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"German Flame-Throwing Tank, Pz Kw 2 (F)" from Tactical and Technical Trends

A U.S. intelligence report on German Panzer II with flamethrower armament, from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 39, December 2, 1943. The official German designation of this vehicle was Panzerkampfwagen II (F).

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


The German flame-throwing tank has been discussed in the Intelligence Bulletin No. 9, p. 62, but not until recently has an accurate illustration or diagram of the vehicle become available. This apparatus consists of 2 large flame throwers mounted on the front ends of the trackguards of a PzKw 2 tank -- the 30- to 34-mph, 12-ton vehicle with a radius of perhaps 155 miles -- now used largely for reconnaissance purposes.

a. General

The fuel capacity for the flame throwers is about 35 gallons each -- sufficient for about eighty projections of 2 or 3 seconds duration. Compressed nitrogen provides the propellant, and a tank of either acetylene or hydrogen is placed behind the projector for the igniting gas. Refuelling the flame throwers takes from one half hour to an hour. While the range of the flame throwers is not known, it is thought to be about 30 or 35 yards, which makes the tank a close assault vehicle, although the armor protection for such a purpose is not impressive. The armor, reported to be proof against 25-mm weapons at 656 yards, suggests frontal armor of 20 + 15 mm. (.79 + .59 in) although another source gives a single thickness of 30 millimeters or 1.18 inch. A machine gun with 1,800 rounds of ammunition is mounted in the revolving turret.

b. The Chassis

The chassis employed is that of the PzKw 2, either D or E, which are easily recognizable by their 4 large bogie wheels, each touching both the top and bottom of the track. The tracks are of a different type from those fitted to the PzKw 2, model F, and have a much greater pitch -- 6 3/4 inches as against 3 5/8 inches.

[WWII German Flame Thrower Tank PzKw 2 (F)]

The flame-thrower tank, PzKw 2 (F) Sd. Kfz.* 122 (this is the old Model B) should not be confused with the PzKw 2 model F which is a normal type chassis having 5 medium-sized bogie wheels and 4 return rollers. The flame-thrower type of chassis appeared in 1939 with a normal armament, a 20-mm gun and a machine gun mounted in the turret, but is no longer seen in this form.

c. Flamethrower Equipment

The layout of the flame thrower is shown in the lower of the accompanying sketches. The flame thrower projectors (1) are mounted externally on the front of track guards, protected by armored shields, with a traverse of 180 degrees. The fuel is supplied from two tanks (2) mounted externally on the track guards and provided with armored shields, with the nitrogen gas for propulsion drawn from four cylinders (3) located inside the tank below the turret. Two small cylinders (4) mounted just behind the projector turrets contain the ignition fuel -- acetylene or hydrogen. The flame throwers are controlled electrically from panels (5) in the turret.

d. Smoke Equipment

Since this tank is a close combat weapon, it is fitted with a smoke generator rack (6) attached to the rear; but on each track guard behind the fuel tanks are triple smoke generators and dischargers (7) aimed to fire forward by means of the cables (8) controlled from the turret.

*sonder Kraftfahrzeug -- special motor vehicle


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