Technical Manual Portable Flame Thrower M2-2
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War Department. Published On 12 September , the Tenth Army established its requirement for main armament flame throwers as one tank battalion of three companies, utilizing Ronson type flame throwers mounted on 54 medium tanks. The primary weapon was to be the flame gun and the fuel capacity was to be the maximum of attainment.
Figure 7. This program was carried out under the supervision of the chemical officer, Central Pacific Base Command, and was implemented by Army and Navy Seabee personnel. In this vehicle the flame gun was enolosed in a shroud which simulated a mm.
The profile of this vehicle was not approved by Tenth Army, which requested that the gun be oontained in a mm. This request necessitated redesign of the flame gun to permit placing it in the gun barrel. The fuel unit for this flame thrower was carried in four cylindrical fuel tanks, connected in series, with a total capacity of gallons.. These fuel tanks were located in the bottom of the vehicle on either side of the propeller shaft and the floor of the basket was raised fourteen inches to clear the top of the tanks. Carbon dioxide for propulsion was stored in three commercial cylinders, each containing about fifty pounds, which were stowed in the rear of the right sponson.
A heat exchanger was provided for vaporizing the carbon dioxide.
By using carbon dioxide one-half as many bottles were required as would have been needed if nitrogen or compressed air were used. The flame gun incorporated the Inglehart principle of valving the flow of fuel. By use of this principle good cut-off was obtained and very little drool was encountered. Ignition was obtained by means of a gasoline jet with a standard spark plug as the primary igniter. Elevation and depression of the flame gun were the same as the original mm.
The development and manufacture of emplaoed flame throwers operated by remote control was under way in In CM,WG. Allied Flame Throwers. The Ronson flame thrower was actually developed by the British during It was designed for mounting on the Bren gun carrier and fitted with two gallon Imperial fuel tanks located dutside at the rear of the oarrier. Carbon dioxide was used as a propellent, giving an effective range of sixty to seventy yards with thickened fuel and a sustained duration of fire of two minutes at p.
Although it was the first mechanized flame thrower in commercial production it was never used as such.
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Its production was discontinued in upon development of the "Wasp. Offioial nomenclature — Flame Thrower Transportable No. The "Wasp" likewise was a British development.
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The Canadian modification consisted mainly of eliminating one fuel tank, leaving room on the left side well of the personnel oarrier pit for a third member of the crew with a light machine gun or 2-inch mortar. Also, the carrier could be used in its normal role without removing the flame equipment while the British model could not. The Mark IIC had a fuel capacity of 75 Imperial gallons andean effective range of yards with thickened fuel. Carbon dioxide or "inert gas" was used as a propellent. Experience in. France proved the Canadian model to be superior to that of the British model.
British, The Lifebuoy". Official nomenclature — Flame Thrower, Portable, No. I and II. Approximately 3, went to India and 3, to the 21st Army Group. The "Wasp. The Mark I was standardized in the summer of It contained two fuel tanks with a total capacity of Imperial gallons, was pressured by carbon dioxide, and the flame eun incorporated an electrical high tension spark to ignite a gasoline spray. The Mark II was placed in production in November and differed from the Mark I in that the gun was redesigned so that it oould be mounted in the Bren gun slit of the carrier.
They became available in February and were used primarily "by the Canadians. The Churchill "Crocodile. VII tank armed with a mm. Each tank towed a two-wheeled trailer containing Imperial gallons of fuel which was sufficient to furnish approximately shots of flame. Nitrogen pressure bottles were also located in the trailer.
It took thirty minutes to raise the pressure in the system and once the pressure was raised it could not be sustained for long periods. The trailer, which weighed 12, pounds when filled, could be jettisoned by a quick release gear and was armored to protect against small arms fire. The range of this weapon was to yards. Only six of these were made during the war and four of these were issued to the 2d U.
Armored Division after crossing the Rhine.
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The "Frog" was developed independently by the Australians for the "Matilda" tank. Actually, the chain looker and jettisonable tanks were not ' For comprehensive treatment of British flame thrower developments, see Historical Monograph British , part III, Plame fkrfwe. The "Frog" therefore went into action with gallons of fuel.
Ignition was by means of an electric spark and gasoline jet. The novel feature of this flame thrower was the absence of a high pressure gas propellant system. The pressure was provided by a pump which was operated by a generator fed from special batteries.
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The flame throirer could be fired in 10 gallon shots with a range of 80 to yards. The fuel was fed to an air loaded hydraulic accumulator with a capacity of 10 gallons which required about thirty-five seconds to reouperate, thereby causing a delay between shots. Their manpaok type was so constructed as to resemble closely the appearance of the normal pack and rifle of the infantryman. In one instance the Russian representatives in Great Britain were queried as to the type of thickened fuel used by the Russian Army and their method of supply, i.
About two weeks later detailed directions for the use of such fuel were found in a Russian pamphlet which was captured by the Germans and in turn captured by the British. When confronted with the pamphlet, the Russians laughed, shrugged and said, ''Well, why worry? Youfve got it now! Heavy No. Enemy Flame Throwers. Its greatest drawback was its weight, which was eighty pounds when loaded. Development was directed toward reducing this overload on the operator and the first step in this direction was the ring type flame thrower, "Model 40," comprising fuel and pressure containers in concentric rings, similar in appearance to the British "Lifebuoy.
The next development was a reversion to a simpler manufacturing form consisting of two cylindrical containers each with a horizontal axis of rotation, the lower one for fuel and the upper one for nitrogen. A small hydrogen cylinder for ignition was mounted on the flame gun itself. This was known as "Model Later, in , it was found that the ignition system, under the conditions of extreme cold during the Russian campaign, was unreliable and a new flame gun was developed with a cartridge ignition system. This "Model 42" remained the standard Gerr man manpack flame thrower until the end of the war.
Further developments continued with the view of increasing both the range and fuel capacity without increasing the weight. To meet the latter requirement, the scaling up of the "Model 42" was attempted but without success. Models 44 and 44A did not fulfill the requirement underlying their design and their fuel capacity was small, one gallon and one and one-half gallons, respectively. Samples beoame available and it was reported that the Army had accepted "Model 44A" as the future manpack flame thrower. The range of all German portable flame throwers was about twenty-five yards.
The Germans were aware, as early as , of the increased range obtained with thickened gasoline, and they also oaptured Russian fuels of this type. Figure 8. German Model 42 Portable Flame Thrower. Figure 8a.