Why the Germans were afraid to use flamethrowers in battle in the Great Patriotic

Weapons 21/12/19 Why the Germans were afraid to use flamethrowers in battle in the Great Patriotic

since ancient times, people were not only mystical fear of fire, but tried to direct it against enemies. Fire pits in front of the fortresses, arrows and spears with glowing tips, catapults, throwing vats of burning oil – this is not a complete list of weapons prior to the advent of modern flamethrower, who in 1913 invented by the German Richard Fiedler. This engineer, in his own words, curbed pure flame (pure flame) and made it manageable, allowing you to turn the field of the World wars of the 20th century in this of Dante’s Inferno.

Richard Fidler

in fact, the antediluvian flamethrowers used in the 5th century BC and was a long pipe, through which rained down on the head of his enemies burning coal or poured burning oil. But just before the first world war, German engineer Richard Fiedler embodied the diabolical idea of the destruction of the enemy directed stream of burning fuel, and so that the attacker suffered burns. The prototype of his flamethrower he presented in 1901, but was refused the General staff of the Imperial army. Nevertheless, the inventor did not give up and after 12 years, convinced the German military that his two models – small and large flammenwerfer (translated from German flame – thrower) can be very useful in the war.


Kleinflammenwerfer, that is, backpack “a little flamethrower Fiedler” has been postponed one infantryman. He threw a jet of fire at 18 metres, and was designed for 2 minutes total time. As described by his contemporaries as a flamethrower before the next shot I changed the ignition device, since the former was just burned. More powerful model – Grossflammenwerfer beat on, but there were only 40 seconds. They were so heavy that they were carried by two Marines.

Medieval horror in October 1914

Etand models the Germans first used in October 1914 against the French troops, causing those medieval horror. Paris called German wonder weapon non-Christian, cross any moral boundary. However, the Entente itself, in the end, too, has adopted a flamethrower. In General, its implementation was in the spirit of the 1st World war, when the warring parties have regularly raised the level of its cruelty.

Flamethrower, as a legitimate purpose.

on 30 July 1915 at 3am German flamethrower suddenly attacked British troops in the cemetery Hooge Crater (Belgium), burning a total of 751 Englishman, including 15 officers. After this success, the German army took a flamethrower to weapons on all fronts. Was created a special group of six soldiers, in which one unit is served by two soldiers. It soon became clear that the military profession flamethrower carries a huge risk. Moreover, the cylinders exploded spontaneously, so even soldiers with characteristic satchels behind was heavily shelled once appeared in sight. Getting captured by the furious enemy is also guaranteed a brutal death to the flamethrower. Thus, the life of a soldier is the Fiedler on the fronts of the 1st World war rarely exceeded two fights.

Schilt VS M1917 Wex

In preparation for the battle of the Somme in 1916, the British built four giant flamethrower, weighing nearly two tons each. These devices are aimed threw a flame towards the enemy on 80 meters. They were delivered in parts and secretly gathered 50 metres from the German trenches. I must say that the Germans spotted the two units and destroy them before the British and French. It soon became clear that the benefits of fixed fire-breathing giants almost was not, because the portability and compactness were the main trump cards of the apparatus Fiedler.

the French, in turn, developed a portable model of the system Schilt, based on captured German flamethrower. The Germans also did not sit idle and mustachehave Sovershenstvovanie Kleinflammenwerfer, calling the new lightweight unit Wex M1917. In the 1st World war they made about 650 effective attacks with flamethrowers. As for the French, the exact data on the number of successful application Schilt not.

“Wet shot”

even then, deadly practicality of the flamethrowers did not cause doubts among military specialists. The lighter and therefore more mobile was the flamethrower, the higher was the mortality from its use. In particular, these devices were used to “burn” the infantry out of line of sight – just shoot flames into the opening in the fortifications, for example, through the Windows of the home where the entrenched defending soldiers. Even when the jet did not reach its target, enemy fighters were suffocated, burned left without oxygen. Soon came the so-called “wet shot” when first sprayed fuel then ignited, causing the effect of a huge fireball. By the end of 1917, the flame throwers were installed in the tanks, and this innovation was transferred to the 2nd World war.

the Flamethrowers in the 2nd World war

In the 2nd World war the Germans, oddly enough, is limited used flamethrowers in combat. In the 3rd Reich believed that the blitzkrieg strategy would not allow the enemy to build fortifications and a long stay in the trenches, as it was in the 1st World war. In addition, the military profession flamethrower was considered very dangerous. However, in the Arsenal of the Nazis, there were 10 different models. The Wehrmacht used diabolical weapons in the Soviet Union for horrendous repression against the civilian population or to destroy the red Army liberated towns and villages, especially in 1944, under the Nazi program of “scorched earth”.

Then the “famous” American model M1 and M2, which went down in history due to the terrible photos terrible consequences of their use against the Japanese. Only the Yankees have set their 25 thousand troops with flamethrowers. But it was unreliable apparatus, it often happens that the American flamethrower is aimed burned personal jet lighter Zippo.

In the arsenals of all armies

the M2 Series flamethrowers were upgraded and actively used in the Korean war, but in 1956 was replaced by the M9A1 model. Subsequently, the flamethrower and it’s widely used in Vietnam, where underground tunnels the Vietnamese created the soldiers of the US army the same problems that a Japanese bunker during the 2nd World War. The Americans said that the M9A1 was incredibly effective in offensive operations in areas of Vietnamese villages, the houses built of dry reeds.

Today, flamethrowers are in the arsenals of almost all armies and, most likely, will long be used as a weapon of the devil, burning people alive.

Alexander Sitnikov

© Russian Seven

see also: editor’s choice, “Russian Seven”wanted to do General Vlasov when surrendered in planodema snipers at the end of the great Patriotic was not wearing a distinctive sakito not relatives of the deceased on pohoronok to understand that the body protein deficiency Recommended article to Share: Comments Comments on the article “Why the Germans were afraid to use flamethrowers in combat in the Great Patriotic war” Please log in to leave a comment! br>
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