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French Foreign Legion - Battle of Kolwezi, 1978

The Lizard pattern (TAP47 pattern or Leopard pattern for the French) is a kind of military camouflage pattern used by the French Army on uniforms from 1947 to the late 1980s.[1]

The Lizard pattern and its descendants[]

A Lizard pattern has two overlapping prints, generally green and brown, printed with gaps so that a third dyed color, such as a lighter green or khaki, makes up a large part of the pattern. In this, it is printed like earlier British patterns used on that country's Paratroopers Denison smocks. Lizard patterns have narrower printed areas than the British patterns, and have a strong horizontal orientation, cutting across the vertical form of a man's body.

Other patterns descend in turn from Lizard patterns, either by direct imitation such as Cuba's Lizard pattern, or innovation, such as the tigerstripe patterns produced during the Vietnam War. Tigerstripe patterns (French experimental development during the Indochina war which was based on the TAP47 pattern and which became the South Vietnamese Marines pattern) differed from Lizard patterns in that their printed areas are interlocked rather than overlapped, and they use smaller areas of dyed background color.


  •  Afghanistan Northern Alliance
  •  Algeria
  •  Angola
  •  Armenia
  •  Benin
  •  Brazil
  •  Cameroon
  •  Cape Verde
  •  Chad
  •  China
  •  Comoros
  •  Croatia
  •  Cuba
  •  Cyprus
  •  Djibouti
  •  Egypt

  •  France
  •  Gabon
  •  Greece
  •  India
  •  Iraq
  •  Israel
  •  Ivory Coast
  •  Kenya
  •  Lebanon
  •  Libya
  •  Malaysia
  •  Mauritania
  •  Montenegro
  •  Morocco
  •  Mozambique
  •  Namibia

  •  Portugal
  •  Russia
  •  Senegal
  •  Serbia and Montenegro
  •  Serbia
  •  Singapore
  •  South Africa (32 Battalion - Buffalo Battalion)
  •  South Vietnam
  •  Sudan
  •  Syria
  •  East Timor
  •  Togo
  •  Uganda
  •  Vietnam (in 1979)
  •  Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

In popular culture[]

French lizard pattern camo.jpg

  • Ian McCulloch from the group Echo & the Bunnymen wears a Lizard camo smock in a promotional shot.
  • French Paratroops in the movie The Battle of Algiers.
  • Billy's gang in the movie A Clockwork Orange.
  • Legionnaires in the movie Lionheart.
  • French troops at the start of the movie We Were Soldiers.
  • French Paratroops in Lost Command.
  • Cuban and Nicaraguan troops in the movie Red Dawn.
  • Cuban Troops in the movie Red Scorpion.


  1. 1953 French 'lizard' pattern

See also[]

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