Glossary of terms

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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

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