Danish 1971-73 camouflage tests



    Location : Denmark
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    Danish 1971-73 camouflage tests

    Post by henrik_clausen on Sat May 30, 2015 3:47 pm


    In the years 1971-73 the Danish Defence Research Establishment (DDRE) did a number of tests on different uniforms - both examining the Danish M/58 plain green uniform (new vs. used vs. washed) to determine if used uniforms should be redyed to improve the camouflage effect, but also examining American and British camouflage uniforms (some mentioning is also made of an upcoming West German camouflage uniform).

    Luckily, the DDRE did an English-language summary in 1972 - saving me the trouble of translating Very Happy

    Report name: Evaluation of the camouflage effect of patterned uniforms relative to monotone uniforms


    On request from national military authorities The Dansih Defence Research Establishment (DDRE) has for some time been carrying out an investigation on the camouflage qualities of different combat uniforms. Part of this investigation is an evaluation of patterned uniforms relative to Danish monotone uniforms. Those evaluated were:
    - a UK combat uniform (SMOCK, MAN's COMBAT)
    - a US combat uniform (USERDL - 48 pattern camouflage uniform)
    - a Danish combat uniform (according to specifications SF/61)
    All uniforms were new (not used).

    Two further uniforms of Danish origin (specified as U 4 and U 5) were included in the trial reported here. They are however not of interest fro the problem dealt with in this report, and further mention of these uniforms is omitted.

    U4 and U5 are used and washed M/58 uniforms

    Discussion and conclusion:

    The data collection has been made under different weather conditions implying that no biased evaluation has been made as far weather is concerned. Further, different lightning conditions have been present during the trial eg.g. direct sun, shade and change from sun to shade. Due to the trial plan no special positions in the backgrounds can be favoured. The results are referred to two types of background which are characteristic for Danish nature. Direct conclusions with respect to other backgrounds should be made with great care. It has not been the aim (and is not possible based on the chose trial set-up) to evaluate the camouflage effect on short distances (ambush effect).

    Based on the these assumptions it has been found that the Danish monotone combat uniform was significantly better (lower detection ranges) than the patterned uniforms and that the UK patterned uniform was better than the US patterned uniform against a background with deciduous trees, whereas the patterned uniforms did not differ from each other against a background of corniferous trees. All valid from a distance of 100 - 200 metres from the target and outwards. It was further clarified that position relative to the background, the day variation and the trail days al have significant influence on the detection of combat uniforms

    It is stressed that the trial results reported here are only based on observations in the visual range and that this, together with the assumption upon which the trial is based, must be taken into consideration if conclusions are drawn from the results.

    Photo of the uniforms:

    Zoom in (real dimensions: 1024 x 580)DDRE report 1972.jpgDDRE report 1972.jpg (104.79 KiB) Viewed 1 time

    As you know later a version of the German Flecktarn was chosen with fewer colours than the original German version - the trial version was designated T/78 and field tested in 1978 and later issued as the M/84 uniform from 1984 (now being replaced by MultiCam...)

    Best regards


    Location : New England, US
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    Re: Danish 1971-73 camouflage tests

    Post by CollectinSteve on Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:51 pm

    Hi Henrik!

    This is very interesting! It seems that the Canadians, Germans, Danes, and Swedes were all thinking about moving to camouflage uniforms around the same time. Canada and Germany went as far as producing patterns and testing them in the field. Yet none of them adopted camouflage uniforms until much later, with the Danes being the first. I guess they gave up being scientific about things and realized that camouflage uniforms is a good fashion statement Wink

    Do you think this early test had any direct relation to the selection of German Flecktarn for the T/78 program?


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    Re: Danish 1971-73 camouflage tests

    Post by koalorka on Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:02 pm

    Excellent research Henrik, I'm tagging this for later reading!

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