World War II Glossary

A4 : [German] See Aggregat 4
Abschuß : [German] discharge of a gun
Abteilung : [German] branch, section (abbreviation: Abt.)
Abwehr : [German] German military intelligence service
AEF : [English] Allied Expeditionary Force, the combined forces of all Allied nations
Aggregat 4 : [German] The earlier name for the German V-2 rocket
AI : [English] Airborne Interception radar equipment fitted to fighters.
Airborne Cigar : [English] Electronic aircraft jammer to blot out enemy nightfighter radar channels.
AK : [Polish] The Armja Krajowa, or "Home Army", was the name of the Polish Resistance
Aktion T4 : [German] The Nazi plan to exterminate the disabled
Allgemeine SS : [German] Non-military branch of the SS
alpino : [Italian] mountain infantry (plural: alpini)
amidships : [English] The center area of a ship
Anderson Shelters : [English] Small and cheap Air-raid shelter that could be erected in people's gardens. Made from six curved sheets bolted together and measuring 6ft 6in by 4ft 6in (1.95m by 1.35m) the shelter could accommodate six people. Anderson shelters were given free to poor people, and those earning more than £5 a week could purchase them for £7. Soon after the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, over 2 million families had shelters in their garden. By the time of the Blitz this had risen to two and a quarter million.
Anker : [German] anchor
Anschluss : [German] The plan and the eventually successful annexation of Austria into German borders  [Read More]
ANZAC : [English] Australia and New Zealand Army Corps
armi d'accompagnamento : [Italian] support weapons
ARP : [English] Acronym for "Air Raid Precautions", which was an organization in the United Kingdom dedicated to the protection of civilians from the danger of air-raids.
Artillerie : [German] artillery (abbreviation: Art.)
Artilleriefährprahm : [German] German landing craft refitted with artillery pieces for naval bombardment
ASDIC : [English] The original British acronym for a sonic device that detects submarines, usually said to stand for Anti-Submarine Detection Investigation Committee, although there is little evidence that this was the case. Now usually called SONAR (Sound Navigation and Ranging).
ASV : [English] Air to Surface Vessel radar
Atlantic Wall : [English] English translation of the German term Atlantikwall; see Atlantikwall for more details
Atlantikwall : [German] The Atlantic Wall was the line of defenses along the 2,685-kilometer coast line from the Netherlands to the Spanish-French border. Construction of it began in 1942. It formed the basis for Adolf Hitler's Festung Europa concept.
ATS : [English] Acronym for "Auxiliary Territorial Service", which was a branch of the British Army in World War II consisted of women.
Backbord : [German] Backbord is the nautical term that refers to the left side of a ship, as perceived by a person facing towards the bow, or, the front of the ship. The term is also used for aircraft. The equivalent for the right-hand side is Steuerbord. (abbreviation: B.B.)
banderas : [Italian] Italian Blackshirt battalions fighting in Spain during the Spanish Civil War
bandit : [English] Allied code name for any aircraft identified as hostile
banzai : [Japanese] Banzai was the traditional Japanese cheer of enthusiasm or triumph, meaning "10,000 years", referring to the wish for the reigning Japanese emperor to rule for 10,000 years. While it was used mainly as a victory cheer, western exposure to the word was often made during suicide charges by defensive Japanese garrisons, hence the phrase "banzai charge" coined by western soldiers.
BAR : [English] Browning automatic rifle
battaglione : [Italian] battalion
Batteriedeck : [German] battery deck or second deck of a warship
bazooka : [English] Rocket-propelled shaped charge grenade
BCRA : [French] The Bureau Centrale de Renseignements et d'Action was the Free French secret intelligence service
beam : [English] The direction toward the sides of a ship or the width of a ship
BEF : [English] The British Expeditionary Force
Beobachtungsdienst : [German] wireless reconnaissance service (abbreviation: B-Dienst)
Blitzkrieg : [German] Literally meaning "lightning war", blitzkrieg was the name given to the German tactic that, through the use of combined arms, paralyzed enemy defenses through surprise, speed, firepower, and envelopment. The tactic was tested in Spain in 1938 and in Poland in 1939, and was most notably used in the quick capture of France and the Low Countries in 1940.
bocage : [French] Sometimes referred to in English as hedgerows, bocage is a French word referring to a terrain of mixed woodland and pasture with side roads bounded by banks and thick vegetation. The bocage-country of Normandy in France provided German troops significant advantages during the Allied Normandy Campaign of 1944.
