The Role of Chemistry in History

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Use in Warfare

April 24th, 2008 · 1 Comment ·

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After liquid gasoline had been used in World War I and proven extremely dangerous, US chemists developed a thickener for gasoline which contributed to a more viscous and controllable substance. Napalm was first used in World War II in flame throwers and fire bombs. It came to particular attention during the Vietnam War. Its properties made it extremely useful in the warfare setting of the Vietnam jungle. Napalm was more efficient because it was less likely to damage the source (flame thrower, helicopter etc.) it was coming from. Also, the thickening agents slowed down the rate of burning which made it even easier to propel. 


A U.S. riverboat using Napalm


Tags: Napalm