Thomas Wictor

German Flamethrower Pioneers of World War I is the only English-language book on the subject. Its main sources are the history of the flamethrower regiment, written by its former commander; the definitive manual of assault-troop and flamethrower tactics, authored by a former flamethrower officer; and the death book published by veterans of the flamethrower regiment.

Additional material for German Flamethrower Pioneers of World War I was gleaned from the German national archives and patent office, the British and American national archives, museums, contemporary newspapers, unit histories of both the Central and Allied powers, soldiers’ memoirs, and the author’s conversations with the son of a former flamethrower operator.

Prewar, wartime, and postwar developments are covered, along with detailed descriptions of weapons, tactics, equipment, organization, training, uniforms, and insignia. Epic battles such as the taking of Fort Vaux and the mass flamethrower assault on Skrobowa are featured, as are dozens of eyewitness accounts that reveal the gut-wrenching horror of flame warfare. New information—including the combat use of a German aircraft-mounted flamethrower—is also provided.

Over 300 photographs and illustrations, most previously unpublished. Fully footnoted, with an extensive bibliography and an index.