Dazzle Ships! School Holiday Activity

Sorry, sessions are now sold out. See you next school holidays.  

Action Stations is the Navy Museum’s school holiday activity. This is your chance to dazzle your own ship!

In the First and Second World Wars, ships were sometimes painted in geometric shapes to confuse the eyes of the enemy. Calling on this tradition the Navy Museum invite you to dazzle your own paper ship.

Action Stations will be running from 16 April to 1 May (except Anzac Day) and the cost is $2 per person.

Session times are 1030am, 1130am, 130pm and 230pm. Duration is 40 minutes.

Bookings are recommended but there may be walk up spaces on the day. Groups over 10 persons must be pre-booked.

To book please contact the Navy Museum on 09 445 5186 or email info@navymuseum.co.nz

This activity is for children 3 years and over. Accompanying adults are asked to stay with their children in the session.

So what were Dazzle Ships?

Dazzle paint was used on ships to confuse the enemy. It wasn’t camouflage. People realised early on that it was too hard to find a pattern or colour that would completely hide a ship as it sailed through all seas and weathers. Instead an artist called Norman Wilkinson worked out that by painting ships in contrasting colours and using geometric shapes you could make it confusing for the enemy to work out their size and shape. This made them a harder target for the enemy ship’s range finders to find and also to work out which ship was which.

Navies around the world experimented with ‘Dazzle’. During the Second World War the British Royal Navy even set up a ‘Directorate of Camouflage’ that created special designs for ships.

Here is HMNZS Leander in 1942 (AA G0054)

Leander AA G0054