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Contents:
  1. Companion to East Timor - Napalm
  2. Napalm: A True American Tale
  3. Navigation menu
  4. Municipal Waste & Napalm Death
  5. Napalm and The Dow Chemical Company | American Experience | Official Site | PBS

During World War II, American scientists re-investigated this weapon, in a team led by Louis Fieser who an older generation of chemists will associate with an organic chemistry textbook. Just like the Byzantines, they found that adding a thickening agent to the fuel created something that burned longer and also tended to stick to surfaces.

Companion to East Timor - Napalm

Their thickening agent was a soap-like material based on aluminum naphthenate and aluminium palmitate. The name napalm was derived from the first parts of the words naphthalene and palmitate. When they mixed this with gasoline, they got a viscous sticky brown liquid which burned more slowly and produced higher temperatures, making it a very effective weapon for fire-bombing cities, for example.

Since then this formula has been refined many times. Despite the fact it contained neither naphthalene nor palmitate, it became known as napalm B. It came into combat use in the Korean War and even though it has been used by many countries in different conflicts since then, it is imperishably associated with the Vietnam War. There is a photo of a nine-year-old Vietnamese victim of a misdirected napalm attack running down a road. She is naked because she has ripped off her burning clothes.

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Napalm has not been outlawed as a weapon of war, but a United Nations convention forbids its use against civilian populations. Napalm is not beautiful, it is obscene.

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Napalm: A True American Tale

Edition: Available editions United Kingdom. Simon Cotton , University of Birmingham. Flamethrower Tank in Vietnam. Donn A Starry.

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US riverboat using napalm in Vietnam. Pulitzer prize-winning photograph of the Vietnam War.

Syria Chemical weapons. You might also like Turkish and US troops on patrol in northern Syria. With assistance from the others, he gingerly lugged a live pound napalm bomb, bolted nose down on a metal stand, to the center of the lagoon.


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A wire ran to a control box on dry ground. Firemen and groundskeepers looked on. Players 50 feet away traded forehands.


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Fieser flipped a switch. High explosives blasted incendiary white phosphorus into 45 pounds of jellied gasoline. A spectacular, billowing 2,degree-Farenheit fire cloud rose over the field. Lumps of searing, flaming napalm splashed into the water.

Municipal Waste & Napalm Death

Oily smoke filled the air. Assistants plunged into the muck, splashed water on burning blobs, and used their sticks to submerge and extinguish larger gobbets. They noted the location and size of chunks, and scooped salvageable jelly into buckets for weighing. Tennis players scattered. Hunks of gel hissed, flickered, and died.

Napalm and The Dow Chemical Company | American Experience | Official Site | PBS

A pungent aroma of phosphorus, like garlic or burning matches, mixed with the oily smell of gasoline, hung in the air over the flooded field and empty tennis courts. Napalm bombs had arrived in the world. View the discussion thread.