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"Using Flame Throwers In A Tunnel System Really Advisable?" Topic


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1,802 hits since 2 Feb 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2018 9:54 p.m. PST

Local potentially flammable fumes issue aside …

Wouldn't there be some sort of blow-back as the flames eat up the oxygen and spread outward, to where there still is some oxygen left (meaning towards you)?

Just curious.

Dan
PS. Same goes for sewers and spaceship corridors, I think.

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deflatermouse03 Feb 2018 12:07 a.m. PST

I would have thought the air would rush toward the flames from behind you?.
My friend is a fireman and a wargamer, I'll ask him

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2018 2:01 a.m. PST

Excellent! I'm curious to hear what he says. Thanks.

Dan
PS. I'm always fascinated by the weird things fire does.

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Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2018 3:03 a.m. PST

If you confine their use to movies, you should be ok.

cosmicbank03 Feb 2018 3:23 a.m. PST

I wonder why tunnel guy, built 20000 flamers what did he expect to find

Bob the Temple Builder03 Feb 2018 5:19 a.m. PST

Common sense would seem to make one think that the flame would burn off all the oxygen in the surrounding area, thus causing the user to either have nothing to breath or get seriously burnt … Or both.

Tgunner03 Feb 2018 8:00 a.m. PST

Or it will suck out the O2 and extinguish the flame throwers! Personally, I would wonder about using automatic weapons in a tunnel that has a lot of rock content too. Ricochet would be a real b^&%h.

Love the flame vids! I teach science to my 6th graders and that stuff is right up our ally- we're talking matter and chemical reactions!! Good, clean, geeky fun!

Legion 403 Feb 2018 8:43 a.m. PST

Just another reason why most militaries, if any, AFAIK still uses that type of weapon. There are much better weapons tech out there … that do a better job.

IIRC, the US Army got rid of the M202 Flash in @ '79. And that was not a flame thrower per se. Only saw it demo fired once, in '79. It was never in any Bn ammo inventory that I know of after that.

As far as ricochets in that type environment … well again there is better weapons tech out there for that type of situation. But if you find yourself in that environ … maybe automatic fire may not be your best option. Semi, more accurate shots may work just as well …

Or just blast the cave entrance with a number of high tech munitions, e.g. a MOAB, MOP, Thermobaric weapons, etc., … I remember someone saying a something like a cave is a just grave even if well stocked. Just close off all the ways in and out …

zrunelord03 Feb 2018 9:53 a.m. PST

or imagine if someone invented a hydrobomb ( as in water ) & simply flood them all.

If energy can be created with water , I wonder if someday the reverse would be true ….

Z

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2018 10:21 a.m. PST

Don't flame throwers also provide the oxidizer?

tsofian Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Feb 2018 10:37 a.m. PST

No, Flamethrowers DO NOT provide oxidizers. However thermobaric weapons do.

TheBeast Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2018 10:49 a.m. PST

One also needs to be aware of any trapped gas IN the subterranean passage; can make for nasty explosion, including blowback.

I'm always fascinated by the weird things fire does.

I know what you mean; I recall when Halon was installed in our computer room, many years ago, they did a controlled dump.

Putting aside the fools that experienced the dump from inside, and didn't die of a thousand paper cuts, two things really stood out.

1) Anti-helium. We had women speaking in baritones.

2) At an open door, I put my Bic 2 (HUGE flame, maybe 6-8 inches?) just outside above the jamb. As I lowered same into the Halon flow, a space grew between the lighter and flame went out, which grew as I lowered the lighter.

Top of the flame stayed same distance from lighter throughout, so when the lighter was the length of the flame below the door opening, the flame went out.

I love $10,000 USD stupid tricks!

Doug

hocklermp503 Feb 2018 11:00 a.m. PST

US troops in the Pacific in WWII dealt with enemy cave or underground fortifications systems by sealing every possible entrance and pouring or pumping large quantities of fuel into them they then set off with explosives. Any enemy not burned alive would either suffocate because oxygen was consumed by fire, or would die due to exploding ordnance, or perish from being buried alive. Truly horrific but minimized friendly casualties and eliminated a fanatical enemy who seldom surrendered.

As mentioned above thermobaric bombs deal with caves rather well.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2018 11:29 a.m. PST

All true, hocklermp5, though sometimes they just sealed the entrances and left it at that. Problem in a serious system is FINDING every possible entrance. Also the "seal and explosive" method precludes using the place yourself--or even looking for the McGuffin so beloved of skirmish and RPG players. (Code book? Secret weapon? Mad professor's beautiful daughter?)

If you have to take the place rather than destroy it, my first thought is an automatic shotgun. But if your opponent has an armor save, you may need something with more penetration. A .45 automatic comes to mind.

Legion 403 Feb 2018 3:47 p.m. PST

If you have to take the place rather than destroy it, my first thought is an automatic shotgun. But if your opponent has an armor save, you may need something with more penetration. A .45 automatic comes to mind.
That is a workable since in some enclosed spaces like that a rifle of any type could be a bit ungainly to maneuver. But I'd think an M4 wouldn't have much of a problem.

I really do like Auto Shotguns and of course the .45 too … for that type of work.

But yes, again, Therobaric weapons work well also. And yes, again, once you seal off all the openings, etc. The cave becomes a grave … hopefully a big grave.

