British Cabin Pressure Flare Pistols (Quite Unusual)

These two flare pistols (Mark 2 and Mark 1) are being sold by Morphys on October 31, 2018.

Signal flares were an important communications tool for aircraft during World War Two, and a multitude of flare pistol types exist with mounting brackets for aerial use. The introduction of pressurized fuselages made this a much more difficult proposition, however. These two flare pistols were designed by the British to maintain the pressurized seal of an aircraft body while still allowing firing and reloading through a pivoting mount and system of seals. I bet you haven’t seen something quite like these before!


  1. Sounds more complicated than German tank turret-mounted flare launchers, which also fired air-burst grenades to thwart Soviet infantry swarm attacks! I could be wrong…

    • German, British, and American medium and heavy tanks of that period pretty much all had “smoke mortars” in the turrets, firing through the turret roof. In the postwar years,they were superseded by the externally-mounted smoke grenade dischargers first used by the British, a type still used by most armies today.

      Interestingly, the original British dischargers were basically WW1-type grenade “cup” dischargers permanently attached to cutdown SMLE actions;



      • Reading tank encyclopedia in Panzer II Ausf. G (VK 9.01) article
        I found photo which I think would be interesting not only for Panzerwaffe enthusiasts, namely VK901 im Einsatz in Grodek, Polen, direct link:
        Could you recognize fire-arms on this photo?
        Sitting man with field glasses have MP35 (Bergmann), which can be recognized by magazine sticking to right and also bolt handle
        Sitting man in dark uniform has bolt-action repeating rifle, though I am unable to name model
        Man sitting on opposite site on tank (with face away from camera) is holding something looking like wooden-stock sub-machine gun with straight magazine sticking downwards, possibly MAB 38 (though I am far from being sure)
        I hope somebody with knowledge about WW2 Nazi uniforms would describe that photo from us.

        • The rifle is a Mosin-Nagant, probably an 1891/38; even with the blurring from movement it’s obviously too long to be the carbine version.

          The SMG on the right is most likely a Bergmann MP 18, not a Beretta; it just looks like the magazine is sticking straight down due to the odd angle.

          Behind the guy with that one you can see the rear part of an MG08, probably on another vehicle on the far side of the VK901.

          Incidentally, you might find this interesting;

          U.S. Army Technical Manual TM30-506

          German Military Dictionary


          It comes in handy for terms like the one highlighted in red on that photo.



          • With respect, as best I can make them out, both SMGs appear to be Bergmann MP35s (look carefully at the small of the stock of the one on the right for orientation), and the Mosin could be a M91/30 or possibly M91 dragoon or Cossack.

    • Both weapons are examined in posts on this site; just use the search window. Numerous photos of the FNA B 43; a video about the TZ45.

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