German flamethrowers

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German flamethrowers

Doug Jacobs
Doug Jacobs

August 29th, 2004, 1:38 am #1

For those that have seen the movie 'The Lost Battalion' are the German flamethrowers shown in it accurate? Are they accurate enough to model off of?

Thanks!
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Joined: March 15th, 2004, 2:16 am

August 30th, 2004, 1:30 am #2

No, the movie version of the German flame thrower was inaccurate , as well as a grossly erroneous portryal of the weapons employment.

There were two basic versions of the German portable flame thrower. The first consisted of a large drum with two smaller attached propellent cylinders. The later model resembled a large Amerikan donut with a circular propellent chamber in the middle. Both weapon systems were back carried and required a second man to operate the firing probe/hose. In addition to being less conspicuous, the later model's projector was self-igniting. ( A live flame was carried with the earlier model.)
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Doug Jacobs
Doug Jacobs

August 30th, 2004, 4:15 pm #3

Why couldn't the man carrying the flame unit on his back also carry the nozzle from which the flame war fired? Seems like a curious arrangement to me to need two men to do the job.

Do you happen to know what the flamethrowers shown in the movie were? They looked pretty realistic, even if inaccurate for German units.

Thank you for your help, by the way.
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Joined: March 15th, 2004, 2:16 am

August 31st, 2004, 1:09 am #4

One must recall that flammenwerfer men were all, without exception, Pioneers (in Amerika; Combat Engineers). They formed the bulk of the Strosstruppen. Since 1915 they had been developing the novel concept of small unit infiltration with attached special weapons. They did not attack in the mode illustrated in the silly movie. Rather they sought out abandoned trenches, shell holes, folds in the ground for cover while they crept, and sometimes rushed forward. Lying in a shell hole within 20 meters of an enemy machine gun emplacement demanded minimum exposure of the compressed hydrogen tanks on the carriers back. (It was hits on this container that caused user casualties, not the perferation of the fuel tank. ) The German logic was for the hose to poke over the lip of one's cover exposing only a few fingers while the flame engulfed the target.
As a matter of interest, the French mobile flame thrower was patterned after the earlier German model with a large cylintrical fuel tank, and was deemed superior BECAUSE the carrier also operated the hose. Oddly, the Brits never developed a mobil model of their own.
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Doug Jacobs
Doug Jacobs

August 31st, 2004, 1:25 am #5

of German Stormtroopers. One of them is carrying the donut type flammenwerfer you mentioned in your first post, which i understand to be the late war model. If you note the pose of the figure, he is both standing and shooting the flammenwerfer himself.

So you are saying this in incorrect? That this would not have be done? The model maker is fairly well respected so i would have thought he would get the details right but maybe preconceived notions have gotten in the way. What are your thoughts on this?


http://www.japanesearmorking.com/jakp4.htm

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Joined: March 15th, 2004, 2:16 am

August 31st, 2004, 2:35 am #6

,It was not imposible for the carrier to also manipulate the projector, and I'm sure he did on occasions. However, allow me to explain the platoon organization. Flammenwerfer platoons were organized with four Wex weapons teams. Each flamethrower team consisted of an NCO (obergefreiter), a man for the tube(projector), two men each carrying Wex apparatus, and a fourth armed with a Chauchat automatic rifle. A fifth member of the team apparently carried magazines for the Chauchat. Additionally there was an MG 08/15 team. Two further 5 man teams were conventionally armed with grenades and karbines. The platoon was lead by a feldwebel; emphasising the chronic shortage of company grade officers. (I might add this information is gleaned from French G 2 sources.)
Regarding the figures; they are splendid. Though the projector appears somewhat short.
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Doug Jacobs
Doug Jacobs

August 31st, 2004, 3:36 am #7

The large drum shaped one you mentioned? If not, is there any chance you coulc post a picture of it?




I've already built my German standing up shooting his flamethrower, in a pose much like the one in the 1/35 model link i posted....i just needed the shape of the unit to complete it (i was going to go by the movie i mentioned but thought i would ask if it was accurate first; i'm glad i did now ).

I would like to do another model some day showing the two man team set up that you described. Very interesting.

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Joined: March 15th, 2004, 2:16 am

August 31st, 2004, 3:42 am #8

Indeed it is...
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phil radley
phil radley

August 31st, 2004, 1:05 pm #9

For those that have seen the movie 'The Lost Battalion' are the German flamethrowers shown in it accurate? Are they accurate enough to model off of?

Thanks!
just thinking about why one would need two men..

the equipment looks, and probably was, fiddly and complicated to operate - messing around with both pressure and mix

trying to spot targets and trying to avoid getting hit

over rough ground under withering fire (no pun intended)

keeping up with and providing cover for your tactical unit

i'm surprised they didn't have 10 man flamethrower teams!

incidentally, HAT have a flamethrower team in the prototypes for the Heavy Weapons set due out next century

http://www.hat.com/Prev/M8110GA.html

looks like the doughnut type
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phil doughnut radley
phil doughnut radley

August 31st, 2004, 1:09 pm #10

looking at it again, it dont look like the doughnut type; however, i look like the doughnut type
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