Bofors : [Swedish] The Swedish weapon manufacturer which sold its 40-mm Anti-aircraft gun to both sides before World War II.
Boozer : [English] Radar warning device against fighters, fitted to bombers.
bow : [English] The bow is the foremost point of the hull of a ship or boat; it is the point that is ahead when the vessel is underway. The furthest point of the bow is called the stem.
bridge : [English] The general location of the ship where the commanding officer and his/her staff operates
Brücke : [German] bridge of a warship
bulkhead : [English] walls in the interior of ships
Camicia Nera : [Italian] Italian Blackshirt personnel
CAP : [English] Combat air patrols were defensive formations formed by carrier fighters above task groups.
caponier : [English] Originally from the French word caponnière, a caponier is a fortification positioned in such a way that its weapons could fire on both flanks. A half-caponier, contrastingly, could only fire on one flank.
capsize : [English] A ship is said to have capsized when she flips upside down.
centuria : [Italian] Italian Blackshirt unit equivalent to a company
CIGS : [English] British Chief of the Imperial General Staff
Commando Supremo : [Italian] Italian supreme military command
complementi : [Italian] replacement
conning tower : [English] The conning tower is a raised location of a ship where a navigation officer could reside to direct the ship. It is usually armored. Aboard a surface ship, the conning tower is usually immediately below the bridge; aboard a submarine, it is raised, and is often also used for entering and exiting the vessel.
coorte : [Italian] Italian Blackshirt unit equivalent to a battalion
Corpo Truppe Volontarie : [Italian] Italian volunteer corps fighting in Spain during the Spanish Civil War
coup d'é·tat : [French] "Blow of state"; an illegal replacement of a ruling body of a state
D-Day : [English] Military term used to signify the particular date on which an operation was to start; in popular culture, "D-Day" often refers to the Normandy invasion of 6 Jun 1944.
da sbarco : [Italian] Italian Blackshirt amphibious battalion
DUKW : [English] Sometimes nicknamed Duck, it was an amphibious truck used by the Allies. "D" indicated a vehicle designed in 1942, "U" stood for "utility (amphibious)", "K" indicated all-wheel drive, and "W" indicated two powered rear axles.
E-Boat : [English] English name for the small and fast patrol craft of the German Navy armed with guns and torpedos. See Schnellboot.
Einsatzgruppen : [German] German paramilitary groups operated by the SS responsible for one million civilian deaths during the Holocaust
Endlösung : [German] The "Final Solution" genocide planned by the Nazi Party against Jewish people.  [Read More]
Enigma : [German] A German military encryption protocol
estuary : [English] An estuary is the wide part of a river where it connects with the sea. In this area, fresh and salt water mix as a result of both the river's current as well as the ocean tides.
ETO : [English] The European Theatre of Operations was the term used in the United States to refer to US operations north of the Mediterranean coast.
Eureka : [English] AN/APN-2 ground radio beacons set by the pathfinder paratroopers to guide transport aircraft to their drop zones during the Allied invasion of Normandie, France.  [Read More]
fallschirmjäger : [German] Paratrooper
feldgrau : [German] "Field grey" was the term commonly used to describe the German soldier; it was derived from the color of the German Army uniform.
Filbert : [English] A 219-foot long naval barrage balloon containing a 9-foot diameter radar reflector, giving an echo on German radar like that of a large ship.
Fishpond : [English] British early-warning radar against fighters fitted to some bombers in 1944.
fjord : [English] Originally a Scandinavian word but now commonly used in English as well, a fjord is a steeply-walled inlet of salt water created by glacial erosion.
Flaggschiff : [German] flagship
Flak : [German] Abbreviated form of fliegerabwehrkanone, or anti-aircraft gun. The word is also commonly used in the English language with the same meaning.
flattop : [English] Nickname for an aircraft carrier
Fliegerabwehrkanone : [German] anti-aircraft gun; the word is also commonly used in the English language with the same meaning (abbreviation: Flak)
Flotte : [German] fleet
Flottenchef : [German] chief of a naval fleet
Flottille : [German] flotilla (abbreviation: Fl.)
Flugzeugträger : [German] aircarft carrier
Freikorps : [German] A collective term for the ultra-conservative para-military volunteer organizations that formed in post-WW1 Germany.
Funk : [German] radio (abbreviation: Fu)
Funkmeßortung : [German] radar (abbreviation: FuMO)
Funktelegramm : [German] radio message (abbreviation: FT)
funnel : [English] Synonymous with smokestack, the funnel is used to ventilate smoke from a ship's boilers.
