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Addy J

When were flamethrowers used in World War 1?

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Addy J

Hi guys so I am new to this whole thing and this is my first thing, but I am going to do my best. So flamethrowers, really long so I am just going to use abbreviations, were first introduced in 1900 and were tested secretly by the Imperial German Army the next year in 1901. Although the German Army took full credit on the FT, the were actually invented by the Chinese in the 10th Century. If you don't know what a FT is, it is a man made portable weapon that squirts out burning fuel.

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JMB1943

Ms Addy J,

 

I cannot answer your specific question, but others will be able to.

Suggest that you scroll back to find posts by Bob Lembke.

Sadly, he died last year but his father had been a member of an elite assault troop squad (sturmtruppen) and I believe that they 

had been equipped with flame-throwers.

Bob L recounted many of his father’s activities here on the forum.

 

Regards,

JMB

 

 

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Gunner Bailey

Not my subject but I always understood the German Army first tested the flamethrower around 1901/1902 but operational trials of the flamethrower had to wait until late 1914 in the Argonne. The first organised group attack was in July 1915 near Hooge Crater outside Ypres.

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Old Owl

Hi J

 

Welcome to the Forum.

 

I believe that the first flame throwers were used by the Germans during the attack on British troops at Hooge, 30th July, 1915.

 

Robert 

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phil andrade

That sinister and notorious Butte  de  Vauqois in the Argonne has a little plaque - amongst the ubiquitous and interlinked craters -  commemorating a French infantry company that was the first to experience “ martyrdom” in a German flamethrower attack.  If memory serves me, this was in the late spring or early summer of 1915 : I recall taking note of the date being earlier than the Hooge attack that we Brits normally identify as the first flamethrower attack. It was definitely 1915, though. 

 

Phil

 

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JMB1943

Phil,

 

You are correct!

The book “GAS,” The story of the special brigade (p.49-50) ....the Germans had used their flammenwerfer on the French front on the 25th June 1915, but their existence was known**before this; they were employed for the first time against the British at Hooge on 30th July.

** p.25. .....”memorandum of the 2nd German Army, dated St. Quentin 16/10/14, which was captured in April 1915, and in which, among the Arms at disposal of the pioneers for fighting at close quarters, appeared flame or asphyxiating gas projectors.”

 

Regards,

JMB

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MBrockway

Welcome to the Forum!

 

There are already multiple topics on this subject.

 

What efforts have you made to use the Search facility here?

 

As per above, bob lembke, RIP, posted a tremendous amount of material on Flammenwerfer.

 

There is also a very strong topic started by Terry Reeves collecting those German FW attacks against the British Army, which have actual accounts in the primary sources - principally the war diaries, but also the daily Intelligence Summaries.

 

Several of these topics discuss the thorny issue of when the Germans first made use of Flammenwerfer, viz ...

  • clearing so-called francs-tireurs from houses in Louvain in Aug 1914 during the invasion of Belgium
  • on the Eastern Front against the Russians
  • against the French at Bagatelle-Pavillon in the Argonne in early October 1914
  • against the French at Malancourt in February 1915
  • against the French in June 1915

Suggest you have a serious play with the search tool and then get back to us if you have any outstanding Qs.

 

Anyone with a genuine interest in FW will really enjoy reading the topics: they are very interesting and (mostly!) well researched :)

 

Mark

 

 

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stiletto_33853

Flamethrowers had been used since very early in the war. Hooge was the first flamethrower usage against British Troops. GHQ were obviously expecting them as they wrote to the French asking them all about the attacks and how they dealt with them early July 1915. The attack described in the letter from the French 5th corps for March 1915 is very similar to the attack at Hooge. The German troops that delivered the attack at Hooge were withdrawn form the line before the attack to see the apparatus in use. The Hooge attack was conducted by 9th Company, 3rd Guard Pioneer Battalion for the actual flamethrower usage.

As in organised, Flame units were attached to a Regiment for an attack and were not formally organised until later in the war.

 

Andy

43112_2123_0-00122.jpg

Edited by stiletto_33853

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Radlad
On ‎25‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 18:05, Addy J said:

 If you don't know what a FT is, it is a man made portable weapon that squirts out burning fuel.

 

 

possibly a bit difficult walking round with a Livens projector?

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MBrockway

All this is covered in our existing FW topics.

 

Shame to start another hare running when there's nothing novel to the OP's question.

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Ken Lees
1 hour ago, MBrockway said:

All this is covered in our existing FW topics.

 

Shame to start another hare running when there's nothing novel to the OP's question.

If only the search facility was worth its name! 

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Keith_history_buff
On 07/01/2019 at 14:47, Ken Lees said:

If only the search facility was worth its name! 

The good news with the forum is that if you start a post, you have the ability to add tags, helping people in future who are searching for the same subject.
The bad news is that use of the tagging is not so commonplace, so you still have to trawl through a lot of unstructured results. 

I don't think this is unique to this forum - there's no option to tag on the British Medals Forum, so you have to trawl.

I did not initially understand what question was being posed. Is it the case that the name of this thread is the question, and the OP is an attempt to introduce the subject?

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5thBatt

Search features on most forums suck big time! correctly spelt & correct keywords are the only things that will get the results you require & you usually end up with multiple threads to look though that have the keyword in it but no real info as such, plus people such as myself will see a thread such as this & while having not real interest in the topic might think "this might be interesting" & open the thread to find it full of "use the search feature" which is annoying to say the least!

If you cant answer a Q move on or at best say "sorry cant help you there but you could try the search feature until someone you can answer your Q comes along" or do the search for them & post/link any relative findings.

 

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