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mechanism for shooting a burning stream of liquid or semiliquid fuel at enemy troops or positions. Primitive types of flamethrowers, consisting of hollow tubes filled with burning coals, sulfur, or other materials, came into use as early as the 5th cent. B.C. Modern flamethrowers were introduced by the Germans in 1915 during World War I. They were not widely used, however, until World War II, when the Americans found them especially useful, either hand-carried or mounted on tanks, in attacking Japanese fortifications in the Pacific Islands. After World War II improved flamethrowers, lighter in weight and with greater range, were developed and used in combat.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a portable pneumatic device for igniting heaps and piles of cuttings to clean up logged areas and for clearing soil cover and surface vegetation when using a backfire to put out forest fires. The device produced in the USSR consists of a backpack tank that holds 8 liters of kerosine, a pneumatic pump, and a hose with a nozzle. The flamethrower works on the blowtorch principle. While the fuel is burning, the temperature of the flame reaches 1000°C. Lumber cuttings burn four times faster when ignited with flamethrowers than with torches made of various materials.



a weapon designed to destroy the enemy with a stream of burning incendiary mixture.

Flamethrowers are portable (backpack), self-propelled, or tank-mounted. The flamethrower consists of containers for the incendiary mixture, a canister of compressed gas (air or nitrogen), a flexible hose, a nozzle equipped with a safety device to prevent accidental firing, and a mechanical ignition device. The current American ABC-M9–7 backpack flamethrower weighs 22.7 kg (outfitted), has a flame-throwing range of 20–55 m, and operates continuously for five to seven seconds. The self-propelled M132 American flamethrower was designed in the 1960’s on the basis of the M113 amphibious armored personnel carrier, on which a small turret with a M10–8 flamethrower device and machine gun are mounted. Containers for the incendiary mixture and compressed air are located in the body of the vehicle. The flame-throwing range is up to 180 m, and the flamethrower can operate continuously for 30–40 seconds.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A device used to project ignited fuel from a nozzle so as to cause casualties to personnel or to destroy material such as weeds or insects.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
(11) "9th Infantry Division Flame Throwers APL's In Vietnam Served Many Units-Affectionately called 'Zippos,' 1967," River Currents, Mobile Riverine Force Association, Vietnam, Volume 13, Number 1, Spring 2004, p.
To the sounds of the City of Coventry Corps of Drums, and with entertainment from flame thrower James Pettigrew, the firm celebrated with clients and guests.
But he can expect strong opposition from Street Cry as well as Bob Baffert's hope Flame Thrower. The pair have been closely matched in their last two starts, both won by the Baffert colt.
"I don't need a flame thrower on the back of my bike, I'm not going to set fire to people's car's, it's just something interesting to do," he added.uilt before Christmas, the scooter was Furze's third attempt at the project after the first did not ignite and the second burst into flames.
Colin Furze, 30, proudly showed off his modified scooter with an anti-tailgating flame thrower operated by the flick of a switch for the first time this week.
Bob Baffert, white hair, black sunglasses, touch of the smartass, walks Flame Thrower to the track.
He also pleaded guilty to publishing instructions on how to make a flame thrower out of a water pistol but denied one count of soliciting to murder.
"I think she prefers to think of me as good old mum, you know, not some person running around a spaceship with a flame thrower," she added.
It has caused an argument in the house as Ian thinks the best response is a dignified silence whereas I am insisting he does it, allowing me to blast into the room with a flame thrower
A P Valentine, who showed huge potential despite his limited experience when winning the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park last time out, will vie for favouritism with the unbeaten Flame Thrower, who seems determined never to let another runner go past him.
PC Tappy said one of the rioters appeared to have flame thrower. Nicky Jacobs, now 45, denies murder.
The posters have Cameron surfing through a huge wave, Drew looking like Evil Knievel on a motorbike and Lucy hotting things up further with a flame thrower.