Dazzle ships

31 March 2022

Ray French

During the First World War, some British and American battleships adopted the use of stark black and white 'dazzle' camouflage. These striking paint jobs made it more difficult to judge the speed and direction of the ship, and was thus able to confound the critical timing of the enemy U-boats' torpedo discharges.

But this splendidly monochrome Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) shows that the concept was nothing new, although I confess I didn't see a single U-boat in Glasgow's Victoria Park, where this was taken.

BBC-15039 Dazzle Ships