Glossary of terms

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dissident a person who disagrees with and criticises their government, especially because it is undemocratic
diversionary describes an action to distract the enemy from the main point of attack
dogfighting an aerial battle between opposing fighter planes
dominion a nation that was part of the British Empire but had its own government e.g. Australia from 1901 to 1953
dysentery an infection of the intestine with bacteria or protozoa, characterised by severe diarrhoea
egalitarian supporting the idea that all people are equal and should have the same rights and opportunities
embark to load goods or passengers onto a ship or aeroplane
enact to make a proposal into a law
encampment a group of tents in a particular place, especially those used by soldiers
enlist in to join a country's military force, such as the army - enlisted in, enlisting in; also enlistment (noun)
enteric fever another name for typhoid fever, an infection caused by ingestion of Salmonella typhosa bacteria with food or water
escort one or more guards, soldiers, vehicles or vessels who accompany others for protection, guidance or restraint, or as a symbol of honour
eugenics the study of methods to improve the human race by selecting parents who will produce children with desirable traits
euthanise to kill a person or animal painlessly, such as to relieve suffering from an incurable illness
expeditionary relating to a journey undertaken for an exploratory or military purpose
extortionist a person who gets something from someone by using force or threats
famine a situation when large numbers of people experience extreme hunger due to drought, overpopulation or civil war, and many of them die
feint a mock attack or military movement designed to distract an adversary
flagship the most important ship in a fleet, on which the commander of the fleet sails
flamethrower a weapon that sprays a stream of burning fuel, such as gasoline or napalm
Flanders a World War I battle area in Belgium's East and West Flanders, the Netherlands' Zeeland and France's Nord
fleet a group of ships organised to act together, such as fight a battle
foot pad an unmade minor walking trail formed only by foot traffic
fragmentation describes a weapon designed to explode into many small pieces, especially an anti-personnel weapon
front a line where two opposing military forces are facing each other
gallantry bravery shown by a person who is facing danger, for example when a soldier is fighting in a war
gangrene the decay in a part of a person's body if the blood stops flowing to it, as a result of illness or injury
garrison a group of soldiers who guard the town or building where they live
genocide the deliberate killing of a national, racial, political or cultural group of people or a policy intended to destroy them  
Great Britain refers to the island of England, Wales and Scotland, and its surrounding isles, but not Northern Ireland - 'Britain' for short
Great War the term used to describe World War I by the generation that lived through it - also 'First World War'
green line a line of demarcation between two enemies in a conflict
grenade a small bomb that can be thrown by hand
gross domestic product (GDP) the total value of goods and services produced by a nation in a year
guerrilla person who fights as part of an unofficial army, usually against an official army or police force
hardtack a hard, flat, saltless biscuit that formed part of navy or army rations
heave to to stop moving forward, especially a ship or vessel
heliograph an instrument with mirrors and a shutter used for sending messages in Morse code by reflecting the sun's rays
home front the country where civilians live
howitzer a large gun with a short barrel that fires shells high up into the air so that they drop down onto a target
humanitarian relates to the promotion of human welfare, dignity and respect
illiterate unable to read or write
in perpetuity describes as action or activity that's intended to last forever
incendiary describes a weapon designed to cause a small fire; dropped together from aircraft to cause widespread damage
indemnity an amount of money paid to someone because of some damage or loss they have suffered
infantry soldiers who fight on foot
insurgent person who fights against the army or government of their own country
internee a person put in prison for political reasons, especially an enemy citizen during wartime or a terrorism suspect
internment the practice of putting people, usually civilians, in prison for political reasons, especially enemy foreign nationals during wartime or terrorism suspects
jaunty naval slang for the master-at-arms, a senior sailor responsible for good order and discipline