Flamethrower, Portable, No 2
The Flamethrower, Portable, No 2 (nicknamed Lifebuoy from the shape of its fuel tank), also known as the Ack Pack, was a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 design of flamethrower
A flamethrower is a mechanical device designed to project a long controllable stream of fire.Some flamethrowers project a stream of ignited flammable liquid; some project a long gas flame. Most military flamethrowers use liquids, but commercial flamethrowers tend to use high-pressure propane and...

 for infantry use in the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. It was a near copy of the German Wechselapparat
The Germans introduced another small flamethrower design in 1917 to replace the earlier Kleif. The Wechselapparat had a doughnut-shaped backpack fuel container with a spherical propellant container in the middle. This design was updated during the Second World War to become flamethrower model 40...

 ("Wex") from 1917.

The Mark 1 was used as a training weapon, while the improved Mark 2 was used in action.
Over 7,000 units were produced from 1943 to 1944. They were ready for service during Operation Overlord
Operation Overlord
Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, the operation that launched the invasion of German-occupied western Europe during World War II by Allied forces. The operation commenced on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings...

 (the Allied
In everyday English usage, allies are people, groups, or nations that have joined together in an association for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out between them...

 invasion of Normandy).

The Ack Pack was a harness carrying a doughnut
A doughnut or donut is a fried dough food and is popular in many countries and prepared in various forms as a sweet snack that can be homemade or purchased in bakeries, supermarkets, food stalls, and franchised specialty outlets...

-shaped fuel container with a capacity of 4 Imperial gallon
The gallon is a measure of volume. Historically it has had many different definitions, but there are three definitions in current use: the imperial gallon which is used in the United Kingdom and semi-officially within Canada, the United States liquid gallon and the lesser used United States dry...

s (18 litre
pic|200px|right|thumb|One litre is equivalent to this cubeEach side is 10 cm1 litre water = 1 kilogram water The litre is a metric system unit of volume equal to 1 cubic decimetre , to 1,000 cubic centimetres , and to 1/1,000 cubic metre...

s) of fuel on the operator's back. In the middle of the "doughnut" was a spherical container holding nitrogen gas as a propellant, which was pressurized to 2,000 lbf/in² (140 Bar
Bar (unit)
The bar is a unit of pressure equal to 100 kilopascals, and roughly equal to the atmospheric pressure on Earth at sea level. Other units derived from the bar are the megabar , kilobar , decibar , centibar , and millibar...

). This was sufficient to propel the burning fuel 120 feet (36 metres). A hose from the fuel tank passed to the nozzle assembly which had two pistol grips to hold and aim the spray. One of the grips had the trigger. The Ack Pack nozzle was fitted with a 10-chambered cylinder which contained the ignition cartridges. These could be fired once, each giving the operator 10 bursts of flame. In practice this gave 10 one-second bursts. It was also possible to spray fuel without igniting it to ensure there was plenty splashed around the target, then fire an ignited burst to light up the whole lot.

At some 64 pounds (29 kg) the flamethrower was considered heavy.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.