A soldier from the 33rd Infantry Division uses an M2 flamethrower.
|Place of origin||United States|
|Used by||See Users|
|Wars||World War II
|Designer||US Army Chemical Warfare Service|
|Number built||14,000 (M1A1)|
|Weight||43 lb (19.5 kg) empty
68 lb (30.8 kg) filled
|Rate of fire||~half a gallon a second|
|Effective range||65 1⁄2 feet (20.0 m)|
|Maximum range||132 feet (40 m)|
|Feed system||2 (2 gal) Gasoline tanks (fuel)
1 Nitrogen tank (propellant)
The M2 flamethrower (M2-2) was an American man-portable backpack flamethrower that was used in World War II. It was the successor to the M1 and M1A1 flamethrowers. Although its actual "burn time" was around 7 seconds and the flame was only effective out to around 20–40 meters, it was still a functional weapon that had many uses in the war. However, with the later arrival of tanks and, especially, flamethrower tanks, the need for infantrymen to expose themselves to fire became unnecessary, as tanks offered greater protection and greater firepower.
Though some M2s were sold off, the majority were scrapped when they were declared "obsolete."
Variants of the M2
The WWII models had hexagonal gas caps and hourglass frames. They were also called the M2-2, M2 for the tank groups and -2 for the wand type.
M2A1-2 is the variation of the M2 modified during the Korean war period. These had straight sided backpack frames, vented gas caps, a cylinder sized regulator and a safety valve. These are much more common today than WWII models.
- Back of the rear grip: firing safety catch.
- Front of the rear grip: firing trigger.
- On top of the front part: igniter safety catch
- Under the front part: igniter trigger.
US M9A1-7. This is the most common model used in Vietnam and is much lighter and easier to use. Tanks are commonly found, but most wands were destroyed by the military.
Some U.S. Army flamethrowers have a front handgrip with the same shape as the rear handgrip. In these models the igniter controls are on the front handgrip, arranged in the same way as the rear handgrip controls. The M2 was replaced by the M9A1-7 flamethrower which was used in Vietnam. The M9A1-7 was replaced by the M202A1 FLASH.
- Japan (after World War II for the JSDF; later replaced by a Japanese made flamethrower based on the M2)
- United States
Two CGI views of a man with an M2A1-7 U.S. Army flamethrower. The two big tanks contain the fuel. The small tank contains the pressurizing gas (nitrogen).