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Video US M2/M2A1 Flamethrower

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22:32   |   603K+ views   |   today at 02:25

Transcription

  • you
  • hi guys thanks for tuning into another
  • video on Forgotten weapons comm I mean I
  • am here today with a US m2 flamethrower
  • this is the standard u.s. flamethrower
  • for world war ii and this particular one
  • in fact was also refurbished and reused
  • in the Korean War and also the Vietnam
  • War so really this is the classic
  • stereotypical US World War two and
  • Korean War flamethrower now this isn't
  • the gun that the u.s. went into World
  • War two with as in fact the u.s. went
  • into World War two with no flamethrowers
  • at all quickly realized that that was a
  • problem and threw together an emergency
  • program developed the m1 flamethrower in
  • a mere 90 days it was all off-the-shelf
  • technology components it was a terrible
  • gun poor reliability poor combat
  • effectiveness just miserable in fact it
  • was so bad that it really spurred a lot
  • of research and development interests to
  • develop its replacement the m2 in fact
  • the m1 was barely starting to get issued
  • before they were already in the process
  • of developing this flamethrower to
  • replace it so these guys went into
  • production early in 1944 and this was
  • the culmination of like I said a lot of
  • research and development work the u.s.
  • ordnance department the chemical warfare
  • department studied the combat use of the
  • m1 flamethrowers in a whole bunch of
  • different units and they went to fairly
  • significant lengths to obtain examples
  • of every other nationality a
  • flamethrower that they could find to
  • study their effectiveness as well so
  • they were testing out in particular
  • German Italian Japanese and British
  • flamethrower units to find out what
  • worked what didn't what was a good
  • system what was a bad system and the
  • culmination of this was the m2 here
  • which is pretty much without argument
  • the best flamethrower of World War two
  • so the u.s. went from the worst one of
  • any country in the war to the best one
  • and it really says something actually
  • that this particular unit which was made
  • some time early to mid 1944 is still
  • functional
  • it went through three wars got
  • refurbished a couple times by the
  • military and yesterday I was out
  • shooting it myself
  • so it says that's pretty good quality
  • for
  • we throw our unit most of the time old
  • flame throwers are you're really taking
  • your chances on whether they're still
  • functional or not so this one isn't it's
  • a testament to the design so what I want
  • to do today is go through a bunch of the
  • the actual mechanical features of this
  • particular flamethrower because most
  • people don't have a clue how these
  • things work it's it's this magic thing
  • that you you know you're risking life
  • and limb and most of your skin to put on
  • and flame goes out the end and that's
  • about it all anyone knows so the weight
  • is actually word is you have these two
  • tanks which are connected at the bottom
  • these hold fuel this guy holds
  • approximately four and three-quarter
  • gallons of fuel total the actual fuel
  • used in the war vary but basically it
  • was a gelled fuel let's discover that
  • gel fuel would give you a much greater
  • range like triple the range of just a
  • liquid that's because the gel fuel
  • stayed together and it retained its
  • inertia really think of it as the
  • difference between fire and buckshot and
  • firing bird shot out of a shotgun that
  • bird shot you've got very small pieces
  • of shot they're all hitting wind
  • resistance and they slow down and fall
  • to the ground very quickly that's a
  • liquid fuel a gel fuel is like buckshot
  • you've got larger chunks sticking
  • together they fly farther in addition
  • that gelled fuel burns slower because
  • you have a lump of fuel and is burning
  • from the outside in it's not all burning
  • at once it's less aerated and so that
  • means for example even if you had a
  • gelled fuel range if you're shooting
  • liquid fuel even if it could get all the
  • way out there it will have all burned up
  • by the time it does the gel fuel both
  • gave it the extra range and allowed it
  • to still be effective at that long range
  • so early in the word the troops were
  • actually using a mixture of shipping
  • fuel bunker C mixed with gasoline to get
  • it to about the right consistency and
  • then they they standardized on an
  • aluminum stearate
  • mixture which gel gasoline up or gel
  • diesel or kerosene and there was a lot
  • of chemical development that I won't get
  • into here because that's a little beyond
  • my depth but ultimately they were using
  • napalm the stereotypical napalm it's
  • jelly gasoline it sticks to things it
  • burns for a long time and
  • flies along distance so you fill these
  • two tanks with that fuel now that
  • filling is actually quite easy because
  • these have threaded plugs on the top now
  • in World War 2 these would have been
  • capped with one fixed just plug and one
  • that has this little pipe on it and this
  • pipe is a safety feature this is a
  • ruptured disk so that if the pressure
  • exceeds 450 psi this rupture just will
  • blow and the pressure will vent out this
  • so this would have been threaded in here
  • put it in and make sure that it's
  • pointing away from the back of your head
  • when you do so that's one of your safety
  • features the reason that you need that
  • safety feature oh and by the way the
  • difference here is in the Korean War
  • when they upgraded this to the m2a1 they
  • replaced this vent cap or they replace
  • this rupture disc with a typical vent
  • cap where you can unthreat the center to
  • vent pressure out of it
  • slowly in a controlled manner they moved
  • the ruptured disc down onto the
  • regulator position where it was not
  • prone to damage this thing you know this
  • would be easy to damage if you drop the
  • gun or a lot of things could happen in
  • the combat field so World War 2 caps
  • Korean War caps anyway the reason that
  • you need this overpressure protection is
  • that you're firing this fuel the
  • military did at 380 psi that's in this
  • tank 380 in the gun 380 but your actual
  • pressure tank here this is filled with
  • compressed gas nitrogen is best because
  • it's inert the military because of
  • necessity and supply issues would
  • occasionally use compressed air that's
  • more dangerous because it has oxygen in
  • it which can lead to explosions nitrogen
  • can't explode it's no oxygen no
  • flammable components
  • anyway this bottle is pressurized much
  • higher than your actual fuel pressure so
  • today this would be pressurized up to
