Belching flames

Belching flames

Since the time of the First World War took different flamethrowers strong place in the infantry weapons. The scope of their tasks was quite wide — "smoking of" and "burn" the enemy from the field and long-term fortifications, communication trenches, stone buildings, defeat open manpower, firepower, armored and soft-skinned vehicles, the creation of fires.

Today's story — about 2-jet flame throwers types: portable and stationary explosive backpack.

The main "component" of a flame thrower is, of course, the very incendiary substance with which it is equipped. Until 1940, used watery ognesmes, which included 25% gasoline, 25% kerosene and 50% of motor oil. It had all the typical drawbacks consistencies small viscosity — range ognemetaniya was less than 30 m (in other words flamethrower should approach the enemy at a distance of throw grenades), a significant portion of consistency was burning in the air before reaching the goal, and some — albeit unimportant — fell to the ground before the flamethrower.

However, there were at watery texture and advantages — ease of manufacture, availability of primary goods, storage stability, easy flammability at low temperatures, with the ability to give ognemetanii wide jet of flame, twist around an object and a demoralizing effect on the enemy fighter. ("All life is afraid of fire" — the truth has long been a popular and well.) Yet the urgent need to increment the range and effectiveness of ognemetaniya sought a more viscous consistency.

For the manufacture of viscous consistency required thickeners. As the latter was curing powder OP-2 AP Ionov. Viscous ognesmesi were made up of different types of gasoline, water and powder BGS OP-2, diesel oil, one of the options contained 88-91% of petrol cars, diesel oil 5-7% and 4-5% of the powder OP-2, the other — 65% gasoline by 16-17% water, BSS and oil 1-2% OP-2. Apart from the growth of distance and time ognemetaniya burning these different consistency and the best adhesion to surfaces. SRI-6 of Weapons experiments conducted Gear flamethrowers solutions with hypergolic liquid fuel CN, but their implementation of complex technical solutions sought in serial swatches are not enforced. In the absence of viscous forces were engaged in the creation of watery, for example the consistency of heavy fuel oil, kerosene and gasoline.

Rocks and FOGi

By the beginning of the war in Lofty Russian Red Army backpack flamethrowers were ROCS 1 and ROCS-2 (Knapsack Klyuyeva flamethrower — Sergeeva) standard 1940. Any of them consisted of ognesmesi reservoir (produced as a book), a compressed gas cylinder, a gun-hose connected to a reservoir provided with a flexible hose and gun igniter current, the belt suspension. ROKS-2 tank could hold 10-11 ognesmesi, range ognemetaniya viscous consistency reached 30-35 m, watery — up to 15 m

Belching flamesIn 1942 Kluev and Sergeyev, who worked at the factory number 846 Commissariat of arms, designed the flamethrower ROKS-3 with a cylindrical reservoir, reduced-gun water gun, improved sealing. 10 l ognesmesi calculated by 6-8 small (up to 1 sec.) Or longish 2-3 (3-4 p.) Shots. Range ognemetaniya viscous ognesmesi — up to 40 m (with a tail wind — 42 m).

Acted ROKS-3 followed by: the compressed air in the cylinder pressure of 150 bar, into the lower unit, where its pressure is reduced to 17 working atm. Through a revolving valve air passed through the tube into the tank under pressure from his ognesmes by suction tube and the flexible hose enters the valve box. When the initial pressing of the trigger gun, hose drop-down portion of the exhaust valve and flame mixture was fed through a hose to the hose. On the way it passes through the damper, gasivshy arising consistency helical vortices. When you click on the hook for the upcoming worked incendiary device at the end of the hose, he set fire to the flame jet. Incendiary device ROKS-3 contained a drum on a 10 dummy igniter cartridges made on the basis of "naganovskoy" sleeve and hammer mechanism. Pyrotechnic lighter eliminates the need for electrical circuits, but in the criteria field blank cartridge often dampen. Well and rubber hoses with insufficient rezinostoykostyu burst or swell. So ROKS-3, although it was more reliable predecessors, still sought a careful case and very painstaking care. Check-fight ROKS-3 were in the Battle of Stalingrad.

