The German flame-throwing Pz. Kw. 3 (see fig. 3)
appeared for the first time during the early fighting in
Italy. This tank is a standard Pz. Kw. 3, Model L or
later, with a flame thrower mounted in the turret in
place of the normal 50-mm Kw. K., Model 39, which
it resembles outwardly (see fig. 4).  The two machine
guns, one coaxially mounted in the turret and the other
in a ball mounting in the front of the superstructure,
The flame projector has a limited elevation
(from -10° to 20°), while the turret has the full 360°
Fuel (225 gallons), contained in two tanks stowed
internally, is propelled by a centrifugal pump driven
by a small gasoline engine mounted in the engine
compartment. Using fuel of the type thus far encountered,
the flame thrower is believed to have a maximum range
of about 55 yards and an effective range of about 40
yards. However, they have been used mainly at ranges
of 20 to 30 yards.
In the flame-throwing tank, the crew is reduced from
five to three. The flame thrower is aimed and operated
by the tank commander, who has two pedals—the right
controlling fuel emission and the left firing the coaxial
machine gun. The gunner and loader are dispensed
with, and their crew space is occupied by the flame
throwers fuel tanks.
|Figure 3.—Comparison of Flame-throwing Pz. Kw. 3 with|
Standard, Pz. Kw. 3.
|Figure 4.—Pz. Kw. 3, Model L, with Flame Thrower.|
As might be expected, the normal smoke equipment
is retained—that is, triple smoke pot dischargers on
each side of the turret.
The following is a recent instance of the tactics of
German flame-throwing tanks against U.S. infantry:
Two German flame-throwing tanks, together with
three other tanks, supported a German platoon in an
attack on a forward position occupied by a platoon of
U.S. infantry. The attack was preceded by an artillery
and mortar barrage which continued for 1 hour.
The tanks moved forward, and shelled and machine-gunned
the position at a range of 50 yards. When U.S.
troops attempted to withdraw from the sector, the
flame-throwing tanks then joined the action, using
their primary weapon against the personnel. In this
action the German infantrymen, equipped with
machine pistols, moved forward with the armored
vehicles. The flame throwers were used intermittently over
a 30-minute period and were reported to have a range
of 30 yards.
Kw. K. (Kampfwagenkanone) = tank gun.