Napalm is the name given to any of a number of flammable liquids used in warfare, often jellied gasoline. Napalm is actually the thickener in such liquids, which when mixed with gasoline makes a sticky incendiary gel. Developed by the U.S. in World War II by a team of Harvard chemists led by Louis Fieser, its name is a portmanteau of the names of its original ingredients, co-precipitated aluminum salts of naphthenic and palmitic acids. These were added to the flammable substance to cause it to gel.
One of the major problems of early incendiary fluids was that they splashed and drained too easily. The U.S. found that a gasoline gel increased both the range and effectiveness of flamethrowers, but was difficult to manufacture because it used natural rubber, which was in high demand for other purposes (e.g. truck tires) and was expensive. Napalm provided a far cheaper alternative, solving the issues involved with rubber-based incendiaries.
Napalm 877 was used in flamethrowers and bombs by the U.S. and Allied forces, to increase effectiveness of flammable liquids. The substance is formulated to burn at a specific rate and adhere to materials. Napalm is mixed with gasoline in various proportions to achieve this. Another useful (and dangerous) effect, primarily involving its use in bombs, was that napalm "rapidly deoxygenates the available air" as well as creating large amounts of carbon monoxide causing suffocation. Napalm bombs were notably used in the Vietnam War.
Napalm was created at Grantville High School and used at the Battle of the Wartburg, in which it effectively burned and killed Spanish soldiers and Inquisition priests trapped in the Wartburg castle. Napalm was also used to clear trenches at the Battle of Alte Veste.
Before the deployment of napalm, Rebecca Stearns was confused by the concept until Michael Stearns compared it to Greek Fire. Melissa Mailey learned how to make napalm from a former boyfriend who was an anarchist in the 1960s.
In January of 1636, clay jugs filled with napalm were dropped on a village between Ingolstadt and Regensburg which was being used as a base by Bavarian cavalry under Colonel Johann von Troiberz. They were dropped from airships, which made this the new universe's first aerial incendiary bombing.