Glossary of terms

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a substance used in ships and submarines to make them heavier and more stable, such as water, sand or iron


a building or group of buildings used to accommodate military personnel


continuous firing on an area with large guns, tanks or naval guns


about 550 to 1000 infantry troops usually commanded by a lieutenant colonel


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


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


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


the countries or groups that are fighting each other in a war


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


a temporary camp made by soldiers or mountain climbers

black market

a system in which goods are sold and bought illegally, often due to a controlled or rationed market for such goods


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


attacking a place or target with continuous heavy gunfire or bombs


an old-fashioned Australian and New Zealand slang term for 'excellent'


to break through a heavily defended section of an enemy's defences


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


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


a place built with strong walls to protect it against heavy gunfire and bombing, usually underground