April 27, 2021 – An iconic paint scheme has been applied to a Royal Navy warship for the first time since World War 2.
New patrol ship HMS Tamar will deploy this summer with a ‘dazzle camouflage’ paint scheme – various shades of black, white and grey in strange or jarring shapes.
The paint scheme, introduced by the Royal Navy towards the end of World War 1, was adopted by many of the world’s navies at the time – and repeated again between 1939 and 1945.
The different shapes, angles and colours were intended to confuse submariners peering through periscopes, making it hard for them first to identify ships and confuse their calculations about the target’s speed and direction – hopefully causing a torpedo to miss.
With the end of the war and the improvement of radar and optical devices, dazzle camouflage was quickly phased out by the Royal Navy after 1945 – until now.
Tamar, which entered service last year, already stands out from much of the rest of the Royal Navy fleet thanks to large red lion motifs on her superstructure (they are being replaced before the ship sails next week).
Now shipwrights at the A&P yard in Falmouth have added the dazzle scheme to her hull – 200 litres of paint in four shades of grey, plus black – during a maintenance period, at the same time retaining the distinctive lion emblems (they’ll be added again before the end of the week).