The flamethrower was invented in 1901 by German engineer Richard Fiedler. He tested these devices in the 1908 Engineer Test Company, and equipped two special German Army battalions of former Leipzig firefighter Capt. Hermann Redemann in late 1914. They were first used in combat against the French trenches at Malancourt north of Verdun Feb. 26, 1915. Due to the success of this engagement, a Third Guard Pioneer Battalion was created, commanded by Redemann, enlarged to 800 men and equipped with improved models from the Fiedler Flame Thrower Works in Berlin. This unit used the flamethrowers at Ypres on July 30, 1915. Flamethrower assault squads of six men were added to the stormtrooper battalions commanded by Captain Willy Rohr after Aug. 8, 1915. The Allied armies adopted the flamethrower by 1916.


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