Richard Fiedler

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Richard Fiedler was a German scientist who invented the modern flamethrower. This is a weapon that projects a stream of ignited liquid, usually oil. He submitted evaluation models of his Flammenwerfer to the German army in 1901. The most significant model submitted was a man-portable device, consisting of a vertical single cylinder 4 feet (1.2 m) long, horizontally divided in two, with pressurized gas in the lower section and flammable oil in the upper section. On depressing a lever the propellant gas forced the flammable oil into and through a rubber tube and over a simple igniting wick device in a steel nozzle. The weapon projected a jet of fire and enormous clouds of smoke some 20 yards (18 m). It was a single-shot weapon - for burst firing, a new igniter section was attached each time it was used for battle or other uses of any sorts. It was first used in the western front.

It was used extensively in WWII by both Allied and Axis troops.