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Uncover your potential', indeed! Once you stop ogling the girl, though, you might notice that this Australian Special Air Service (SAS) recruiting poster shows Australian Disruptive Pattern Camouflage to very good effect. [Image courtesy Brad Turner collection.]
1953 French 'lizard pattern'
The 1953 French 'lizard pattern' is a three-colour camouflage pattern, comprising horizontally-aligned brush strokes of chocolate brown and medium green on a light green background. The illusion of a fourth colour is created where the brown elements intersect the medium green elements.
First seen on the Mle 47 uniforms used by paratroopers, the use of French 'lizard pattern' eventually spread to other branches of the Army. After 1962 and the war in Algeria, however, this camouflage was used only by la Légion Étrangère (French Foreign Legion) on overseas postings.
Because France was Israel's largest supplier of military equipment from 1956 until 1967, French 'lizard pattern' camouflage uniforms were also used by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). Issued only to élite units, these uniforms remained in service with IDF until 1968, at which time Palestinian guerillas began to wear the same, or very similar, uniforms.
It appears that French 'lizard pattern' fabric was also used, for a short time, by the Army of the Republic of Viet Nam (ARVN). However, the French pattern was eventually superseded by its famous derivative, ARVN tigerstripe.
Other variants forms of 'lizard pattern' camouflage were adopted by Cuba, Lebanon and Portugal, to name but a few countries. Recent adaptationa of French 'lizard pattern' camouflage include Russia's 'tiger' and 'shadow' camouflage patterns.
kamouflage.net is grateful to 'Sopikey' and Piotr Mikolajski, for their invaluable contributions to this article.