Führer : [German] leader (abbreviation: Fhr.)
Gefechtsmast : [German] foremast of a ship
Ger : [German] instrument
Geschoss : [German] projectile
Geschwader : [German] A geschwader is the largest combat flying unit in the German Luftwaffe. A geschwader was consisted of three gruppen with a staff unit of four aircraft, making the nominal strength 94 aircraft, but the number fluctuated depending on situation. The plural form of the word is geschwader.
Gestapo : [German] The Gestapo, short for Geheime Staatspolizei, was the Secret State Police of Nazi Germany. It was established on 26 Apr 1933 from the existing Prussian Secret Police. In 1934, Hermann Göring assumed control of the Gestapo and expanded its influence across all of Germany. In Apr 1934, Göring handed over full control of the Gestapo over to Heinrich Himmler and the SS, officially making it a branch of the SS; Himmler merged the Gestapo with the existing SS Sicherheitspolizei branch. Because Gestapo agents were considered above the law, abuses of power were frequent, ranging from illegal detention to torture. The post-war Nuremberg war crimes trials declared the Gestapo a criminal organization.
Granate : [German] shell, grenade (plural: Granaten)
Großmast : [German] mainmast of a ship
Gruppe : [German] A gruppe is a combat flying unit in the German Luftwaffe, usually consisted of three staffeln with a staff flight of three aircraft. A gruppe had a nominal strength of 30 aircraft, but the number fluctuated depending on situation. The plural form of the word is gruppen.
gruppo battaglioni : [Italian] battalion group
Guardia Nazionale Repubblicana : [Italian] National Republican Guard (GNR)
H-Hour : [English] Military term used to signify the particular time at which an operation was to start
Hakenkreuz : [German] Swastika
Handelsmarine : [German] merchant marine
Heck : [German] stern; rear or after part of a ship or boat
Hedgehog : [English] British anti-submarine weapon; a mortar firing a salvo of depth charges
HMS : [English] His Majesty's Ship, which was the prefix to the names of all British ships controlled by the British government or military; "His Majesty" referred to King George VI of Britain
Huff-Duff : [English] British Royal Navy term for HF/DF (High Frequency Direction Finding) equipment used to locate enemy warships, usually U-boats, by detecting their radio signals.
HVAR : [English] high velocity air rocket
IFF : [English] "Identification Friend or Foe" was a radio device equipped by aircraft to announce its identity to prevent friend fire.
Ingenieur : [German] engineer (abbreviation: Ing.)
Jot Dora : [German] German code word meaning 'fire at will' (abbreviation: JD)
kaigun : [Japanese] Japanese word for navy, as in Nihon Kaigun, or the Japanese Navy.
kamikaze : [Japanese] Originally coined to describe the two typhoons that thwarted the Mongol invasion of Japan in 1274 and 1281, the term kamikaze, or "divine wind", was applied particularly in English in reference to the suicide aircraft employed by Japan in WW2. Japanese sources typically use the phrase tokubetsu kogeki tai, or "Special Attack Units", instead of kamikaze.
Kampfgruppe : [German] Sometimes shortened as KG, the Kampfgruppe was an ad-hoc mixed military formation usually organized for a particular task or operation only. It was usually a battalion in size, but size could vary based on mission. It was often named by either their commanding officer or the parent division. The plural form of Kampfgruppe is Kampfgruppen.
Katapult : [German] catapult aboard ships
keel : [English] The center structural beam of a ship at the very bottom running longitudinally, consisting of three parts: the flat keel plate, the vertical keel plate, and rider plate.
Kehlsteinhaus : [German] Sometimes anglicized as Eagle's Nest, it was Adolf Hitler's mountain-top retreat in the German Alps near Berchtesgaden.
Kempei : [Japanese] Japanese military police
Kreuzer : [German] cruiser
Kriegsmarine : [German] Name of the German Navy between 1935 and 1945.
Kriegsschiff : [German] warship
LCM : [English] landing craft mechanized
LCT : [English] landing craft tank
LCVP : [English] landing craft vehicles and personnel
LDV : [English] Acronym for "Local Defence Volunteers", which were local volunteers otherwise ineligible for military service, usually owing to age. They acted as a secondary defense force in conjunction with the military in case of invasion. The organization was later renamed to the Home Guard.
Lebensraum : [German] Literally "living space", it was a concept used by the Nazi Party to express the need and to justify German aggression in Eastern Europe.
legione : [Italian] Italian Blackshirt unit equivalent to a regiment
Lend-Lease : [English] The American policy to supply the Allied nations with equipment
Liberty ship : [English] Modular American cargo ship that was mass-produced in great quantities during the war
list : [English] A ship is said to be listing when she is tilting toward any direction, usually because of flooding.
