Q&A On Flamethrowers With Charlie Hobson

Following up on his interview with noted flamethrower historian and technical expert Charles Hobson, Ian of Forgotten Weapons now has a question and answer session with him.

The questions by timestamp are:

  • 0:40 – Still in use today?
  • 1:15 – Hollywood realism
  • 3:02 – Effective historical use
  • 3:55 – Pressure and nozzle diameter
  • 4:57 – Use of fins to create laminar flow
  • 6:18 – Do they blow up if shot?
  • 7:28 – Maintenance and repair
  • 9:44 – Realism in “Saving Private Ryan”
  • 10:52 – Reproductions
  • 12:10 – Accidents
  • 14:07 – Field resupply of fuel in combat
  • 19:35 – Oxygen problems for the user
  • 20:32 – Modern improvements
  • 24:10 – Is there still a role for flamethrowers in modern war?
  • 26:35 – Lighting cigars from flamethrowers
  • 27:43 – Cost

And Now For Something Entirely Different

Flamethrowers are one of the few weapons that were used by the US military in WWII that are not only legal to own but not regulated in any way by the Federal government. Currently, only two US states ban their possession.

Ian McCullom of Forgotten Weapons interviews Charlie Hobson in this video. Mr. Hobson is one of the leading authorities on flamethrowers, their development, and their history. He has worked extensively with military museums as well as the entertainment industry on their restoration and preservation.

Mr. Hobson is the author of The Illustrated Manual of U. S. Portable Flamethrowers.

The interview with Mr. Hobson dispels many of the myths concerning flamethrowers. For example, they didn’t explode when hit by a bullet unlike what is usually shown in old WWII movies. Moreover, they killed, for the most part, not by fire but with carbon monoxide.