were made to help identify friendly or enemy troops. You saw bright colors, flags, horns, drums, and many other things that in today's battlefield would get your army slaughtered. What changed?

The bolt action rifle and the machine gun were both created during the 19th century. These weapons extended the range of the war fighter from a couple of hundred feet, to hundreds of yards. It was the advent of these two weapons that created the need for concealment. While the concept of concealment and camouflage goes much further back than the 19th century, it's regular military application, as we know it today, was not in use until the 19th century. The use of drab colors (OD Green, Dark Earth, Coyote Tan, Black-Which would later form the familiar Woodland BDU) became a necessity in order to blend the operator into the background. WW1 saw the use of OD Green and Coyote Tan solid color uniforms which actually increased the survivability of troops in theater.

The 20th Century:

The Second World War created the first camo-patterned uniform used to break up the human form and for a better blend with the environment. The best example of this is the Herringbone Twill Pattern(HBT) used primarily by US Army Rangers and Marines in the Pacific theater.



Outside of this limited use the US Army and Marine Corp continued to use solid color drab uniforms all the way up the Vietnam War, when the standard OD green uniform of the Army was forced to change due to the jungle conditions where greens and browns were broken up by light and shadow, the ERDL pattern camouflage(predecessor to the modern Woodland Pattern Battle Dress Uniform) was born:


The 70s and 80s brought us the Woodland BDU and the desert three color BDU.

The Woodland BDU was the standard dress uniform of most ground troops in the United States for nearly 30 years. It was adopted to respond to the needs of operators in South and Central America where the vegetation and light/shadow mixture, although similar to Vietnam, required some darkening of the color swatches to match thick canopy jungle and mountainous terrain where dark shadows were the norm.


The deserts of Kuwait and Iraq brought us the BDU in Three Color Desert pattern. This pattern was quickly found to be ineffective in open Middle Eastern deserts. The 3 color desert uniforms were modeled for deserts in the United States where you see a lot of browns.


This pattern was replaced by the 6 color desert BDU which did little to aid in the concealment of soldiers as it kept the browns and added black circular dots to mimic rock shadows. Again, designed for US deserts.




The 21st Century:

The 21st Century has brought us some serious innovation in camouflage patterns.

The US Army's ACU(Army Combat Uniform) was introduced in 2004 to meet the needs of operators in the sandy deserts of Iraq as well as serving as a transitional pattern for urban combat operations in the same theater. It is now the standard uniform of US Army personnel. The Pattern is called UCP(Universal Camouflage Pattern).


UCP has also evolved slightly to better meet the needs in Afghanistan. US operators in theater are field testing UCP-D(UCP-Delta) with dark earth brown mixed in.


Afghanistan has become a boon to camo pattern creators over the last 9 years. The US Army Special Forces have been given Multicam ACUs to field test in Afghanistan. Of all the patterns being used in Afghanistan Multicam has come out on top as the best pattern for the transitional environment of the Afghan terrain.


A new proprietary pattern by Propper Inc. called ATACS(Advanced Tactical Concealment System) promises to render operators nearly invisible using Organic Digital pixel patterns in rocky, desert, woodland and urban patterns for their respective environments. This pattern is so effective that I have trouble seeing it in photos let alone at range.


The Future Beyond:

The future of camouflage lies in adaptive material and light bending capabilities. Meta-materials have shown the ability to bend certain light spectrum around it's structure rendering the object invisible to the observer. This technology is probably a decade or so out before it is fielded for combat operations. Right now this technology works with microwave and IR spectrum but cannot yet do the same for visible light.

