Did the Soviet Union use napalm
In the numerous military conflicts from antiquity to the present day, fire has been used as a means to an end, from torches to sophisticated high-tech weapons. The efficiency of fire exceeded all other weapons, especially in ancient times and in the Middle Ages. In this way, a torch could extinguish an entire city, benefiting from the building materials used at the time and the construction method. As early as 235 BC, Roman legions were used in the Second Punic War effective fire means. These consisted mainly of oils thickened with vegetable fibers and various natural resins. These were thrown burning in clay containers onto ships or fortifications. The incendiary and psychological effect on the enemy was devastating.
A few centuries later, in the years 600-700, Greek scholars developed the so-called "Greek fire". With this chemical masterpiece, all attempts by the Arab fleet to take Constantinople from the seaside were thwarted in the years 674-678. The Greek fire was an incendiary agent, which was mainly used for naval combat. It consisted of sulfur, pine chips, tow, burnt lime and the very rare naphtha (petroleum). The use of this fire extinguisher was particularly effective, as it could not be extinguished with the means available at the time, or only with great difficulty. In attempts to extinguish the fire with water, the source of the fire was only enlarged due to the lower density of the fire agent.
Over the centuries, incendiary agents have been perfected more and more.
During bombing raids during World War II, British and American bombers preferred to use incendiary devices. In contrast to high-explosive bombs and mine bombs, incendiary bombs caused three times the destruction.
The terrible climax in the use of incendiary devices were the wars in Korea and Vietnam. The effect of thermite and phosphorus incendiary bombs from World War II was far exceeded by the napalm used in Korea and Vietnam. Even today, incendiary agents are used militarily. Incendiary agents are chemical compounds or mixtures that generate high temperatures when burned and can thus cause fire sources.
Incendiary agents can be used militarily today in the following form:
- in armored or knapsack flamethrowers
- by bombs, grenades, projectiles and missiles
- in bottles and canisters
- by fire tokens
The flamethrower throws burning liquid or thickened incendiary material at the target. Petroleum products (petrol, benzene or kerosene) are mostly used as unthickened fuel. These only have a short burning time as well as low temperatures and adhesiveness. On the other hand, they penetrate relatively easily into cracks and crevices. In combination with gasoline, thickeners form a jelly that is used as fuel. This burns longer, adheres and swims well and reaches higher temperatures. Due to the liquid fire agent, successful extinguishing could only be achieved with temporary extinguishing agents such as sand or earth. The effect of the fire was enormous, as a relatively large amount of fire material was thrown onto a small area in a short time. People who were hit by a beam of flame usually had no way of saving themselves.
Solid incendiary bombs contain or consist of thermite. Thermit is a mixture of aluminum and iron oxide (Fe3O4). Reaction:
The heat developed in this way (approx. 2400 ° C) is sufficient to keep the iron produced during the reaction in liquid form. The outer shell of thermite incendiary bombs consists of magnesium or magnesium alloys, which also burns completely during the resulting reaction. Because of this, this bomb has no dead weight. The bomb load that is transported by an airplane is in the ratio 1: 1 with the “payload”. The fires caused by these bombs can only be extinguished with considerable risk. Due to the high fire temperatures, the extinguishing water can dissociate, which can cause explosions.
Liquid incendiary bombs contained oil, gasoline or kerosene in World War II. The addition of rubber made the liquids more viscous and had a sufficient incendiary effect. Today the bombs are hardly ever manufactured or used.
Phosphorus incendiary bombs contain a mixture of white phosphorus and rubber. Fire canisters that work on the basis of white phosphorus contain carbon disulphide (CS2). The white phosphorus and its solutions ignite and burn with strong white smoke (phosphorus oxide). Even if the phosphorus can be extinguished by water, it could ignite again and again. In addition, phosphorus and its fumes are extremely toxic and cause severe injuries. Another method of application of white phosphorus was and is burn platelets. These contain white phosphorus as a gel-like mass wrapped in cellulite film. The burn platelets are thrown off moist and ignite after they have dried out.
The name napalm is made up of naphthenic acid and palmitic acid. Napalm is a gelatinous mass made of hydrocarbons (gasoline) and aluminum salts as well as other additives. By using polymers as thickeners, a combustion temperature of approx. 1200 ° C is achieved. The addition of white phosphorus and / or finely divided metal (magnesium or aluminum) means that this substance can hardly be erased. Napalm adheres firmly, cannot be wiped off and produces extremely toxic fumes
Incendiary bottles: Burn bottles, too Molotow cocktail called, are makeshift containers made of fragile material (mainly glass bottles), which are provided with a temporary ignition device. The weapon was first used in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), but not under the name Molotov cocktail. The name was used in 1939/40 by Finnish soldiers based on Vyacheslav M. Molotov, the then Soviet head of government and foreign minister, who was held responsible for the Soviet invasion of Finland in the so-called winter war. The Finns successfully used Molotov cocktails against Russian tanks. The Finnish Army went about producing the cocktails industrially and sending them to the front in packets with the required matches. Molotov cocktails are still mainly used today in political disputes. They can be produced with relatively simple means. A flammable liquid with FP below 21 ° C is used as the fire agent. The incendiary effect is, however, relatively small due to the short burning time and the low fire temperature and can be extinguished with appropriate extinguishing agents without major problems.
Incendiary agents are also used in the future are of great importance in military / political conflicts. You also will be in the future cause inconceivable suffering, pain and a cruel death. Mainly innocent children and women will be affected. But this is not the fault of the incendiary agents used or the chemical processes that result from them, rather it is the fault of those who use these agents as a terrorist weapon primarily against the civilian population.
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