REFERENCE DOCUMENTS & RESOURCES - Confidential Admiralty Fleet Orders
1941 CAFO 302: CAMOUFLAGE OF H.M. SHIPS (FEB. 1941)
Updated 26-Jan-2008

This document is a modern transcription of Admiralty record CAFO 302 (Feb 1941). It concerns the Royal Navy's desire to apply disruptive camouflage schemes to it's warships during the Second World War. The original document is held at the Royal Navy Library at the Royal Navy Base, Portsmouth. This Crown Copyrighted material is reproduced here by kind permission of the Royal Navy Library.

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C.A.F.O. 302. –Camouflage of H.M. Ships

(T.S.D. 74/41.–13.2.1941.)

Designs of disruptive camouflage have been prepared for certain H.M. ships under construction of refit at home, and these ships are being painted according to their designs.

2. The object of disruptive camouflage is to break up hard edges, merge shadows , and confuse a known silhouette.

3. The value of this system of camouflage can only be assessed after experience at sea, based on observation from the air, and from the surface by day and night.

4. In order, however, to avoid long delay in applying the scheme if it proves of value, steps are being taken to make one or more designs for each class of ship.

5. Certain further ships refitting at home will be ordered from time to time by the Admiralty to paint according to these designs. The designs for each class of ship will also be sent to the appropriate Administrative authorities.

6. It will then be at the discretion of Administrative Authorities, subject to approval of Commanders-in-Chief, to order H.M. ships in their commands to paint according to the designs.

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