Disruptive Camouflage of Vehicles

How useful is disruptive camouflage on tanks and military vehicles? The following excerpt on camouflage is taken from the A Military Encyclopedia Based on Operations in the Italian Campaigns 1943-1945 by the G-3 Section, Headquarters 15th Army Group, Italy. The encyclopedia was designed to compile the knowledge gained by experience in operations in Italy by the 15th Army Group, including both the U.S. Fifth Army and the British Eighth Army.

Camouflage of Vehicles – Disruptive Painting

The general consensus of opinion among camouflage officers was that pattern painting was of dubious value because:

a. Varied terrain in Italy made standard patterns and colors impracticable.

b. When a unit was shifted from one sector to another, as was often necessary, their patterns and colors were revealing rather than concealing. Repainting before a move was nearly always impossible because of insufficient time.

c. Security was lost and units easily identified when units moved to different sectors.

d. Camouflage paints and personnel for supervision were often not available.

As a result of extensive study and experiment, all disruptive painting of vehicles in this theater was discontinued, except where specifically directed for a particular operation. The British discarded pattern painting of vehicles in favor of a lusterless olive drab.

New Zealand M4 Sherman Tank in Italy during WW2

Photograph of a New Zealand M4 Sherman tank showing a disruptive camouflage pattern.

New Zealand M4 Sherman Tank and Crew - WW2

Another view of the same New Zealand Sherman tank and its crew from a U.S. veteran's photo album in the website's collection.


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3 comments to Disruptive Camouflage of Vehicles

  • Clem

    Great post. Thanks!

  • Jake Kilgore

    Why don’t you have more info on the professionals? German and Soviet
    Or the exotic? Italian, Romanian, Hungarian, Slovakian, Polish?

    All of your stuff is easy to get.
    Its obvious that you don’t work hard for it.

    WW2 is interesting but your US Brit, Anzac crapola is boring and very well known already!

  • Paddy

    A couple of great photo’s. My father was a gunner in a Sherman in the NZ 20th Armoured Regiment. Would you know of any photo’s of this regiment I might be able to get a copy of? Thanks.