British “Life Buoy” WWII Flamethrower

One of the the flamethrower design styles to come out of experimentation late in World War One was the toroid type, with a donut-shaped fuel tank and a central spherical pressure bottle. The British continued development on this type of weapon between the wars, and used it in World War Two. While the early models used a hydrogen spark ignition system, this was replaced in 1942 by a cartridge flare system like the US and Japanese models.

The tank on this example is a fiberglass one, and very lightweight. This was introduced after World War Two, and this one is an experimental model.

Armament Research Services (ARES) is a specialist technical intelligence consultancy, offering expertise and analysis to a range of government and non-government entities in the arms and munitions field. For detailed photos of the guns in this video, don’t miss the ARES companion blog post.


  1. Just one teeny tiny criticism; in British English, buoy rhymes with toy. Don’t ask me why. If we started discussing the inconsistencies of the English language we’d be here till the next millennium . . .

      • Anyway, I stop expecting any logic after trying to decode early British coins.
        1 penny is smallest coin
        12 of that coins equal 1 shilling
        Depending on source
        20 shillings equal 1 sovereign
        21 shillings equal 1 guinea
        While I would be able to understand 3-degree system of equal base (that is for example 12 smallcoin = 1 mediumcoin, 12 mediumcoin = 1 bigcoin) then unequal division make no sense to me.

        • A penny is physically larger than a shilling, sovereign, or guinea of course, to add to the confusion. The farthing- a quarter penny- was the smallest denomination typically found in English commerce, but quarter farthings- 1/3480th of a pound- were coined and current before 1971.

          Ad it doesn’t have to make sense to foreigners, it’s not for you! 😉

          • Also, it’s 12 copper coins = 1 silver coin , 12 silver coins = 1 gold coin. Which still fails, because fractions and multiples of each denomination were made.

          • The farthing was the smallest denomination of coin full stop. It stopped being legal tender in 1960.

            Also it was 12 pennies to 1 shilling, 20 shillings to one pound; with a Guinea being a gold coin worth 1 pond 1 shilling.

            Guineas were used in some transactions; like horse trading and I am sure auctions, long after they stopped being common coins.

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