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The Maltese Camouflage
Article By Clive Sammut (MVCC Member)
Considering the size of our Island (314 sq. Km) its history is amazing. Due to Its strategic geographical Malta played an extremely important role in history ever since Prehistoric times. Preservation of this history in time has given Malta quite a unique appearance.
It was this country side environment which was the foundation of the development of the unique Maltese camouflage. The pattern was matured in two main styles. The first one was used on Motorcycles, Military cars and trucks up to 1 ton and resembled typically a dry stone rubble wall. (Still very commonly seen in fields.) Irregular sized shapes looking like a mosaic. In both styles the crevice between the 'stone' was painted either green or brown. This greatly depended on the availability of paint as anything was scarce to find in Malta during the war period. Very often paint was mixed locally and therefore probably no two vehicles looked alike!
The painting of the camouflage was mainly done in two ways. Vehicles that were factory painted in green or brown, were patched in light stone color, leaving the lines in between in original color. To save time and paint very often the vehicle registration number on bonnets and fuel tanks were not painted over thus leaving a large patch of the original color between the patches. In other instances light stone color paint covered the whole vehicle, and the crevice lines were painted later.
The finish of these paint jobs was obviously smooth.at all. In fact sometimes sand and dust were literally thrown over the wet paint, to dull the paint and give it a much more matte finish. On other occasions paint was splashed all the vehicle, and headlamps, tyres, canvas tops and windshields were not spared.
In Malta, remnants of the past are still with us, including British army buildings, RAF airfields, Romni huts and many other places that are still hidden away from the world. The Maltese camouflage is considered by us as one important landmark of Malta as part of the Second World War. Therefore we consider that it is our duty to preserve it, by encouraging our members to designate their vehicles in this style.
Clive Sammut (M.V.C.C Malta)