Why were the camo (blending with environment) army uniforms adopted so late?


Why were the camouflage uniforms (green, brown, yellow) adopted so late? When it seems that it would be pretty obvious that a soldier would die less often in the field if he’s harder to spot? Even in WW1 French were still wearing bright blue and red uniforms?

In: 23

The generals liked seeing their soldiers in rows and files and didn’t care if they died.

Guerilla warfare requires trusting the soldiers to make good decisions on their own.

Because it wasn’t necessary for a lot of warfare. It wasn’t small units trying to keep hidden, the armies knew where each other was, for the most part. They’d line up in front of each other before fighting began, in huge groups.

The kind of sneakiness that needs camo just wasn’t a part of warfare. So, bright uniforms would make it easy to identify friend or foe in the chaos of actual battle.

Plus, leaders just liked playing dress up and designing uniforms.

War was very different. Prior to world war one, it wasn’t super practical to try and hide your combatants. Their weapons were slow to load, made huge amounts of smoke, and were difficult to use at range.

WW1 saw huge changes in tactics as a response to modern tech.

The answers so far have made good points, although they’ve left out something important: Communication and Identification.

Besides looking snazzy, for likely the entire history of warfare uniforms served as identifiers for soldiers. Their role, rank and even country. This largely started to change with the invention of the radio and the advancements to make it man portable.

The radio, once advanced enough to use at a small unit level, allowed armies to keep better track of their units. This helped reduce the risk of friendly fire and made the more visual and overt uniforms redundant or even a danger

Combat changes the requirements.

On the past the most important task was to indetify your troops. Thus counties had unique fancy uniforms. Clearly wisible and distinguishable.

Also almost all battles were in frontal clashes, thus hiding was not important. That became important with mass artillery adoptation and PRECISE long range weapon. that cause camo creation.

Precise weapon is very important. If you see movies about 18 century you would see rank of soldiers who march straight and than shoot. If you think that was stupid than you were wrong. At 18 century weapos were extremely unrealiable. From 60m only 2% of all bullets hit their targets. From 30m it was around 15%. Therefore the army which shoot last ( and therefore came clother before attack) won the battle.