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Mountbatten pink
About these coordinates About these coordinates
— Colour coordinates —
Hex triplet #997A8D
RGBB (r, g, b) (153, 122, 141)
HSV (h, s, v) (323°, 20%, 60%)
Source [Unsourced]
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

Mountbatten Pink, also called Plymouth Pink,[1] is a naval camouflage color, a shade of mauve, invented by Louis Mountbatten of the British Royal Navy in autumn 1940 during World War II.

Mountbatten was escorting a convoy and noted that one ship in the group vanished from view much earlier than the remainder, a Union Castle liner that was still painted in its pre-war medium lavender mauve grey hull colour. Mountbatten became so convinced of this pigment's efficacy as a camouflage during the dawn and dusk periods, before the sun was visible but was near enough to the horizon to tint the sky this shade of pink, that he had all of the destroyers of his flotilla (the 5th flotilla) painted with a similar pigment, a medium grey (507B) with a small amount of Venetian Red mixed in. By early 1941 several other ship captains began using the same camouflage, though no formal testing was done to determine how well it worked.

One of the anecdotal and possibly apocryphal tales told in support of Mountbatten Pink was the story of the cruiser HMS Kenya (nicknamed "The Pink Lady" at the time due to her Mountbatten Pink paint), which during Operation Archery covered a commando raid against installations on Vågsøy Island off the Norwegian coast. The Germans fired on the Kenya for several minutes with coastal guns but she sustained only minor damage from near misses. This was attributed to her Mountbatten Pink camouflage blending in with the pink marker dye the Germans were using in their shells, preventing German spotters from distinguishing between shell splashes and the ship.

A later refinement of the basic Mountbatten Pink camouflage was the use of a slightly lighter tone of the same colour for the upper structures of the ship. By the end of 1942, however, all vessels of destroyer size and larger had dispensed with Mountbatten Pink, although it is believed that smaller vessels retained this colour until well into 1944. The primary problem with Mountbatten pink was that it stood out around midday, when the sky was no longer pink, and the traditional battleship grey was much less visible.

This colour was also used by the British SAS on their Land Rovers during desert operations.


  1. ^ Cecil Ernest Lucas Phillips (1960). The Greatest Raid of All. Little, Brown.  


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