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"Japanese Flame Thrower Type 93 (Modified)" from Tactical and Technical Trends

A WWII U.S. intelligence report on the modified Japanese flamethrower Type 93, from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 39, December 2, 1943.

[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 Japanese Type 93 modified flame thrower is very similar to the small flame thrower of the same type number (see sketch) described in Tactical and Technical Trends No. 18, p. 8. For the sake of simplicity in comparison, the flame thrower described in this article has been designated "Type 93 Modified". It is not known whether this is a later or earlier model of the Type 93 or even an entirely separate type. However, the shorter length and slightly lighter weight of the nozzle of the modified model plus other mechanical improvements discussed below indicate that it is probably a later model.

The fuel tanks and rubber hoses of the two models are identical. The differences are found in the nozzle assemblies as shown on the following page.

    Type 93   Type 93 Modified
Overall length of nozzle assembly (1) 47 1/8 in 35 1/2 in
Weight of nozzle assembly 10 lbs 8 1/2 lbs
Retaining nut on firing mechanism (inside nozzle outlet) No locking screw Has locking screw
Ratchet track (2) on back of revolving cylinder Single ratchet Double ratchet
Nut (3) on firing handle No lock Has tapered locking pin
Nut (4) on firing mechanism operating crank No lock Has tapered locking pin
Cartridge chambers (5) in revolving cylinder 0.44 in diameter (for Japanese cartridge) 0.484 in diameter (for U.S. cal. .30 cartridge)
Firing handle, fuel pipe and other fittings Brass Plated steel
Nozzle outlet tip (6) Not detachable Detachable

On the "Type 93 Modified" flame thrower, the pin, which actuates the revolving cylinder, operates in the inner track, and the firing pin and locking pin operate through the outer track. This feature makes it possible for the slots in each track to be tapered in opposite directions and thereby eliminates some wear on the locking pin and the track itself.

It is very likely that subsequent to the capture of this flame thrower the chambers were enlarged to permit the use of a cartridge improvised from U.S. caliber .30 cartridge cases.

The following points tend to indicate that "Type 93 Modified" flame thrower is an improvement or a more recent model of the Type 93 previously reported:

(1) The shorter length and slightly lighter weight of the nozzle give it a better balance, making it much easier to handle;

(2) Should the nozzle outlet tip be damaged, the old Type 93 nozzle would have to be sent to the rear for repair, while the part is replaceable in "Type 93 Modified."

(3) The inclusion of several locking pins offers definite mechanical and safety advantages. (In a recent test of the flame thrower not so equipped, the retaining nut on the firing mechanism came loose, resulting in a failure to fire.)

(4) The double ratchet design of the revolving cylinder is mechanically better than the single ratchet of Type 93.

(5) The replacement of various brass parts with steel, while not an advantage, may indicate a more recent date of manufacture. Conversely, most of these features involve added machine work and the present tendency is to simplify rather than complicate design.

[WWII Japanese Flame Thrower Type 93 Modified]



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