Abwehrflammenwerfer 42

Abwehrflammenwerfer 42

The Abwehrflammenwerfer 42 was a German static defensive flamethrower or flame mine used during the Second World War. The design was copied from Russian FOG-1 mines that were encountered in 1941 during Operation Barbarossa. The were usually buried at intervals of 12 to 30 yards / 10 to 27 meters covering road blocks, landing beaches, harbor walls and other obstacles. They were normally mixed in with other mines or emplaced behind barbed wire and could be command detonated or triggered by tripwires or other devices.

The mine consisted of a large fuel cylinder 53 cm / 21 inches high and 30 cm / 11¾ inches with a capacity of 29.5 liter / 7.7 gallons containing a black viscid liquid, a mix of light, medium, and heavy oils. A second smaller cylinder 67 mm / 2-5/8 inches in diameter and 25 cm / 10 inches high is mounted on top of the fuel cylinder; it contains the propellent powder, which was normally either black powder or a mixture of nitrocellulose and diethylene glycol dinitrate. A flame tube is fixed centrally on top of the fuel cylinder, it is a 50 mm / 2 inch diameter pipe that rises from the center of the tank and curves to extend horizontally approximately 50 cm / 20 inches. When the mine is buried, normally only the flame tube extends from the ground.

When the mine is triggered, a squib charge detonates the propellent, which forces the fuel from the main cylinder and out of the flame tube. A second squib ignites the fuel as it passes out of the end of the flame tube. The flame projected is 4.5 m / 5 yards wide and 2.7 m / 3 yards high with a range of about 27 m / 30 yards, and lasts about 1.5 seconds.


  • TM-E 30-451, Handbook on German Military Forces, War Department
  • Flamethrowers of the German Army 1914-1945 by Fred Koch

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