  • twelve thirteen hundred psi and then
  • there's a regulator that connects this
  • pressure bottle to these two fuel
  • bottles that regulator is a constant
  • pressure regulator so it's set to 380
  • and it ensures that these are always at
  • 380 at first your fuel level is going to
  • be up here and you've just got a little
  • bit of pressurized gas at
  • as you fire the fuel level goes down
  • because it's blowing out the front of
  • the gun by the end you've got fuel down
  • it like here and all of this is filled
  • with pressurized gas that regulator in
  • the bottom prevents ensures that no
  • matter what the fuel level is you're
  • always getting the same pressure which
  • means the range was always the same your
  • first shot and your last shot you had a
  • total of about six seconds of fuel at
  • the rate that this fires so typically
  • you would in an operator would use like
  • one second bursts and you'd get about
  • half a dozen of them and they'd all be
  • the same range and it all worked the
  • same way that's not how a lot of other
  • nations flame throwers work and we'll
  • touch on that in some other videos
  • however in case something went wrong
  • with that regulator you could have an
  • issue where you're 1300 psi blows into
  • these two and all sudden they're
  • operating way over pressure rather than
  • having this burst and you know blow
  • flammable liquid and chunks of pressure
  • tank all over the operator instead
  • you've got this ruptured disc that
  • bursts basically like the the
  • overpressure vent in a water here it
  • blows out controls the release of
  • pressure and does so before you get
  • anywhere near the point where this tank
  • is gonna rupture so very important
  • safety device now moving on once you've
  • got the gas so you've got your - you've
  • got your fuel in order to use the gun
  • you have to connect those two together
  • so that the gas pushes the fuel out that
  • is done here this right here is your
  • valve connects to a dial handle right
  • here and this is reachable by the
  • operator he can reach back when he's
  • wearing the gun - right here turn this
  • on this connects his pressure to his
  • fuel and then things are ready to go
  • this is the connection where your flame
  • hose the hose for the gun is going to
  • connect to the fix tube on the backpack
  • mount so this is a locking latch we lift
  • that up and then you've got two arms
  • that open here there's still a little
  • bit of diesel fuel in there so I don't
  • want to pull the plug out this is just a
  • plug this works just like any standard
  • hydraulic fitting that slides in
  • lock these two levers down that prevents
  • the levers from coming open you're
  • sealed and you're ready to go now it's
  • kind of cool this hose has like four
  • layers in it the very inside it's 3/4
  • inch hydraulic hose then on top of that
  • is a like a rubberized sealing layer so
  • that if you get a pin hole in the
  • hydraulic hose it will seal you'll get
  • like this fuel blister that comes
  • through that you can see it it's not a
  • good thing but it prevents the hose from
  • bursting and lets you know that you need
  • to address this on top of that
  • rubberized sealant layer is actually a
  • braided steel cable which is designed
  • from the factory from the original
  • design to be shrapnel proof pretty good
  • idea when this when this thing is in
  • operation this hose is pressurized to
  • 380 psi of napalm and so if you you know
  • if someone happens to throw a grenade
  • next to you or a shell hit or any number
  • of things you don't want this to be real
  • fragile and vulnerable to getting broken
  • and then all of your napalm spews out
  • all over who knows where not a good
  • thing and then the last layer is a waxed
  • canvas as a waterproofing agent right
  • the gun itself has a number of
  • interesting features to it first off
  • you'll see there's a big squeeze trigger
  • here and there's a gun looking trigger
  • up here the trigger in the front fires
  • the ignition charge the squeeze trigger
  • in the back opens the valve tool that
  • fuel to flow what's cool about these and
  • this is one of those elements that makes
  • this a very advanced very effective
  • flamethrower design is that while your
  • trigger is back here the valve is
  • actually sealing right up here so this
  • whole tube of the gun is pressurized and
  • full of fuel but the seal is up here
  • what that means is when I open it and
  • fire gas streams out lights flames etc
  • when I release the trigger it seals it
  • right here which means we don't have any
  • empty we don't have any unpressurized
  • fuel left to dribble out the end if our
  • seal was back here which by the way is
  • how a lot of the other flamethrowers of
  • World War one in World War two worked
  • once we shut it off now we've got this
  • whole tube full of fuel we've still got
  • some fire up front and if I take this
  • and fire it release the trigger and then
  • pointed
  • I'm gonna get dribbling napalm on my
  • feet not a good thing
  • the u.s. designed the m2 prevents that
  • by having basically there's a long rod
  • this works just like a frost proof valve
  • if you've ever worked with one of those
  • and we'll show you that up close in just
  • a moment
  • so there's a grip safety on the back and
  • then a squeeze trigger when using these
  • it was really important that you just
  • death grip this thing and open it all
  • the way because if you kind of just
  • squeeze it a little bit you're gonna
  • open the valve a little bit and if
  • you've ever taken a garden hose and
  • opened it just a little bit it kind of
  • drizzles and and doesn't work out very
  • well and you don't want it doing that
  • with flaming napalm you want a steady
  • high-pressure stream going away from you
  • quickly so that's one of the operating
  • keys is to do that now one of the
  • problems with a lot of early
  • flamethrowers was that they didn't work
  • well in water they were easily if they
  • got wet if there was a lot of humidity
  • how do you ignite the fuel the early
  • ones often would use a bottle of
  • hydrogen gas venting past two little
  • spark electrodes like a little stun gun
  • sort of thing and that elector of that
  • electrical arc would light hydrogen gas
  • and that would give you a nice hot flame
  • in theory to light your fuel the problem
  • was those things were notoriously
  • unreliable if they got wet they wouldn't
  • work they dependent they were dependent
  • on batteries that would die or corrode
  • or not not good stuff what was used by
  • the m2 and a lot of the other more
  • effective flame throwers was a set of
  • pyrotechnic cartridges so this basically
  • is a five-round cartridge of little
  • teeny road flares they're fired by
  • basically a friction match and what
