June 15, 2014

MOLOTOV: THE MAN AND THE COCKTAIL



The Winter War 1939-1940 - Part 1 - How to Destroy a Tank (00:04:04m)


Have you ever wondered why they call it a Molotov Cocktail? During the Winter War in the early throes of World War 2 the Soviets air-dropped tons of incendiary and cluster bombs on Finnish targets and fortifications. This set off a storm of condemnation against the Soviets, and when asked why they were bombing innocent Finnish people, Soviet Minister Vyacheslav Molotov wryly answered that he was not bombing them, but was instead delivering food to the starving population.

In no time at all the Finns started to call these air bombings, "Molotov Bread Baskets". But the term quickly evolved into "Molotov Cocktails" when the Finns began launching retaliatory strikes against advancing Russian tanks using home-made incendiary "Molotov Cocktails". The Finns aptly called it "a drink to go with the food."

This is just one of Molotov's enduring legacies, that makes him second to Stalin as one of the most evil mass murderers in history.

As Stalin's protege, Molotov was complicit in numerous war crimes. In the period 1932-33, he implemented Stalin's policy for the collectivization of agriculture, and committed an endless series of horrendous atrocities; the violent deportation of millions of kulaks to the notorious Soviet labor camps where they were worked to death, or died from exposure in sub-arctic elements.  Molotov also signed the Law of Spikelets, and was personally involved in directing the massive confiscation of 4.2 million tonnes of grain from Ukrainian farmers.  It instigated a man-made famine that killed over 10 million Ukrainians. It was genocide, the Holodomor, a fact which the Soviet administration continues to deny to this day.  Furthermore, during the Great Purge (1934-40) Molotov personally approved over 370 execution lists, far exceeding that of any other Soviet leader including Stalins'

The least known but among the most sinister was the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact signed by Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs Molotov and Foreign Minister of the German Nazi Reich Joachim von Ribbentrop. This pact was a secret protocol contained in the Soviet German Non-Aggression Agreement signed on August 23, 1939 on the very cusp of World War 2.  It laid the basis for the joint German and Soviet invasion of Poland. On September 1, 1939, the German armies invaded Poland from the north, west and south.  Then on September 17, 1939, the Soviet armies invaded from the east converging with their German counterparts, and partitioning sovereign Polish territory between them.

In the battles that ensued during that September every Polish military unit on the ground, and in the air was mobilized. Though the Poles were outnumbered and outclassed by German war materiel, they did not succumb easily but fought like "mad-men" to defend their beloved homeland.  Even Polish civilians participated in defense tactics by erecting barricades and digging trenches. Throughout the war, the Polish Underground secretly began to stockpile a variety of weapons, in preparation for the Uprising (August 1944). Needless to say, guns and rifles were hard to come by, difficult to conceal and the consequence of being caught hording them, was death on the spot. The Polish resistance had to augment their meager supplies by manfacturing a variety of weapons such as home-made grenades, flame-throwers, and of course, Molotov Cocktails - along with the ingenious contraptions used to launch them upon those nasty tanks.

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