M67 Flame Thrower Tank

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Flame Thrower Tank M67
M67 Flamethrower Tank Vietnam.jpg
US Marine Corps M67 in action near Da Nang during Vietnam War.
TypeMedium flame tank
Place of originUnited States
Service history
In service1955–1974
Used byUnited States
WarsVietnam War
Production history
DesignerChemical Corps
Designed1954
ManufacturerDetroit Arsenal
Produced1955-1956
No. built109
Specifications
Mass48 metric tons
Length22 ft 7 in (6.871)
26 ft 6 in (8.138 m) (with gun forward)
Width11 ft 11 in (3.632 m)
Height10 ft 1 in (3.089 m)
Crew3

Armor178 mm maximum
Main
armament
M7-6 tank flamethrower
Secondary
armament
1 × .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 MG
1 × .30 cal (7.62 mm) M1919A4 MG
EngineContinental AV-1790-5B V12, air-cooled carburetor petrol engine
810 hp (604 kW)
TransmissionGeneral Motors CD-850, 2 ranges forward, 1 reverse
SuspensionTorsion bar suspension
Ground clearance420
Fuel capacity757 litres (M67)
1268 litres (M67A)
1457 litres (M67A2)
Operational
range
115 km (71,5 miles)
Speed48 km/h (30 mph)

The Flame Thrower Tank M67 (also known as M67 "Zippo",[1] nicknamed after a popular brand of cigarette lighter) is an American medium flame tank that was briefly used by the U.S. Army, and later by the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. It was the last flamethrower tank used in American military service.

Background and development[edit]

The M67's predecessor, an M4A3R3 used by the USMC during the Battle of Iwo Jima.
A prototype T67 at Aberdeen Proving Ground on 5 November 1953.
U.S. Army M67A1 at Fort Knox in June 1961.
Cross-section of the M67's turret. Note the large fuel tank that has replaced the loader's station in the turret.
A US Marine Corps M67 in Vietnam, 1968. An M1919A4 MG is mounted on the commander's cupola to the right.
Former Marine Corps M67A2's in storage at Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow in the 1970's.
M67A1 on display at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri in 2009.

Drawing on the experiences of crews of M4 Sherman tanks that were converted into flamethrower tanks and used during World War II, the U.S. Army Chemical Corps began work on a successor tank that could deliver the terrifying presence of a flame tank onto the battlefields of the Cold War. Work on the design took place between 1952 and 1954, utilizing a modified M48 tank chassis, at the initiative of the US Marine Corps. Production commenced in 1955 and ran for either a single year or four, depending on some estimates. A total of 109 M67 tanks were produced for the Marine Corps and US Army.

Service history[edit]

The M67 was primarily used for mop-up style operations, and like all flamethrower tanks, it was intended to be used primarily against infantry. The "Zippo" featured no main cannon; the M48's 90mm gun was replaced with the tank's flamethrower. While firing in quick bursts, the M67's firing was described as appearing as "rods of flames".[2] The swirling motion of the flames produced could reach round corners.[citation needed] The natural fear of being burned to death gave an added shock factor to the M67.[3]

The M67 remained in service until 1974, when it was retired from use without a replacement. The modern-day United States military has no flamethrower tanks in service.

Variants[edit]

  • T67: Prototype flamethrower tank used for testing purposes.
  • M67: First version used in service.
  • M67A1: M48A2 Patton converted to use the Flamethrower Tank Turret M1.
  • M67A2: M48A3 Patton converted to use the Flamethrower Tank Turret M1.

Former operators[edit]

  •  United States: Used by U.S. Army, and by U.S. Marine Corps from 1955 to 1974.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Hunnicutt., R. P. (1984). Patton: A History of American Medium Tank Volume I. (1st ed.). Novato, CA: Presidio Press. ISBN 0-89141-230-1.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ringquist, John (Summer 2008). "U.S. Army Flamethrower Vehicles" (PDF). Army Chemical Review. Summer 2008: 35–37. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  2. ^ Gilbert, Ed (2004). US Marine Corps Tank Crewman 1965–70: Vietnam. Great Britain: Osprey Publishing. p. 2. ISBN 978 1 78096 676 2.
  3. ^ "Support by the Ton". The Leatherneck. 46: 22–24. January 1963.

External Links[edit]