The simplest anti-tank gun … but effective

Incendiary bottles were effective means of dealing with armored vehicles in melee

Flame-incendiary weapon is the responsibility of chemical forces. But one of its type in the years majestically Russian war was used only grunts. It is a question of incendiary bottles.

A cheap and common in the manufacture of "glass grenades" for the first time found a common use against tanks in civilian war in Spain. Bottles filled with gasoline on the basis of consistency and cork, wrapped in rags, which burned in front of a visible target. The best option was to hit the grid vozduhopoglotitelya engine (engine and transmission) separating the armored vehicle — then got into a blazing gasoline engine, causing a fire inside the tank and the detonation of ammunition. In the summer of 1939 Russian tank crews faced with Japanese "butylochnikami" at the Halkin-Gol, and in the winter of 1939-1940 — the Finnish on the Karelian Isthmus.

The fiery "cognac"

Charter of the Red Army infantry combat in 1940 had already proposed to create a group of tank destroyers with bundles of grenades and incendiary bottles to combat tanks broke through the defense in depth. This recommendation is very much needed at the beginning of stateliness Russian. Marshal Bagramyan recalled the first weeks of the war in the South-Western Front: "There was a shortage of artillery — met them (the German tanks. — SF) ligaments pomegranate. Unfortunately, grenades and it was not always pretty. Then remembered about the experience of Republican Spain, began collecting bottles, fill them with gasoline … conventional weapon, but in a daring and experienced hands quite effective. "

The order of the Supreme High Command of 6 July 1941 claimed: "… in order to intensify the fight against the enemy tanks immediately to the regiments and battalions, companies and teams to exterminate the enemy tanks. In these commands to allocate more daring, brave and energetic people. Teams armed with anti-tank grenades, bottles filled with burning liquid packages with explosive substances in the presence of fire points — light tanks, flame-throwers. " A July 7, 1941 Municipal Defense Committee adopted a resolution "On anti-incendiary grenades (bottles)," reads:

"1. Oblige Narkompischeprom USSR (that Zotov) organize from July 10 to. equipment, the liter bottles of viscous consistency flamethrower (the recipe SRI-6 NCU) in the amount of 120 000 units a day, why would oblige:

a) Glavneftesbyt (ie Donchenko) provide Narkompischepromu USSR cracked gasoline and kerosene by 50 tons per day from July 10 to. city;

b) Narkomrezinprom (that Mitrokhin) provide Narkompischepromu USSR rubber rings (according to the drawings of NII-6 NCU) at 240,000 units. per day to the 10th of July with. city;

c) People's Commissariat of the USSR (that Saltykov) to ensure delivery of the USSR Narkompischepromu ignition devices for 120,000 sets (one float and two fuse according to the drawings of NII-6 NCU) per day from 10 July to. g ".

Beer and vodka bottles or 1 liter of 0.5-0.75 were filled with flammable solution number 1 and number 3. For the manufacture of gasoline used cars, non-aviation kerosene, naphtha, thickened with a special powder OP-2 on the basis of aluminum naphthenate, developed in 1939 by AP ions in the SRI-6 (People's Commissariat of ammunition). Viscous ognesmesi intended for jet flame throwers, but needed for Molotov cocktails — the combustion gave the same huge flame as single-grade fuel, burned continuously, consistently and perfectly stuck to the iron surfaces. In this they were like napalm, had appeared in 1942 in the United States. Burning time consistencies number 1 and number 3 (usually had a dark brown color) — 40-60 seconds, developed temperature — 700-800o C, created by burning black smoke after combustion — rigid opaque film.

Military Engineer 3rd Rank K. Soldadze, who served in a separate special purpose motorized division of the NKVD, the latest developed viscous ognesmes BGS (for baseline bukovkoy component consistency, obtained from petroleum fractions — the head and the solvent benzene), which since 1941 also were filled with incendiary bottles .

The effectiveness of their implementation depended not only on the content, and the type of fuse. Sometimes a bottle cork and stopped in front of a prominent fighter had to change her gag rag soaked with gasoline, and the last — to ignite. The operation took a long time and made "a glass grenade," the least effective and insecure. Could serve as a fuse and two longish match covered incendiary composition throughout the length and attached to a bottle of gum. Fighter inflamed them before prominent float or ordinary matchbox.

