I’m John Eilermann, and I love reading up on anything related to World War II. I believe we can learn a lot of useful and fascinating things even with this being the darkest part of man’s history.
For today, I want to discuss something I read about recently – the history of the U.S. Army camouflage. Here’s a short timeline.
1700s and 1800s: American soldiers would put mud on their blue coats to blend into the brown environment. Many historians believe this to be one of the first known camouflages used by Americans.
1902: The first U.S. Army camouflage, based on the green and brown uniforms of U.K. soldiers stationed in India, came out. The classic blue uniforms became dress clothes for formal occasions.
World War I: Soldiers who were once clothing designers as civilians created more effective camouflage uniforms.
World War II: Soldiers in WW2 wore reversible coveralls, or “frog patterns.”
1950s: A camouflage patterned after leaves and twigs was produced but was quickly phased out.
The Vietnam War: Patterned after the camouflage of NAVY Seal and Special Forces uniforms, the new U.S. Army uniforms resembled those of tiger-stripes. According to John Eilermann research, there were several variations for soldiers in different terrain.
1970s: The M81 woodland was created for European operations. The camouflage had black, brown, khaki, and green colors.
The Gulf War: The camouflage worn here would be the camouflage that many soldiers in the U.S. wear today. They had six colors – gray, green, brown, tan, khaki, and black.