M2 Flamethrower Iwo Jima

A USMC flamethrower team fighting on Iwo Jima.

The M2 Flamethrower was a mechanical device used to spit fire to a distance.


The M2 was developed by the United States and used by the Marine Corps and Army. The M2 was a new derivative of the M1 Flamethrower. Capable of shooting for seven seconds straight and a range of over 20 meters, it could be an effective weapon. Although it had drawbacks such as its heavy weight of over 30 kilograms empty and its explosive tendency if shot. It was used greatly in the Pacific Theater and although to a lesser extent, in the European theater. Furthermore, when used on the battlefield, the operator of the device instantly became a target.[1] The M2 never had any variants of itself produced during World War II, though later in the Vietnam War, the M2A1-7 was created which fundamentally served as a modernization to the original model.


US M2 flamethrower, 33rd Infantry

A US soldier of the 33rd Infantry Division operates an M2 Flamethrower.

The M2 Flamethrower was first developed in 1943 as a successor to the earlier M1 Flamethrower. Proving useful in clearing out heavily fortified positions such as bunkers, foxholes, tunnels, enemies hidden by foliage, etc., it found more use in the Pacific. In fact, the M2 was so effective that by 1944, up to 243 flamethrowers could be present in the standard US marine division.[2] The M2 could cause great fear in the enemy, assisting in the very few amount of Japanese POW's captured. Although being eventually phased out largely by tank mounted flamthrowers, the M2 continued to find use in the Korean and Vietnam wars although eventually going out of use due to the Geneva Convention's ban on said weapon.



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