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Warship Camouflage: Just Like a Zebra

Updated: Aug 16

Adapted from War Park Weibo news release 2022-05-14 20:08

One of Germany's most feared and effective weapons during the First World War was its U-boat unit - which roamed the Atlantic, surveyed and destroyed many British merchant ships. In the course of the war, they sank more than 5,700 ships and killed more than 12,700 non-combatants.

A Royal Navy reservist, Lieutenant Norman Wilkinson, came up with a radical and ingenious solution: instead of trying to hide ships, make them inconspicuous. By covering the hull with startling stripes and irregular abstract shapes, it confuses German submarine officers looking through their periscope. And these stripes are called warship camouflage.

When a German submarine is submerged, the only way to aim was through the periscope. Even then, the risk of detection is high, so the periscope can only be used for observation in the water for a short period of time before retracting. The U-boat commander had to use that little visual data to calculate size, speed, distance and direction of the targeted ship to determine the angle and time of detonation. The warship camouflage made it all the more difficult. It was hard to tell the bow from the stern, including the direction the targeted ship was heading.

Zebra stripes and warships camouflage has the similar effect on land. When a lion hunts a zebra, the sight of the herd from a distance turns into a chaotic line of lines that directly confuses the lion's sight and judgment, making it harder to intercept. This camouflage was also used on German tanks during the later phase of Second World War. Dive bombers, tanks and anti-tank guns all use periscope-like sights for aiming, and warship camouflage combined with high speed movement can improve the survival probability of tanks.

This month War Park unveiled its Ostwind anti-aircraft tank, painted in warship camouflage.

Material:

The main body is resin, track + gun barrel + accessories are metal.

Trackability: Wheels can be pushed without suspension, tracks are metal spliced, the front two hatches are retractable, turret can rotate 360°, gun barrel can pitch upwards and downwards.


https://www.toysoldiersgalleria.com/product-page/war-park-ax015-no019-flakpanzer-iv-ostwind-luftwaffe-crew


https://www.toysoldiersgalleria.com/product-page/war-park-ax015-warship-camouflage-3-7cm-flak-43-flakpanzer-iv-ostwind


https://www.toysoldiersgalleria.com/product-page/war-park-no017-the-luftwaffe-captain-with-a-luger-pistol


https://www.toysoldiersgalleria.com/product-page/war-park-no018-the-luftwaffe-soldier-with-a-range-finder


https://www.toysoldiersgalleria.com/product-page/war-park-no019-flakpanzer-iv-ostwind-luftwaffe-crew


https://www.toysoldiersgalleria.com/product-page/war-park-no020-60cm-flak-sw36-searchlight-mit-sd-ah-51-with-luftwaffe-crew


Original Chinese text follows below.


在第一次世界大战期间,德国最令人恐惧和最有效的武器之一是其U型潜艇部队——它们在大西洋漫游,发现并摧毁所有英国商船。在战争过程中,他们击沉了 5,700 多艘船只,杀死了 12,700 多名非战斗人员。


一位名叫诺曼·威尔金森的皇家海军预备役中尉,提出了一个激进而巧妙的解决方案:与其试图隐藏船只,不如让它们引人注目。通过在船体上覆盖令人吃惊的条纹和不规则的抽象形状,去混淆通过潜望镜观察的德国潜艇军官。而这种条纹也就是所说的军舰迷彩。


当德国潜艇下潜的时候,瞄准目标的唯一方法是通过潜望镜。即使这样也有被发现的风险,所以潜望镜只能在水中观察很短的时间就要收回。德国潜艇指挥官必须使用那一点点视觉数据来计算船的大小、速度、距离和方向,来决定鱼雷发射的角度和引爆时间。而军舰迷彩让这一切都变得更加困难,人们很难分辨船头和船尾包括航向。


斑马的条纹和军舰迷彩有着异曲同工之妙。当狮子捕猎斑马时,从远处看斑马群变成了混乱的线条,会直接扰乱并迷惑狮子的视线和判断从而增加了拦截的难度。这种迷彩在二战后期也使用到了德军战车上。俯冲轰炸机、坦克和反坦克炮都要使用类似潜望镜的瞄具来进行瞄准,而军舰迷彩再加上高速移动,会在一定程度上提高战车的生存概率。


本月战争公园推出了军舰迷彩涂装的东风防空坦克。

材质:主体为树脂,履带+炮管+配件为金属。

可动:车轮可推动无悬挂,履带为金属拼接,车前两个舱门可打开,炮塔可360°旋转,炮管可俯仰。

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