A Molotov cocktail, also known as a petrol bomb, gasoline bomb (United States), bottle bomb, poor man’s grenade, Molotovin koktaili (Finnish), polttopullo (Finnish), 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. Due to the relative ease of production, Molotov cocktails have been used by street criminals, rioters, criminal gangs, urban guerrillas, terrorists, irregular soldiers, or even regular soldiers short on equivalent military-issue weapons. They are primarily intended to ignite rather than completely destroy targets, and are often used just as much to cause chaos as to actually do damage, sometimes being used as weapons during riots and mass protest.
The name “Molotov cocktail” was coined by the Finns during the Winter War. The name was an insulting reference to Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov [read more]
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