I hope this thread is as informative as you hoped it would be. Camo theory is an ever changing science. An important field of study to make sure the operator in the field of battle can lay waste to the enemy while increasing his/her own survivability.
edit on 31-5-2011 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)
edit on 10-9-2011 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 28 2010 @ 11:33 PM
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Nicely done, covers it pretty well. Of course we could get into ghillie suits, but that's obviously not the sort of thing your average infantry would be using.
One thing I find interesting is that camo seems to be continually getting lighter in color. My experience is much more in the hunting side of things,but the same trend is noticable there. I've noticed how many of the traditional camo patterns tend to "blob" in to a single dark shape at any extended range. I've seen many hunters who you could swear were wearing all black or brown from a distance, yet once they got close they were indeed wearing popular camo patterns. What I've learned(and the military too,it seems) is that minute detail is useless, you have to break up the overall outline and shape. If you look at popular "sticks and twigs" camo at 30+ yards,all the detail vanishes and you get a dark blob. This new pixallated military stuff does a good job of just kind of letting your eyes slide off it, and I'm thinking about giving it a try for bowhunting.
Right now I'm using a pattern called ASAT, and it has proven to be very good indeed. I've noticed it works especially well on coyote's, even more so than on deer. Not sure shy,but assuming it's something with the way their eyes work. I had several encounters this year where the coyote's came within 10 yards of me (about 3 yards once) and just seemed to look right through me. I even made some sudden,significant movements a few times ad the coyote would freeze,stare straight at me for about 5-10 seconds,and then relax and carry on. I've never been able to get away with that before. This suit is a 3-d leafy suit,which helps, but so was my last one and it didn't work as well as this one.
I'm very curious about the difference in the way various animals eyes work. I know there is a significant difference in the vision of say a deer,coyote,and human. Maybe what works good for one is not so good on another? I wonder if the new military camo will fool the eyes of various animals as well as it does us humans? I think this is an experiment I shall have to undertake next hunting season.



posted on Dec, 29 2010 @ 01:35 AM
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reply to post by xxclaro
 


My girl friend's father and I will be going coyote hunting soon. He goes out all the time in UCP(Army standard digital) camo and he swears by it. I'd give it a try. It also seems to work quite well in the snow. I tried it out earlier with a friend at a ten yard and 50 yard distance, he did not see me until I stood up. It also blends very well into the Northern Nevada desert environment. Certainly recommended. If you're in a heavily wooded area try USMC MARPAT.

edit on 29-12-2010 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 09:49 PM
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I think you will find that the British were using Khaki during the Boer War, way before WW1. As for traditional camoflauge, you are forgetting that the Finnish troops were using white coloured clothing during the Finnish-Russo war, the German Waffen SS were widely using camo during WW2 as were British Paratroops (denison smocks).

You could even say that the British and German Rifle Brigades during the Napoleonic Wars were using a form of camoflauge as they wore Rifle Green uniforms.



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 10:18 PM
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'dazzle camo' using cubism to disguise ships...


i dont know if this is bad digi' data or cgi or maybe something else.



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 11:30 PM
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reply to post by neonitus
 


The second video is a proven fake. When we broke down the frame by frame it turned out to be a pretty bad insertion.



posted on Jan, 2 2011 @ 12:05 AM
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Originally posted by projectvxn
reply to post by neonitus
 


The second video is a proven fake. When we broke down the frame by frame it turned out to be a pretty bad insertion.


I would think a mod on ATS would have a little bit more than "Oh, it's fake because I said so".



posted on Jan, 2 2011 @ 09:16 AM
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reply to post by RestingInPieces
 


You don't think that as old as this video is that members of ATS haven't already torn this thing apart?

We do have a search feature. Not my job to do your home work for you.
edit on 2-1-2011 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 08:59 AM
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I honestly believe that the USMC Digital patterns or Woodland, and Desert MARPAT if you want to get technical are excellent camouflages, between the two of them they can cover most terrain on the planet better than most. Only having two BDU's that can cover most anything is very advantageous, with asking one BDU to cover everything such as the UCP. The UCP has been shown to be as much as 25+% more effective in rugged desert terrain, especially such as that in Afghanistan, I don't know about you but if I have the chance to reduce my chance of being spotted by an enemy that wants me dead by 25% or more that is a huge deal and I would very much want that advantage. Now granted testing has shown that in a more woodland situation the UCP performs slightly better than the Desert Digi but not enough to offset the desert advantage and not to mention that the USMC has another BDU for such an environment lending much more effective flexibility.

www.armytimes.com...



posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 05:35 PM
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Originally posted by projectvxn
reply to post by RestingInPieces
 


You don't think that as old as this video is that members of ATS haven't already torn this thing apart?

We do have a search feature. Not my job to do your home work for you.
edit on 2-1-2011 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)


Google has a search feature too, so let's all just make claims on this site without backing anything up.

