On Might 8, 1967, North Vietnamese Military commandos attacked the Marine Corps base at Con Thien, utilizing flamethrowers for the primary time within the warfare. The Marines, pressured out of their positions by streams of burning gasoline, got here underneath machine gun and mortar fireplace. Though the assault failed, the Chinese language-built Kind 74 flamethrowers’ look was a harbinger of disagreeable issues to return for these on the receiving finish.
The Kind 74 was a license-built copy of the Soviet LPO-50 that entered service in 1953. It had three tanks, every containing a strain cartridge and a few gallon of particular diesel gasoline. The tanks had been topped by a strain aid valve and a filling aperture with screw cap. They had been mounted in a canvas backpack-style harness.
Every tank related to a manifold by way of a gasoline line with a one-way valve to stop “flare again.” A hose related the manifold to the “flame gun,” which contained 4 1.5-volt batteries. The set off was close to the muzzle and had a security catch to stop unintended discharge. Squeezing the set off despatched an electrical present to the tanks’ launch valves and the ignition cartridge within the muzzle, making a 1,200-degree Fahrenheit stream of burning gasoline. With its three tanks, the LPO-50/Kind 74 might fireplace three “photographs” lasting 2 to three seconds.
Two-man NVA groups employed flamethrowers towards key enemy positions throughout an assault. The flamethrowers had been additionally used to drive enemy troopers from cowl in a firefight. The NVA’s integration of flamethrowers, machine weapons and mortar fireplace was a uncommon however lethal mixture. NVA flamethrower groups figured prominently in assaults on firebases through the communist offensives in 1972 and 1975. The Kind 74 stays in service with Chinese language and Vietnamese forces to today.
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