Flamethrower

#1
I have read several books on the Burma campain and all mention the great difficulty found by Brit Forces on dealing with the jap bunker system.
Exstensive policies where eventually worked out to destroy the interlocking 'Fields of fire' bunkers of the jap system,mainly using Pole Charges, Hurri bommer attacks, direct fire by tank and field guns up to 5.5 inch and of course direct infantary assault.
However nowhere have I seen referance to use of Flamethrowers.
I have seen many American accounts on History Channel, Discovery Channel and the US forces seem to have made much use of man pack flame throwers in the Pacific Island hopping campain.
I know in Europe we employed Churchill Flame thrower tanks.
Does anyone have knowledge of the use of Flamethrowers in the Burma campain.
john
 
#2
Try here, (it's not being used on bunkers but it is in Burma):

http://www.burmastar.org.uk/milestone20.htm

Our plan was to line the roadside with two platoons to produce a curtain of fire at any convoy passing through. At each end we would position a ‘Lifebouy’ flame thrower and a Vickers MMG firing along the road, to seal the ambush. The only possible escape for the enemy was to the south, but this was down a precipitous and rocky slope ending up in the river.

Large convoys only moved by night, so we lay up by day, on high ground above the reentrant. It was teak jungle and although it was apparently open, thin undergrowth restricted vision to about 20 yards. It was important that we were not seen, for any movement would result in reports, either to Indaw or Banmauk and our surprise would be gone. The ambush position was only occupied at dusk.


It was about 0300 hours on the third night that we heard the drone of a sizeable convoy approaching from the east. Suddenly without warning trucks loaded with troops appeared right in our midst. Flame from the flame thrower and the staccato rattle of the first MMG enveloping the leading truck opened the action and then as if not wanting to be outdone the noise of the other flame thrower and MMG closed the ambush.

Soon all hell was let loose, as individual platoon members fired into the enemy trying to escape. Dozens of grenades were hurled into the maelstrom and the unintelligible shouts of Japanese Officers trying to rally their men mingled with the piteous cry of the wounded. Then came their counter attack, as enemy soldiers tried in vain to force their way into our positions, only to be stopped by rifle fire and hand to hand fighting. The sound was deafening, automatic weapons with their constant rattle mixed with the characteristic ‘whoosh’ of the flame throwers and punctuated by the plop and subsequent explosion of ‘36’ grenades. The action seemed interminable but in reality it was all over in about 15 minutes, followed by an eerie silence, broken by the desperate moans of the dying. By previous arrangement we lay doggo in our firing positions until first light, and then withdrew to our prepared defensive positions to assess our situation. It was clear that the ambush was a success, with any enemy survivors in complete disarray. Their casualties were heavy, whereas on our part only 1 officer and 2 men were killed and a few lightly wounded.

It was politic to leave the ambush area quickly and rejoin our Rear Column HO at the RV some 10 miles north, but before doing so we needed water, needed to bury our dead and to open radio contact with Brigade. I was detailed to go down to the ambush area, get water for the column and destroy any vehicle that had escaped damage. The scene at the ambush was staggering, each truck carried a drum of petrol that had exploded or caught fire. Dead Japanese lay alongside the debris in all sorts of weird positions, some attempting to penetrate our positions had been cut down with rifle fire, others making for the river side of the road, fell - under exploding grenades. Those that made it fell headlong into the river and were drowned.
 

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