Glossary of terms

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W
View all
A
Admiralty a government department responsible for the command of the Royal Navy in the Kingdom of Great Britain, from 1801 to 1964, the United Kingdom and former British Empire
Allies in World War I, the powers of the Triple Entente (France, Russia and the UK) together with the nations allied with them; in World War II the countries that fought against the Axis
amputation to surgically cut all or part of an arm or leg because it's seriously injured or diseased
anglicise to change something so that it resembles or becomes part of the English culture or language
Anglo-Celtic an inhabitant of Australia who was or whose ancestors were born in the British Isles
anti-Semitism hostility to and prejudice against Jewish people.
Anzacs the soldiers serving with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC)
armistice an agreement between opposing governments or military forces to suspend conflict and discuss peace terms; a truce
armour tanks and other armoured military vehicles used in battle
arms race a situation in which two countries or groups of countries are continually trying to get more and better weapons than each other
artillery large, powerful guns that are transported on wheels and used by an army, or the section of an army trained to use large, powerful guns - also 'artillerymen or gunners'
assault a strong attack made on an area held by the enemy
Axis, the in World War II, the alliance of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Japan
B
ballast a substance used in ships and submarines to make them heavier and more stable, such as water, sand or iron
barracks a building or group of buildings used to accommodate military personnel
barrage continuous firing on an area with large guns, tanks or naval guns
battery a set of artillery pieces, guns or mortars kept together in one place
battery ranging an artillery method that attempts to identify the distance and range of enemy artillery from own artillery
bayonet a long sharp blade attached to the end of a rifle, intended as a weapon but used for other tasks, such as opening cans of rations
beachhead an area of land next to the sea or a waterway gained by an attacking force and from where it can try to advance inland
belligerent the countries or groups that are fighting each other in a war
belligerents the countries or groups that are fighting each other in a war
billet a private house, barn or other accommodation that provides temporary lodging to soldiers during a war
bite and hold seize a small piece of territory within artillery range and hold it before trying to seize another small piece of territory
bivouac a temporary camp made by soldiers or mountain climbers
blockade an action to block or cut off a nation's sea lines of communications, especially of an individual port by the use of sea power
bombard to attack a place or target with continuous heavy gunfire or bombs
bombardment to attack a place or target with continuous heavy gunfire or bombs
bonzer an old-fashioned Australian and New Zealand slang term for 'excellent'
breach to break through a heavily defended section of an enemy's defences
breastwork a temporary defensive work, such as a breast-high wall or mound of sandbags, also known as the 'rampart'; the 'parapet' is the top part of the breastwork
British describes an object or a subject (person, colony, dominion) belonging to either Great Britain, the United Kingdom or the British Empire
British Empire the United Kingdom and the former territories under its control, which reached its greatest extent at the end of World War I
bully beef tinned corned beef
C
cacolet a seat or bed fitted to a camel or mule for carrying sick or wounded people
cadet a student or young person undergoing military training, usually before full entry to the services, especially for officer status
calibre the width of the inside of a gun's barrel
casualties a person who is injured or killed in a war
casualty a person who is injured or killed in a war
Catafalque a temporary raised platform on which a body lies in state before or during a funeral
catalyst a person or thing that causes a change or event to happen
Catholic a member of the Catholic Church, the branch of Christianity
cavalry the group of soldiers in an army who fight on horseback
ceasefire an arrangement in which countries or groups of people that are fighting each other agree to stop fighting
celerity swiftness in acting or moving; speed
censor to officially examine letters of the media and cut out any information that is regarded as secret
cipher a secret system of writing used to send encrypted messages
civilian describes a person who is not a member of the armed forces
coalition an alliance between two or more nations, groups or political parties, especially for some temporary and specific reason
collier a ship designed to transport coal
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W