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Rum ration and the Tommy in WW1

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Joined: 04 Nov 2011
Posts: 178
Location: Marvelous Madera Ranchos, CA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:57 pm    Post subject: Rum ration and the Tommy in WW1 Reply with quote

Found another fascinating rabbit trail while perusing through the otherwise light and PR-ish website The Drinks Business, a 15 part series written by one Rupert Millar titled "Wine and Warfare".

From the first article, published Dec. 16, 2013 (a 2 page piece starting with Rome part 1 and part 2 ) to the last posted Jan. 15, 2014 (about the wine making regions in New Zealand named after the Duke of Marlborough and his estate, Blenheim) these stories suck you in so that you lose all track of time and when finishing one, when you glance at the clock at the bottom of your screen (or hear the mantle piece chime) you are astounded at how long you've been entranced!

With the exception of the 8th chapter, which was rather gruesome in dealing with the treatment of war wounded and how the use of alcohol as a cleansing agent (and an anesthetic of a different kind) came into use, until being supplanted by penicillin, treatment procedures developed on the battlefield, etc. all the articles are not too heavy on military tactics and/or history, but are well written regardless.

As for the title of this post, one can read it here, although earlier posts on "Dutch courage", "Pedro Ximenez" and a later one on "The Molotov Cocktail" can be found here, here and here, respectively.

And regarding the Molotov Cocktail, while the article mentions that the first use of this "make shift weapon" was noted to have “...made an appearance during the Spanish Civil War when Franco’s Nationalists used them against Soviet supplied T-26 tanks in 1936...To be truly effective a fire bomb had to deliver a decent amount of propellant onto its target, jam jars had been used in the Spanish Civil War but the Finns used bottles.

The Finnish alcohol monopoly, Alko, converted its distilleries and bottling plants over to the mass production of fire bombs. It produced some 450,000 during the course of the short war.

The Rajamäki distillery – which to this day bottles Finlandia vodka – was one of the key plants for the production of fire bombs."

For my part, I'll avoid vodka as it is not only tasteless, colorless and odorless, according to US statute, as I've mentioned before, but it was also weaponized! Er....OK, the distillery was geared towards production of weapons, " Although they were produced at vodka distilleries, vodka was not the main propellant used (most soldiers would probably have begun drinking them if they were vodka based)."

That doesn't change my view anyway Razz

At least the English, when the Highland Clearances were going on in Scotland, stopped the playing of the pipes as instruments of war, tried to stop distilling, and later reversed course on those things! Mr. Green
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