Page last updated at 11:16 GMT, Sunday, 20 December 2009

Why armies switched from colours to camouflage

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The Ministry of Defence is to replace all existing British Army uniforms for a new design, the first big change in over 40 years.

The new Multi Terrain Pattern (MTP) will replace the existing Disruptive/Displacement Pattern Material (DPM) and will go into service with troops deploying to Afghanistan in March next year; the MoD says the entire army will be upgraded by 2011.

Julian Farrance, of the National Army Museum in London, explains why armies across the world all switched from bright coloured uniforms to khaki and drap in the 1880s.

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