[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department Technical Manual, TM-E 30-451: Handbook on German Military Forces published in March 1945. — Figures and illustrations are not reproduced, see source details. — 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.]
CHAPTER VIII. EQUIPMENT
Section VI. CHEMICAL WARFARE EQUIPMENT
4. Ground Weapons
a. GENERAL. The Germans have a large number of weapons capable of firing chemical warfare munitions—guns, mortars, howitzers, and projectors—with varying calibers and ever-increasing types.
b. GUNS. No less than 12 guns of
c. MORTARS. The basic weapon of German chemical warfare troops is the
d. HOWITZERS. Smoke shells are provided for two types of light field howitzers
e. PROJECTORS. Two general types of rocket projectors have made their appearance during the current war: the Nebelwerfer (literally, smoke projector) and the Schweres Wurfgerät (heavy throwing apparatus). For details of these weapons see Section VII of Chapter VII.
f. SMOKE GENERATORS. (1) General. Smoke generators are often referred to as "thermo-generators" due to the fact that they produce smoke by the "hot" process, namely, by the combustion of the smoke materials. They may be stationary, thrown by hand or rifle, or by dischargers mounted on tanks. Also, they may be fastened on floats or buoys for amphibious operations.
(2) Smoke Candle 39 (Nb.K.39). This smoke generator consists of a
(3) Smoke Cylinder (Rauchrohr). Designed primarily for use against tanks, this
munition consists of a cylinder 10 inches long with a diameter of 1 inch. It contains
(4) Long-Burning Smoke Generator (Langekerzer 42, Nb.KL 42). This
long burning smoke generator is a green, cylindrical metal container with an
over-all height of 19 inches and a diameter of
(5) French smoke floats. German
g. SMOKE GENERATOR PROJECTORS FOR ARMORED VEHICLES. The
h. SMOKE SPRAYERS. Smoke sprayers (Nebelzerstäuber) disseminate a liquid smoke-producing material by the application of compressed air. The smoke liquid, generally chlorsulfonic acid, is atomized or dispersed as minute particles which vaporize and quickly condense again as very fine droplets by absorption of water vapor from the atmosphere. The process is "cold" as distinct from the "hot" process of the smoke generator. The Germans have a variety of smoke sprayers for diverse uses: stationary, portable, mounted on vehicles or tanks, carried on board ship or aircraft, and floating on buoys.
i. GRENADES. Nebelhandgranate 39 and 41 are smoke hand grenades containing a hexachlorethane mixture. They are of similar design. Both are painted green and are distinguished by the inscription Nb. Hgr. 39 (or 41) in white, with a white broken line beneath the lettering. The Germans have two types of glass hand grenades, known as Blendkorper 1H and Blenddkorper 2H, charged with a mixture of titanium tetrachloride (FM) and silicon tetrachloride. They also have incendiary frangible hand grenades of the Molotov-cocktail type, consisting of a pint glass bottle filled with a mixture of benzene and creosote oil. This type is intended primarily for use against tanks.
j. GAS MINES. The German gas mines are referred to as spray canisters (Spruhbüchse). They are used by the ground forces for contaminating ground, roadblocks, buildings, or inaccessible places. They are also used for harassing landing parties on tidal beaches and for delaying armored vehicles and troops. The mines can he laid at the sides of roads, under bridges, in woods, or in other convenient locations and may be actuated by time mechanism or pressure fuzes. One mine can contaminate an area of 20 to 25 square meters.
k. BULK CONTAMINATION. Any liquid-spraying apparatus (Spruhgerät) may be used for bulk contamination. Tanks, armored cars, and trucks may be equipped with apparatus for spraying gas and smoke. Chemical trucks are included in the equipment for the special gas companies. The special spraying apparatus of the decontamination battalions is a potential contaminating apparatus as well, since it may readily be used for offensive purposes, spraying liquid "gases" instead of decontaminating liquids.
l. MOBILE FLAME THROWERS. A flame thrower is a pressure-operafed apparatus which projects a jet of liquid ignited as it leaves the gun. Its essential features are: a fuel container, a device for forcing the fuel out of the container, a projecting tube with a nozzle at its end, and an igniting system to set the jet of fuel aflame. The principle types developed by the Germans are as follows:
(1) Flame thrower, portable, Model 35. This is the type with which Germany started the present war. It is a modified version of the 1918 model. Both fuel and compressed nitrogen containers are housed in one cylinder. The nitrogen is used for propulsion of the fuel, which is ignited at the nozzle by a jet of hydrogen flame. Both ejection and ignition of the fuel are controlled by the same trigger placed on the top of the gun. It can fire ten one-second bursts as far as 30 yards. Weighing 79 pounds it is too heavy for a single man in action.
