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Razzle Dazzle, the camouflage that inspired our jersey design

Razzle Dazzle, the camouflage that inspired our jersey design

Posted on May 03 2020

First, some context:

 

During World War 1, razzle-dazzle or dazzle camouflage paint was used to paint the ships of the British Navy. The camouflage paint was the brainchild of John Graham Kerr (a zoologist, who took his idea from the animal kingdom). It apparently was his idea to cover the British warships with the black and white dazzle camouflage paint. The Americans referred to it as Razzle Dazzle, which has a nice ring to it.

 

The English Navy wanted to hide their royal ships from the prying eyes of the Germans. But hiding Navy ships at sea was not easy so they came up with a cunning plan. Rather than hide from the Germans they decided to confuse the Germans. How? By applying the disruptive camouflage black and white paint to British Warships the intention was not to conceal the ships but to make it difficult to estimate a target’s range, speed, and heading.

 

Did it work? 

 

Sadly, over 500 British Royal Navy ships were lost during World War 1.  During the first world war, it was only an educated guess that the so-called dazzle camouflage would work. But a few years ago a student from the University of Bristol has actually tested it and the short answer is yes it does work!—but not in the way that the British Navy hoped it did. Ships move too slowly for the razzle-dazzle to have any effect. But vehicles that move at speed do seem to have the capacity to confuse if covered in dazzle camouflage paint.  We wondered if it worked on fast-moving vehicles could it work on cyclists as well? The project became the inspiration for Megmeister’s first woven men's range of cycling jerseys. We like the idea of giving our jerseys a unique dazzle pattern so it becomes difficult for other riders to judge your speed.  A razzle-dazzle pattern that confuses fellow cyclists sounds like fun. That’s the idea anyway, let us know if it works!

 

Find out more about the new cycling range here - https://shop.megmeister.com/blogs/blog/from-base-layers-to-jerseys