In 1917, while Britain's Royal Navy was plagued by Germany's formidable U-boat offensive, visual artist Norman Wilkinson realized that traditional camouflages wouldn't help British ships avoid the onslaught. So he proposed the "extreme opposite."


Photo: US Navy

Reportedly Pablo Picasso saw a dazzle-painted cannon at a parade in Paris. He claimed that that patterning was influenced by cubism, a school of art he had recently helped pioneer.