The name « Molotov cocktail » was coined by the Finns during the Winter War, called in Finnish: polttopullo or Molotovin koktaili. A Molotov cocktail is a 200 Cocktails PDF glass bottle containing a flammable substance such as petrol, alcohol or a napalm-like mixture, with some motor oil added, and usually a source of ignition such as a burning cloth wick held in place by the bottle’s stopper. The wick is usually soaked in alcohol or kerosene, rather than petrol. In action, the wick is lit and the bottle hurled at a target such as a vehicle or fortification.
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When the bottle smashes on impact, the ensuing cloud of fuel droplets and vapour is ignited by the attached wick, causing an immediate fireball followed by spreading flames as the remainder of the fuel is consumed. Other flammable liquids such as diesel fuel, methanol, turpentine, jet fuel, and isopropyl alcohol have been used in place of, or combined with petrol. In addition, toxic substances are also known to be added to the mixture, in order to create a suffocating or poisonous gas on the resulting explosion, effectively turning the Molotov cocktail into a makeshift chemical weapon. Improvised incendiary devices of this type were used for the first time in the Spanish Civil War between July 1936 and April 1939, before they became known as « Molotov cocktails. We made use of « petrol bombs » roughly as follows: take a 2lb glass jam jar. Take a heavy curtain, half a blanket, or some other heavy material. Wrap this over the mouth of the jar, tie it round the neck with string, leave the ends of the material hanging free.
When you want to use it have somebody standing by with a light . The Battle of Khalkhin Gol, a border conflict of 1939 ostensibly between Mongolia and Manchukuo, saw heavy fighting between Japanese and Soviet forces. The bottle has storm matches instead of a rag for a fuse. On 30 November 1939, the Soviet Union attacked Finland, starting what came to be known as the Winter War. The Finns perfected the design and tactical use of the petrol bomb.
The Finns’ policy was to allow the Russian tanks to penetrate their defences, even inducing them to do so by ‘canalising’ them through gaps and concentrating their small arms fire on the infantry following them. Molotov cocktails were eventually mass-produced by the Alko corporation at its Rajamäki distillery, bundled with matches to light them. Production totalled 450,000 during the Winter War. Early in 1940, with the prospect of immediate invasion, the possibilities of the petrol bomb gripped the imagination of the British public. The Finns had found that they were effective when used in the right way and in sufficient numbers. Although the experience of the Spanish Civil War received more publicity, the more sophisticated petroleum warfare tactics of the Finns were not lost on British commanders. I want to develop this thing they developed in Finland, called the « Molotov cocktail, » a bottle filled with resin, petrol and tar which if thrown on top of a tank will ignite, and if you throw half a dozen or more on it you have them cooked.
It is quite an effective thing. Wintringham advised that a tank that was isolated from supporting infantry was potentially vulnerable to men who had the required determination and cunning to get close. By August 1940, the War Office produced training instructions for the creation and use of Molotov cocktails. Wilson of Oldbury demonstrated to the RAF how their white phosphorus could be used to ignite incendiary bombs. The demonstration involved throwing glass bottles containing a mixture of petrol and phosphorus at pieces of wood and into a hut. There were many who were sceptical about the efficacy of Molotov cocktails and SIPs grenades against the more modern German tanks. Wintringham, though enthusiastic about improvised weapons, cautioned against a reliance on petrol bombs and repeatedly emphasised the importance of using explosive charges.