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Flamethrowers: what are they good for?

Discussion in 'The Guns Galore Section' started by Blaster, Nov 25, 2006.

  1. Blaster

    Blaster New Member

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    Pistols are compact and convienient to carry (most of them), machine guns provide good antipersonnel capability, and RPGs pack enough punch to take out a tank. And then there's the flamethrower. The operator needs to carry fuel tanks on his/her back to use it, it can't punch through tank armour (or can it?), and it has less range than most assault rifles. So what are flamethrowers good for?
     
  2. FNG phpbb3

    FNG phpbb3 New Member

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    destroying armour and emplacements.

    Not good for armour eh? I tell you what, we'll sit you in a big steel box with just a few small air vents then cover it in petroleum jelly and light it.

    How long do you reckon you will last before you are
    a, cooked
    b, suffocate
    c, decide to bail out

    FNG
     
  3. Blaster

    Blaster New Member

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    Thanks for the info, FNG. Except when do tank armour have little holes? And I'm not sure flame can burn through modern Chobham.
     
  4. Siberian Black

    Siberian Black New Member

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    Because othewise you would be;
    B) Suffocating

    verry quickly. All you need is the heat to get through not the fuel. Metal is an excellent heat conductor.

    Molotov Cocktail+tank engine deck= imobilised tank
     
  5. smeghead phpbb3

    smeghead phpbb3 New Member

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    I belive that America stopped using flamethrowers in the 70's because the public thought they were too inhumane... Also I don't recall flamethrowers seeing much use in recent times, do any countries still maintain them?

    Also possibly the most useful aspect is the psychological effect of flamethrowers. It is human instinct to withdraw from fire... so even if a bunker is impervious to heat, a flamethrower will most likely scare the soldiers out. I imagine battles are scary enough without jets of fire shooting out everywhere...

    Pro's
    scary
    versatile (can be used against tanks/infantry/fortifications to good effect
    cool
    Good range, some can extend to 100m+

    Cons
    Relatively unsafe to carry
    Makes the wearer extremely visible
    being captured with a flamethrower = guaranteed execution
     
  6. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf New Member

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    Wouldn't you be safe in a modern tank with an NBC environment system ?

    :x
     
  7. FNG phpbb3

    FNG phpbb3 New Member

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    I don't know how good the air con in a modern tank is. The desert is one thing, but a burning box is another!

    Also as people said, whilst the crew may be safeish the engine will toast so you will be going nowhere. And if you are going nowhere do you really want to stay knowing there is infantry outside with flame throwers

    FNG
     
  8. Ossian phpbb3

    Ossian phpbb3 New Member

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    Judging by the reactions of the British soldiers in a Warrior hit by Molotov cocktails (poor mans flamethrower) in Basra last year, the answer is a resounding NO!

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/petrol ... 27612.html
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf New Member

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    Yes - I remember that one - difficult to defend against an angry mob when you're not allowed to shoot at them.

    Anyway - the Warrior is not an MBT and that one was not fully closed down for NBC. So - I repeat - wouldn't you be safe in a modern tank with NBC environment ?

    :smok:

    (oops - no smoking around petroleum based weapons).
     
  10. JCalhoun

    JCalhoun New Member

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    I'm under the impression (could be wrong) that Engineers still flamethrowers for other than combat use.
     
  11. Gunter_Viezenz

    Gunter_Viezenz New Member

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    Wait the Americans don;t use flamethrowers because its inhumane, but they are one of the countries that didn't agree to not using napalm against civilian targets interesting.
     
  12. Siberian Black

    Siberian Black New Member

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    [quote="Lone Wolf]Anyway - the Warrior is not an MBT and that one was not fully closed down for NBC. So - I repeat - wouldn't you be safe in a modern tank with NBC environment ?[/quote]

    I doubt it. The heat would probably still get through. (as would intense nuke radiation......whatever)
     
  13. Christian Ankerstjerne

    Christian Ankerstjerne Member

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    The best defence against flame throwers are ceramic tiles, which are also used for protection against HEAT ammunition, however the fire from flame throwers last much longer than the split-second heat from HEAT ammunition.

    Flame throwers are also excellent against enclosed bunkers and caves, in that the fire will consume all the oxygen, and thus suffocate those inside.
     
  14. Zable Fahr

    Zable Fahr New Member

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    what about the demoralizing effect of flamethrowers then? having your friends torched isn't exactly a pleasant experience...
     
  15. Siberian Black

    Siberian Black New Member

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    Let's go flame the shuttle......

    So in theory if you coated you tank with stuff similar to the shuttle's heat shield you would be near invulrerable to a flamethrower.
     
  16. Ossian phpbb3

    Ossian phpbb3 New Member

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    Yes, but you might be vulnerable to pieces of foam insulation hitting you (sorry, highly tasteless comment)

    I suspect the Warrior IFV has the same level of NBC protection as an MBT. Obviously the one shown was not fully closed down as the crew were in the process of bailing out.

    I presume engine air intakes are not closed during NBC precautions (otherwise the O2 inside the vehicle would be used pdq) How do modern engines react to burning fuel being sucked inside them? Do NBC precautions completely isolate the crew from outside air (if so, how long does the air inside last) or do they use filters (like the MOPP suits) to remove contaminants from the air?

    Also, how easy is it / how long does it take to put NBC precautions into place? If someone with a flamethrower pops up from the next foxhole, will there be enough time to lock down the vehicle completely?

    Tom
     
  17. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

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    The day of the anti-tank Nerf gun draws closer... :grin:
     
  18. Christian Ankerstjerne

    Christian Ankerstjerne Member

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    Not necessarily. The heat shield of the space shuttle protects against friction, whereas the heat from the flamethrower is liquid. This means that the tank will be more vulnerable to the liquid fire running into engine compartments, into the fighting compartment, etc.
     
  19. Gryle

    Gryle New Member

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    Actually most of the heat in that case is compressive in nature.
     
  20. Siberian Black

    Siberian Black New Member

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    Heat is heat, it's all microwave/infra-red energy.

    the shuttle's tiles are capable of being picked up by a bare hand within a fewseconds of being red hot. Admittedly they probably used a gas flame to heat it up, but the point is that those tiles disperse heat extremely rapidly. The entire shuttle is subject to over a thousand degrees farenheit (sp) on some areas and the only reason the foam was able to cause the '03 disaster was when it knocked some of those off. Shuttle pilots have never complained of heating.
     

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