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“This Is a Flammenwerfer. It Werfs Flammen” is a statement which highlights the peculiarity of German cognate words that bear some phonetic resemblance to their English equivalents. On 4chan’s /v/ (video games) and /tg/ (traditional games) boards, the phrase is often used in reference to Flammenwefer, a World War II-era German flamethrower, as it appears in the World War II tabletop miniatures wargame Flames of War.
The earliest known examples can dated back to July 31th, 2009, when a thread was posted on one of the boards on 4chan. The thread was later screen-captured to highlight a series of chain posts featuring derivative examples.
The original 4chan post was soon turned into an image macro based on a World War II-era photograph of a German Wehrmacht soldier with a flamethrower, which has been also (pictured below). On December 3rd, 2009, it appeared in a thread about the then-upcoming second season of the anime series Strike Witches on 4chan /a/ (anime and manga) board.
On October 6th, 2011, a Reddit user VikingSlayer posted an image macro depicting an American soldier mounting a M2 Browning machine gun, pointing out how the way things are described appears in the eyes of a person who knows German language. In over three years, the post had gotten around 729 upvotes.
The phrase has spawned a series of derivative statements centered around the snowclone “This is a XY, It Ys X.”
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