As a matter of fact, I've personally seen and used that type of camouflage when I was active duty. Look it up.



posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 05:41 PM
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reply to post by RestingInPieces
 


BS:

Read from this point down:
Yep
edit on 4-1-2011 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 06:08 PM
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I think that the best camouflage pattern out there is the "Multicam" which was the original choice selected by the US Army before they decided to go along with the horrid "Army Combat Uniform". I must also admit that I am partial to the British DPM woodland and desert patterns as well.

upload.wikimedia.org...
Multicam



Also, some corrections. The first instance of camouflage uniforms were in the mid/late 1700s when many countries outfitted special units of marksman and light infantry in green uniforms or some other form of subdued clothing. A prime example would be the green uniforms worn by the German jagers or the buckskin clothing worn by the American riflemen, irregulars, and militia in the American Revolution and colonial America/early modern America. The British Army also widely used khaki colored uniforms in India starting in the 1840s, however it was not until the red uniform was relegated to ceremonial use in the mid 1880s that khaki became the standard British Army uniform worn into combat. The famous red uniform was last worn in combat at the Battle of Gennis in the Sudan in 1885. The khaki uniform was in turn replaced by the olive drab uniform in 1904 which served until the adoption of "Battledress" in the 1930s, which in turn was replaced by the DPM camouflage uniforms starting in 1968. I just discovered that the DPM uniforms will be replaced by a new pattern called "Multi-Terrain Pattern" starting in 2012.

edit on 4-1-2011 by ChrisF231 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 06:13 PM
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reply to post by ChrisF231
 


Multi-cam is a transitional pattern for everything but urban.

It's not a solve-all pattern. But I do get your point...However ACU(Which refers to the model of uniform not the pattern of camo) aka UCP, is very usefull.

I've field tested quite a few patterns and UCP is right up there, especially for the Northern Nevada hi desert environment. We also have a lot of granite up here and UCP blends VERY WELL with it, and the sparse vegetation with the subdued greens also give advantage to UCP..

edit on 4-1-2011 by projectvxn because: grammar
edit on 21-1-2011 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 5 2011 @ 07:36 PM
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acu , aka silver surfer or I see U.......
I would also suggest british rifle reg as early adopters of green cammo and that khaki was introduced in the egyptian campaigns , to replace the red ...

I would also suggest that the best examples from ww2 were used by the nazi waffen ss deathsheads divisions...at least 8 different varieties , most reversible...


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posted on Jan, 5 2011 @ 07:38 PM
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edit on 5-1-2011 by gambon because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 12:12 AM
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Just so y'all know, there no record to correct with me. i.e.


While the concept of concealment and camouflage goes much further back than the 19th century, it's regular military application, as we know it today, was not in use until the 19th century.


Note the acknowledgement of prior instances of the use of
Camo, and the modifier "as we know it today". Might help explain from what angle this is being looked at.



posted on Jan, 12 2011 @ 10:26 PM
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reply to post by gambon
 


Silver surfer



That's cute, but I have used UCP to great success in different environments...It's most certainly not a cure-all pattern of concealment, but it certainly isn't crap.

In Afghanistan MultiCam seems the best way to go. In mountainous terrain where you're required to hike long distances traversing different environments it is good to use.

Otherwise for many desert/light vegetation and urban situations UCP works very well.
edit on 17-1-2011 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2011 @ 06:11 AM
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reply to post by projectvxn
 


there was just a good docu about this on history channel the other day, if you have comcast you should be able to catch it on demand.



posted on Jan, 17 2011 @ 10:21 PM
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reply to post by projectvxn
 


always used to raise a smile , and yes agreed it does work suprisingly well in sparse sagebrush , and rock , even stucco walls, the noisy velcro patches are a downer though...


The new brit varient multicam is very interesting , works well , esp for a variant of "Painters overalls cam"

ucp dyed coyote brown is sweeet
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posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 01:04 AM
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reply to post by gambon
 


UCP-D is great stuff. Currently being tested in Afghanistan. Seems to be doing it's job rather well according to some reports.


The new brit varient multicam is very interesting , works well , esp for a variant of "Painters overalls cam"





UK-MTP is also developed by Crye Precision. It's the Multicam functionality with thinner streaks of color rather than blots.
edit on 31-5-2011 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)





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