Molotov cocktail

Molotov cocktail

Molotov cocktail

According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, Molotov cocktail is defined simply as “a typically improvised incendiary device”. That’s the definition in terms of substance, but there are plenty of other dangers related to getting caught making one.


A German soldier with two Molotov cocktails on the Eastern Front of World War II A Molotov cocktail, also known as a petrol bomb, gasoline bomb, bottle bomb, poor man's grenade, fire bomb (not to be confused with an actual fire bomb), fire bottle or just Molotov, sometimes shortened as Molly, is a generic name used for a variety of bottle-based improvised incendiary weapons.

In addition, highly toxic substances are also known to be added to the fuel, to create a suffocating or poisonous smoke on the resulting explosion, effectively turning the Molotov cocktail into a makeshift chemical weapon. These include bleach, chlorine, hydrogen cyanide, various strong acids, and pesticides.

before they became known as "Molotov cocktails". In 1936, General Francisco Franco ordered Spanish Nationalist forces to use the weapon against Soviet T-26 tanks supporting the Spanish Republicans in a failed assault on the Nationalist stronghold of Seseña, near Toledo, 40 km (25 mi) south of Madrid.

The original design of the Molotov cocktail produced by the Finnish alcohol monopoly Alko during the Winter War of 1939–1940. The bottle has storm matches instead of a rag for a fuse. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)

On 30 November 1939, the Soviet Union attacked Finland, starting what came to be known as the Winter War. The Finnish perfected the design and tactical use of the petrol bomb. The fuel for the Molotov cocktail was refined to a slightly sticky mixture of alcohol, kerosene, tar, and potassium chlorate. Further refinements included the attachment of wind-proof matches or a phial of chemicals that would ignite on breakage, thereby removing the need to pre-ignite the bottle, and leaving the bottle about one-third empty was found to make breaking more likely

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