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Flamethrower on Kwajalein

Image Information
Soldiers of the Seventh Infantry Division use a M1-1 flamethrower on a Japanese-held bunker. The M1-1 was a man-portable backpack flamethrower that had a “burn time“ of around 7 seconds. The flame was only effective out to around 33 meters. It used gasoline or diesel fuel and hydrogen propellant. It was employed by engineers at first. The actual combat employment of the flame thrower in the Marshall Islands failed to justify fully the extensive preliminary training program. Happily, Japanese defenses on Roi, Namur, Kwajalein, and Eniwetok, pounded by a 3-day preinvasion bombardment, proved less formidable and Japanese resistance less stubborn than had been anticipated. As a consequence, the flame thrower was not needed in the assault phases of the amphibious landings, but was confined to mopping up operations and to the elimination of enemy personnel from underground shelters and fortifications. An analysis of the Marshall campaign also indicated to Army and Marine leaders that trained infantrymen as well as engineer troops were required to operate the flame thrower. After the Marshall Islands operation infantrymen became the primary users of the weapon in the Central Pacific.
Image Filename wwii1256.jpg
Image Size 2.14 MB
Image Dimensions 2939 x 2290
Photographer Cordray
Photographer Title
Caption Author Jason McDonald
Date Photographed February 04, 1944
Location Kwajalein
City Kwajalein
State or Province Kwajalein
Country Marshalls
Archive National Archives and Records Administration
Record Number
Status Caption ©2007, ©2024 MFA Productions LLC
Image in the Public Domain

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