Glossary of terms

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C
commandeer officially take charge of a vehicle, vessel, building, supplies or equipment for a military purpose
commerce raiding a form of naval warfare that disrupt logistics of the enemy on the open sea by attacking its merchant shipping
compensation money or anything given as an equivalent to make amends for losses or damages
conscription when citizens are made to join their country's military force, such as the army
contingent a group of military personnel serving on the same side or for the same cause
convalesce to rest and recover health after an illness or operation
convoy a group of ships with an escort of warships, or a group of vehicles travelling together with a military escort
cordite a smokeless explosive substance used in bombs and guns
cot case a person too ill to leave their bed
counter-attack a military attack in response to an attack
D
decoration an official title or honour given to someone, usually in the form of a medal, as a reward for military bravery
degenerate to become worse in some way
delegation a small group of people sent to a place to have talks with other people as representatives of a larger group of people
demobilise to release troops from military service - demobilisation (noun)
deploy to organise and position troops, weapons or resources ready for action - deployment (noun)
descent a person's family background, especially their nationality or social status
deserter someone who leaves their job in the armed forces without permission
destroyer a small, heavily armed warship
detachment a group of soldiers sent away from the main group to do a special job
digger an Australian or New Zealander, especially a soldier; often used as a term of address
diorama a miniature three-dimensional scene with models of figures arranged against a background
dirigible an airship, such as a zeppelin
disembark to unload goods or passengers from a ship or aeroplane
dismount to get down from a bicycle or horse
dispatch a message or report that is sent by army officers or government officials to their headquarters - also 'despatch'
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
E
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
F
feint a mock attack or military movement designed to distract an adversary
fire-effect
flagship the most important ship in a fleet, on which the commander of the fleet sails
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
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
G
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
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'
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