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.