(2) Flame thrower, portable, Model 40. This is a "lifebuoy-type" flame thrower, weighing only 47 pounds. However, the decrease in weight has been accomplished by a one-third reduction in fuel, as compared with the Model 35. The range is unaltered.
(3) Flame thrower, portable, Model 41. This consists of two cylinders, one for fuel and the other for compressed nitrogen. The complete apparatus weighs 35 to 40 pounds. Ignition is by hydrogen, which flows over an electrically heated wire at the nozzle, where it is lighted and in turn sets the oil afire. Firing is by the "hot" method: the oil is ignited each time the trigger is pulled: thus, the target can not be first sprayed with oil and then set afire. Five blasts can be fired, producing a flame of 700 to 800 degrees centigrade.
(4) Flame thrower, portable, Model 42. In appearance it is similar to
Model 41, but is slightly shorter and differing in one essential point: the
ignition system. The hot-spot hydrogen jet ignition system of the older model has
been replaced by the cartridge system. This consists of a cartridge magazine in which
there are ten rimless, blank,
(5) Para-Flame Thrower (Einstoss Flantmenwerfer). This is another variety
of the portable flame thrower. It is the standard one used by the paratroops and
also is used to a great extent by the SS. It weighs
(6) Trailer flame thrower. This is a flame thrower that bears a resemblance to
a "field gun", since it is mounted on a chassis and is towed by a motor vehicle. Fitted
on the frame is a box-shaped sheet metal body which contains the fuel tank, the
pump, and the engine. The fuel tank is 4 feet
(7) Flame thrower on armored car (half-track) (Sd Kfz 251.) Two flame throwers
are mounted on the rear of an ordinary
(8) Flame thrower on Panzerjäger 38 Chassis. (le. Pz. Jäg. 38 Chassis). The
flame thrower is mounted offside on the front of the self-propelled Panzerjäger 38. The
fuel capacity is 154 gallons. with a consumption rate of 1.8 gallons per second. Fuel
release is controlled by hand through a
m. STATIONARY FLAME THROWERS. (1) General. These are called Abwehr Flammenwerfer by the Germans, a nomenclature that implies the defensive nature of the weapons. They are also known as static flame throwers, emplaced flame throwers, fougasse flame throwers, and flame thrower mines. The latter name is probably due to the fact that they are buried directly behind minefields or are dispersed among the mines to "thicken up" the defense and fired by remote control. Usually they are emplaced behind wire entanglements facing in the direction of probable attack to cover road blocks, landing beaches, harbor walls, and to act as movable obstacles at a gap in defense walls. They are buried at intervals of 12 to 30 yards, well camouflaged, leaving only the horizontal muzzle projecting above the ground. Groups of emplaced flame throwers are controlled from a central point, usually a small pillbox, and are operated either by remote electric control or by trip-wire mechanism.
(2) Emplaced flame thrower (Abwehrflammenwerfer 42). (a) General. This apparatus consists of fuel container, flame tube, and propellent container. Necessary accessories are slow burning powder propellant, electric squibs, wire, storage battery, and fuel. It has an over-all height of 2 feet 6 inches.
(b) Fuel container. The fuel container is a cylindrical tank 21 inches high
(c) Flame tube. The flame tube is a
(d) Propellent container. This is a cylinder 10 inches high by inches in diameter. It contains slow-burning powder, an ignition squib, and firing wires. The propellent powder is either black powder or a mixture of nitrocellulose and diethylene glycol dinitrate. The pressure produced by the explosion of the propelling charge ejects the fuel.
(e) Performance. Both electrical squibs fire simultaneously into the pressure
chamber. One ignites the propellent powder which generates pressure to force the
fuel out through the flame tube; the other ignites the fuel as it passes out of
the nozzle. There is an ignition composition of aluminum and barium nitrate at the
nozzle. The flame, 5 yards wide and 3 yards high, lasts
n. FLAME-THROWER TANKS. (1) General. These are tanks in which flame throwers are mounted. The flame thrower and its accessories, the fuel tanks, projecting hose, gas cylinders, pump, engines, and ignition system are all so housed in the turret that the vehicles preserve the external appearance of ordinary tanks. They have undergone several modifications and some are obsolescent.
(2) Flame-Thrower Tank Pz. Kpfw. II (F) (Sd. Kfz. 122). This tank has two flame throwing projectors, each mounted in a small turret well forward on the track guards but operated electrically from panels in the turret. The turrets have a traverse of 180 degrees, elevation of 20 degrees, and depression of 10 degrees. Seventy gallons of fuel are kept in two tanks mounted externally on the track guards. The fuel tanks are protected by shields. Fuel is projected by compressed nitrogen. It is sufficient for 80 shots of 2 to 3 seconds duration at a range of 35 yards. Ignition is by acetylene flame.
(3) Flame-Thrower Tank Pz.Kpfw.III; Model L. A flame thrower in the turret
replaces the normal
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