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|
|No. built||14,000 (M1A1)|
|Weight||43 lb (19.5 kg) empty|
68 lb (30.8 kg) filled
|Rate of fire||Around 0.5 US gal (1.9 l) a second|
|Effective firing range||65 1⁄2 ft (20.0 m)|
|Maximum firing range||132 ft (40 m)|
|Feed system||Two, 2 US gal (7.6 l) Napalm/gasoline tanks (fuel)|
One Nitrogen tank (propellant)
The M2 flamethrower 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 burn time was only around 7 seconds and the flame was only effective out to around 20–40 meters, it was still a useful weapon. However, with the arrival of flamethrower tanks, the need for flamethrower-carrying infantrymen to expose themselves to enemy fire was greatly reduced.
Though some M2s were sold off, the majority were scrapped when they were declared obsolete.
Variants of the M2
The M2 was the WWII model had hexagonal gas caps and hourglass frames. It was also called the M2-2, M2 for the tank groups and -2 for the wand type.
The M2A1-2 is the variation of the M2 devised during the Korean War. 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.
It has four controls:
- 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.
The M9A1-7 is the most common model used in Vietnam and is much lighter and easier to use. Tanks for this weapon are commonly found, but most wands were destroyed after the Vietnam war.
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.
- Republic of China (Used by the Chinese soldiers in CBI Battlefield.)
- 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).