Glossary

Ia

German chief of staff (at division), or chief of operations (corps and above), sometimes

Ib

German chief quartermaster/supply staff officer

Ic

German chief intelligence staff officer

IIa

German Adjutant for officers

IIb

German Adjutant for non-commissioned personnel

I SS Panzer Corps

Gruppenführer Hermann Priess’s 1st SS Panzerkorps

II SS Panzer Corps

Obergruppenführer Willi Bittrich’s 2nd SS Panzerkorps

III Corps (US)

Major-General John B. Millikin’s 3rd Corps (Third Army)

4 × 4

US four-wheel-drive vehicle, usually a ¼-ton jeep or ¾-ton Dodge

V Corps (US)

Major-General Leonard T. Gerow’s 5th Army Corps (First Army), headquarters at Eupen

6 × 6

US six-wheeled cargo truck, usually a 2½-ton ‘Jimmy’

VI Corps (US)

Major-General Edward H. Brooks’ 6th Corps (Seventh Army)

VII Corps (US)

Major-General J. Lawton Collins’ 7th Corps (First Army)

VIII Corps (US)

Major-General Troy H. Middleton’s 8th Corps, (First, then Third Army), HQ originally Bastogne, then Neufchâteau

88

The 88mm anti-tank/anti-aircraft gun, also widely used by GIs to mean German artillery, assuming that every enemy gun was an ‘88’

XII Corps (US)

Major-General Manton S. Eddy’s 12th Corps (Third Army)

XV Corps (US)

Major-General Wade H. Haislip’s 15th Corps (Seventh Army)

XVIII Airborne Corps (US)

Major-General Matthew B. Ridgway’s 18th Airborne Corps

XXX Corps (British)

Lieutenant-General Sir Brian Horrocks’ British 30th Corps

XXXIX Panzer Corps

Generalleutnant Karl Decker’s 39. Armeekorps

XLVII Panzer Corps

General Heinrich von Lüttwitz’s 47. Panzerkorps

LVIII Panzer Corps

General Walther Krüger’s 58. Panzerkorps

LXVI Corps

General Walther Lucht’s 66. Armeekorps

LXVII Corps

General Otto Hitzfeld’s 67. Armeekorps

LXXIV Corps

General Karl Püchler’s 74. Armeekorps

LXXX Corps

General Franz Beyer’s 80. Armeekorps

LXXXV Corps

General Baptist Kneiss’ 85. Armeekorps

150 Panzer Brigade

Special Forces troops commanded by Otto Skorzeny

AAA

Anti-Aircraft Artillery

AAR

After Action Report

Abteilung

German battalion or detachment

Adlerhorst

Eagle’s Nest, codename for Hitler’s HQ at Ziegenberg

AEF

American Expeditionary Force, First World War US Army in France

AIB

US Armored Infantry Battalion

‘All American’

James M. Gavin’s US 82nd Airborne Division

Amel

German name for Amblève

AMGOT

Allied Military Government for Occupied Territories

Ami

German slang (abbreviation) for American

Army Group ‘B’

Field Marshal Walther Model’s Heeresgruppe B, with operational command of Herbstnebel

Army Group ‘G’

Heeresgruppe G, south of Model’s ‘B’, led by Hermann Balck (until 24 December 1944), subsequently Johannes Blaskowitz

Army Group ‘H’

Heeresgruppe H, north of Model’s ‘B’, led by Kurt Student

Aufklärungs

German military term meaning reconnaissance

ASTP

Army Specialised Training Program, GI scholarship programme at universities, terminated 1944

A/T

Anti-Tank

B-17

US four-engined Boeing ‘Flying Fortress’ bomber

B-24

US four-engined Consolidated ‘Liberator’ bomber

B-25

US twin-engined North American ‘Mitchell’ bomber

B-26

US twin-engined Martin ‘Marauder’ bomber

BAOR

British Army of the Rhine, post-Second World War occupation army

BAR

US Browning Automatic Rifle, 0.30-inch magazine-fed light machine-gun

Baraque/Baracke

Belgian/German term for a crossroads with a military checkpoint (from the word for barrack, or military hut)

Battalion, or Bn.

