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'Never Miss' Molotovs?

 
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'Never Miss' Molotovs? - 11/27/2001 3:28:00 AM   
AbsntMndedProf


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I've noticed, while playing the Stalingrad campaign that, no matter what their 'to hit' % is, Soviet molotov cocktails against infantry seldom fail score kills. This applies even when the 'to hit' % is as low as 3%-6%. ??? Eric Maietta

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- 11/27/2001 5:09:00 AM   
LilJoe

 

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What I'd like to know is how a bottle of gasoline can disable a tank or am I revealing my ignorance of this weapon?

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- 11/27/2001 5:45:00 AM   
Nikademus


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quote:

Originally posted by LilJoe:
What I'd like to know is how a bottle of gasoline can disable a tank or am I revealing my ignorance of this weapon?
its not the gasoline that disables the tank, its the burning rag that ignights the gasoline that does it once set on fire, if that burning liquid gets inside either your engine compartment or inside the crew compartment, the tank has a good chance of becoming, pardon the pun, "toast".
No-miss Molotovs! thats a nice change....out of dozens of attempts i've only seen 2 molotovs in games i've played hit and kill tanks. [ November 26, 2001: Message edited by: Nikademus ]



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- 11/27/2001 6:23:00 AM   
john g

 

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quote:

Originally posted by LilJoe:
What I'd like to know is how a bottle of gasoline can disable a tank or am I revealing my ignorance of this weapon?
I can speak from experiance, I had a car several years ago that caught fire when it backfired up thru the carburator. A gas leak must have been present becuase it was a roaring inferno seconds later. The engine was a total loss just from the action of that gas fire, and it couldn't have been more than a couple of seconds before I shut the engine off and cut the gas feed. The rest of the car was untouched, since the fire dept put out the fire before it spead to the passenger compartment. But you wouldn't believe how bad that engine compartment looked. It would have been worse back in the days of cloth insulation back in the 40's. A hot greasy motor with a few ounces of burning gasoline splashed on it is an inferno in seconds. Everything that can burn will, and that includes all the belts, the hoses, and the wire insulation. No engine will still be running after a fire.
thanks, John.

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- 11/27/2001 6:31:00 AM   
AbsntMndedProf


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I can understand the effectiveness of molotov cocktails against vehicles. However, my question is in regards to the effectiveness of molotovs against infantry. Eric Maietta

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- 11/27/2001 3:49:00 PM   
Belisarius


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quote:

Originally posted by AbsntMndedProf:
I can understand the effectiveness of molotov cocktails against vehicles. However, my question is in regards to the effectiveness of molotovs against infantry. Eric Maietta
Maybe if you're hit in the head with the bottle?
Seriously, I don't know if the Molotov was effective against infantry, but it would at least be excellent for suppressíon. Range as a hand grenade, but instead of a *boom* ends up in a flaming inferno. But kills from molotovs?

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- 11/27/2001 4:16:00 PM   
Salonen

 

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Hmm that is too deadly coctail for my taste. Yeah, Molotovs were great killer of tanks and other vehicles. Remember when one of my Finnish ski infantry group destoyed 3 Soviet T-28 in one turn with molotovs. And they had only 3 molotovs... But against infantry they shouldn't do so much damage. They can burn woods and soldiers in houses but they shouldn't be so effective. But hmm, yeah...I dunno

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- 11/27/2001 4:31:00 PM   
Jasper

 

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Grenade in open area sucks...the fragmentation isnt powerful enough to kill a big radius...even if u are so good at throwing that u manage to create an air burst. The effective radius of a only about 2 to 4 meters depending on how high when it explodes. As for killing, unless u are directly on below it when it esplodes else it is so hard to kill. However when in enclosed room that is a different story. The enclosure create greater pressure thus giving the victim the shock. As for petrol bomb, unless u got a direct hit from it, maybe u can kill, not by explosion and not instantly but through burnt injuries. The bottle unless hit in u at virtal area else it only minor cut. If the petrol bomb hit beside u and it a meter away, what did u get...practically nothing. Maybe some minor injuries. During rioting situation, when the police use those high shield, sometime it is better to use petrol bomb wrapped in plastic bag and had it throw high to hit the uppermost of the shield to break their rank. Oh...u wanted to kill them, u must be joking, u cant kill that instantly with that....try those ball bearing capapult, it is better......