  • happens is when I pull this trigger
  • it's effectively just striking a match
  • inside one of these five cartridges now
  • this happens to be a cartridge with
  • three fired units and the two duds so
  • these look like they would when the unit
  • was ready to use but they've been fired
  • and they they don't work the original
  • strikers didn't run you know these are
  • fifty or sixty or seventy years old so a
  • cartridge one of these cartridges goes
  • in the nose of the gun and I'll show you
  • that whole assembly and just
  • and then you have a totally waterproof
  • ignition mechanism these were first off
  • they were transported in sealed tins
  • which obviously makes the leather proof
  • to begin with and then once you have
  • this out
  • it's wax sealed on the back it's wax
  • sealed on the front there's actually a
  • lid seal on the front of each one of
  • these charges and while they will
  • deteriorate over extended time many
  • months you can drop this thing in the
  • water pull it out put it in the gun and
  • it'll run just fine
  • that was one of the really important
  • points of the m2 is they you could
  • literally jump off a Higgins boat
  • submerge completely in the water climb
  • up on the beach shake the water out of
  • the end of the gun just for convenience
  • sake really and the gun would
  • immediately light and fire and that was
  • somewhat uncommon of flame throwers most
  • of the time they had to be taking a lot
  • more careful care of in order to work so
  • let me show you the full let's take this
  • apart and show you that we did this out
  • on the range so that's a little low
  • range bit will splice in here alright so
  • I've got the the muzzle of this thing
  • completely disassembled we're gonna go
  • ahead and get it ready to use the first
  • thing I'm going to put on is our spring
  • assembly here this is what actually
  • rotates this guy one position each time
  • I pull the trigger so that goes on and
  • then we're gonna put the colored pads
  • facing forward drop that into place now
  • the spring has this stud coming out of
  • it that catches in this cutout on the
  • muscle so I put this on capture that
  • stud and then as I screw this into place
  • I am winding the spring there we go and
  • we are in position there is a locking
  • stud right here that lines up with that
  • notch and we're good to go now I want to
  • go ahead and touch one of these off
  • static just here just so we can see what
  • that igniter cartridge really does
  • because you never see that sort of thing
  • so that's what's igniting the diesel
  • fuel coming out of this sucker
  • that's gonna run for these run for about
  • eight seconds the original military
  • manual says they ran for 11 and now I've
  • lit the ground on fire so excuse me one
  • moment
  • see now you would get these cartridges
  • in cans like this so you've got two
  • cartridges per can here's one that's
  • been opened opens just like an Old World
  • War two can of ammo I've got a sardine
  • can key here on the bottom and go ahead
  • and pop that tab up and then we just
  • wind it like this pop the seal so these
  • are 1967 dated so this is the Vietnam
  • era use seals in there all right and
  • there is one brand new out of the
  • packaging m2 flamethrower igniter
  • cartridge all right so that gives you a
  • pretty good idea I hope of how the
  • kitchen for this thing actually works
  • fire that thing off you've got this nice
  • hot road flare it's burning about 10
  • seconds that allows you to shoot during
  • those 10 seconds so whether it's in
  • theory one complete six second dump use
  • all your fuel that works great or if
  • you're going to do a series of short
  • bursts one second firings if there's a
  • whole series of pillboxes that your unit
  • is attacking you you hit one and of
  • course it'll be way more than 10 seconds
  • before you get to the second one well
  • you've got five of these cartridges to
  • work with so it's quick and easy to
  • reload should you need to recharge with
  • a new set and it worked very well if you
  • need to get rid of this thing very
  • quickly it was set up with a pair of
  • Quick Connect straps so the hook on the
  • bottom here snaps on to the bottom of
  • the mount right there and then you just
  • wear these two shoulder straps if you
  • have to ditch the gun you grab this pop
  • it open and this separates into two
  • pieces gun drops right off your back and
  • you
  • book it somewhere else whether anything
  • as serious as the gun has been shot by a
  • Japanese sniper and is venting fuel to
  • well any number of things but both of
  • these buckles is interesting one of
  • these is a vietnam-era buckle and one of
  • them is a world war two ERA buckle just
  • came together as part of the various
  • rebuilds that this gun has been through
  • in the military system but they both
  • work exactly the same pop that dump the
  • gun run for your life all right I think
  • that's gonna pretty well cover the
  • mechanical aspects of the m2 here and
  • that means it's time to go shoot it I
  • went through the operator safety
  • training program to run one of these
  • thanks to Charlie Hobson who supplied it
  • and let's take a look at that because
  • man this thing is impressive and fun to
  • shoot test firing so the biggest thing
  • you notice shooting one of these is the
  • flame coming the heat coming back at you
  • it's hot that's a really really
  • impressive experience I think my knees
  • are actually wobbling a little bit this
  • is really cool so I think we are gonna
  • go ahead and fill this back up and do
  • some more shooting with it and we're
  • gonna get you guys some high-speed of it
  • we got the World War 2 m2 flamethrower
  • here let's play with it
  • I'm out of igniters
  • you
  • thanks for watching guys I really hope
  • you enjoyed the video this was really a
  • fantastic impressive experience to run
  • this firearm this flamethrower I think
  • it's there are a lot of people who go
  • why on earth would anyone need a
  • flamethrower boy they're they're an
  • interesting historical item and there
  • are a really impressive experience to
  • actually run one so if it's something
  • that you're interested in if you have an
  • old one that you inherited found bought
  • at a flea market charlie Hobson is the
  • guy to go to for testing restoration
  • rebuild all that sort of stuff if you're
  • looking to get into this and find out
  • what it takes to own one yourself check
  • out his website at www.export.gov our my
  • patreon account check it out if you
  • think it's worth supporting go ahead and
  • drop me a buck a month it does really
  • helps me afford for example the fuel and
  • nitrogen and time to take something like
  • this out to the range to show you guys
  • thanks for watching
  • you