Since August 1941 used a more reliable chemical fuse AT Cucina, MA Shcheglova and PS Solodovnik: rubber band was attached to the bottle vial of sulfuric acid, potassium chlorate salt and powdered sugar — here show the development of the idea of chemical "sunk Kibalchicha , "which was set at the People still own bombs. The mixture is ignited, a vial broke up with a bottle, its effect is not dependent on the weather, the availability of matches, etc. In order to increase the reliability of fire on target, to strengthen one bottle in a circle four vials. In Tula, GA Korobov developed a common igniter mechanism based on load rifle cartridge and a spring-loaded firing pin with a cotter pin: check held down a rope wrapped around the bottle when she broke up, drummer pierced primer cartridge just in time for spilling flammable water. Chemical and pyrotechnic igniters increased reliability of operation and safety of the appeal with incendiary bottles, but to prepare them as before in the trenches had immediately before use.

More effective were "glass grenades" with hypergolic liquid KS — the tip of the "evolution" of incendiary bottles. It was a yellow-green or dark brown solution containing carbon disulphide, white phosphorus and sulfur, which had a low melting point (or composition had a smell of rotten eggs). Burning time such water — 2-3 minutes, the temperature is — 800-1000 ° C is produced during the combustion of abundant snow-white smoke gave to the same glare.

Abbreviation of the COP and transcribed as "Koshkinsky mixture" (named after the inventor N. Koshkin), and as "Kachurin-Solodovnyk" (by the names of other developers incendiary consistencies). But the director of the Institute of fertilizers, insecticides and fungicides SI Volfkovich in his own memoirs: "Great importance was made in the first period of the war the work of Kuzmin and Sergeyev, who proposed a self-igniting phosphorus-sulfur composition (CC). Mass production of bottles with this lineup for the first time was at the pilot plant cooperated NIIUIF NN Postnikov, KI Makarin, A. Soloviev, EE Zusser, ND Talanov … As a result of profound physical and chemical analysis of the different parameters of the compositions of staff NIUIF developed measures, eliminating the danger of breaking glass and iron vessels with the COP (by VV Illarionov, R. E. Belt and creator of this article), for which he was awarded the Merit Marshal artillery "(in other words, the Red Army Chief of Artillery NN Voronov. — SF).

The mixture is called the COP and the "old cognac" and "insidious mixture", and "cocktail of death." But its more famous nickname — "Molotov cocktail", then spread generally to all types of incendiary bottles. To protect the self-igniting water from contact with the air before the introduction of the top layer of water and poured kerosene usually greased tube and reinforced with tape or wire. On the bottle instead of an ordinary label pasted on the application of conventional control (in
general, due to hurry across manufacturing and bottles with labels preserved "Vodka" or "Port"). The thin-walled vial of liquid and the COP to be used as a fuse for a bottle of gasoline or naphtha.


August 2, 1941 the People's Commissar of Defense, Stalin approved the annotations for use of incendiary bottles. According to her regiments and divisions began the formation and training of fighters tanks with incendiary bottles. Throwing distance was set to 30 m, but in reality it was equal to 15-20 m

Initial distrust infantrymen to "The Glass" soon gave way to astonishment: "The tanks are burning off bottles!". The commander of the 1st Guards Infantry Division, Major-General JH Russiyanov recalled how after the first battle with the use of "hand-glass artillery" German prisoner-Corporal tanker was: "If I had known that such a massive Russian incendiary weapon, I would have turned back. " When we showed him a "powerful incendiary weapons," he was very surprised. "

But "undermine" the tank alone bottles was very hard. From the memoirs of DF Medvedev, Commissioner of the 2nd Battalion of the 30th Regiment, 13th Division Rostokinskiy militia that fought in September 1941 at the Smolensk direction: "… We started to collect bottles of fuel, formed a group of 18 people and I was sent to these people undermine the tanks. Went to the right, to the river, where there was a ditch. There must have been, according to our assumption, the tanks to cross. We were there to their Kindle. When we crawled up to the intersection, the Germans saw opened fire on us distracted from the tanks … We all got into the same anti-crack. On one of our men caught a bullet bottle with fuel. He lit up. I had to tear off and throw it all quite naked. We stayed there until dark. One man crawled and threw the bottle. The bottle caught fire, but the tank is turned into the wind, passed the turn, and the wind blew fire. Destroy the tank failed. "

