Fascinating Finland Facts: The Molotov Cocktail was a Finnish Invention
#At the onset of the Second World War, the USSR demanded Finland cede substantial border territories for strategic defense purposes in exchange for land elsewhere. When Finland refused, the Soviet Union invaded Finland on November 30, 1939, instigating what would later be known as the Winter War.
At the time, the Soviet foreign minister was Vyacheslav Molotov, who was known for being the architect of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with Nazi Germany, which stipulated that Germany would not intervene in the war. He was also notorious for producing propaganda during the Winter War in order to placate the international community, which largely sided with Finland. On Soviet state radio Molotov claimed that the bombing missions over Finland were actually humanitarian food parcels. As a result, these cluster bombs were nicknamed “Molotov bread baskets”. When Finnish troops started attacking Soviet tanks with combustible bottles, they nicknamed the firebombs “Molotov cocktails”, as they were a “drink to go with his food parcels.”