Throwing Both Flames and Candles

I’m reminded of Orville Tethington, inventor of the world’s first steam-powered fog machine. He’s also the guy who, after the Germans invented the flame thrower in WWI, decided to counteract it with his own creation, the candle thrower. The candle thrower was only battle tested once, and after fifteen minutes the war zone was littered with lit candles. Upon returning home after the war, some of the soldiers suffered such extreme and bizarre cases of PTSD that anytime a civilian lit a match or used their lighter, the soldiers would hit the ground and start singing “Happy Birthday.” 
―Jarod Kintz, I Should Have Renamed This


5 thoughts on “Throwing Both Flames and Candles”

  1. Although evaluated by the German military in 1901, the first ‘Flammenwerfer’ was not used until 1911 in the trenches of WW1. And the ‘modern’ world never looked back from that day forward, as the wonder weapon slowly advanced through various stages of technology.

    Call me a killjoy if you will.
    But; I can well imagine why flame thrower operators were rarely taken prisoner; those that did benefit from being captured were summarily executed afterwards.
    On the battlefield they cast a lonely figure as they became ‘bullet magnets’; a snipers dream shot, especially after the first ‘squirt’ gave their position away.

    Yours Aye.

  2. When I was a “Grunt” in the Berlin Brigade many, many, many years ago….we were trained on the Flame Thrower. It was friggen heavy! and the flame only lasted about 10 seconds…then you had to carry the empty crap around the rest of the day. It was more deadly for the operator.

  3. EB: I imagine that the flamethrower would be a magnet. And if the sniper hit their tanks?!? Not pretty.
    CIRD: Interesting. I had no idea it was that heavy. Although looking at it, I can see the weight.

  4. We use a flame thrower on the Lazy B to burn briar and weeds. Once my husband tried to kill wasps. Of course the wasps went nuts and he had to move faster to burn them before they stung him. Then he tripped over the hose and was rolling on the ground trying to aim the flame at the wasps. It was very funny and not, but I guess you had to be there.

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