Single-arm unit, usually 500 to 1,000 men in strength and commanded by a lieutenant colonel or a major

battery

Artillery unit of company size, of between four and eight guns

BDM, Bund Deutscher Mädel

Nazi youth movement, girls’ equivalent of Hitlerjugend

‘Beetle’

Nickname for Walter Bedell Smith (1895–1961), SHAEF Chief of Staff

Befehlspanzer

Command tank, fitted with extra radios

‘Big Red One’

Clarence R. Huebner’s US 1st Infantry Division

Black Watch

A kilted Highland regiment from Scotland in XXX Corps

Bletchley Park

Allied code-breaking centre in Buckinghamshire, England

‘Bloody Bucket’/ ‘Keystone’

Norman D. ‘Dutch’ Cota’s US 28th Infantry Division

Bodenplatte

‘Baseplate’, German codename for 1 January 1945 air attack

Bofors

Allied 40mm anti-aircraft gun

Bosche

Old French name for German invaders

‘Brad’

Nickname for General Omar Nelson Bradley (1893–1981)

Brigadeführer (SS Rank)

Brigadier-General (US one-star)

Bronze Star

US award for valour below Silver Star, established 1944

Browning machine gun

As well as the BAR (q.v.), the US Army operated .30-inch and .50-inch belt-fed machine guns, both manufactured by the Browning Arms Company. The former were used on tripods by infantry units, the latter generally mounted on vehicles

Bundeswehr

Modern German Army, founded in 1955

Burp Gun

US slang for German MP-40 Schmeisser machine pistol

C-47

US twin-engined Douglas ‘Skytrain’ or ‘Dakota’ (RAF designation) transport aircraft, twenty-eight paratroopers / 6,000 lbs payload, became the post-war DC-3 civil airliner

CCA, B, or R

Combat Command ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘R’ (for Reserve), temporary combined arms combat groupings of a US armored division

CCS

Combined Chiefs of Staff, Anglo-US supreme military body for strategic direction of the Second World War, established 1942.

‘Carpetbagger’

Airborne supply drops to resistance movements, hence specialist ‘Carpetbagger’ squadrons

Caserne

French/Belgian term for barracks

Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron

US Cavalry battalion

‘Checkerboard’

Walter E. Lauer’s US 99th Infantry Division

CG

Commanding General (corresponding to UK term GOC)

Chemical Mortar Battalion

Operated 4.2-inch (107mm) mortars, which fired high explosive, white phosphorus (incendiary) and smoke marker shells up to 4,400 yards (US Army)

Christrose

Initial German codename for Herbstnebel

CIC

US Counter-Intelligence Corps, founded 1 January 1942

CIGS

British Chief of the Imperial General Staff (Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke), senior military adviser to Churchill

Clerf

German name for Clervaux

CO

Commanding Officer

Combined Arms

Usually a combination of infantry, artillery, armour (and sometimes air) assets.

Company, or Co.

Single arm unit composed of two or three platoons, c. 200 men, commanded by a captain or major. US companies lettered ‘A’ to ‘D’ formed an infantry regiment’s 1st Battalion, ‘E’ to ‘H’ the 2nd, and ‘I’, ‘K’, ‘L’ and ‘M’ (there was no ‘J’), the 3rd battalion. German companies numbered 1–4 formed their I Battalion, 2–8 the II Battalion and 9–12 the III.

COM-Z

Communications Zone, US area behind front line to logistics ports, commanded by Lieutenant-General J. C. H. Lee

CP

Command Post

C-rations

Assortment of drab-green food tins and packets, plus accessories of gum, cigarettes, matches, toilet paper and tin opener

Das Reich

German 2nd SS Panzer Division

Der Führer

Regiment of Das Reich Division

Distinguished Service Cross

America’s second highest decoration for valour, established 1918

Division

The smallest standard combined-arms formation, 10,000–15,000 men in strength and usually commanded by a major-general

DR, Deutsche Reichsbahn

German Railways

Enigma

German enciphering machine whose secrets were unlocked at Bletchley Park (q.v.)

