5 Things You Don’t Know About: Flamethrowers

Warning: contains shocking material.

This video shows the applications in battle of one of the most psychologically terrifying weapons in the world.

What is a flamethrower? A flamethrower is classed as an incendiary device, that is specifically designed to project fire in a stream that is long and controllable.

Flamethrowers were used first by ancient Greeks, as far back as the 1st Century AD. In more modern times flamethrowers were utilized throughout the First World War, by the Germans, and more commonly used in the Second World War.

Not all flamethrowers are the same; some are designed to project a stream of fire that is caused by flammable liquid that has been ignited. Others are designed to project a long flame of gas. Liquids are the most common type used in military flamethrowers. Commercial devices opt to use propane and natural gasses; high-pressure ones, as they are generally considered safer to use.

Military uses for flamethrowers were mainly centered around attacking fortifications, bunkers, etc. Civilian uses for flamethrowers tend to be more agricultural in nature; they are useful for clearing fields, for example.

Flamethrowers come in many forms; portable ones tend to be two-part devices (a backpack for the fuel and a tube for the output). They can also be vehicle mounted for easy use.

It is not restricted by federal law to own a flamethrower in the United States, with the exception of a few states.

Joris Nieuwint

Joris Nieuwint is a battlefield guide for the Operation Market Garden area. His primary focus is on the Allied operations from September 17th, 1944 onwards. Having lived in the Market Garden area for 25 years, he has been studying the events for nearly as long. He has a deep understanding of the history and a passion for sharing the stories of the men who are no longer with us.

@joris1944 facebook.com/joris.nieuwint