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Incendiary bomb

From Academic Kids

Incendiary bombs are bombs designed to start fires or destroy sensitive equipment using materials such as napalm, thermite, or white phosphorus. Napalm proper is no longer in use by the United States Army although reportedly similar derivative compounds are currently in active use.

Incendiary bombs, also known as fire bombs, were used as an effective bombing weapon in WWII. The large shells of the bombs would be filled with an initial explosive, which would start off a raging fire. The fire would burn at extreme temperatures that could destroy most buildings. The German Blitz on London with incendiary bombs created a massive storm of swirling fire. The effect of the bombs was that as the fire, hungry for air, sucked in everything and jumped from building to building. The bombing of Dresden in World War II is a source of controversy to this day.

Modern incendiary bombs usually contain thermite, made from aluminium and iron oxide (Rust). The most effective formula is 25% aluminium and 75% iron oxide. It takes very high temperatures to ignite, but when alight, it can burn through solid steel. It is used to burn through heavy armor or as a quick welding mechanism.

Use of incendiary weapons against civilian targets with no military function was banned by Protocol III of the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.

See also

de:Brandbombe

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