LRDG : [English] Acronym for "Long Range Desert Group", which specialized in mechanized reconnaissance, intelligence gathering, and desert navigation.
LST : [English] Landing Ship Tank, a type of American landing craft  [Read More]
Luftwaffe : [German] German Air Force
magazine : [English] storage space for a warship's ammunition
Maquis : [French] Rural guerrilla bands of French Resistance, mostly operating in the mountainous areas of Brittany and southern France. They utilised guerrilla tactics to harass the Milice and German occupation troops.
Marinefährprahm : [German] landing craft
Milizia Volontaria Sicurezza Nazionale : [Italian] National Security Volunteer Militia (MVSN)
Molotov cocktail : [English] hand-made explosive device made from a fuel-filled bottle with a piece of rag which acted as a fuse. First employed in the Spanish Civil War, it later became a weapon symbolizing the fierce Russian resistance against German occupation. Named after Vyacheslav Molotov.
Monica : [English] British radar early-warning device against fighters fitted to bombers from 1943.
Moonshine : [English] An electric repeater carried on RAF air-sea-rescue boats that could pick up the Hohentwiel radar carried on German maritime-reconnaissance aircraft and then amplify and re-transmit them giving the impression on radar of a large fleet of ships sailing close together.
MTB : [English] motor torpedo boat
MTB : [English] motor gun boat
Nazi : [German] An alternate abbreviation to NSDAP for the German political party National Sozialistiche Deutsche Arbeitpartei that controlled Germany until 1945.
Nihon Kaigun : [Japanese] Japanese phrase for the Japanese Navy.
nisei : [Japanese] second generation; children born in a foreign country to Japanese immigrants
NKVD : [Russian] Narodni Komissarat Vnutrennykh Del, "Soviet People's Comissariat of Internal Affairs" was the Soviet Russian internal security service, which was the predecessor to the KGB.
Oberdeck : [German] upper deck of a ship
OKW : [German] The Oberkommando der Wehrmacht was the German military high command.
OSS : [English] The Office of Strategic Services was the American military intelligence and special operations service.
Panzer : [German] Armor, as in tank
Panzerdeck : [German] armored deck of a ship
Panzerfaust : [German] A light, disposable, and very effective German infantry anti-tank grenade launcher
Panzergrenadier : [German] Mechanized infantry
Panzerschiff : [German] German pocket battleship; literally 'armored ship'
Panzerschiffe : [German] A class of heavy cruisers often dubbed as pocket battleships
panzerschreck : [German] Rocket-propelled shaped charge grenade
Panzersprenggranate : [German] armor piercing shell (abbreviation: Psgr.)
persona non grata : [Latin] A foreign person whose entering or remaining in a particular country is prohibited by that country's government. The plural form of this term is personae non gratae.
Pom-Pom : [English] British Royal Navy term for any ship-mounted automatic anti-aircraft cannon, particularly the 2-pounder Vickers.
porpoise : [English] broach of a torpedo
port : [English] Port is the nautical term that refers to the left side of a ship, as perceived by a person facing towards the bow, or, the front of the ship. The term is also used for aircraft. The equivalent for the right-hand side is starboard.
RAAF : [English] Royal Australian Air Force
RAF : [English] Royal Air Force of Britain
raggruppamento : [Italian] Italian Blackshirt formation consisted of two legione (regiments) or two gruppo battalioni (battalion group) (plural: raggruppamenti)
RAN : [English] Royal Australian Navy
Rangers : [English] US Army equivalent of the British Commandos trained to make hit and run raids on enemy facilities on the coast of occupied Europe.
ras : [Italian] Local fascist leader
RCAF : [English] Royal Canadian Air Force
RCN : [English] Royal Canadian Navy
Reich : [German] Reich is the German word used by Nazi Germany to refer to Germany and the conquered territories. Nazi Germany was often referred to as the Third Reich; in Nazi propaganda, the First Reich referred to the Holy Roman Empire and the Second Reich referred to the German empire of 1871-1918.
