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I have a burning need to know stuff and I love asking awkward questions.

Monday, May 25, 2020


mudpuddle said...

i've been thinking about this painting for 24 hours and i can't come up with a location... where is it!

CyberKitten said...

I had the exact opposite reaction as it's my home town! The painting is of the Mersey Harbour area in Liverpool. The building just off right of centre is the iconic Liver Building. The ship on the far left in dazzle camouflage paint is (I believe) the RMS Olympic, sister ship of Titanic. She was used in WW1 as a troop transport and delivered a great number of troops to Gallipoli for the ill fated Dardanelles campaign in 1915.

mudpuddle said...

with the 4 stacks, i presume? dazzle paint, huh...

CyberKitten said...

@ Mudpuddle: Yes, the 4 stacker. I *believe* its RMS Olympic. It certainly gels with my 30 seconds of research on Google [grin]

[From Wiki]

Dazzle camouflage, also known as razzle dazzle (in the U.S.) or dazzle painting, was a family of ship camouflage used extensively in World War I, and to a lesser extent in World War II and afterwards. Credited to the British marine artist Norman Wilkinson, though with a rejected prior claim by the zoologist John Graham Kerr, it consisted of complex patterns of geometric shapes in contrasting colours, interrupting and intersecting each other.

Unlike other forms of camouflage, the intention of dazzle is not to conceal but to make it difficult to estimate a target's range, speed, and heading. Norman Wilkinson explained in 1919 that he had intended dazzle primarily to mislead the enemy about a ship's course and so cause them to take up a poor firing position.

Dazzle was adopted by the Admiralty in the UK, and then by the United States Navy. Each ship's dazzle pattern was unique to avoid making classes of ships instantly recognisable to the enemy. The result was that a profusion of dazzle schemes was tried, and the evidence for their success was at best mixed. So many factors were involved that it was impossible to determine which were important, and whether any of the colour schemes were effective.