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Dazzle Ships

World War I and the Art of Confusion

by Chris Barton Author · Victo Ngai Illustrator


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During World War I, British and American ships were painted with bold colors and crazy patterns from bow to stern. Why would anyone put such eye-catching designs on ships?

Desperate to protect ships from German torpedo attacks, British lieutenant-commander Norman Wilkinson proposed what became known as dazzle. These stunning patterns and colors were meant to confuse the enemy about a ship's speed and direction. By the end of the war, more than four thousand ships had been painted with these mesmerizing designs.

Author Chris Barton and illustrator Victo Ngai vividly bring to life this little-known story of how the unlikely and the improbable became just plain dazzling.

Publication Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Millbrook Press
Publication Date:


Chris Barton (Author)

Chris Barton, author of bestseller Shark vs. Train and nonfiction books The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch, The Nutcracker Comes to America, and The Day-Glo Brothers, lives in Austin, Texas, with his family.

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Dazzle Ships
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