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M132 Flamethrower

With the early success of the M113 mechanized rifle squadrons, it was only a matter of time until the M113 was modified for other roles. As early as August 1962, a flamethrower was installed in an M113, but it was used only four times in combat in a year. In December 1964, two M132 flamethrower vehicles were sent to the 1st Armored Cavalry where they were used aggressively in daily operations. After an evaluation the Army Concept Team recommended that four M132's plus two M113 service units be issued to each regiment.

The M113 cupola was replaced with the flame gun mounting, and the passenger compartment was taken up by the M10 fuel and pressure unit, which consisted of four 50 gallon (190L) spherical flame fuel tanks, each of which was topped by a spherical air compressor. The M8 cupola group housed the flame gun. The 200 gallons (760L) of fuel enabled the vehicle to fire for 32 seconds at a range of up to 650' (200m).

Mechanized flame-throwers attacked in conjunction with other ground attack weapons, which exploit the advantage gained by flame and provide the necessary supporting fires to the flame-throwers. Coordination and detailed planning with supported and supporting arms are of primary importance to the successful employment of mechanized flame-throwers.



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