Fire In The Field

Discussions on the equipment used by the Axis forces, apart from the things covered in the other sections. Hosted by Juha Tompuri
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Fire In The Field

Post by A-Bomb » 01 Mar 2003 04:48

It seems that all over battlefields in WWII fires rage. Why is this? I mean the chief rounds used are HE and AP, neither have a "firey" charge. Tanks will brew up because of their fuel but where does all the other fire come from? Certanially not from incindearies.

Also how common were incindeary bombs when used aganist cities? A percentage? And when they start to see broad service?

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Post by Von_Mannteufel » 01 Mar 2003 07:17

Americans indeed used incendiary bombs, but i don't know about germans, they probable did too. Americans even used fertilizer (??) as "fuel" for their incendiary bombs.

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Christoph Awender
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Post by Christoph Awender » 01 Mar 2003 12:16

To your first question regarding fire in the field. A bullet which comes out of a rifle is very hot. Hot enough to ignite dry gras, wood and so on. Also the M.G. fired tracer bullets which ignited dry material very well.

Regarding bombing of cities. The british bomber command extensively used incendiary bombs from the first stages of their bomb attacks in mid 1940.
A common ratio was about 20 incendiaries on one HE-bomb. The HE-bombs "opened" the houses and the IN bombs were able to set the house on fire.
See the daily reports section on my site to see that they used IN bombs at every attack.
The german Luftwaffe used them also but not to that extend like the allies from the beginning.

hope this helps,

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Post by A-Bomb » 01 Mar 2003 18:53

Ok thanks.

Where is your site?

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Post by Marcus » 01 Mar 2003 19:00

A-Bomb wrote:Where is your site?

Just click the Image image in his posts :-)
It will take you to


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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 01 Mar 2003 21:59

Smoke shells usually contain white phosphor (correct spelling?)
Which is extremely flammable! It will not burn in water, but it self-ingnites if you take it out!

We had a living hell when we were searching for undetonated shells in our artillery training field. Everytime we came out from a swamp area or similar, it started smoking from our shoes :lol:


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Post by Redbaron1908 » 01 Mar 2003 23:08

does anyone konw if the russians used any incindearies

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Post by aardvark » 02 Mar 2003 17:57

:D Some of these fires were started by tracer rounds used in MGs .Infact most armies had incendiary rounds that were made to set things on fire.Soilders often used then to set house or buildings on fire to drive the enemy out.Shell fragments were also very hot,adding to the danger of fire .

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Christian Ankerstjerne
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Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 02 Mar 2003 18:01

The artillery would also be responsible for more than one fire...

I would also imagine soldiers would set areas on fire to protect weak flanks...


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