The Flamethrower

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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The flamethrower was one of the many important weapons developed during World War I. It was considered to be a very frightening and intimidating weapon during the war, because it actually shot flaming liquid at you, and once it hit you, you were on fire. It would be very difficult to put out the flames because the burning liquid was extremely flammable, such as an oil, tar, or benzene.

The flamethrower shoots a stream of burning liquid fuel at enemies. It consists of a backpack with compressed nitrogen and a tank containing either coal tar and benzene, oil, or paraffin. A hose runs from the fuel tank to a nozzle, on which is an ignition device. When you press the trigger, gas forces the liquid through the nozzle and at the same time, the ignition device ignited the liquid. The gas pressure is enough to give the flaming liquid a range of about 45 meters.

The first flamethrowers used in World War I could only shoot about eight feet when carried, and the larger ones about sixteen feet when mounted onto tanks. Another drawback of the earliest flamethrowers used in World War I was the could only shoot about eight feet and sixteen feet for the larger ones which were mounted onto the tanks. Another drawback was the immense fuel consumption. The smaller version, which could fit on a soldier's back, only had enough fuel for a ten second solid stream.

Primitive types of flamethrowers, which consisted of hollow tubes filled with burning coals, sulfur, or other materials, came into use as early as the 5th century B.C. The Germans introduced modern flamethrowers in 1915 during World War I, and they were first employed on July 30th, 1915, at the Battle of Hooge. However, they were not widely...