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March 2, 2014 7:02 pm

Chinese army training soldiers to use flamethrower


Do they use a vehicle mounted system as well?

March 3, 2014 2:59 am

There’s also an impressive video on the M132: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pRihxvk4YY

Napalm or thickened fuels reached 100-170 m range from flamethrower AFVs, and about 30-50 m from portable ones IIRC.
I think what largely took them out of the inventories was the ‘ammunition’ consumption; you can supply a comparable tank with enough 40 mm AGL ammunition to enable a longer non-stop cyclic firing than possible with a flamethrower at much shorter ranges.
The range advantage gained by RPGs and bazookas over flamethrowers has likely also helped to push them out of service.

March 3, 2014 5:41 am

I’m also not really sure on the effectiveness of flame throwers these days. I once wondered how did flame throwers kill tanks, so did some checking up. Apparently, burning fuel will leak between steel plates that are bolted together and start fires internally, this was used to devastating effect by the Japanese against the Russians in the lead up to WWII. These days, the frames are welded, which makes it much harder for burning fuel to get inside the vehicle.

March 3, 2014 6:49 pm

It stops the engine immediately and tanks of WW2 had plenty intentional slits, including vision slits for the driver. Almost airtight tanks only appeared once counter-NBC overpressure pumps were installed during the 50’s.

Flamethrowers also temporarily blind glass with smoke (periscopes, sensors, laser rangefinder, sights, panoramic mirrors). A German anti-tank equipment was the DM34 Handflammpatrone (~hand flame cartridge), a simple cylindrical red phosphorous projector with a RP projectile that began releasing RP after about 60 m and scattered the remaining RP on impact on a hard surface. The relatively persisting smoke was meant to blind the tank crew and make other forms of infantry AT attack easier.