What is the situation concerning flame throwers in Vietnam?

Honza

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Sorry this is slightly off topic.

Were FTs banned in Vietnam? I remember reading something about the Geneva Convention and why they were not used. However any clarification would help.

Thanks.
 

Jazz

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It is more than slightly off topic, considering that ASL does not deal with Viet Nam. Moving to Chit-Chat where it should have been in the first place.
 

von Marwitz

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I don't know the answer. But it would somewhat surprise me as they had no qualms about napalm dropped from aircraft.

von Marwitz
 

WuWei

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I don't know the answer. But it would somewhat surprise me as they had no qualms about napalm dropped from aircraft.
Sometimes, those treaties are tricky. One thing might be forbidden while a quite similar, equally horrifying thing might be allowed. For example, in WW1 the Germans at first released poison gas from canisters from the ground, because only shooting poison gas with artillery was forbidden.
 

Paul M. Weir

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I doubt that they are really banned.

I got the impression that apart from AFV mounted FT, the FT was regarded as not being particularly effective. Too short ranged and too much risk for the operator. The US replaced man pack FT with the M202 Flash, a 4 round launcher for 66 mm incendiary rockets. The Soviet's FTs were replaced by the RPO Rys and later the RPO-A Shmel (93 mm), both single use disposable.

The M202 was useful up to 200 m against a point target and 800 m against an area target, the Soviet ones roughly similar. Longer ranged, come pre-packaged with no messy filling/pressurisation required before use. No specialised training beyond what would be required for a LAW type weapon either and no distinctive tanks to give away the operator's function. I know which I would prefer to use.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M202_FLASH
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPO_Rys
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPO-A_Shmel
 

Yuri0352

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Sorry this is slightly off topic.

Were FTs banned in Vietnam? I remember reading something about the Geneva Convention and why they were not used. However any clarification would help.

Thanks.
You aren't going to find any rules about flamethrowers in the Geneva conventions as the four treaties of the conventions are intended to address the treatment of POW'S and non-combatant civilians during a war.

The Geneva conventions are often confused with the Hague convention.
 

Yuri0352

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I doubt that they are really banned.

I got the impression that apart from AFV mounted FT, the FT was regarded as not being particularly effective. Too short ranged and too much risk for the operator. The US replaced man pack FT with the M202 Flash, a 4 round launcher for 66 mm incendiary rockets.
The M202 was useful up to 200 m against a point target and 800 m against an area target, the Soviet ones roughly similar. Longer ranged, come pre-packaged with no messy filling/pressurisation required before use. No specialised training beyond what would be required for a LAW type weapon either and no distinctive tanks to give away the operator's function. I know which I would prefer to use.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M202_FLASH
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPO_Rys
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPO-A_Shmel
I was trained on the M202 during my first year in the USMC. We referred to the weapon as the MPFW (Multi Purpose Flame Weapon). Regarding the 'reliability problems ' of the ammunition, we were prohibited from live firing this weapon due the high probability of the thin-skinned flame projectiles swelling within the fiberglass launcher tubes, with the possible result of the entire launcher and it's rockets flying off the operators shoulder upon firing. After I completed infantry training, I never once observed one of these weapons neither in the field, on the range, nor in an armory.

I consider myself very fortunate to have not been assigned one of these weapons.
 
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