A petrol bomb, more commonly known and referred to as a Molotov cocktail, is an improvised throwing incendiary weapon made of a cocktail bottle filled with a flammable mixture (such as gasoline or napalm), with either a rag soaked with kerosine/flammable alcohol or storm matches. It is often made by rebel groups that don't have the finances or resources necessary to develop their own grenades, and its name, Molotov cocktail, is an insulting reference to Vyacheslav Molotov, the Soviet foreign minister who partitioned Finland.
The petrol bomb concept was first developed during the Spanish Civil War between July 1936 and April 1939, when they were used against Soviet tanks during a failed assault on the Nationalist stronghold, with it being used by both the Spanish Republicans and the Spanish Nationalists with some success.
The petrol bomb was given the name "Molotov cocktail" by the Finns during the Winter War, in response to Molotov's radio broadcasts that claimed the Soviets were airdropping food to the Finnish people, rather than bombing them. They frequently used them against tanks. The Molotov cocktail was later adopted by Britain near the beginning of World War II as a means to repel an immediate invasion, having heard of its use during the Winter War.
By the late 20th century, however, production of petrol bombs were halted, and also made illegal, although poorer countries and ragtag rebel groups still made use of the weapons.
Behind the scenes
- "PETROL BOMB
Improvised incendiary weapon made from a bottle and fuel mixed with a thickening agent."
- ―Petrol Bomb menu description in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain