M2 Flamethrower
A soldier from the 33rd Infantry Division uses an M2 flamethrower.
Type Flamethrower
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service 1943-Present/Field Testing
Wars World War II,Korean War,Vietnam War
Production history
Designer US Army Chemical Warfare Service
Designed 1940-41
Number built 14,000 (M1A1)
Variants M2A1-2, M2A1-7
Weight 43 lb (Script error kg) empty
68 lb (Script error kg) filled
Crew 1

Rate of fire ~half a gallon a second
Effective range 65½ feet (20 m)
Maximum range 132 feet (40 m)
Feed system 2 (2 gal) Gasoline tanks (fuel)
1 Nitrogen tank (propellant)
Sights None

The M2 flamethrower (M2-2) was an American man-portable backpack flamethrower that was used in World War II. It was the successor to the M1 and M1A1 flamethrowers. Although its actual "burn time" was around 7 seconds and the flame was only effective out to around 20 metres [1], it was still a functional weapon that had many uses in the war. However, with the later arrival of tanks and, especially, flamethrower tanks, the need for infantrymen to expose themselves to fire became unnecessary, as tanks offered greater protection and greater firepower.

Though some M2s were sold off, the majority were scrapped when they were declared "obsolete."

Variants of the M2Edit


The WWII models had hexagonal gas caps and hourglass frames. They were also called the M2-2, M2 for the tank groups and -2 for the wand type.


M2A1-2 is the variation of the M2 modified during the Korean war period. These had straight sided backpack frames, vented gas caps, a cylinder sized regulator and a safety valve. These are much more common today than WWII models.

M2A1-7 was a flamethrower used by the American troops during the Vietnam War. It is the updated version of the M2A1-2 unit used during The Korean War. It has four controls:

  • Back of the rear grip: firing safety catch.
  • Front of the rear grip: firing trigger.
  • On top of the front part: igniter safety catch
  • Under the front part: igniter trigger.


US M9A1-7. This is the most common model used in Vietnam and is much lighter and easier to use. Tanks are commonly found, but most wands were destroyed by the military.

Some U.S. Army flamethrowers have a front handgrip with the same shape as the rear handgrip. In these models the igniter controls are on the front handgrip, arranged in the same way as the rear handgrip controls. The M2 was replaced by the M9A1-7 flamethrower which was used in Vietnam. The M9A1-7 was replaced by the M202A1 FLASH.



External linksEdit