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Thermite was also used in both German and Allied incendiary bombs during World War II. Incendiary bombs usually consisted of dozens of thin canisters (bomblets). Incendiary bombs destroyed entire cities due to the raging fires that resulted from their use. Cities that primarily consisted of wooden buildings were especially susceptible. These incendiary bombs were utilized primarily during night time air raids. Bomb sights could not be used at night, creating the need to use munitions that could destroy targets without the need for precision placement.
Thermite usage is hazardous due to the EXTREMELY HIGH TEMPERATURES produced and the extreme difficulty in smothering a reaction once initiated. The thermite reaction releases dangerous ultra-violet (UV) light requiring that the reaction not be viewed directly, or that special eye protection (for example, a welder's mask) be worn. Small streams of molten iron released in the reaction can travel considerable distances and may melt through metal containers, igniting their contents.