Thought some of you might find this interesting.

7 July 1918

Through a purposeful, variegated surface paint on cannons, mortars, machine guns, steel helmets, etc., these devices may be much more easily hidden from view than before.
The authorized trials have produced the following results:

1. Steel helmets:

A painted surface with one color (e.g. green or light brown) or with small splotches of a variety of colors is superior to a standard single color helmet, although it still allows the recognition of the characteristic form and silhouette.

In this regard, a three-colored surface which has had the borders blended, simulating a shadow effect is not recognizable beyond a distance of 60 meters.

Particulars regarding a useful surface: Dull colors – the helmet must not shine. Sprinkling the still-damp oil paint with fine sand stops the surface from glistening in the sun.

The choice of colors is to be purposely changed according to the time of year. One of the three colors must match the basic color found in the region of fighting.

Suitable at this time: green, yellow ochre, rust brown

Separation of the surface of the helmet into equal-sized portions, consisting of large, sharp-cornered patches.

Support – On the front side of the helmet, no more than four colored fields must be visible. Light and dark colors are to be placed next to each other. The colored segments are to be sharply separated from each other by a finger-wide black stripe.

Necessary coloring materials for 1000 helmets: 5 kilograms each of ochre, green and brown; 2 kilograms of black.

After ongoing scientific testing, I have requested the War Ministry to regulate the appropriate seasonal color scheme. Until that point, I request that painting be carried out in the above-mentioned manner.

The earliest account of helmets painted in camo colors only dates back to June 13 1918, referring to trials that had been carried out by 6th Bavarian Landwehr Division, who painted their helmets a dot pattern camo.

After the trial proved successful and the directive was issued the practice spread to the rest of the army.

It should not be assumed however that the every unit took part in the directive, as there are plenty of original photos taken in November of 1918 showing German soldiers wearing plain field gray helmets.

Today collectors have identified several variations of camouflage patterns found on original helmets.

They are known as tortoise shell, stained glass, window pain, blotch or splotch and lozenge camo.

It is probably that depots and individual soldier painted their helmets with patterns that matched their particular skill set, which may explain the numerous patterns.

Although the Ludendorf directive was clear on which colors were to be used variations exists on original helmets.

This maybe the result of the availability of certain colors at the front to the need to choose colors which blended into the setting where the individual found himself.

Original helmets found having document service on the Italian front have been known to feature hues of blue, stone gray and white, colors which would have blended in well in the alpine stetting.