Posted by madpiscean on September 28, 2008
My most vivid (not necessarily the first) impression of Molotov cocktails are courtesy of the stories my relatives told me about 513 (Wiki entry). They used to have to close the shutters, windows etc so that none of these incendiary devices would end up flying through an open window thereby torching their house. They also had to line the cracks underneath the doors with water-soaked towels and rags, and had pails of water handy in the event something did catch fire. Dark days indeed.
These days, even though the threat of 513 is unlikely to happen again on such a scale (credit also to the unified stand of the Pakatan Rakyat who have again and again denounced and countered the increasingly racist stand of the ruling coalition), Molotov cocktails are used when aggrieved parties feel that they have been slighted, insulted or if their ideas/principles are becoming irrelevant. And god forbid these uncivilised arrogant morons should be ignored or paid less attention to!
But how many of us know what exactly is a Molotov Cocktail and why is it called that… I did some Googling, learnt something new and would like to share it with yawl.
Well, the Molotov Cocktail is also known commonly as the petrol bomb, or alcohol bomb. We’ve most often seen them used by rioters on TV news segments.
It’s a glass bottle filled with a fuel like petrol/alcohol and then a burning, fuel-soaked rag or wick is used as the stopper (at the mouth of the bottle). When the bottle is thrown and it smashes on impact, the droplets and vapour of the alcohol or petrol is ignited, and you get a fireball.
As for the origins of the name ‘Molotov’, that apparently came from Vyacheslav Molotov, who was a Soviet Union Foreign Minister (1890-1986). You can read more at the Wiki entry for it but here’s a brief explanation…
During WWII, Finland refused to surrender some strategic ports to the Soviet Union. So the Soviets invaded in Nov 1939 in what is known as the Winter War. The Finns borrowed the design of an incendiary device (bomb dispensers combining a high-explosive charge with a cluster of incendiary bombs). from the Spanish Civil War, in which Franco ordered the Nationalists to use the weapon against the Soviet tanks. When this Molotov chap claimed in radio broadcasts that the Soviets were not dropping bombs but rather ‘delivering food to starving Finns’, the Finns started to call them ‘Molotov bread baskets’.So the Finns responded by attacking the tanks with an improvised incendiary device terming it the Molotov cocktail or “a drink to go with the food” (according to Wiki). They were then mass-produced at a distillery during the Winter War.
So there you go. And please folks, don’t try this at home. Selamat Hari Raya and have a great week.