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Flamethrower Tests in 14-18: a fatal error

Test de lance-flamme
The day the French made victims in their own ranks.

In June 1915, flamethrowers made their appearance in the 14-18 war. The Germans tested this new weapon at Vauquois. A few months later, the French used these formidable devices in turn. However, the French tests turned out to be a failure. An ammunition depot explosion created a blast that pushed the flames towards the French lines, and soldiers were transformed into living torches. French losses were heavy: 29 dead and 119 wounded. This unforeseen event was to be the starting point for military innovation in terms of flamethrowers and led to the creation of more portable equipment, widely used during the Second World War.

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