By Mark McConville
WATCH as a World War Two reenactor gets his hands on an original seventy-five-year-old M2 flamethrower and proves it still works by unleashing a volley of flames in the air.
The stunning video shows the lucky reenactor being shown how to use the American man-portable backpack flamethrower before he shoots out a one-hundred-foot-long flame.
The deadly flames leave a huge plume of black smoke which floats up into the air before the guy quickly follows up with another short burst from the flamethrower.
The incredible footage was taken in Old Bedford Village, Pennsylvania, USA by high school student and WWII reenactor Anthony Salerno (18) from Medina, Ohio.
“You see a raffle winner as he won a chance to shoot a real World War Two-era flame thrower,” he said.
“He won the raffle by tickets we received when we registered for the Private Tactical WWII re-enactment at Old Bedford Village in Pennsylvania, US.
“WWII Reenacting is the best hobby I have ever got into. Of course, it has its ups and downs with different events and battles, but at the end of the day it is always a blast of fun and we all go home with a smile and a story at the end of the day.
“WWII Reenacting is as close to the real-deal as you’re going to get from battle tactics to combat all the way to camp life.”
The M2 flamethrower was an American man-portable backpack flamethrower that was used in World War II.
Although its burn time was only around seven seconds and the flame was only effective out to around 65 to 130 feet, it was still a useful weapon until the arrival of flamethrower tanks.
Though some M2s were sold off, the majority were scrapped when they were declared obsolete.
Anthony loves World War Two re-enactments as they allow him to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life, if only for a short period.
“The main thing I love about WWII Reenacting is the fact that they are mini vacations for me,” he said.
“Reenacting is a break away from modern day society and it puts you in the reality and the mindset of a WWII US Army soldier in the 1940s.
“People who never seen WWII re-enactments are sometimes blown away by how realistic they are and what some of the images show.
“I post almost all my pictures on Instagram and I get more likes on re-enacting pictures than anything else. It is very interesting to the common person because it’s totally different and not exactly your everyday entertainment.
“WWII Veterans love our re-enactment displays and battles. They are drawn to the fact that they have been there and done what we re-enact. Our re-enactments are major throwbacks for them.
“In my few years of re-enacting, I have never seen so many WWII Veterans light up and open up with story’s like they have done at public WWII re-enactments.”