Mechanised Flamethrowers in Canadian Service
by Roger V Lucy.
Canada’s Weapons of War Series, WOW022
A5 size softback, 24 pages
Review by Peter Brown
“The Carrier-borne Wasp flamethrower will be familiar to many modellers and most will know that they were developed by the Canadians, however the full details of this and other vehicle-mounted flamethrowers may be less well known.
All are covered here, starting with the first designs from the British Petroleum Warfare Directorate and car manufacturer Lagonda which produced the Ronson series. This was ordered in quantity but not used by Commonwealth forces, though some were fitted to US Marine Corps LVTs in the Pacific. Several all-Canadian types including the Hornet, Barracuda and Rattlesnake appeared as development continued before the Wasp series was finalised. As well describing these projectors, different types of flame fuel are covered as is the organisation and tactics devised to use Wasps in large numbers in separate specialist units.
Most of these plans were superseded as Wasps were to become a standard infantry weapon. Their use in action in Canadian hands is followed, as is the same equipment fitted to turretless Ram tanks which then became known as Badger. The same idea post-war used late M4A2 Shermans, yet more development led to improved devices, Iroquois was for Carriers with the Cree designed for the Centurion and the planned Bobcat APC. Interest in all flamethrowers had faded by the early 1960s, development was stopped and existing equipment scrapped.
Their story is at least presented with a well-written and readable text. This is backed up with period black and white photos of the different types and a 1/35th half-tone plan of the widely-used Wasp IIc on a Universal Carrier. Together these will be useful for modellers planning to build Wasps, Badgers or others as well as to those interested in flame warfare, while it concentrates on Canadian service Wasp also served in British and other Commonwealth units.
Thanks to Clive Law at Service Publications for the review book.”