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WWI US Military Flamethrower

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The flamethrower is one of the scariest weapons we ever developed. There's a reason we stopped using them in the '70s.



  • Fact 1: The first modern flamethrowers were used by German forces in WWI as a means of flushing trench-fortified soldiers into the open.
  • Fact 2: The word "flamethrower" is borrowed from the original German "Flammenwerfer", coined by inventor Richard Fiedler.
  • Fact 3: Early flamethrowers were heavy, difficult to use, and burned dangerous liquid fuels. Modern designs are lighter, easier, and use natural gas or propane.
  • Fact 4: During WWII, and later in Korea and Vietnam, flamethrowers were useful tools in clearing brush and debris on densely-forested Pacific islands.
  • Fact 5: Man-portable flamethrowers were pulled from US military use in 1978 due to their poor combat effectiveness and bad public image.

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