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Learning Curve - The Great War information
Category: Military and Defence > WWI
Date & country: 14/12/2007, UK
Words: 87


abrogation
formally ending something you have agreed to legally (e.g. a treaty)

alliance
an agreement between countries to work together to try to achieve the same thing, to protect each other or to protect other things which are important to both countries

ambassador
an important person who lives in a foreign country and is accepted as representing their home country to the government of the foreign country

annihilated
completely destroyed

ANZAC
Australian and New Zealand Army Corps

artillery
very large and heavy guns

assassination
when someone important is killed, often for political reasons

attrition
a gradual wearing down (in war this would mean gradually wearing down the enemy before destroying them, rather than capturing land)

Austria-Hungary
empire in central Europe which ruled over most of the countries that now make up Eastern Europe (e.g. Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bosnia etc)

Balkans
area in the south-east of Europe

battalion
army unit made up of 2 regiments, usually about 2,000 soldiers

bellicose
warlike

Bethmann-Hollweg, Theobald von
German Chancellor in 1914

billets
places where soldiers stayed when not in the trenches – could be farmhouses, cottages, tents etc

blockade
stopping people or goods (such as ammunition) getting through

Bolsheviks
people belonging to the group who took control of Russia in 1917, later known as the (Russian) Communist Party; also used as a name for someone who was suspected of being against their society or wanting a revolution

brazier
a metal container holding burning coals or charcoal, used for heat and cooking

brigade
military unit of about 4,000 men

Cabinet
a group of people appointed by a Prime Minister to hold the most important posts in government (in Britain they are MPs and appointed Ministers)

casualty
a person injured, killed or missing; someone who is not fit and able to fight (in the case of a soldier)

cede
to give up or to hand over

cession
the action of giving up, handing over, or 'ceding', especially territory

Clemenceau, Georges
French Prime Minister at the end of the Great War

commission
term used in the armed forces to explain the rank and power given to officers to command other soldiers, e.g. a person receives a commission to become an officer

Communism
political belief based on the ideas that all people should be equal, the government should own all industry and business, no one should own private property, and all people should work as hard as they can and receive all that they need in return

company
military unit of about 130 men

compel
to make or force someone to do something

compensation
money paid to someone to make up for something, to make up for a loss

Congress
the group of elected politicians who run the USA, similar to Parliament in the UK

conscription
making people join and serve in the armed forces by law

Dardanelles
a narrow stretch of water between Turkey and Europe, near to the Turkish capital of Constantinople (now called Istanbul)

dire
very bad

division
military unit of about 15-20,000 men

draft
1. a first attempt at a document

Dreadnought
a large and powerful type of battleship, developed by the British to try and end the naval race with Germany before the war broke out

Dual Alliance
alliance between Austria-Hungary and Germany

embargo
ban

embassy
the building an ambassador works in

enfilade
intense gun fire which sweeps along a line (of troops) from end to end

field gun
small artillery weapon, usually on wheels and easy to move around

formulate
to put together the details of a plan

garrison
unit of troops used to guard a particular place

German Navy Law
law passed in Germany to pay for the building of a large fleet of German battleships

Gladstone, William Ewart
British political leader in the 19th century

Goschen, Sir Edward
British ambassador in Germany in the run-up to the Great War

grenade
a small bomb which is thrown by hand

Grey, Sir Edward
British Foreign Secretary

heir
someone who will receive money, property and/or titles (e.g. duke, baron) when someone else dies, often a relative

howitzer
a large gun which fires artillery shells

Hun
1. a person belonging to a tribe who attacked Europe in ancient times

Kaiser
German Emperor

Kiel Canal
canal in Germany, which allowed German warships easy access to the North Sea

knight-errantry
doing good deeds like a medieval knight in old stories

lieutenant
junior officer in the British Army

limber
carriage used for transporting artillery pieces

Lloyd George, David
British government minister and Prime Minister from 1916

logistics
process of moving food, ammunition, weapons etc around so that soldiers have them in the right place at the right time

mobilise
make ready for action; cause to move around; get ready for war by preparing an army to fight and by recruiting soldiers

morale
the spirit and confidence and state of well-being of people

necessity
a need; something which cannot be avoided

neutral- neutrality
not on any side in a war; not doing or saying anything that would help any side

Ottoman
ruling family of the Turkish Ottoman Empire

peninsula
piece of land mostly surrounded by water but not completely (so not an island)

platoon
military unit of 32 men

plebiscite
vote in which people decide on an important political question, also called a referendum

propaganda
information that is spread for the purpose of putting forward a particular idea

quartermaster
army officer in charge of supplies

recruit
1. a new member of the armed forces (noun)

redoubt
somewhere for soldiers to hide while they are fighting

reparations
see compensation

revanche
revenge (French)

salient
area of the line of trenches which jutted out into no man's land and was exposed to enemy attack

Schlieffen, Count Alfred von
German general who came up with Germany's original battle plan for war

section
military unit of 8 men

self-determination
process in which a national group rules themselves

spartacists
a radical socialist group from Germany who tried to take over the country and end the war

stalemate
a chess term meaning a situation where neither side can win or lose, so no action can be taken and no advantage gained

straits
narrow stretch of water

subaltern
junior officer in the British Army

terrain
land

terrorist
someone who tries to force a government to do what the terrorist wants by carrying out violent acts

Triple Alliance
alliance between Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy before 1914

Triple Entente
alliance of Britain, France and Russia

Victoria Cross
highest award for bravery for British soldiers

volunteer
to offer to do something

Wilhelmshaven
main German naval base

Wilson, Woodrow
President of the USA during the Great War