Glossary of terms

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S
sniper a person who shoots at people from a hidden position
Somme a river in northern France where battles took place during World War I
squalor very dirty, unpleasant conditions
stalemate a military situation where two opposing forces find that further action is either impossible or pointless
stall 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 from the mid-1800s to the 1970s under various federal and state laws
strafe 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
strong-point a crucial point in a defensive position, usually strongly fortified and heavily armed, and protected by other positions nearby
surrender to give up to an enemy or to relinquish control or power over something
T
theatre of area or region where a war or conflict is happening, on land, on the sea or in the sky
torpedo a bomb that is shaped like a tube and travels under water
tourniquet a strip of cloth tied tightly around an injured arm or leg to stop bleeding
tow a towboat or tug used for pushing a barge or group of barges
transport a military vehicle, especially a ship or plane, that's used to carry soldiers or equipment
traverse a protective bank or other barrier across a trench
treaty a written agreement between countries to show they agree a particular action or to help each other
triage the practice of sorting battle casualties (sick and wounded people) into categories of priority for treatment
troopship a ship that carries a large number of soldiers from one place to another
Turk a person from the principal ethnic group of Türkiye or, formerly, the Ottoman Empire; a Turkic-speaking person
Türkiye the centre of the Ottoman Empire; became a republic in 1923
U
U-boat a German submarine
ultimatum a final offer issued in negotiations, the rejection of which can lead to a break in relations and some action
undercarriage the part of a plane, including the wheels, that provides support when it is on the ground and when it is landing or taking off
unexploded ordnance any sort of military ammunition or explosive ordnance that has failed to function as intended
United Kingdom (UK) refers to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1 January 1801 to 5 December 1922, or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 5 December 1922
upper class describes a group of people in a society who have the highest economic or social status
V
vanguard the part of a military force that goes into battle first; 'van' for short
veteran a person who served in the armed forces of their country during a war or peacekeeping mission
Victoria Cross (VC) the highest decoration for gallantry in the face of the enemy awarded to members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces
Viet Cong a communist guerrilla force that sought to overthrow the South Vietnamese government, later allied with North Vietnam
W
war cry a rallying cheer or slogan shouted by combatants in battle
warlike service Types of service determined by the Minister for Defence that may include military activities where the application of force is authorised to pursue specific military objectives and there is an expectation of casualties, including a declared state of war, conventional combat operations and peace enforcement operations.
weight of fire a measure of the quantity, density and intensity of artillery fire used to attack a target (see also 'fire-effect')
White Australia policy a term for the Immigration Restriction Act 1901 and its amendments, laws that prevented permanent migration of non-European peoples, especially Asians (mostly Chinese) and Pacific Islanders
wireless a telegraphy system that sends messages over a distance by radio signals