NOSTALGIA: '˜Razzle dazzle' makeovers to confuse U-boat commanders

To counteract U-boat attacks during the Second World War someone came up with the bright idea of painting ships with camouflage, and what some superb ideas they came up with.Â

Tuesday, 24th July 2018, 4:15 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th July 2018, 4:24 pm
HMS Belfast in disguise. Picture: Mike Nolan Collection.

The theory was that any U-boat commander looking through a periscope would have a devil of a job trying to recognise what class of ship he was looking at as the outline would be completely broken up,  as can be seen in this photograph. It is of the six-inch gun cruiser HMS Belfast now anchored in the  Thames in the Pool of London.

Whether the razzle dazzle paint, as sailors called it, worked or not I cannot say as ships were still continually  sunk during the Battle of the Atlantic.

'¢Â I have received a disturbing e-mail from Rod Grudge who says the museum dedicated to HMS Ganges, the former boys' training establishment at Shotley Gate near Ipswich, is in jeopardy of closure as the landowners want to build apartments on the old foreshore.

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The museum dedicated to HMS Ganges is up for closure for apartment building on the old foreshore.

As you might recall, the former running track was dug up to help make a yacht marina so these apartments would make it into a mini Port Solent I assume.

Rod tells me if you want to see the museum it would be best to get up there as soon as possible. You know how these things can happen overnight.

Even worse, Rod tells me the mast, which is in a terrible state , is the subject of a planning application to remove it completely.

It's a A Grade II listed structure  but it seems nothing is sacred any more.

The little girl looking for sand.

The museum is open every Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday from 11am to 5pm until the end of October.

I'll be up there this Saturday.

'¢Â On Monday I published a photo of the Esplanade at Eastney. Unfortunately the picture was cropped a little to much from the right hand side so the caption did not quite fit with what you were seeing.

I captioned the picture: '˜Where has all the sand gone?' as this little girl, with her sandcastle bucket, was looking out over the shingle of Southsea beach. So here is that girl in the white coat at some time in the 1930s. Perhaps she is still with us?

The Workhouse chapel organ in Portsmouth City Museum. Picture: Robert James

'¢Â I recently wrote about St Mary's Hospital Church which was actually a chapel I am told.  It has since been demolished.

Someone asked about the organ and wanted to know what happened to it. This set Robert James off on a mission as he knew there was an organ in the city museum. Unfortunately it was not the organ from the chapel but one from the former workhouse, presumably the one in St Mary's Road that was close to Kingston Prison. Anyone remember it?