GKO decree of 12 July 1941 on arms adopted stationary besporshnevoy high explosive flamethrower FOG-1, intended at first to strengthen anti-tank defense, and for the creation of the fire curtain on the approaches to the positions cover the flanks and connections.

Belching flames

In explosive flamethrowers throwing ognesmesi is the pressure of powder gases expelling powder charge. This allows you to increment throw length and power of the jet, but have to pay to be cumbersome and need to bring a flame thrower operated by remote control.

FOG-1 has a removable nozzle, hose, powder charge and incendiary bomb with separate elektrozapalami. Charging is designed for one shot lasting about 2 seconds. The position of flamethrower was placed in the hole, fixed pegs, disguised, into action by the supply of current from the subversion machine or battery.

Flamethrower FOG-2, put into service in 1942, was the first compact due to shortening of the hose, gave ognemetaniya range from 25 to 100-110 m viscous consistency and up to 45-60 m — watery. Pyroxylin powder charge and incendiary sword with a single elektrozapalom housed in a glass in the upper part of the tank. After opening glass powder gases fell into the tank and pushed ognesmes through the siphon tube and hose. When the pressure reached 20-40 atm membrane were cut off at the exit of the pipe hose, ognesmes flew out of the flamethrower, flame ignited at the output of incendiary bombs. Since the electrical cables are often torn, elektrovosplamenenie duplicated patronchikah powder and hammer mechanism. And often had to lean out of the flamethrower nearby foxhole position flamethrowers and simply peel on the drummer entrenching shovel. In 1944, GDF-2 instead of such devices supplied fuse type MUV with those followed in the engineering ammunition — it could pull the pin using wire or cord.

Accordingly, the properties of flame-throwers differ strategy and organization flamethrower units and parts. And according to the notation tools are divided into "roksistov" and "fogistov."

Recently the war platoons backpack flamethrowers were part of the mouth of chemical infantry divisions. Order of the People's Commissar of Defense Joseph Stalin from August 13, 1941 flamethrower units transferred into the infantry regiments of the rights of the individual teams. But in the fall were formed separate companies backpack flamethrowers (ORRO). Statewide from June 1942, any ORRO equipped with flamethrowers 120.

As anticipated before majestically Russian, backpack flamethrowers had worked to combat the infant
ry. The directive of the Head of the military-chemical control from 27 September 1942 to anticipate the introduction backpack flamethrowers in the defense (with an approximate saturation 1-2 platoon backpack flamethrowers on Infantry Regiment), counterattacks and assault groups, garrisons pillboxes and bunkers.

As part of the 39th Guards Rifle Division in Stalingrad during the battle for the factory "Red October", for example, operated 171-th separate company backpack flamethrowers. 3-5 flamethrower were attached to the assault groups that took puzzle footwork, more NIGHT MODE, harass and destroy the enemy in industrial buildings. Usually flamethrower secretly crawling advanced to positions of Nazis and made ognemetanie the embrasures enemy emplacements. Then they threw grenades and engaged Marines. From 4 to November 26, so managed to finish with 25 firing points, which allowed the capture and hold five industrial buildings.

It should be noted that, under enemy fire flamethrower risked more than the ordinary foot soldier: in every position he was a great target, though any bullet or fragment penetration into the tank or hose could reincarnate it into a living torch. And the enemy fighters specifically hunted for flamethrower, realizing the danger they represent. This made it particularly principled reticence nomination and cover flamethrower infantry.

ORRO were introduced into the field engineer assault battalions. And in the middle of 1943 has begun consolidation flamethrower units, namely separate battalions were formed backpack flamethrowers (elcome). In May 1944 elcome cut one of the assault of the engineering teams. Battalion across the state had two companies on the Rocks, 120 each.

In August 1941, a decision on the formation of some companies and explosive flamethrowers (ORFO). From October 1941 to January 1942, the troops have made 143 such companies in the horse-drawn. Soon, but, for greater mobility horses changed cars, and the amount of flame-throwers in the company decreased from 180 to 135 pieces.