In autumn 1941 a group of tank destroyers were set up in all parts of the rifle of the Red Army. Any group consisted of 9-11 people who had not counting the small guns and anti-tank grenades 14-16 15-20 incendiary bottles. Recent applied not only in defense. Thus, in the Annotations on the organization of the coming declared by the troops of the 29th Army September 23, 1941, stated: "During the attack the infantry stormed the enemy firing points, it is using hand grenades, Molotov consistency, then goes into the bayonets."

Throwing bottles turned out to be the best out of the trenches and cracks — especially in the feed tank or assault gun after they pass over the cover. Hit the bottle in the frontal part of the tank is usually only a "blinded" crew. Throws out of shelters or from the shallow trench led to huge losses in the middle of the fighters. In the case of robbery at the hands of ill-advised move, or from falling bullets bottle immediately ignited.

The best results gave the introduction of bottles and garnet, together with other anti agents. In the autumn of 1941 under the Moscow group of tank destroyers tried to give 1-2 antitank guns. Such measures allow small units "during the tank attack not only cut off the enemy's infantry, and take pro-active role in dealing with the tanks themselves." Practicing "anti-nodes" — about an anti-gun and anti-tank riflemen possessed shooters with an automatic weapon and incendiary bottles.

Directive Western Front commander, Army General Georgy Zhukov on 19 October 1941 ordered "to put on the rear lines and rear anti-roads groups consisting of 1-2 guns PTI platoon of fighters with hand grenades and bottles COP platoon of sappers with mine company shooters. " A day or two after the military council issued an order to form a front "in each infantry regiment, one anti-tank fighter squad in the middle of the 1st commander and 15 soldiers, including the Department of engineers … 150 anti-tank grenades, 75 bottles of COP PCA — 3, anti-tank mines, assault rifles … Each infantry division — two fighter squad … three mobile army unit. " At the same time began to appear anti-bases on advanced and anti-areas in the depth of the defense. In an order to all army commanders, commanders of divisions and regiments of the Western Front stated: "Fighters tanks with anti-tank grenades, grenades and ligaments ordinary bottles of flammable liquid are efficient means of close combat against tanks. Group of tank destroyers are to be prepared in each reference point. "

During the Battle of Stalingrad in each rifle company made 2-3 of tank destroyers, usually within 3-6 Red Army soldiers under the command of Sergeant, from time to time with the SSS 1-2 calculations. Each soldier had a rifle, shotgun or machine pistol, two hand grenades, anti-tank, 2-3 incendiary bottles. Seasoned fighters to defeat the 1st Tank spent an average of 2-3 "glass." Usually Infantry Division maintained unchanged in store incendiary bottles (2000-2500 units per division, a 700 — to Infantry Regiment).

Combat Infantry fatigued 1942 sought by each fighter "be able to destroy tanks. If the tanks come without infantry to hit their anti-tank grenades, Molotov consistency, keep fire on the viewing slots, throw a bunch of grenades and anti-tank mines under the tracks, tank fire to destroy … If the tanks come with the infantry, battle against tanks should be conducted only specially designated fighters, and all the others have to hit infantry fire and grenades. " Tank destroyers used such method — throw grenades or anti-tank grenades ligament in the chassis of the tank, and after stopping it — throw bottles at the stern. So Makar, for example, July 18, 1943 near the village of new life Corporal 3rd Machine Gun Company 290th Infantry Regiment PF Hramtsov set fire to two tanks of the enemy, and on June 4, 1944 Private 2nd Regiment of the 50th Infantry Division RS Smischuk in battle at Mount Rogl at Jassy destroyed 6 tanks.

The combination of hand grenades and incendiary bottles maintained to the end of the war. So, 17-25 February 1945 in the reflection of the 7 th Guards Army counter-attack enemy fighters fighters killed by Molotov cocktails at the bridgehead on the west bank of the river Hron (Czechoslovakia), 40 tanks, six armored personnel carriers, three assault guns. In Budapest, just a day after fighting January 10, 1945 assault groups and tank destroyers 155th Infantry Division spent 57 incendiary bottles.

