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The best military camouflage techniques

The best military camouflage techniques

Off on a survival mission in hostile terrain? Hide from enemy forces with military camouflage! Military camouflage techniques guarantee safety and discretion in the field.

Military camouflage was born at the dawn of the First World War. Camouflage is used not only on soldiers, but also on the equipment they use: vehicles, ships, tanks... Here are the best military camouflage techniques used all over the world!

The Ghillie Suit: a highly effective camouflage technique!

ghillie follows

The Ghillie Suit is a fascinating camouflage technique that originated in South Africa during the Boer War. It was the British troops who began making outfits to camouflage themselves in the landscape. However, it wasn't until the Vietnam War that the Ghillie Suit was really developed. It consists of a camouflage net made from cottons or bits of string with a texture similar to vegetation.

The Ghillie Suit is one ofthe best camouflage techniques for blending into the vegetation! Any sniper or soldier will try it out one day... and be convinced!

Discover our articles dedicated to the Ghillie Suit :

Broken-form camouflage: the most commonly used

Broken military camouflage is characterized by two, three or four colors, generally in shades of khaki and brown. This camouflage takes the form of spots on an already colored, beige fabric. This type of military camouflage is inherited from German helmets and French military clothing. It is widely used today for its effectiveness from a distance. However, it is useless up close or at short distances, as the stains are easily recognizable.

American camouflage: M81 Woodland

camouflage m81 woodland

M81 Woodland camouflage appeared in the USA in the 1980s and was used by the US Army until 2004. If you're interested in the history of this camouflage, don't miss our article on M81 Woodland military camouflage!

French camouflage: Camouflage CE and Camouflage Daguet

camouflage center europe

Centre-Europe (CE) camouflage has been used by the French armed forces since 1991. It consists of a four-color pattern of wood shapes (black, green, brown, beige) designed to camouflage the soldier in a European forest-type area. This camouflage is also used on vehicles, but in a different variant.

The Centre-Europe camouflage will be gradually replaced by the multi-environment bariolage by 2024. Daguet camouflage, meanwhile, uses the same shapes, but in different shades, foruse in desert areas. Read our full article on Centre-Europe (CE) camouflage!

Flecktarn and digital camouflage: computerized and pixelated camouflage

The Flecktarn

camouflage flecktarn

Flecktarn camouflage originated in Germany during the Second World War. The Waffen-SS wanted to develop their own camouflage similar to that of the forest, but different from that of the regular army. Thus, the Flecktarn pattern, known as the "tree pattern", was created in 1937. It consists of small patches and leaf-like shapes. This camouflage was a success on the battlefield and was improved in 1944 with a polka-dot pattern.

This type of camouflage was used by the US Army on the Pacific Front and by the West German Army during the Cold War. In 1990, after German reunification, the German army decided to use Flecktarn camouflage.

As in France with the Daguet camouflage, a version of the Flecktarn camouflage was developed for desert areas: the Wüstentarn camouflage.

Digital camouflage

digital camouflage

Digital camouflage is directly inspired by Flecktarn camouflage. The American armed forces carried out numerous tests using this polka-dot camouflage in the 1970s. Finally, it was theCanadian army that developed the first digital camouflage in the 2000s. This digital camouflage, also known as pixelated camouflage, was created with the help of computers and satellite images.

In turn, the US military is developing digital camouflage patterns for each of its armies: the US Marine Corp, the US Navy, the US Army and the US Air Force.

Commercial camouflage: MultiCam, Multi-Terrain Pattern and Mirage camouflage

multicam camouflage

Commercial camouflage was developed by private companies for use by public and private armed forces. The 3 best-known commercial camouflages are MultiCam camouflage, Multi-Terrain Pattern camouflage and Mirage camouflage.

MultiCam camouflage has been adopted by the US Army. It is hexachromic in shape and can be used on any type of terrain. It was used in the Afghanistan War. MultiCam camouflage is also used in the USA by private armed forces, including Blackwater Worldwide. Read our article on MultiCam commercial camouflage!

The Multi-Terrain Pattern camouflage was developed by the British army and is very similar to the American MultiCam camouflage.

Mirage camouflage, meanwhile, is currently being developed by the US armed forces and features 5 to 6 colors.

Thermo-optical camouflage: hope for the future of camouflage!

thermo optical camouflage

Still under development, thermo-optical camouflage aims to become the world's best camouflage technique in the years to come. Studies have shown that the light reflected by a body is not limited to the visible. Patterned camouflage conceals the presence of a body, but does not eliminate it. Studies on thermo-optical camouflage are aimed at developing a technique to completely camouflage the body, making it truly invisible.

Several thermo-optical camouflage techniques have been developed: optical camouflage, textural camouflage, infrared camouflage and thermal camouflage.

Optical camouflage

Optical camouflage is currently being developed in U.S. Army laboratories. The idea is to develop a technique for reflecting light from one body to another. Scientific researchers are using a process called "X'tal vision" to develop optical camouflage. However, this camouflage is not yet very reliable.

Textural camouflage

Textural camouflage takes its inspiration directly from chameleons and cephalopods such as octopuses, in an attempt to develop a scientific technique for transforming soft robotics. Indeed, these animals can change color as well as texture to mimic their environment in mere milliseconds. Biomimetic scientists have been developing this technique for several years, but nothing has yet been presented. But there is still hope.

Infrared camouflage

Infrared camouflage was first developed during the Second World War. Until then, camouflage in the electromagnetic infrared and ultraviolet spectrum had been impossible. The Nazis were the first to detect a military application for infrared photography to detect enemy troops. An industrialist developed a reflective chemical agent, Hydron Olive GX, to camouflage the Nazis.

The Americans used this camouflage technique again during the Vietnam War, adding reflective dyes to US Army clothing. Later, the M81 Woodland camouflage also incorporated reflective agents. However, in arid zones, the addition of reflective agents prevents camouflage.

In France, the first uniforms to be treated against infrared detection were introduced duringOperation Daguet in 1990. Since 2021, the French army has been equipping its uniforms and vehicles with reflective camouflage to make them totally invisible to infrared rays.

Thermal camouflage

As you probably know, the human body emits heat radiation that can be seen by thermography. In this method of scientific vision, the warm body (the man) appears brighter, different from the darker background. Thermal camouflage uses a technique to camouflage the soldier's hot body to bring it closer to the temperature of his environment.

The use of a poncho or a Ghillie Suit can diffuse another form of heat, but above all destroy the human form of heat in the thermographic vision. Another thermal camouflage technique also exists: the idea is to develop low-emission textiles and paints by incorporating metallic particles.

Thermal camouflage is one of themost advanced and effectivethermo-optical camouflages available today.

Dazzle camouflage (naval camouflage): ship camouflage

camouflage dazzle

Dazzle camouflage, also known as naval camouflage, was developed during both World Wars. It was used on warships to protect themselves from submarines by camouflaging them with gray or black geometric shapes. Occasionally, the outlines of another ship were drawn on the hull to deceive the enemy: in the distance, with binoculars, it was impossible to tell which ship it was. The Dazzle camouflage is the work of British artist Norman Wilkinson.

Dazzle camouflage was mainly used during the First World War, but less so during the Second. Unfortunately, Dazzle camouflage is now obsolete due to the use of maritime radar. It is no longer used at all today.

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Hoarau - April 20, 2024

A truly fascinating subject! Maybe even one of the most powerful weapons I′d like to learn more about the secret of camouflage I don′t know where to look can you help me here?

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