Republic of Peru
The territory that today encompasses the Republic of Peru (República del Perú) was once home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world, the Norte Chico. During the 15th century expansion of the Incan Empire incorporated the entire region into its territory which it held until 1532, when Spanish conquistadors under Francisco Pizaaro defeated the Incas and established the Viceroyalty of Peru, encompassing most of South America. The Spanish crown depended on the mining of precious metals for its support and many indigenous peoples were enslaved for this purpose. Although several wars of independence raged throughout South America during the 19th century, Peru itself remained royalist territory until the the military campaigns of José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar engineered its nationhood. Peru was defeated by Chile in the 1879–1883 War of the Pacific, losing the provinces of Arica and Tarapacá in the treaties of Ancón and Lima.
The Peruvian Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armadas del Perú) consist of three branches, the Army, Navy and Air Force, with just over 120,000 active duty personnel. Additionally, the National Police of Peru (with a strength of 140,000) are often considered a fourth branch of service, due to their widespread duties and paramilitary training. The National Police were formed in 1988 by merging the Investigative Police, the Civil Guard (Guardia Civil) and the Republican Guard (Guardia Republicana del Perú).
Peruvian Camouflage Patterns
- The earliest camouflage pattern worn in Peru dates to the 1970s and is a variant of the splinter camouflage design engineered by Germany during the Second World War. The pattern incorporates small dark olive green & mid-brown geometric shapes on a tan background, although there is some variability between production runs. Although similar to it, the early pattern is in fact unrelated to the later "geometric" pattern most commonly associated with Peru. This pattern is also sometimes called "small geometric."
- Worn by Peruvian units throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, the so-called "geometric" pattern consists of very large rounded shapes in dark green & reddish brown on a tan background. As with the earlier pattern, there is some variability as to color between production runs.
- A variation of the "geometric" pattern, presumably for issue to personnel deployed to arid ro sandy regions of Peru, incorporates shapes in reddish-brown & ochre on a yellow-tan background.
- An interesting hybrid camouflage design dating to the 1970s can be seen here. Incorporating leaf shapes similar to those of the USMC standard pattern, "cloud" type shapes similar to the USMC Mitchell pattern and rain strait elements probably derived from WW2 German patterns, this camouflage design has been primarily documented in use by female paratroopers (possibly a parachute rigger team).
- During the late 1970s and 1980s, special units of the Guardia Civil (later amalgamated into the National Police) wore locally-produced uniforms made form imported South Korean "waves" pattern camouflage fabric.
- An interesting blue leaf pattern camouflage emerged during the 1980s, in use either with the Republic Guard or the later Security Police (after 1986). The pattern may also have continued in use with the National Police after they were formed in 1988.
- The DINANDRO (Anti-Narcotics unit) of the National Police began wearing commercially-produced tiger stripe pattern camouflage uniforms during the late 1980s and 1990s and have continued to do so in some capacity into the present era.
- Since the late 1980s, some units of the Peruvian Army and Marines have worn copies of the US six-color "chocolate chip" pattern camouflage.
- Introduced in the 1990s, the standard camouflage pattern of the Peruvian Armed Forces gradually became a locally-produced copy of the m81 woodland design. Several variations have been documented, and indeed some ex-US issue military uniforms have also appeared in service with the Peruvian Armed Forces.
- The Peruvian National Police (PNP) Sinchis unit have been known to wear a copy of the US tricolor desert camouflage pattern.
- In 2007, the Peruvian Armed Forces moved into the "digital age" and revealed two new pixelated designs intended to replace many of the older camouflage patterns then being used. Nicknamed "Amazonian Pattern" (AMAPAT) and "Pacific Pattern" (PACIPAT) the designs are intended for use in heavily vegetated/jungle environments and desert/sandy beach environments, respectively.
- Shortly after the Army introduces its new pixelated designs, the Naval Infantry (Marines) adopted their own pixelated woodland design seen here. Based on the temperate MARPAT design of the US Marine Corps, the design varies in several ways. A desert version has also been documented in use, although this may have been replaced by the ATACS arid copy seen below.
- The Comandos Anfibios of the Peruvian Naval Infantry (Marines) wear a copy of the Universal Camouflage Pattern.
- Both regular Infanteria de Marina (Naval Infantry) and Comandos Anfibios are documented wearing a version of ATACS arid camouflage, probably produced in Peru under license (or not) from the designer. Some photographs suggest the design is worn concurrently with the desert version of MARPAT.
- Some units of the Peruvian Air Force (Fuerza Aerea del Peru) have adopted a locally-produced version of Multicam as their standard combat dress.