Reichswehr : [German] Name of the German Armed Forces under the Weimar Republic between 1919 and 1935
RIN : [English] Royal Indian Navy
Ritterkreuz : [German] Knight's Cross medal
RKKA : [Russian] Robochiy Krestyanskaya Krasnaya Armiya, "The Workers and Peasants Red Army" or "Red Army" for short
RM : [English] Royal Marines of Britain
RN : [English] Royal Navy of Britain
RNVR : [English] Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve of Britain
RNZAF : [English] Royal New Zealand Air Force
RNZN : [English] Royal New Zealand Navy
Rope : [English] Bundles of strips of aluminium foil (see Window) dropped every 5 seconds (or every 440 yards) to give a continuous "blib" on the German coastal radar during the Allied invasion of Normandie, France.  [Read More]
round : [English] one unit of ammunition fired from a weapon
RSHA : [German] The Reichssicherheitshauptamt, or "Reich Security Main Office", was the SS orgainization to coordinate all German police forces.
SA : [German] See Sturmabteilung
salvo : [English] a simultaneous firing of more than one weapons
SAS : [English] Acronym for "Special Air Service", which was consisted of British Army volunteers who conducted raids behind enemy lines during the North African Campaign.
Schiff : [German] ship
Schlachtkreuzer : [German] battlecruiser
Schlachtschiff : [German] battleship
Schnellboot : [German] German name for the small and fast patrol craft of the German Navy armed with guns and torpedoes. They were larger (between 78-100 tons) than the comparable British Motor Torpedo Boats or American PT vessels and were used to attack shipping in coastal waters. Called Schnellboot (fast craft) by the Germans they were generally known as E-Boats (Enemy Boats) by the Allies.
Schutzstaffel : [German] Directly translated into English as "Protective Squadron", the Schutzstaffel was the para-military branch of the the Nazi Party in Germany. It was often referred to as the SS. The SS was established in the 1920s as Adolf Hitler's bodyguards, hence the perception that the members of the SS were of an elite group more capable than the German military. From 1929 until the end of Nazi Germany, the SS was led by Heinrich Himmler. As the European War began, SS troops conducted battles in tandem with the regular army, and was known for rampant atrocities against enemy personnel, both military and civilian. The post-war Nuremberg war crimes trials declared the SS a criminal organization.
screw : [English] The term "screw" is the shortened form of the full "screw propeller". It refers to the fan-like device that propels boats, ships, and other maritime vessels.
SD : [German] See Sicherheitsdienst
SEAC : [English] The Allied South East Asia Command
Seetakt : [English] German coast-watching radar working in the 370 MHz (megahertz) band.
SHAEF : [English] The Allied Supreme Headquartes Allied Expeditionary Force
Sicherheitsdienst : [German] The Sicherheitsdienst, or SD, was directly translated into English as "Security Service". It was the Nazi German intelligence branch of the SS. It was created in 1932 by Reinhard Heydrich. In 1934, it was declared the Nazi Party's main information service provider, and it became the intelligence organization for the Nazi German state in 1938. It maintained an extensive network of agents and informants in Germany and occupied territories. After the assassination of Heydrich in 1942, Ernst Kaltenbrunner became its chief on 30 Jan 1943. The post-war Nuremberg war crimes trials declared the SD a criminal organization.
Siebel Ferry : [German] twin pontoon decked craft developed in response to the need for rapid personnel and vehicle transport
smokestack : [] Synonymous with funnel, the smokestack is used to ventilate smoke from a ship's boilers.
SOE : [English] The Speical Operations Executive was the British organization responsible for training and coodinating resistance groups in occupied countries.
sponson : [English] structure mounted to the hull of a ship, often used to mount weapons
Sprenggranate : [German] high explosive shell (abbreviation: Spgr.)
SS : [German] See Schutzstaffel
SS : [English] American naval prefix used for steam ships; usually lightly armed or unarmed
Staffel : [German] A staffel is the smallest combat flying unit in the German Luftwaffe. A staffel had a nominal strength of nine aircraft, but the number fluctuated depending on situation. The plural form of the word is staffeln.
starboard : [English] Starboard is the nautical term that refers to the right side of a ship, as perceived by a person facing towards the bow, or, the front of the ship. The term is also used for aircraft. The equivalent for the left-hand side is port.
Stavka : [Russian] Stavka Glavnogo Komandovaniya was the political arm that oversaw the Soviet military.
stem : [English] The stem is the foremost point of the bow, which is the front portion of the ship.
stern : [English] The stern is the rear or after part of a ship or boat, technically defined as the area built up over the sternpost, extending upwards from the counter to the taffrail.
Steuerbord : [German] Steuerbord is the nautical term that refers to the left side of a ship, as perceived by a person facing towards the bow, or, the front of the ship. The term is also used for aircraft. The equivalent for the right-hand side is Backbord. (abbreviation: St.B.)
