1.30.2004
ENLARGE THE PHOTO
Cool Customer

U.S. Army Signal Corps photo, dated June 29, 1942

An Army commando in black face camouflage poses with a Molotov cocktail fitted with an acid pencil detonator used to destroy tanks during nighttime guerilla operations. Note he is one cool customer (if the cocktail has real gasoline in it!) as he is very casually holding a lit cigarette cupped in his other hand. The Molotov, a crude incendiary weapon which consists of a glass bottle filled with flammable liquid, usually gasoline (petrol) or alcohol (generally methanol or ethanol), was often made with a rag stuffed in the mouth of the bottle in lieu of a detonator. The weapon was used by lighting the rag and throwing the bottle at the target. The bottle would shatter on impact, spilling the burning liquid over the target.

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