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Flamethrowers in World War I

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Desmond Wilson

on 9 October 2012

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Transcript of Flamethrowers in World War I

Just like Germany, France would use the flamethrowers in battle and it was effective until it was overshadowed by the idea that it was a nuisance.
The flammenwerfer was designed to combat warfare in the trenches.
Many tubes would have to be attached to the main unit in order to give the flames more range.
Problems with this is soldiers had to get the tubes as close to enemy trenches as possible which meant they had to run in the open battlefield with heavy tubes making them very easy targets.
Resulted in many casualties. Problems with the Flammenwerfer Both flamethrowers were first put to use at the battle of Verdun on February 26, 1915.
Greatly terrified the French and caused a temporary defeat.
The French were more terrified at the thought of a new weapon causing devastation to their forces.
Despite being seen as effective, it didn’t cause many casualties and the French realized this and counterattacked.
This led the French regain control of Verdun and even obtain a flamethrower of their own.
Led to French scientists and weapon researchers to disassemble and recreate a flamethrower of their very own Flammenwerfer in Battle Both flamethrowers seemed to be a formidable force against the French and British forces.
But cons outweighed the pros.
German soldiers were basically on a suicide mission carrying the flamethrowers.
Fuel tanks located on their backs would blow up when a bullet penetrated the tank.
Caused more German casualties then enemy casualties.
Contributed to their defeat in WWI Problems with the Flammenwerfer Called a Grof
Stationary form of the weapon
Capable of projecting flames as far as 40 meters long and sustain flames longer than its predecessor. Grossflammenwerfer Called a Kleif
Portable form of the weapon
Operated by two men.
Could project flames 18 meters long. Kleinflammenwerfer In 1908, Fiedler was able to incorporate more modifications to his initial flamethrower and created two new flamethrowers:
Kleinflammenwerfer
Grossflammenwerfer
They were issued to the de facto 5th Company of the Garde-Pionier-Battalion for testing.
They were found to be more superior than the widely known fire tube. The kleine Flammenwerfer and the grosse Flammenwerfer Eric Channey
Brandon Wilks
Desmond Wilson Flamethrowers in World War I The German Army believed in the utmost superiority of the flamethrower.
Another scientist, Bernhard Reddmann would work with Fiedler to even further modernize the flamethrowers from 1908-1912.
In 1912, the both flamethrowers would be ready to use in combat.
In 1912, Germany’s Guard Reserve Pioneer Regiment would create it’s own regiment of Flammenwerfer troops.
However, the weapon and it’s units would remain a secret until after the war started. Richard Fiedler and Bernhard Reddmann Richard Fiedler
A German inventor and mechanical engineer, is responsible for the flamethrower’s modernization to war.
Had the idea and made the discovery that gasoline fired from a pressurized tank could be ignited and could be used as a weapon.
Would construct the first model of the Flammenwerfer for the German army to test which they did on April 25, 1901.
Presented the model to the Supreme Army Command, which in turn provided funds to further developed his flamethrower. Richard Fiedler and the First Flammenwerfer (Flamethrower) Many people make the assumption that the first use of the flamethrower was in the 20th century.
The first uses extend as far back as the 10th century when they were first created by the Chinese.
However, the creation of the flamethrower was not prevalent until Germany started to use it. The Birth of the Flamethrower The flamethrower experienced a new birth in the late 1910s along with other weapons.
Germany was the first to start experimenting with these new weapons.
It was first utilized on German training grounds and would put fear into the British and French soldiers. The Birth of the Flamethrower
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