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Molotov Cocktail Party

User ID: 289560
08/29/2007 04:49 AM
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Molotov Cocktail Party
Good to know how to make and use.
While the Molotov Cocktail was first used as a weapon in the Spanish civil war, the "poor man's AT-weapon" was baptized as the "Molotov Cocktail" in the Winter War. Even today it's a common weapon of terrorists and rioters, because it's easy to manufacture and to use.

The Molotov Cocktail, that was used by the Finns in the Winter War was developed by a design team, led by Captain Eero Kuittinen, commander of the Er.PionK (the peace time separate Pioneer company).

In 1939, a "Pioneer Technical Manual, no.1" was printed in Viipuri, and according to it, a 1/2 liter liquor bottle with a screw cap was ideal for making this type of a weapon. As the flammable liquid, petrol, spirit, a mixture of petrol and kerosene or a mixture of waste spirit and kerosene, could be used. The manual advised 1-2 cubic centimeters of tar to be added, to create smoke.

For making the weapon, the manual instructed: "After the bottle has been filled with the liquid, the screw cap is properly closed and sealed with an insulating tape. On the opposite sides of the bottle, straps of cloth or insulating tape is to be attached, to prevent the heat of the "Bengal match" (a sort of a big match, that didn't go out easily, also known as "myrskytikku" in Finnish) from breaking the glass. Both matches, with their insulating tapes, were fastened on two points by more insulating tape and wire used to strengthen the result.

In Finland, as the lack of AT-weapons was appalling, the industrial production of Molotov Cocktails was quick to start. The production began in the State Liquor factory in Rajamäki, and while the early models had mostly petrol, the mixture was soon changed into the following:

60 % of Potassium Chlorate
32 % of Coal tar
8% of Noulee

A total of 542 194 Molotov Cocktails were produced between December and March, produced by a work force of 87 women and 5 men.

The late production Molotov Cocktails had, as it's incendiary device a small sulfuric acid capsule in the bottom of the bottle. This removed the need for the AT-man to pre-ignite the bottle, as the ignition medium was lit upon the bottles breaking.

Before the war, the Molotov Cocktail was seen more as a weapon that would blind or suppress the target tank, making it easier to destroy it by other Molotov Cocktails or by satchel charges. The idea of breaking the bottle on the rear end of the tank (where the engine compartment was located), near the ventilation, wasn't yet realized, but that changed quickly after the war started. The hot engine (the Soviet engines at that time were gasoline engines) of the tank caught fire quite easily, making this weapon quite effective against the tanks of early WW 2.

Late in the war, the Soviet tankers attached bushes or wire mesh to protect the rear end of the tank (hoping that the bottle wouldn't break, as it wouldn't hit the armor), but the Finnish solution was to tie 2 - 3 stones at the end of strings and tying the strings on the bottle so that the stones would shatter the glass. Also barbwire was wrapped around the bottle, so that if the bottle hit the mesh protecting the ventilation, the chance of setting the engine on fire increased.