In defense FOGi first possessed linearly on the connections to the infantry tank hazardous areas. With all of this effect the introduction of flamethrowers — at least against tanks — was generally quite limited. Yet the 26th ORFO under the command of Lieutenant MS Sobitskogo December 1, 1941 north Narofominsk killed four tanks and up to 2-enemy infantry companies — the event was marked by the commander of the Western Front Zhukov in the order number 075 December 8, 1941.

The main military-chemical control in August 1942, recommended to equip the explosive flamethrowers positions are concentrated in the form of a "flamethrower bushes" with decreasing intervals along the front and separation at depth. This corresponded to the general direction of the creation of the anti-layered defense and density growth of anti-tank hazardous facilities in important ways. Flamethrower office (6 persons, 16 FOGov) was placed on the defensive by 3 "bushes" — any pair of fighters established a 5-6 FOGov, directing them to the various sectors. "Scrubs" were covered by the gunmen. ORFO occupied such a position makarom 1-1.2 km wide and 200-300 m deep. Usually kept off the enemy tanks by 60-80 m, then performed ognemetanie groups.

In the first winter of the war FOGi from time to time have made "mobile" by betting on a sled or a scraper, and used in offensive operations. Later they began to pull on makeshift wheelchair to secure the captured positions and reflection counterattacks (such use has occurred, for example, in a defensive battle at Stalingrad).

In the summer of 1943 were made by the individual motorized anti-tank battalions flamethrower (omptob, armed with each battalion had 540 FOGov) and separate battalions of the flamethrower (GPG 576 FOGov). They were considered to reserve the Supreme Command and were attached at the time of the big areas of operations. There are usually distributed in small joints. Companies and platoons explosive flame throwers were introduced into battle formation infantry and anti-tank artillery units. July 5, 1943 in the 410 th Maloarkhangelsk rifle Regiment of the 81st Infantry Division was able to maintain its leading position thanks to the skilled use of explosive flame throwers, attached to the 2nd Battalion. Ognemetaniem, fire, anti-tank guns and antitank infantry were destroyed and burnt down 57 enemy tanks.

Independent acts flamethrower with a weak supporting infantry and artillery gave the worst results. So, 4th omptob under the command of Captain Vladimir Kostyuchenko during 9-11 October 1943 courageously defended the bridgehead on the right bank of the Dnieper River near the village of Schuchinka, reflecting the attacks of tanks and infantry, Nazis, and has permitted the enemy to break through the crossings. Having occupied the area of defense three kilometers wide, the battalion established a 246 FOGov. Our warriors managed to contain the pressure of the enemy, but his tanks, taking advantage of the lack of anti-tank guns and rifles, shot with a flamethrower items found myself removing benign. In the afternoon on October 9 3rd Battalion company has lost about 40% of the personnel, 2nd Company — up to 50%. In the second half of the day or the enemy was able to push the flamethrower, but they continued to hold on the new frontier. By the way, the fear of massive German infantry flamethrowers apparently prevented her to lead the interaction with the tanks.

Lieutenant-General G. Semenov described the introduction of the 13th separate flamethrower battalion of Major PA Gaidai to strengthen the defense of the 21 th Guards Rifle Division in October 1943: "Fighting the orders were placed in the main flame thrower in the joints between the battalions and regiments, who covered the approaches to the town from the west, south-west and north-west. Within a few days, and infantry flamethrower joint effort repelled numerous attacks. The jets of flame emanating from the flame throwers, not only burned the enemy fighter and technique, and acted on the psyche of the advancing Nazis. Especially in the black time of the day. "

Belching flames

Effect on the enemy massive explosive bursts of flame throwers helped prepare the attack. So, the soldiers of the 3rd company 3rd omptob, gives the 35th Guards Rifle Corps, on the night of December 5, 1943, secretly approached the enemy positions, set in the 50-60 m from its front edge 50 FOGov and brought them to effect immediately before a prominent infantry. The physical and moral effect on the enemy volley allowed to take advanced trench with virtually no losses. During the Budapest operation 5th omptob support coming 214th Guards Rifle Regiment of the 73rd Guards Rifle Division on 19 and 20 November 1944 on the banks of the Danube in the Batinah region. FOGi flamethrower installed on the front of 1100-1200 m about 100 m away from the front lines of the enemy and fired a salvo at the end of an artillery barrage. The enemy threw the trenches, and our troops occupied them. True, there were times when his same foot soldiers are not warned in advance unfamiliar with this type of gun and stunned by its action, or even themselves underlain departed.

