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The camouflage for Strich Vertical Line started in 1931
As far as the oldest 'pure' rain pattern is concerned, the consensus is that it's the Polish Deszczyk, which, considering its WZ58 designation, may have been introduced in as early as 1958. It itself may simply be the "rain streak" portion of the earlier splinter pattern, which was derived from the German original. So if you want to go all the way back to the very beginning, you would have to count the 1931 Splittermuster as the true originator of the concept, even though the streaks only play a secondary role in that pattern.
Most people would say it's the post-1967 East German Strichtarn (second pattern), as it had gained an almost iconic status due to international media exposure, as well as massive post-Cold-War commercialization efforts on the military surplus market. However, the longest running rain pattern is actually the Czechoslovakian Jehlici (a direct copy of the Polish Deszczyk combined with an IR overprint), which stayed exactly the same during the three decades it was in service, and adorned a number of Czechoslovakian field uniforms that also remained remarkably unchanged throughout the same period. The reason it seems less common than the East German pattern probably has more to do with its limited availability on the surplus market than anything else.
And little happened with this pattern style theme until mid-2000's when a all purpose hunting patterns was produced.

The Warsaw Pact, being a 'purely defensive' organization, did not foresee engaging in conflicts outside of Europe, so all of the equipments developed by and for these armie were designed to function optimally in European terrain and conditions (temperate woodland, fields and grassland mostly). There were numerous patterns trialed in the '50s, yet all but a handful of Warsaw Pact armies ended up abandonning those designs, some in favor of the rain patterns, others went straight to green/brown monochrome. Meanwhile, NATO countries did the exact same thing, following the example set by the US, which did not adopt camo uniforms on a large scale until well after Vietnam. So in that sense, the rain camo was indeed a universal pattern, in that it was a universal shade, or a 2-D texture, rather than a conventional camo pattern.
The one notable exception is the Czech pattern, which looks like a thicker version of the Polish pattern under visible light, but actually hides a very effective splotchy pattern that is only visible to NIR viewing instruments.
Deszczyk pattern at right
Environment Woodland Pattern Type Strich and Made By Warsaw Pack
a line pattern with a variety of color to blend into multiple terrains Crop Land
Pattern Type Line Strich and Made By M2D
Google AdSense Code to generate Rev

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