First use of modern camouflage
Le section de camouflage
1915/2/12 first
France (Paris)
The earliest use of modern camouflage by an army division was on 12 February 1915 when the first military army camouflage unit, Le section de camouflage, was established in France, under the control of Lucien Victor Guirand de Scevola (France). Workshops in Paris, Amiens and Nancy, among others, were established for the 3,000 workers and camouflers (formally civilian artists) to operate. De Scevola (a painter serving in the French infantry) had been experimenting since early 1914 with irregular patterned camouflage as a way of disguising ground operations, and eventually convinced the French government officials to use it. De Scevola even introduced the technique of using zebra-like stipes to make cannons less visible to the aerial observers. Concealment in attack and defence has existed in nature and human society forever, thus the first use cannot be documented. Modern camouflage, by which army historians refer to the irregular patterns of different colours, emmerged in WWI. Hundreds of artists were soon employed by all countries in WWI as 'camoufleurs' to facilitate the use of camouflage for equipment, camps, vehicles as well as army personnel. What can be noted is that army historians usually attribute the origins of khaki-coloured uniforms to the British Colonel, Harry Lumsden, who led the Indian Guides serving in the Pumjab in 1846.