As for the fight with enemy tanks, then to her as needed lured backpack and flamethrowers. "Roksisty" usually come near armored vehicles at 20-30 m and produced for some of these shots are 3-6 flamethrowers. Upon reflection of the attacking tanks and infantry practiced volley ognemetanie — like volleys of explosive flame-throwers. In built-Fri effective are "flame-throwing ambush"
in the 2-3 Roxie on the second floors of buildings. When using bystrogoryaschih consistencies for greater reliability is often the first flamethrower tank mixture produced by nevosplamenennoy, and the second set fire to her flaming jet — so at the tank fell more ognesmesi.

In the fortified areas and towns

An indispensable flamethrowers were long in the assault of fortifications and urban combat. They often play a crucial role in the success of the infantry divisions. Thus, 3 and 27 th individual flamethrower battalions took an active role in the capture of Miskolc (Hungary), being assigned to the 104 th Rifle Corps of the 27th Army. December 1, 1944 fire team with four high-explosive and two man-pack flamethrowers came to the support Fri enemy, and a volley of them caused a large fire. The fleeing enemy infantry soldier killed by machine-gun fire.

The increasing importance played flamethrower in the storm troopers and groups. Usually, a company backpack flamethrowers Rifle Regiment was attached to or operated as part of the assault engineer battalion. Flamethrower trying to reinforce units, seizes more than necessary supporting Fri and fortified buildings. They acted in a cramped groups with the assistance of infantry and combat engineers. The limit of crushing flamethrower units when fighting in the town on the 2nd Ukrainian Front, for example, was placed in the 3-5 flamethrower, which appropriated to cover the same gunmen. With man-pack flamethrower flamethrower not only dazzled and demoralize the enemy before the attack, and was accompanied by an assault group for the fight, moving her down the aisles and floors to burn the enemy.

The guidelines commander of the 8th Guards Army, Colonel-General Chuikov on 18 February 1945 to capture and block buildings that have been converted into strongholds, said: "Storm of … throw hand grenades attacked object, incendiary swords and fire backpack flamethrowers burned through the windows of the garrison of the enemy and broke into the building, kill the defenders of the garrison. " In the "Summary of the generalized combat experience" of the same army in the capture of Berlin, described the episode itself: "A strong bazookas and machine-gun fire from the Anhalt station and fortified houses and Mekkern Bergershtrasse … promotion was delayed 2-attacking infantry regiments. Affixed shelves firing squads set FOGov 6 in the direction of the station, 6 FOGov Mekkernshtrasse on the south station and 12 on the west side FOGov Bergershtrasse west of the station. Undermine the flamethrowers were created several seats of fire. Enemy garrison defending the station, hidden in basements, continued to resist. Burst into the station hands and made four flamethrower break in the floor. Poured back ognesmes of 4 FOGov and lit it. Had taken refuge enemy garrison was completely destroyed. "
The results

According to official data, during the war years as a result of the introduction of backpack flamethrowers opponent lost 120 tanks, were killed about 33 thousand enemy soldiers and officers, crushed and burned up to 3,000 and 2,300 fortifications fortified buildings, high-explosive fire flame throwers destroyed about 19 thousand soldiers and officers, hit by 362 tanks and armored vehicles, 220 cars, 1468 emplacements.

On how the principal was improved flame-incendiary weapons and how important it was attached, can be judged from the fact that it is in 1941-1945, held the deepest theoretical work in the field of ognemetaniya. And lure them such leading scientists as academics Landau, NN Semenov, P. Rebinder. Drafting ognesmesi involving several research groups — SRI-6, Lab Institute on oil and gas, the laboratory of the plant "Naftogaz" Capital Group Union Electrotechnical Institute. Production period of the war and provided military and industrial experience served as the forthcoming development of flame-incendiary weapons.

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