Study of enemy camouflage in the Sicilian campaign tends to confirm the
impression gained in the closing stage of the North African campaign that enemy
methods in this direction have improved.
The Germans, generally, have made good use of available cover and
terrain, while the Italians, no doubt prompted by their former ally, seemed to have
taken a serious interest in camouflage, with mixed success. The fieldcraft and
camouflage behavior of individuals, particularly Germans, was very good and full
use was made of the many opportunities offered by the type of country concerned.
a. Dummy Aircraft
These aircraft were of good quality, and from makers' marks it is obvious
that they were mass-produced in Germany.
The camouflaging of pillboxes sited to deal with landing forces has, not
surprisingly, been the object of a great deal of effort on the part of the enemy.
Great care was taken to blend these pillboxes--mainly made of concrete--into
the general ground pattern. The profusion in the island of walls, small
houses, and huts, has helped this form of camouflage.
In one section (the Pachino area) several pillboxes were covered with
complete huts made of straw. One pillbox overlooking a road junction was an
actual small House, reinforced with concrete and having a weapon slit just above
Examples seen in another area were straw-roofed and sited on slopes
in the vicinity of limestone ledges, which made recognition difficult. They had
straw "blinds" to cover the weapon loopholes. One pillbox noted and photographed
was sited against a wall, and an attempt had been made with paint to simulate the
pattern of the stone wall.
Many of these pillboxes were revealed by the poor siting of their defensive
wiring. Instead of being sited to blend with the ground pattern, wire was taken
haphazardly across fields. Many of the pillboxes were never used.
c. Gun Positions
Of the gun positions studied, half had been camouflaged overhead by
grass-covered nets. Although the remainder had no overhead concealment, the guns
themselves were garnished with brushwood or similar, natural material. Many gun
positions were indicated by tracks, etc., and poor camouflage. Here and there,
however, a good site was found; for example a single gun position, where the pit
was dug out of an embankment at the side of the road. This position had a low
overhead canopy of grass-covered nets, branches and the like.
One antitank gun position is worthy of comment. The gun was sited in a
recently cut cornfield on a forward slope. There were several stacks of straw in
the field, and a further stack had been constructed around the gunshield. This
simple treatment was, from all appearances, successful.
d. Weapon Pits
Some examples of covers for weapon pits have been encountered. In each
case the camouflage consisted of straw matting raised on poles about a foot above
e. Sniper Equipment
Snipers' clothing comprised two jackets, one having a helmet cover to match. They
were of good cloth, printed with disruptive patterning of various colors. The
jacket that had the matching helmet cover was made up of a close-weave
cloth with an elastic inset at the waist. It can be used either the normal way or
inside out. The outside pattern has a background of green, the inside of brown. The
helmet cover is carefully made, also reversible, with elastic insets and holding
hooks. The second jacket is of twill, tailored on the usual lines, and of a general
green color disrupted with brown. Both jackets blend well with the natural
environment, but they both have the weakness of still revealing characteristic
outlines, because they both fit closely to the body.