Glossary of terms

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genocide the deliberate killing of a national, racial, political or cultural group of people or a policy intended to destroy them  
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'
green line a line of demarcation between two enemies in a conflict
gross domestic product (GDP) the total value of goods and services produced by a nation in a year
hardtack a hard, flat, saltless biscuit that formed part of navy or army rations
heave to to stop moving forward, especially a ship or vessel
heliograph an instrument with mirrors and a shutter used for sending messages in Morse code by reflecting the sun's rays
home front the country where civilians live
howitzer a large gun with a short barrel that fires shells high up into the air so that they drop down onto a target
in perpetuity describes as action or activity that's intended to last forever
incendiary describes a weapon designed to cause a small fire; dropped together from aircraft to cause widespread damage
indemnity an amount of money paid to someone because of some damage or loss they have suffered
infantry soldiers who fight on foot
internee a person put in prison for political reasons, especially an enemy citizen during wartime or a terrorism suspect
internment the practice of putting people, usually civilians, in prison for political reasons, especially enemy foreign nationals during wartime or terrorism suspects
jaunty naval slang for the master-at-arms, a senior sailor responsible for good order and discipline
kamikaze An attack on an enemy where the actor knows that they will be killed doing it
light case patient with lower-grade wounds or illness
lighter a flat-bottomed barge used for transporting cargo, especially to load or unload a ship
mackintosh a waterproof material made by cementing layers of cloth with rubber
mandate the authority to carry out a particular policy or task as a result of winning an election or vote
mateship comradeship of friends, usually male, viewed as an institution
medic a doctor who works with the armed forces, as part of a medical corps
merchant ship a ship that is part of a country's commercial shipping fleet, involved in transporting goods or carrying passengers; also known as a 'merchantman'
militia a group that operates like an army but whose members are not professional soldiers
mine a bomb hidden in the ground or in water that explodes when something touches it
minelayer a warship or aircraft designed for the carrying and laying of mines
mobilise to prepare a military forces for a conflict; mobilisation (noun)
Morse code a telegraph code used for sending messages
musketry the technique of using small arms
mustard gas a chemical weapon used during World War I that caused blistering, sore eyes and internal injuries
muzzle velocity the speed of a projectile as it leaves a gun's muzzle
neutral describes a country that does not support any belligerent in a war or conflict
no-man's-land an area of land that is not controlled by any side during a battle
obelisk a tall stone pillar built to commemorate a person or an important event
objective a place or position towards which forces are directed
occupation the control of a territory by a foreign military power
offensive a carefully planned attack made by a large formation or group of soldiers
Order of Battle the units, formation and equipment of a military force; might include its identification, strength and command structure, and the disposition of the personnel
Ottoman Empire the former Turkish empire in Europe, Asia and Africa, from the late 13th century until the end of World War I
outflank to go around the flank of an opposing army by moving past it so it can be attacked from the side
outpost a small group of buildings used for military purposes in a distant part of the country or in a foreign country
palliasse a straw-filled mattress
parapet a low wall along the edge of a tall structure, such as a bridge or roof
peacekeeper a member of a peacekeeping force deployed to maintain or restore peace, often defence force or police personnel
peacekeeping force a special force formed to maintain or restore peace
peacemaker a person who brings about peace, especially by reconciling adversaries
periscope a vertical tube inside a submarine that lets a person see above the surface of the water
pillbox a small building made of concrete used to defend a place in a battle