Warship Perspectives

Camouflage volume three
Royal Navy 1943
By: Alan Raven

Reviewed by John Sheridan

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Warship Perspective has released the third in a series of four books devoted to Royal Navy Camouflage during WWII. These books are designed to help the layman sort through the complex and often confusing subject of camouflage patterns and colors that were developed and deployed by the Royal Navy throughout WWII. 

The first volume covered the years 1939 - 1941. During this period, there was a lot of experimentation with color combinations and patterns. Many unofficial schemes were tried with mixed results. 

The second volume covered the year 1942. During this period, the designs and colors became more standardized as the Royal Navy gained experience with what schemes worked for a particular theater of war.  In 1942, the Royal Navy camouflage department began to issue large numbers of patterns suitable for use on any warship. 

These schemes are the topic for this book covering the year 1943. By this time, the patterns and colors from 1942 were carried throughout 1943 as the Royal Navy expanded their areas of coverage. The book also goes into camouflage for coastal forces ships operating in shallow waters near the coast.

Alan Raven has employed the same successful format he used in the first and second volumes. Each pattern/color type is grouped together in sections. Each section begins with a description of the scheme and the colors used.  The following camouflage sections are covered in this book for 1943:

Emergency Fleet Scheme for Destroyers U.S. Built Carriers in Royal Navy Service
Coastal Forces Camouflage Dark Hull Light Upperwork Type
Admiralty Disruptive Designs Unofficial Designs
Addendum to Volume I Addendum to Volume II

Most of the ship camouflage profile drawings are in black and white, however, there is an  eight page color section in the middle of the book as there is in volumes I and II.  A nice touch to this volume, is that Alan has provided an addendum to both volume I & II at the end of the book.  There are some good detail and overall ship photographs included with this volume which I feel enhances the overall content of the book.

If you want to learn about Royal Navy camouflage used in WWII, then this book will tell you nearly everything that you need to know for the year 1943.  For patterns and schemes from 1939 through 1942 you will need the first and second volumes in the series. I would recommend both this book and volumes I & II to anyone who is interested in camouflage or Royal Navy ships in general . Alan Raven is to be commended for his thorough research and clear presentation on this subject and I am looking forward to volume III in this series. 


Books Published by Warship Perspectives

Warships Perspectives #1
Fletcher, Sumner & Gearing Class DD's of  WWII
By Jeff Herne
Warships Perspectives #2
Atlanta Class Cruisers  of WWII
By Glenn Arnold
Warships Perspectives #3
Flower Class Corvettes
By John Lambert
Warships Perspectives #4
Camouflage Volume I The Royal Navy 1939 - 1941
By Alan Raven
Warships Perspectives #5
Camouflage Volume II The Royal Navy 1942
By Alan Raven
Warships Perspectives #6
Camouflage Volume II The Royal Navy 1943
By Alan Raven