What is a flamethrower?

   The flamethrower is a military weapon used to project a stream of flaming liquid at enemy personnel and installations. Ancient types, consisting of tubes to which bellows were attached, shot a stream of flaming naphtha-like substance. The Greek-fire weapon of the Byzantine Empire was much more formidable and first appeared when used against an Arab invasion fleet in 637. The flamethrower was revived by the Germans in World War I and soon adopted by the Allies. It consisted of a tank of oil put under pressure by gases. The flame was shot from a movable nozzle. Both stationary and portable models were developed, but they played no important part in the war. The flame­thrower was used extensively, however, in World War II, particularly in the Pacific. Large models were mounted on tanks, and small models were carried by infantrymen. They shot flaming oil or jellied gasoline.