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Description

http://www.patreon.com/ForgottenWeapons

After a dismal first attempt at designing a flamethrower (the M1) in 1941, the US Chemical Corps along with several universities and industrial partners put in a lot of research to develop a more usable and effective flamethrower. The result was the M2, which went into production in early 1944. It would prove to be an exceptionally effective weapon in the island-hopping campaign towards the end of the war.

The M2 was arguably the best flamethrower fielded by any military during the war, with a number of excellent design features. These included:

* A constant-pressure regulator to ensure that the range stayed the same from the first to the last shot of a tank of fuel
* An on/off main valve easily accessible to the operator
* A supremely waterproof and reliable pyrotechnic cartridge ignition system
* An auto-shutoff valve which sealed at the nozzle, preventing dribble (and cutting off fuel flow should the operator lose control of the weapon)

The M2 would see service into the Vietnam War even as its successor the M9 was being issued. It was a truly outstanding design, and remains viable to this day.

Thanks to Charlie Hobson for showing us the unit and teaching me to fire it, and also thanks to Adaptive Firearms for letting us use their range facilities!

You can find Charlie Hobson's book, "US Portable Flamethrowers" here:
http://amzn.to/1SP9yc5

Keywords

ww2 wwii world war 2 chemical corps pacific us army usmc marines marine corps okinawa saipan peleliu guadalcanal m2a1 m2 2 spider trench pillbox bunker

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