Abbreviations and Terms

One thing that may come in useful is an abbreviation list – this will be a work in progress:

2 i/c – second in command, deputy commander of a unit

A Echelon – supply vehicles directly with a unit

a/c – aircraft

AA – anti-air

AAA – anti-aircraft artillery

AFV – armooured fighting vehicle

“and bar” – if following a decoration, it means it has been awarded twice. Can be extended to ‘and X bars’, in case of multiple awards.

A/S – anti-submarine

ASW – anti-submarine warfare

AT – anti-tank

ATG – anti-tank gun

B Echelon – secondary supply vehicles, cooks, etc. Anyone not normally supposed to fight or be near a fight.

Bde. – Brigade

Bn. – Battalion (english)

Btl. – Battalion (German)

Bty. – Battery

C.O. – Commanding Officer

CP – command post

D.A.K. – Deutsches Afrika Korps, usually meaning the command of the same

DCM – Distinguished Conduct Medal

Div. – Division

DSC – Distinguished Service Cross (decoration for

DSM – Distinguished Service Medal (decoration for NCOs)

DSO – Distinguished Service Order (decoration mostly for senior officers)

E.K. I & E.K. II – Iron Cross first and second class

Flak – German for AA gun

G.O.C. – General Officer Commanding XYZ formation

Gruppe/Gruppo – Unit of about 30 German/Italian planes

HAA – heavy anti-aircraft artillery

HE – High Explosive

HQ – headquarters

JG – Jagdgeschwader, fighter group (in RAF parlance), unit of about 30 German fighters

KG – Kampfgeschwader, bomber group (in RAF parlance), unit of about 30 German level bombers

KIA – killed in action

LAA – Light Anti-Aircraft artillery (in the UK, usually 40mm Bofors or captured Italian 20mm Breda guns)

Lt. – Lieutenant

MC – Military Cross

MIA – missing in action

MM – Military Medal

M/S – mine-sweeping (naval term)

MT – motor transport

NCO – non-commissioned officer (Sergeant etc.)

N-Z – unofficial abbreviation for New Zealand

O.C. – Officer Commanding XYZ unit

POW – prisoner of war

Pz. – Panzer (tank)

Pz.Grp. – Panzergruppe Afrika, usually meaning the command of the same

Pz.Jg. – Panzerjaeger, literally “tank hunters”, German anti-tank troops

Rgt. – Regiment

RTR – Royal Tank Regiment

Sqdn. – Squadron

StG – Sturzkampfgeschwader, dive bomber group, unit of about 30 planes

u/s – unservicable

VC – Victoria Cross

WIA – wounded in action

yds – yards

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