Glossary of terms

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to deliberately damage or destroy an object during a war


to save useful or valuable items from a damaged ship or building


the firing of several guns or missiles at the same time in a battle


a soldier whose job is to do building, digging and similar construction work


a person who is publicly blamed for something bad that has happened, even though it was not their fault


a military tactic that uses either a body of cavalry to screen the advance of an attacking infantry force or a naval force to protect the main body of ships


to sink a ship deliberately


a strong woollen cloth used to make clothes, such as nurses' uniform dresses


a metal container full of an explosive substance and fired from a large gun; (verb) to fire shells at something from a large gun - shelled, shelling, shellfire

shell shock

a confused or nervous mental condition of people who have been under fire in a war


consists of small pieces of metal that are scattered from exploding bombs or shells


a military tactic where soldiers surround a place in an attempt to force its people to come out or give up control of the place


a small short-lived military battle

smoke shell

a shell filled with white phosphorus fired by artillery to screen advancing troops


a person who shoots at people from a hidden position


a river in northern France where battles took place during World War I


very dirty, unpleasant conditions


a military situation where two opposing forces find that further action is either impossible or pointless


a compartment in a stable or shed for confining or feeding an animal

Stolen Generations

describes the children of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent who were forcibly removed from their families between 1871 and 1970 under various federal and state laws


to attack a place from an aircraft by flying low and firing a lot of bullets - also 'ground strafing'

stretcher case

someone who has to be taken away on a stretcher because they are too injured or sick to walk


a crucial point in a defensive position, usually strongly fortified and heavily armed, and protected by other positions nearby


to give up to an enemy or to relinquish control or power over something