Flamethrower

Discussion in 'World War I' started by Hobilar, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. Hobilar

    Hobilar Member

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    In 1915 the French and British encountered a new and terrifying weapon being used by the Germans-The Flamethrower.

    The Germans in fact used three different types of flamethrower, these being:

    The Grossflammenwerfer-A defensive weapon built into the trench system which had a range of about 45 yards and could squirt flame for about a minute. Where the trench lines were quite close together it was just about possible to leap across no-mans-land.

    The Kleinflammenwerfer-A backpack system used in the assault. The operators could expect a very short life expectancy, as they soon became the primary target for scores or rifles and machine guns.

    The Wex- A lightweight version which differed from the others in being self ignited.

    The British experimented with flamethrowers in 1916 but found them to be inefficient, and so abandoned their use, preferring to tunnel under the enemy trenches and there igniting containers of oil and cylinders of compressed air.

    The Germans made some 653 attacks using flamethrowers, but whilst these could be very frightening to the defenders, relatively few casualties were caused.
     
  2. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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  3. Aussie1001

    Aussie1001 Member

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    it would seem if you carried one you became a bullet magnet, not a very appealing prospect.....
     
  4. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    Comiso. I watched a documentary claiming that the flame thrower could have been developed by the Greeks and predated Bryzantines and Chinese. Documentary is called Weapons of Mass Destruction of the Ancient World. Flame Thrower worked by oil being passed through a pipe and nozzle via air pressure. Air Pressure being maintained by pumps manned and operated similar to an old fire pumper pumping water etc. Nozzle of device similar to say a dragon head etc. Ignition source from a bowl of oil or pitch which had already been lit directly under the nozzle etc. Oil being forced under pressure through nozzle and then ignited as pressurized oil passes over lit flame etc.
     
  5. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Hello E..

    I'm not sure where I read or saw it... but I know the Chinese had something like u describe.
    For centuries, legions with locked shields and unit cohesiveness ruled the battlefield.

    What could be a better "phalanx buster" then a flamethrower?!!!!?

    Like u say, early flamethrowers were a tube and piston machine that sprayed flaming liquid...
    Unleash the calvary! Let the Spearman and the war dogs clean up the rest!


    ,
     
  6. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    Here Comiso it a photograph a painting of what they believe Grecian Fire was about. If you scroll down the page you will see a depiction from 7th Century AD But machine could have been developed much earlier and most likely was Comiso

    Greek Fire
     
  7. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Cool..

    That is a famous image..
    Thanks... I think the Chinese had a transportable infantry version earlier... but I dont have time to research.. I must find my future ex-wife at the bars..

    have a good nite.
     
  8. Elvis

    Elvis Member

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    That bit about the Chinese inventing the Flamethrower was from the History Channel.
    They did a whole show on ancient Chinese weaponry and demonstrated a model of the chinese flamethrower.

    ...very effective... :eek:

    I'm pretty sure Greek Fire came before, though.
    AFAIK, to this day, no one is really sure what Greek Fire actually was.
    Some say it was just burning oil sprayed onto ships, others say it was an ancient form of what we now call Napalm, but I've never heard a definate answer one way or the other.




    Elvis
     
  9. Bf109_g

    Bf109_g Member

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    Hey guys,

    The life expectancy of a Kleinflammenwerfer could be measured in seconds then? I think you'd have to be real gutsy to do that...
     
  10. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    I believe it was the Greeks that also concentrated sun-rays to ignite enemy ships, I'll find something more on it when I've got time.

    And the best "Phalanx Buster" was the Roman Legion. :D
     
  11. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    Any way it matters little who developed the flame thrower. Damn nasty weapon any way to say the very least
     
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