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- 11/27/2001 8:52:00 PM   
Tom Terror

 

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The casualties which result from a molotov hit aren't kills IMO. I know a hex of 50x50 meters is quite a large area for a molotov cocktail to hit single men. But assume a group of three gets hit by burning gasoline. One gets it in the face. He'll be blind and probably can't use his lips anymore because they're gone. Another one gets the burning petrol over his hands. No chance to use a rifle with those severe burns. Two casualties but no kill! Not to think of the psychological effect on those who see their comrades in flames and have to smell the burning flesh. Just a guess. TomT

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- 11/27/2001 10:11:00 PM   
Larry Holt

 

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Some general Molotov information:
The burning fuel can easily set off a fire in a greasy engine compartment as has been mentioned. This requires the burning fuel to leak into it. I know that modern tanks have fire suppression systems in their engine compartment. I have read of an M60 (book is called Tank Sgt) that regularly caught on fire when started without really damaging anything. I do not know about WWII tanks. A hit near a ventilation duct or hatch, etc. may result in some burning fuel leaking into the crew compartment where it will cause smoke inside and reduce the effectiveness of the crew. A hit elsewhere will do little damage. A hit on the side just will just run off and not burn the armor. I recall being taught about them in the US Army and was told that much of the fuel goes into creating a fireball and not much is left to raise the temperature of the target to the ignition point. Molotovs may have a thickening agent in them (can be as simple as powered soap) to cause the fuel to cling to the target and not run off. Molotovs primary benefit is in blinding the crew and secondarily shaking their morale. Vision ports are blocked by the black smoke and soot. A crew that is hit by a Molotov knows that there are infantry lurking around out there and their tank is vulnerable to further hits.

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- 11/27/2001 10:16:00 PM   
Larry Holt

 

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Some general Molotov information:
The burning fuel can easily set off a fire in a greasy engine compartment as has been mentioned. This requires the burning fuel to leak into it. I know that modern tanks have fire suppression systems in their engine compartment. I have read of an M60 (book is called Tank Sgt) that regularly caught on fire when started without really damaging anything. I do not know about WWII tanks. A hit near a ventilation duct or hatch, etc. may result in some burning fuel leaking into the crew compartment where it will cause smoke inside and reduce the effectiveness of the crew. A hit elsewhere will do little damage. A hit on the side just will just run off and not burn the armor. I recall being taught about them in the US Army and was told that much of the fuel goes into creating a fireball and not much is left to raise the temperature of the target to the ignition point. Molotovs may have a thickening agent in them (can be as simple as powered soap) to cause the fuel to cling to the target and not run off. Molotovs primary benefit is in blinding the crew and secondarily shaking their morale. Vision ports are blocked by the black smoke and soot. A crew that is hit by a Molotov knows that there are infantry lurking around out there and their tank is vulnerable to further hits.

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- 11/27/2001 10:53:00 PM   
11Bravo


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I will take a stab at this. Perhaps Molotov cocktails are not lethal to infantry, but quite lethal to vehicles, in real life. But maybe the game only understands things like HE, HEAT, AP, and APCR, and not flaming gasoline. So in order to create the real life deadly effect against vehicles, it is abstracted through some of the more traditional qualities of weapons, and this leaves an artifact that it is more deadly against infantry. In other words, maybe the game pretends it is a small bazooka with short range? Adding in the sufficient logic for the physical properties of gasoline might be overkill for such a minor class of weapons. Just thinking out loud...

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- 11/27/2001 11:09:00 PM   
tracer


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I was using Soviet P-Mol AT units in a recent game and noticed that their primary weapon has 2 types of ammo (HE and HEAT), while the Molotovs carried by INF squads only contain HEAT ammo. Maybe HEAT ammo needs to be changed where it acts more like AP, in that it cannot be fired against non-vehicular targets.

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- 11/28/2001 4:09:00 AM   
Jasper

 

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quote:

Originally posted by Tom Terror:
The casualties which result from a molotov hit aren't kills IMO. I know a hex of 50x50 meters is quite a large area for a molotov cocktail to hit single men. But assume a group of three gets hit by burning gasoline. One gets it in the face. He'll be blind and probably can't use his lips anymore because they're gone. Another one gets the burning petrol over his hands. No chance to use a rifle with those severe burns. Two casualties but no kill! Not to think of the psychological effect on those who see their comrades in flames and have to smell the burning flesh. Just a guess. TomT
U seldom see such weapon use against infantry for afew reason.
(1) U use such small area weapon when the enemy is closed and in a band (or group up).
(2) U are assaulting an enemy position and needed to suppress them.
(3) U are in enclose area and wanted to shock them before entering. That is what petrol bomb lack of. They are not effective against in close range, the lighting of the bomb means u can be spotted a distance away in the night or in a corner. When u throw a petrol bomb, u need it to land on something hard and the bottle broke and petrol spread across a small area. Petrol bomb are not effective against stone building. In close combat, every thing is split second, it is just too slow to be used. It is bulky and does not have the same effect as fragmentation spreading at speed of near a bullet. However against vehicle is different. Vehicle engine require ventilation, which is normally behind when thousand of small little gap here and there. In the engine itself, there are alot of wiring. Killing a tank does not require to destroy it but to immbolise it and stand a distance away. A few threw at a tank can prevent the from opening it hatches. But normally such hatches are closed only when there are engagement. As such it is only used for ambush rather than direct assualt.

