Molotov cocktail

Everyday you learn something new.

molotov-cocktail

The name “Molotov cocktail” was coined by the Finns during the Winter War.

330px-talvisota_molotov_cocktail

During the Winter War, the Soviet air force made extensive use of incendiaries and cluster bombs against Finnish troops and fortifications. When Soviet People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs Vyacheslav Molotov claimed in radio broadcasts that they were not bombing, but delivering food to the starving Finns, the Finns, who were not starving, started to call the air bombs Molotov bread baskets. Soon they responded by attacking advancing tanks with “Molotov cocktails”, which were “a drink to go with the food”.

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.

Although it can’t be said that Molotov cocktail was a Finnish invention. Improvised incendiary devices were used for the first time in the Spanish Civil War between July 1936 and April 1939, before they became known as “Molotov cocktails”.