French WWI ship Camouflage
As in the case of the Italians, I also found French designs while researching material for my book about US ship camouflage in WWI, The Easter Egg Fleet. The French created a design bureau for French ships. The Belgians relied on the British. There were even some designs created for other countries; US designs were used on Brazilian vessels, Admiralty designs on at least one Norwegian ship, and a few Japanese ships also received dazzle designs.
The French located their design center at Rochefort and placed it under the direction of a well-known marine painter, Pierre Gatier. He had been awarded the official title of a maritime painter in 1907. He was made an officer in the French Navy and even visited London to learn about British ship camouflage. French merchant ship camouflage was under the direction of the AMBC (L’armament militaire de batiment du commerce). But Naval vessels belonged to the Ministry of Marine. The Rochefort office may have provided designs for both.
Gatier’s son, Felix, later wrote a book about his father, Le camouflage dans la marine à travers les souvenirs de Pierre Gatier (1878-1944) peintre de la marine.
Here is a picture of him with his team.
Here is a drawing of his own testing theater as he described it in his diary.
Here are two examples of patterns created at Rochefort,.
This picture was painted by him,
This is the French merchantman SS Ardgay. The photos are followed by pattern drawings
Finally, here are a few more photographs of camouflaged French ships.
A small patrol boat
The passenger liner La Lorraine.