A retired pilot ship sits in a Liverpool dock, painted in vivid red, yellow and green stripes. This is a “Dazzle Ship”, decorated with a unique and eccentric British camouflage method originally developed during World War One.
The British navy had tried different methods of disguising ships, but none had proved effective. Realising that it must be impossible to successfully conceal a boat, marine artist Norman Wilkinson suggested a radical, opposite approach: a design that would instead confuse and disorientate the enemy, making it difficult for a U-boat commander to estimate the boat’s speed or direction. The Dazzle Ship was born.