Cpt. Blake with japanese flamethrower - US Marines | Gallery

Cpt. Blake with japanese flamethrower

Cpt. Blake with japanese flamethrower, Munda, New Georgia, July 17th 1943

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://ww2incolor.com/gallery/us-marines/18885/cpt.-blake-with-japanese-flamethrower

i agree with stevey,a fear striking weapon, but oh god, if you take a hit

Dangerous yes, but they weren’t quite as dangerous to the user as a lot of people think. Even if a round punctured the fuel tank there had to be some type of ignition source unless it was an incendiary round or something. Also many times the men armed with flame throwers would be kept back from the front lines until they were needed to knock out a particular cave or bunker. I think this was done more because there were never enough to go around and also because they had to swap tanks out so often but it did cut down on their exposure to fire a little bit.

Dixie is correct about it taking more than just a regular bullet to ignite the tanks. I believe the US models (and others, too, I’m sure) used an electric ignition system - but older flamethrowers required a burning “wick” to ignite the fuel as it left the weapon. I suppose if spray from leaking tanks hit that… And the danger was not limited to damage to the tank. Men armed with flamethrowers were rarely taken prisoner: on-the-spot execution was the preferred means of dealing with them, because nobody wanted to be on the weapon’s receiving end. The German army often assigned soldiers to the flamethrower as a punishment…

My Grandfather once said that one of the worst things he saw in the war was flamethrowers being used to burn some Germans out of a cave in Italy. He never faced one himself and was very glad of the fact.