Due to real life circumstances, and this article in its original form being quite a bit longer than anticipated, I'll be splitting it into two parts.
Last week we had a look at handheld flamethrowers. Well the documents I read also covered vehicle mounted flamethrowers. This week, and next, I'll be covering those, although the information was only on Allied designs.
The British had the most famous vehicle mounted flamethrower, and it was the most efficient and successful. The following is a brief run down of the Crocodile so you can get an idea of its standards and then we'll have a look at some of the US designs.
The flame gun itself was electrically powered with the tank commander having a control on the circuit. This enabled him to arm the gun or make it safe. The same circuit also allowed him to jettison the trailer.
Inside the trailer lay five nitrogen bottles, each charged to 3000 lbs/sq. inch. These notoriously started leaking almost immediately and so charging was normally left to the last moment. These all fed into a common hub which then fed into one of the fuel tanks.
Both the fuel tanks were located on either side of the trailer. They were seven feet, five inches long with a two foot six inch diameter. These contained the 400 gallons of fuel carried by the tank. Each fuel tank was linked in series, with the gas charge feeding in the back of the series, and the fuel pipe to the flame gun out the front. Range was 140 yards and the Crocodile could fire between 80-85 shots, each lasting one second, this gave a discharge rate of about 4.5 gallons per second. To give you an idea of how much that is, that's about the same amount of water as comes out of a normal shower in three minutes fired out in one second.
Next week we'll have a look a three US projects, and another British flamethrower project. Plus the effect of flame throwers.