"Fighting through the" bottle is impressive: according to official data, during the Russian majestically with their Russian soldiers killed 2,429 tanks and self-propelled guns and armored vehicles, 1189 pillboxes and bunkers, other ukrepsooruzheny 2547, 738 vehicles and 65 military depots.


Incendiary bottles used for the destruction of transport vehicles, bunkers, pillboxes, warehouses, aircraft on the ground, manpower, structures, devices, and combined fire barriers. Already in the defensive battles of Moscow and Leningrad, there were trees and fields of fire. In the fields of bottle incendiary bottles were placed in a checkerboard pattern, from time to time — in combination with anti-tank mines. The calculation was made of the fact that the tank or armored vehicle to crush the bottle, burning liquid spill on the chassis, forcing the crew of the brakes or turn around to knock down fire and run over with all this on a mine.

Order on the Western Front from 8 December 1941 contains the following examples: "Introduced 12/03/41 by a barrage on the front of the 5th Army was on for 4 hours, the flame height reached 3.2 meters and 4.5 meters in some places. Enemy tanks had to change the course
of battle and move along the defensive front, substituting under fire VET more vulnerable (lateral) part, resulting in artillery and anti-tank guns, bottles and flame-throwers before the shaft was destroyed 20 enemy tanks. Boom, arranged bottles of flammable liquid, arrested the movement of enemy tanks, and some of them in these fields on fire. Total bottle fields at the front of the 5th Army had been arranged with a total consumption of 15 to 70 bottles of 000 pieces. "

Amid war has spread the practice of creation "ogneminnyh bombs" — anti-tank mines around the radial fit about 20 bottles of the COP. Undermining mine was accompanied by the formation of the fiery pillar that smote tank. Another example of the ingenuity of our citizens have become "rocking tank": a frame made of iron pipes reinforced curved arc and buried structure so that when approaching the tank rocking tip over and threw bottles at COP tank. Not the case in September 1942 in the defense of the 37th Army on the west bank of the Terek and the south bank of the Baksan not counting the 26,250 anti-tank mines, 250 anti-tank ognefugasov found 300 "tank rocking."

As for all four years of war developed different methods of growth-range throw Molotov bottles. Already at first war the Red Army received a rifle for shooting mortars bottles, which is considered to be the creator of VA Zuckerman (later recognized physicist, Hero of Socialist Labor, laureate of Lenin and State prizes). Mortars was attached to the barrel Bayonet connection. Embedded in her bottle COP through the wood wad rested on the perforated membrane, carried blank shot (throwing) cartridge. Shooting was conducted with a focus butt into the ground. Firing range indicates a bottle of 80 m, maximum — 180 m

Near Moscow, small office was to have two such mortars, rifle platoon — 6-8. They were used and at Leningrad. Bottles for their chosen with a thick and sturdy glass and still often fought, accuracy was low, so why not get the popularity of mortars. Together with those at the front they used for throwing thermite grenades slow action or smoke signals — the shelling bunkers or pillboxes.

Butylkomety were coerced improvised means. Typically, in 1941 on the ground in NIABT Kubinka tested mortars for throwing Molotov cocktails to a small-caliber rifles and hunting guns, then that is arming the militia. Used and different "mechanical" butylkomety.

Incendiary bottles were used not only of the Red Army, and other armies. U.S. armed forces during the war spent more than 9 million bottles and incendiary grenades. Their evolution have been incendiary British infantry. She also had a bottle with gasoline or a more efficient phosphorus-consistency. On the application of the Wehrmacht incendiary bottles can be judged by the annotations for street fighting, the commander of the 1st Guards Tank Brigade, Major General Katukov December 6, 1941: "The enemy … often skips forward units and later leads from the rear fire at our troops, relieve the fuel bottle for our tanks. " In the German instructions mentioned bottles are filled up with petrol, suspended oil and fitted with a fuse in the form of a wick or matches.

And yet, for a total of incendiary bottles left title "Molotov cocktail" — shows a strong memory left on your own unique Russian recipe.

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