Meet the WWI women who pretended to be rocks for the war effort


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/10/12/meet-the-wwi-women-who-pretend.html


#2

Woo!

Those women rock!


#3

There are probably THOUSANDS of photos of these women out there. Ansel Adams filled entire galleries with portrait studies of them. Here’s a famous group shot of the whole gang:


#4

I wish these were in color. Though yes, it is surprising that it took that long for effective camoflage to be developed. Ghillie suits can make people blend in amazingly well.


#5

I love the cunning plan of hiding ships by putting them in Union Park, but is that really camouflage?


#6

Dude srsly? No one has brought up Elvish cloaks yet? And that Tolkien was there?


#7

“Private Jones, I didn’t see you at this morning’s exercise.”

“Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.”


#8

Oh you can’t fool me, those are album covers.


#9

"I understand, Havelock, that you scored zero in your examination for stealthy movement?”

“The examiner thought I’d used trickery, Madam.”

“And did you?”

“Of course. I thought that was the idea.”

“And you never attended his lessons, he said.”

“Oh, I did. Religiously.”

“He says he never saw you at any of them.”

Havelock smiled. “And your point, Madam, is…?


#10

Maybe up until then no one really gave a schist.


#11

Nor has anyone yet explained the value of not being seen.


#12

We can count on one hand the number of people who get your pun.


#13

It was WW1, trench warfare. Not pretty. Check out Remarque’s ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’, it’s a quick read.

(I could read the article and respond accurately, but pithy generalizations are suiting me much better at the moment).


#14

There’s a reason British troops don’t wear bright red uniforms marked with a clearly visible “X” over the heart anymore.


#15

Outside of hunting applications(which, if memory and what I’ve been told serve, is where ghillie suits originated); it took comparatively modern weapons, communications, and tactics to tip the balance between ‘other guy can’t see me’ and ‘unit has collapsed into disorder and friendly fire incidents’.

Ambushes are obviously older than dirt; and there are certainly examples(like the development of khaki as a thing) of people improvising something less grossly unsuitable to the environment; but in the absence of pretty decent ranged weapons, there’s a lot to be said for being recognisable and maintaining cohesion vs. sneaking around.


#16

Did I miss a Monty Python reference or something? I feel like I might have missed a Monty Python reference.


#17

what is this from? I think I’ve read it…


#18

Mr Nesbitt has learnt the value of not being seen. However he has chosen a very obvious piece of cover.


#19

I thought it was a gneiss one.


#20