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Subject: Curious about "modern" use of flamethrowers. rss

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M·ANTONIVS·M·F·M·N
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Years ago while in the military we were told that the Chinese still used flamethrowers. I was wondering if this was true and if there is any modern examples of military forces that still have some form of flame thrower in service....

say from the 80's onward

I could sooooo use a flamethrower......would be handier than a dishwasher IMO.
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Gary Averett
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Iirc, the Germans still use the HAFLA, which launches a red phosphorous shell. Maybe someone in the German army could verify this.

http://www.angelfire.com/art/enchanter/flamethrowers.html
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Hunga Dunga
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Military History Quarterly had a article on the history of flame throwers and modern usage.

Unfortunately I can't find the issue...
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Andrew Brown
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The Soviets used them extensively in Afghanistan. I've heard rumours they were used by the Russians in Chechnya, but that might be propoganda - I don't know... For Russian/Soviet units they can be listed under chemical weapons. Chemical weapons has a different meaning in their order of battle to where it's not poison gas like we think but weapons like flame throwers or thermobaric charges.

I don't beleive the US has them in the current order of battle.
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Mike Windsor
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The U.S. and South Korea use the M202A1 FLASH incendiary rocket launcher, which replaced the flamethrower. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M202A1_FLASH
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David Heldt
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How else does Sgt. Fury light his cigars?
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Gary Averett
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mwindsor wrote:
The U.S. and South Korea use the M202A1 FLASH incendiary rocket launcher, which replaced the flamethrower. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M202A1_FLASH


Wow, I didn't think that old thing was still in service.
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Andrew Brown
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greenpawn wrote:
mwindsor wrote:
The U.S. and South Korea use the M202A1 FLASH incendiary rocket launcher, which replaced the flamethrower. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M202A1_FLASH


Wow, I didn't think that old thing was still in service.


Yeah I saw the article mentioned use in Afghanistan - I'm really surprised! I figured that NPR or the BBC would he having the vapors if it was actively used.

And yes that was a wiseacre political comment .
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D. Quinn Nix
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Didn't Arnold's character shoot an M202 rocket launcher in the '80s movie, Commando? He only shot one rocket from it, though, and not all four at the same time like the weapon is capable of, which would've been awesome. (Go figure, Arnold's character being reserved with a weapon's use.) That was the only movie I ever saw using that weapon.

In the Avalon Hill wargame, Firepower, an M202 is one of the most effective medium-range anti-infantry weapons that can be carried and fired by a single soldier. If I recall correctly, in the game it fires white phosphorous (WP) rounds. But according to that Wikipedia article, that is (was) not the case in reality.
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Cynosure wrote:
Didn't Arnold's character shoot an M202 rocket launcher in the '80s movie, Commando?


He seemed to get more mileage out of circular saw blades. (which are a close second to flamethrowers in my book)
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Robert (Bob) Miller Sr
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Evidently this one is still in use and offered for sale to other countries from China which calls it Type 74

http://www.janes.com/articles/Janes-Infantry-Weapons/LPO-50-...
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Hunga Dunga
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I found the article in MHQ: it's by CG Sweeting, and is in the Summer 2009 issue.
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Steve Arthur
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Carrie Fisher used one to great effect in 'The Blues Brothers'...
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superflypete wrote:


The Croatians during the Serbian war used them,


I spent some time there myself actually.
 
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Quote:
having the vapors if it was actively used.


Members of Parliament did, when they discovered flame-throwing tanks had been used against fortifications during the first Gulf war. Historically this weapon "system" has always been far more effective, and with fewer shortcomings, than might have been predicted, hence its continued use,
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Steve Arthur
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I wonder if there's ever been any specific attempts to ban the use of flamethrowers like what's been tried with landmines and shotguns...
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David Cameron
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Isn't the use of flamethrowers inhuman and brutal?

I suspect it could reasonably be extended under crimes against humanity. I know the U.S. military unilaterally decided to retire the use of flamethrowers.

I don't know if most of you here approve of that decision or not, but I certainty do.
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Bill Gates
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George Carlin on flamethrowers:

"Think for a moment about the concept of the flamethrower. Okay? The flamethrower. Because we have them. Well, *we* don't have them, the army has them. That's right. We don't have any flamethrowers. I'd say we're fucked if we have to go up against the army, wouldn't you? But we have flamethrowers. And what this indicates to me, it means that at some point, some person said to himself, 'Gee, I sure would like to set those people on fire over there. But I'm way too far away to get the job done. If only I had something that would throw flame on them.' Well, it might have ended right there, but he mentioned it to his friend. His friend who was good with tools. And about a month later, he was back. 'Hey, quite a concept!' WHHOOOOOOOOSSHHH! And of course the army heard about it, and they came around. 'We'd like to buy about five hundred-thousand of them please. We have some people we'd like to throw flame on. Give us five hundred thousand and paint them dark brown. We don't want anyone to see them'."
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Mike Windsor
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I assume the original bit was in ancient Greek.
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Andrew Brown
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Quote:
Isn't the use of flamethrowers inhuman and brutal?


I guess my own thought is yes you are entirely correct. But in the real world people don't want to crawl into caves in the Afghan hills with a Baretta and a flashlight and 50% casaulty rate versus a quick shot of a flamethrower.

So in terms of the folks who are on the side of the angels then I have to give them the freedom of use of these weapons if they feel they need them.



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Cynosure wrote:
Didn't Arnold's character shoot an M202 rocket launcher in the '80s movie, Commando?


Wasn't it actually Rae Dawn Chong who shot it out of a convertible to get Arnold out of police custody after he raided a gun store?

And you probably forgot what Arnold told "Sully" too!
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The Maverick wrote:


And you probably forgot what Arnold told "Sully" too! ;)


I did forget........"I'll kill you last?"

I need to see this movie again.
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It has not been mentioned so far, but using flamethrowers is dangerous for infantry - both those carrying them and those nearby. They attract enemy fire, and they have a tendency to blow up if the tanks are hit.

They also make it difficult to take advantage of cover, both because of their bulk, and because they are often used standing upright and still.

When there are safer solutions to the same problems that flamethrowers solve, any army that cares about about the safety of its infantry will use an alternative, regardless of humanitarian concerns.

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Bill Gates
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TonyClifton wrote:
The Maverick wrote:


And you probably forgot what Arnold told "Sully" too!


I did forget........"I'll kill you last?"

I need to see this movie again.


Well, the last thing Arnold told Sully was: "I lied."
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Robert (Bob) Miller Sr
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Don't forget the flamethrower tanks or tanks with them as a secondary weapon depicted here.

http://images.google.com/images?sourceid=navclient&rlz=1T4GG...
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