Being of the boomer generation I’ve had a keen interest in tanks, artillery and infantry weapons of WWII for many a year. Several weeks ago I received an invitation from DriveTanks.Com to come down and visit and get a real immersive experience in all of those WWII vehicles, guns and artillery I’ve always been so interested in and studied. There was no difficult decision to make and at least for me it would be a once in a lifetime experience and it truly was just that!
Drive Tanks had their grand opening a few weeks ago to a good deal of excitement locally. Drive Tanks is the only place on the planet you can actually drive several different tanks and other vehicles both American, British, German and Russian. Another thing that makes them one of a kind is you can also fire the 76mm main gun on an M4A2 Easy8 Sherman tank from 1944. The visitor can also fire the WWII era 50 cal on the tank as well as the 1919 Browning 30 cal machine gun also mounted on the tank. This is also the only place in the world you can fire these main tank guns as well as artillery such as the 105mm howitzer and German PAK 40 anti-tank gun from WWII!
DriveTanks.Com is located in the hill country of south Texas outside of Uvalde, Tx. The company sits within 18,000 acres of hill country so there’s plenty of room to shoot the big guns and watch the real projectiles impact.
I’ll be posting a number of articles each week for the next few weeks showcasing the various vehicles, artillery, machine guns both personal and crew served. We have some good video as well as photos and I hope you all enjoy sharing this experience.
To kick things off I have a video of my experience firing a Vietnam era flamethrower. The flamethrower works with a tank of nitrogen propellent and a second tank of gasoline. Of course the nitrogen is under high pressure. The business end has an ignitor on the front the user depresses with a squeeze trigger at the rear which releases the nitrogen and gasoline and fires the flamethrower.
Once the tanks are full you strap it on like a rather heavy backpack and you’re ready to turn loose destruction! One thing to note on the video is the point when the person filming, Ira, encourages me to be aggressive and attack the target. Yea he suckered me. What I found out is a long burst brings a lot of heat back to the one firing the flamethrower! You’ll notice myself and Todd backing up because it singed the hair on our arms!
A tidbit of info from WWII and that is most Marines and Soldiers didn’t want the job of carrying what amounted to a bomb on their backs. The enemy tried to hit the tanks with rifle fire in order to detonate the flamethrower.
More articles to come with the next installment being the 105mm WWII howitzer with video firing it into a mountain side! Check the website for Drivetanks.com for package prices.