Stuka : [English] English abbreviation of the German word Sturzkampfflugzeug (diving-aircraft). Usually applied to the Junkers Ju.87 Dive Bomber.
Sturmabteilung : [German] Literally "Storm Division", the SA was a para-military organization of the Nazi Party. The members were often referred to as stormtroopers or brownshirts for the color of their uniforms. It was established in Nov 1921 and remained in place until the end of the European War, but its power diminished after the Night of the Long Knives in 1934. After the war, the SA was found not to be a criminal organization.
TF : [English] A naval task force was consisted of several warships.
Thatch Weave : [English] American fighter defensive maneuver used in the Pacific War. When a pair of fighters came under attack, the pair would turn into a second friendly pair, which did the same. The maneuver forced the enemy fighter to either abandon the attack on the original pair, or continue the attack but risk being tailed by the second pair of fighters.
tin can : [English] Nickname for a destroyer escort
Tinsel : [English] Technique by which British bomber wireless-operators fed jamming noise on to German night-fighter frequencies.
tokkotai : [Japanese] See tokubetsu kogeki tai
tokubetsu kogeki tai : [Japanese] Instead of the word kamikaze popularly used in western literature, Japanese sources typically cite the suicide attack forces as tokubetsu kogeki tai.
tora : [Japanese] "Tora" is the code phrase designated by the Japanese Navy to signal the start of the attack on Pearl Harbor; it was radioed by Mitsuo Fuchida three times successively on 7 Dec 1941 to launch the strike. The word "tora" is an acronym. "To" is short for totsugeki (attack), and "ra" is short for raigeki (torpedo attack); combined, "tora" loosely translates to "commence torpedo attack".  [Read More]
Turm : [German] turret
U-Boat : [English] The English name for the German submarine, or in German, unterseeboot
Ultrakurzwelle : [German] ultra short wave; very high frequency/VHF (abbreviation: U.K.)
unterseeboot : [German] German word for submarine, often anglicized as "U-Boat"
USAAF : [English] The United States Army Air Force, which evolved from the US Army Air Corp, and was the predecessor of the post-war US Air Force
USCG : [English] United States Coast Guard
USMC : [English] United States Marine Corps
USN : [English] The United States Navy
USO : [English] The United Service Organization provided recreational services and entertainment shows for American military servicemen.
USS : [English] United States Ship, which was the prefix to the names of all American ships controlled by the US government or military
UXB : [English] unexploded bomb
V-1 : [German] The first of the German Vergeltungswaffen wonder weapon, which was a jet-powered pilotless flying bomb with a range of 200 km
V-2 : [German] Also known as A4, the second German Vergeltungswaffen wonder weapon carried a heavier bomb load than the V-1 and had a longer range of 320 km
V-3 : [German] A German Vergeltungswaffen wonder weapon which was a smooth-bore gun with a range of 93 km; they were not used in WW2
VAD : [English] Voluntary Aid Detachment, a British nursing organization
Versenken : [German] sinking a ship
Volkssturm : [German] A para-military force organized by Germany near the end of the war as the last line of defense against the Allied invasion; it was often consisted of teenagers and older men who were not already conscripted during the war.
Vorderer Kommandostand : [German] fore conning tower of a ship
WAAC : [English] American Women's Auxiliary Army Corps
WAAF : [English] British Women's Auxiliary Air Force
WAC : [English] US Army Women's Army Corps
wadi : [Arabic] a valley or a dry river bed
Waffen-SS : [German] The military branch of the SS
WASP : [English] US Army Air Forces Women Airforce Service Pilots  [Read More]
wave off : [English] signal given by aircraft carrier landing officers to abort the landing approach of an aircraft
WAVES : [English] US Navy Women Accepted for Voluntary Service  [Read More]
Wehrmacht : [German] Armed forces of Nazi Germany
Werft : [German] shipyard
Werk : [German] machinery; mechanism; factory
Window : [English] Strips of aluminium foil dropped by the British to flood German radar readouts.
WLA : [English] Acronym for "The Women's Land Army", which was a British civilian organization created during the First and Second World Wars to work in agriculture replacing men called up to the military.
WRNS : [English] Acronym for "Womens Royal Naval Service", which was the womens' branch of the British Royal Navy.
WVS : [English] Acronym for "Women's Voluntary Service", which was a voluntary organization concerned with helping people in need throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
Zerstörer : [German] destroyer

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Japanese heavy cruiser Atago, early 1930s

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"I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil."

General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944