In Vietnam propane gas would be pumped into tunnels then ignited and sometimes that was very effective …

Dragon Gunner03 Feb 2018 4:20 p.m. PST

At the MOUT (urban warfare training facility) site at Fort Bragg a smoke grenade was used in the sewer system. Several men suffocated and the sewers were made off limits after that fiasco. I wonder if a flamethrower could suck up all the oxygen and get the same effect?

altfritz03 Feb 2018 6:09 p.m. PST

So, did you buy one of Elon Musk's flamethrowers? :-)

hocklermp503 Feb 2018 6:13 p.m. PST

I really have to wonder about the man marketing flame throwers. What was he thinking? Then there is the obvious question about who bought them and why?

Zephyr103 Feb 2018 8:40 p.m. PST

It's obvious that Musk is ignorant of zombie lore (from his comment that his flamethrower is "perfect against zombie hordes".) If he uses one of those, he'll be among the first people eaten in a zombie apocalypse… evil grin

Oh, and flamethrower streams can also ricochet off walls, so gotta be careful it doesn't bounce back at you… :-o

Elon Musk Flamethrower: $ 500
Elon Musk flaming an approaching zombie horde: People giving $ 1 million to see that
The surprised look on Elon Musk's face as flaming biting zombies swarm over him: Priceless
Taking advice that zombies are best taken down by causing brain damage: FREE

KJdidit03 Feb 2018 10:55 p.m. PST

I really have to wonder about the man marketing flame throwers. What was he thinking?

Well… everything else his companies have created has gone up in flames; why not make something that's actually intended to go up in flames?

(Obvious answer: because this one will fail to ignite…). 8P

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP04 Feb 2018 5:11 a.m. PST

Musk's flamethrower would work fine against zombies in Game of Thrones.

Legion 404 Feb 2018 7:45 a.m. PST

Several men suffocated and the sewers were made off limits after that fiasco.
Just think how much worse that may have been with the old CS grenades ! huh?

Crazyivanov04 Feb 2018 8:01 a.m. PST

Flamethrowers probably wouldn't work against zombies as immediately as people would like as it is unlikely that zombies can be killed by Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, however it probably isn't good for something that can't heal and is reliant on its muscles to move to have them flash fry either.

As for using Flamethrowers in a tunnel fight/ or space ship, it depends entirely on the size of the tunnel or ship.

hocklermp504 Feb 2018 10:34 a.m. PST

Legion 4…..You've got that right about CS grenades. Instant drown in your own snot and cannot draw a breath besides being blind with your eyes on fire. Want to make things interesting in sewers or other tunnels seed them with CS crystals for long lasting effect.

Legion 405 Feb 2018 7:49 a.m. PST

Yep ! Anyone that was hit with CS knows … It's a bad, bad thing … frown

Pyrate Captain05 Feb 2018 3:20 p.m. PST

I seem to recall the USMC using flame throwers to clear tunnels and caves.

hocklermp505 Feb 2018 4:27 p.m. PST

Pyrate Captain….From the outside. The original post had to do with the effect of using a flamethrower deep inside a cave or tunnel. When the Marines came up against deep cave or tunnel systems they, and Army troops in the Pacific, sealed up all entrances and exits they could find, poured, or pumped in fuel, then set it off.

Legion 406 Feb 2018 8:24 a.m. PST

Yes, in WWII both the US ARMY & USMC as Hock mentioned. The US ARMY used them on bunkers in the ETO too. IIRC, e.g. Normandy, the UK in Holland, etc.

Your Kidding09 Feb 2018 10:53 a.m. PST

You gotta admit the use of a flamethower in a gaming setting would be brutal. It's your world put in a "stop gap". Range. Width. Duration. Fuel. Deeper you go the harder to breath. Etc. Etc.

tsofian Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Feb 2018 2:20 p.m. PST

Flame throwers were used against bunkers and tunnels because they didn't have an oxidizer and used up the O2 in the target area. Even if the flame didn't kill directly it could kill through oxygen deprivation.

Legion 409 Feb 2018 2:44 p.m. PST

That was the underlining idea, to clear out enclosed spaces like bunkers, caves, etc. Plus the fear factor of being burned alive !

Lion in the Stars11 Feb 2018 4:12 a.m. PST

Read a book about some surviving Tunnel Rats, and what one did was throw two smoke grenades into the found opening, then fire up the Red Devil blower to push the smoke into the complex. Showed where every tunnel exit was!

Of course, this being Vietnam, said Tunnel Rat used a Red and a Blue smoke grenade, and had Hendrix's 'Purple Haze' blaring on the loudspeakers. evil grin

Legion 411 Feb 2018 6:56 a.m. PST

thumbs up "Burn Baby Burn !" evil grin

Legion 411 Feb 2018 6:56 a.m. PST

thumbs up "Burn Baby Burn !" evil grin

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP11 Feb 2018 9:37 a.m. PST

It takes a long while for an ant to die of oxygen depravation. Don't ask me how I know that.

Dan

tsofian Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Feb 2018 9:53 a.m. PST

But gi-ants should take a lot less time, as they would need to move a lot more oxygen to survive!

Personal logo capncarp Supporting Member of TMP12 Feb 2018 7:42 p.m. PST

So….Elon Musk would be eafen by something he cooked?

Dr Argent12 Feb 2018 8:03 p.m. PST

Disco Inferno….Burn that mother down.

Legion 413 Feb 2018 6:38 a.m. PST

notes "Burning down the house!" notes

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2018 1:52 p.m. PST

LOL. At least his recent boosters didn't blow up on his recent launch, and they even landed safely.

Dan

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ced110619 Feb 2018 2:32 p.m. PST

Then there's casting a fireball in a small room in a dungeon, and having the fireball engulf everyone in the room, including the party. Woo! Medieval blowback!

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