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- 12/2/2001 10:19:00 PM   
Jacc

 

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Haven't you tried a Molotov yourselves? It is not difficult, just some gasoline, burning cloth and a glass bottle. Throw it and watch it burn. As it hits the ground, the gasoline flies everywhere and burns in seconds. The result can be quite devastating for anyone close enough to grab fire. However, many Molotov cocktails (like those which Finns used in the Winter War) contain far more reactives than just gasolines (petrol etc.) - they can have phospore, sulphure acid, natrium or any highly reactive, burning sample. Thus, they can even burn straighth throug THIN armor (let's say bottom or top) - however, that's rare. Molotovs are not napalm or thermite, they are basicly high-temperature burning liquid in a broken bottle. Molotovs can, however, affect in many different ways. Blasting the engine is perhaps the most common effect - the burning gasoline will leak through the ventilation hatches and set the engine ablaze. Burning fuel can also leak through vision slots or turret hatch - thus killing crew by heat, monoxide or burns. Molotov can also ignite the oiling in power transfer or other propulsion system parts (I think this is quite rare). And powerful Molotovs can also burn through thin armour. Multiple burning Molotovs in tank's or another vessel's top can cause the temperature to rise into unbearable readings (try finnish sauna and think then how it feels...). Neverthelss, the Molotovs were no infantry weapons. They were suitable to supress enemy off a bunker, destroying a tank or setting a tent or a pillbox ablaze. However, dug-in infantry should not be afraid of a molotv (31cm Flamer Rocket is a different thing...)

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- 12/2/2001 10:39:00 PM   
RichardTheFirst

 

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quote:

Originally posted by James Coscinu:

However, many Molotov cocktails (like those which Finns used in the Winter War) contain far more reactives than just gasolines (petrol etc.) - they can have phospore, sulphure acid, natrium or any highly reactive, burning sample. Thus, they can even burn straighth throug THIN armor (let's say bottom or top) - however, that's rare. Molotovs are not napalm or thermite, they are basicly high-temperature burning liquid in a broken bottle.

I confirm it: Molotov Cocktails were "invented" by the fins and were originaly gasoline+sulphuric acid. That's why they call it "cocktails". Nowadays any burning bottle is called Molotov cocktail.

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- 12/3/2001 8:12:00 PM   
Jacc

 

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I am a finn. Finnish Molotovs were produced at Alko factories at Rajamäki (I think ) - the ones which now produce large amounts of alcoholic products for us - so they were not simple weapons. But highly effective. However, the idea of a Molotov is older, and is not certain where it was used first. The name is of Finnish origin, the legend of Soviets finding the name is nonsense (according to war history and reports of English and American reporters during the Winter War 1939 November - 1940 March.

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- 12/4/2001 2:43:00 AM   
pax27

 

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I think the Molotov would have been as effective against russian troops if you took the rag out of it and wrote Vodka on it before you threw it.
They´d all take a sip and be out of battle with a sour tummy!

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- 12/4/2001 7:23:00 AM   
RichardTheFirst

 

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Hey Coscinu:
Wasn't Molotov one of your generals?

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- 12/4/2001 1:00:00 PM   
Mike Rothery

 

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This issue has been debated before. The problem is not the "too hit" figure but the damage. There is only one flame weapon in SPWAW, be it a molotov of a Crocodile flame thrower, and they all do the same damage. Flame attack versus tanks, even WW2 tanks, is always more spectacular than effective. There are some after action reports by the US airforce to show that Napalm hits on T34's in Korea had a very low kill rate, way below the number of kills claimed by the pilots. Kills from rocket attacks came out very close to the claims by comparison.

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- 12/4/2001 4:58:00 PM   
Tom Terror

 

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quote:

Originally posted by RichardTheFirst:
Hey Coscinu:
Wasn't Molotov one of your generals?

Molotov was the soviet minister of foreign affairs. So Molotov cocktail very likely translates into (deadly) cocktail for molotov. TomT

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- 12/4/2001 8:20:00 PM   
Larry Holt

 

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Molotovs were used in the Spanish Civil War before WWII so I am not sure if the Finns used them first. Perhaps the Finns had them prior to the Spanish war but I am not sure. Molotovs that are manufactured as weapons (as opposed to those that soldiers just make in the field) have non flamable igniters, that is chemicals that burn when mixed or exposed to air. Thus there is no need to show a flame or find a match (it could be raining out) to use them.

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- 12/4/2001 10:41:00 PM   
Tommy

 

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Originally posted by James Coscinu: ... Molotovs are not napalm or thermite, they are basicly high-temperature burning liquid in a broken bottle... I beleive that most of the Molotovs had a "thickener" added, such as wax (parafin) or soap. This made it a "napalm; gelled gasoline" that would stick & burn longer.
Check out: Winter War "Molotov" page Note the reference to adding tar to make smoke to suppress the target. Tommy

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- 12/4/2001 10:46:00 PM   
Tommy

 

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Oh, one more thing. I just had 5 squads of Soviet SMG's surround a Mk IV. They threw all 10 of their molotovs at it - without a kill. The tank bugged out backwards in retreat. Yah, I know, the sights on the bottles must have been bent causing the poor aim. Or maybe they had to empty the Vodka first to recycle the bottles. Tommy

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