Re: lozenge theory

Bill Shatzer (
Mon, 11 Dec 1995 22:11:50 -0800

>Its funny that despite the efforts of the colorists and developers of lozenge
>camouflage, what with the research and development effort that was no doubt
>involved, units emblazoned high visibilty markings of all sorts on the very
>aircraft that lozenge was intended to hide. It seems there is a conflict of
>interests here. The "management" puts forth an effort to gain a slight edge
>in combat by regulating a consistent, well planned deception scheme identical
>from aircraft to aircraft, kind of an overall "team" approach- while the
>pilots in harm's way seem to have a more individualistic approach stressing
>rapid identification, boastful taunting, and intimidation. "Lozenge be
>damned! My name screaming from the top of my wing shall strike fear in the
>hearts of the English!!," I might expect to hear. Kind of ironic, and not
>limited to the Great War. Which school of thought works best, or am I way
>off? Sometimes you just have to wonder.

Well, to quote an article written by a German war correspondent during a visit
to Jasta 11:

"The principal of looking as much as possible like the color of the sky
was entirely abandoned. 'Invisibility cannot be acheived,' it was explained
to me, 'but one does indeed run the risk of a mix-up between enemy and
friendly airplanes. The different markings on the fuselages are clearly
visiable in the air and one recognizes them during combat and can assist
a comrade.'

"For this reason, every pilot has a personal machine ... giving it a special
marking that enables his comrades to keep him in sight during combat and
to know at all times who controls the machine. One machine has white or
red or some other colored stripes, another carries them diagonally or
longitudinally, etc."

Of course, you'll note that it was almost exclusively the Jastas which
used the gaudy colors and prominent markings - the recons and bombers and
CL's tended to stick with the subdued standard camouflage - just like
in the North American woods, the hunters tend to wear orange and the
deer wear brown. There is a similar principal at work with with WW1
German a/c.


Bill Shatzer - -or- -