What’s the coolest firearm you’ve ever shot? A fine, antique shotgun? An old war horse oozing with history? A rapid-firing machine gun?
Whatever you’re thinking of, it’s not as cool as an M2 Flamethrower:
In what is
probably definitely the coolest video that Forgotten Weapons has ever done, Ian takes a look at the premier fire-spitting device of World War II. The perfect weapon to turn a bunker into the world’s biggest fry-cooker, the M2 flamethrower was the product of US research into those weapons in the early 1940s. The product of this research was, as Ian calls it, “the best flamethrower of any nation in World War II”, and accordingly the M2 served through the Korean War and into Vietnam. The M2 replaced the M1 flamethrower, which was an expedient design developed beginning before the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Flamethrowers became essential tools for infantry assaulting enemy positions in both the Pacific and European Theaters in World War II. Although they are brutal (some would say inhumane) weapons, effective, safe flamethrowers made operations against pillboxes and tunnels much safer for attacking forces, as they not only were highly effective casualty producers against defenders, but also obviously had a serious psychological effect on otherwise entrenched defenders, as well. They are also, incidentally, effective against hornets of unusual size.