Tag Archives: United States Navy

The Art of War: The Cat on the Hat


“Trench Art” has existed long before the horrors of the First World War, and it was commonly known as “soldier art” for centuries. Probably for as long as soldiers marched off to war they created pieces of art and personalized their equipment.

While American soldiers also came home from the “Over There” at the end of the First World War with painted steel helmets, by the Second World War the practice of decorating a helmet was frowned upon – although personalization made a comeback on the helmet covers during the Vietnam War.

One helmet pattern that has been seen to have gotten the personalized touch was of course the American pressed fiber sun helmet, as we noted in our article “The Art of the Helmet.” Now another fascinating example has come to light – and for lack of a better name it is simply “The Cat on the Hat.” Continue reading

The Original Camouflage: Khaki Part VII – Khaki’s Use by the Americans


An early 20th century post card that shows the transition from U.S. Blue to Khaki

It wasn’t just the Europeans or the Japanese who utilized khaki, as so too did the American military, which first adopted khaki during the Spanish America War in 1898. Until that time the United States Army was outfitted with the M1883 fatigue blouse in blue. However, the large numbers of volunteers – as well as the fact that soldiers were falling prey to heat exhaustion and dehydration – forced the army to experiment with lighter-colored and lighter-weight materials. The United States thus adopted the “khaki cotton drill” and in 1903 the army authorized these as the official hot weather fatigue and field dress. Continue reading