A Conversation for Molotov Cocktails

origin of 'molotov cocktail'

Post 1

Researcher 204761

You wrote "It is unclear how this occurred; either the name was given by the Finnish resistance in 1939, or it was given by Soviet soldiers when Molotov began to mass-produce these weapons".

It is obvious that the name was given by Finns during the Winter war of 1939-40. At that time there were over 30 different word combinations in Finnish language containing name of Molotov such as "Molotov's weather" = perfect weather for bombing or "Molotov's bread basket" = fragmentation bomb. Molotov cocktail is the only one of those which became internationally known due to British war correspondents.

Molotov cocktail could not be possibly given by soviet soldiers due to two reasons. Word "cocktail" was unknown in Russia at those time. Besides using name of Molotov in this ocasion would probably lead to GULAG due to political reasons.

origin of 'molotov cocktail'

Post 2

Martin Harper

You may well be right, but the history books give two different versions: yours, and another in which the soviets name the concoction. I mentioned both because I wasn't able to discover which version of history was accurate.
AFAIK, neither Finnish nor Russian includes the word 'cocktail', so in both cases the phrase 'Molotov Cocktail' would be a translation from the original language.

Why would use of the phrase by Russian soldiers lead to Gulag treatment? Molotov was in favour at the time, being a foreign minister. When used by Soviets, it'd obviously be a positive term. What on earth could be wrong with that?


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