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Good Question: Did Flamethrowers From WW2 Explode When Shot?

Discussion in 'Allied Weapons Used thru out WWII' started by PzJgr, May 17, 2019.

  1. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I don't think an explosion is likely. The gasoline would normally need to be aerosolized with the right mix of oxygen to actually explode. You also need an open flame or a very hot surface to ignite gasoline. Once saw a demo where someone put out a cigarette in a cap full of gasoline and no ignition. Same demo illustrated the explosive potential when aerosolized.
     
  2. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    If you dunk the cig quickly it won't have time to aerosolize the fuel, of course. Smoking at a gas pump, on the other paw...
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    From what I understand the big danger of smoking near a gas pump was lighting the cigarette. An open flam will ignite the fumes where the glowing end of the cigarette probably won't. Of course the temperature goes up if you are actively moving air over the hot end.
    ....
    Just looked it up. Gasoline auto ignites at 536 F. But cigarettes tend to bun a bit hotter from what I saw looking into it. This article goes into it in some detail:
    What is the temperature at the tip of a lit cigarette?

    My take on this now is. In an nice controlled experiment go ahead, otherwise I'll do what I can to avoid being in the area of both. Of course I try to avoid being around lit cigarettes anyway.
     
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  4. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    An explosion can be caused by the friction of getting into or out of a car.
     
  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I would guess not. On the other hand a spark due to a static electric discharge.
     
  6. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    That's what I meant. It's why we have signs saying don't get in and out of your car while fueling. In some place at least. IIHS has documented this.
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Still see a lot of people starting the pumps and then taking a seat in their cars in spite of the signs. The signs don't say why or they might get better acceptance or not.
     
  8. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I don't know about your signs but ours are explicit.
     
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The last one I read I just remember it saying "Remain outside your car and don't use your cell phone while fueling" or words to that effect. Since I usually keep my hand on the nozzle anyway it's not a problem but a lot of people I see, especially in cold weather, start the pump and then sit inside. I remember a time when at least some of the self serve pumps didn't have the latches that let you pump without holding the lever down. That rather forced the process for many (I'd use my gas cap to prop the lever in the open position so I didn't have to hang on to it though).
     
  10. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Any safety device can be aborted.
     
  11. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    The gas in the tanks was pressurized so when punctured the fuel expelled is aerosolized. They did blow up, there are at least two pictures I've seen from Iwo Jima where the operator, or the operator and his team were immolated. I don't pretend to know the exact circumstances that led to the explosion, just that they did occur.
     
  12. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Good point if the pressure aerosolizes the gasoline you can get an explosion. Even if no explosion the chance of being engulfed in fire was definitely there. Might come down to exactly how you one defines "blow up". Is an actual explosion required or just a rapid and impressive fire. A small hole followed by a fire might even result in the tank exploding now that I think of it. Not knowing just how the tanks were linked the possibility of one rupturing catching fire and the other exploding due to the overpressure from heating is also there.
     
  13. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I'm beginning to think that job was at least a little dangerous.
     
  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I know if I was on the other side flame thrower operators would be on my priority list.
     
  15. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    [​IMG]
     
  16. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Doesn't address the question de jour but interesting info on the M2/M2A1.
     
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  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Took a careful look when I filled up this morning. There's a big sign between the pumps that just says what you are suppose to do. There are stickers on the pumps also saying what you are suppose to do and explaining why.
     
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  18. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper Patron  

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    good thread
    great minds- was also going to comment about cig not able to ignite gas. stole my bit.
    regarding entering vehicle while gassing- when its minus 40c windchill, wonder if death via flame vs hypothermia would be preferable.
    no way am I standing in the cold for 3-4 minutes.
    I dont attend gas stations that dont have the little clicky thingy that allows pump to stop when tank full.

    there was some show where buddy shoots different ww2 guns. he had to jump through a lot of hoops in order to fire :) a flamethrower
    The Weapon Hunter: Flamethrowers
     
  19. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    It would seem to be a good idea to dress for the weather.
     
  20. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper Patron  

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    very possible to get frostbite in seconds.
    ever try to punch in ur liscence plate, password and driver # with mittens
    into tiny metal buttons...
    I work in the cold. I have every accoutrement.
    nobody, but nobody, here stands in
    the freezing cold we have here sometimes.

    curious, I'd like to take a poll on the coldest weather ever experienced by members.
    I'll make a thread.
     

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