Ersatzheer

German Replacement Army (Stauffenberg was originally its chief of staff, until 20 July 1944). Afterwards commanded by Heinrich Himmler

ETHINT

Post-Second World War US Army European Theater Historical Interrogations Program

ETO

European Theater of Operations

FA

US Army Field Artillery (FAB = FA Battalion), with twelve 105 or 155mm guns

Fallschirm Division

German parachute division

Fallschirmjäger

German paratrooper

Fallschirmpionier

German parachute engineer

Fahnenjunker

Officer cadet, all German officers had to serve in the ranks before commissioning

Feldwebel

German Army/Luftwaffe rank of Sergeant (senior to Unteroffizier)

Fifteenth Army (US)

US Army formation led in 1945 by Gerow, then Patton

Fifth Panzer Army

German formation commanded by General Hasso von Manteuffel

Firefly

Sherman tank mounting British 17-pounder gun

First Army (US)

Formation led by Lieutenant-General Courtney H. Hodges, based in Spa until 18 December, Chaudfontaine until 22 December, then Troyes, headquarters codename ‘Master’

Flak

Fliegerabwehrkanone, German anti-aircraft gun, or unit

Focke-Wulf

Focke-Wulf 190 single-seat German fighter

Fort Benning, Georgia

US Army infantry school since 1918

Fort Knox, Kentucky

US Army armour school 1918–2012

Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

US Army Command and General Staff College since 1881

Freiherr

German term of nobility, equivalent to Baron

Fronthasen

‘Front hare’, German slang for veteran soldier

Führerbunker

Hitler’s command bunker, latterly in Berlin where he died

Führerbefehl

Order emanating directly from Hitler

Führer-Begleit-Brigade

Hitler’s (literally leader’s) Escort, German mini-division, commanded by Oberst Otto Remer

Führerhauptquartier

Hitler’s personal headquarters

FUSAG

First US Army Group, fictional command, led by Patton

G-1

Personnel officer or department (division level and above)

G-2

Intelligence officer or department (division level and above)

G-3

Operations officer or department (division level and above)

G-4

Supply officer or department (division level and above)

G-5

Civil affairs officer or department (division level and above)

Garand

US M-1 rifle, used .30-06-inch cartridges in an eight-round clip

Gauleiter

Senior Nazi official, presiding over each of the 43 Gaue (districts) of Nazi Germany, answerable only to Hitler

Gefreiter

German rank of Lance Corporal

Generalfeldmarschall

German Field Marshal (five-star rank)

Generaloberst

German General (four-star rank)

General der Infanterie, der Panzer, etc.

German Lieutenant-General (three-star rank)

Generalleutnant

German Major-General (two-star rank)

Generalmajor

German Brigadier-General (one-star rank)

Gestapo

Abbreviation of Geheime Staatspolizei, Secret State Police

GI

American soldier

GOC

General Officer Commanding (corresponding to US term CG)

‘Golden Lions’

Alan W. Jones’s US 106th Infantry Division

Graf

German term of nobility, equivalent to Count

Granatwerfer

German mortar (literally ‘grenade-thrower’)

Grease Gun

US copy of Schmeisser machine pistol, .45-inch calibre

Greif

Griffin, German codename for Skorzeny commando operation

Grenade

Allied operation launched with Operation Veritable

Grenadier

German infantryman

GrossDeutschland

Greater Germany/name of elite German division

Gruppe

Group (usually German air force)

Gruppenführer

SS rank equivalent to Major-General

Halifax

RAF four-engined bomber, manufactured by Handley-Page

Hauptquartier

Headquarters

Hauptmann

German army/Luftwaffe Captain

Hauptscharführer

SS rank equivalent to Battalion Sergeant Major

Hauptsturmführer

SS Captain

Heinie

Allied slang for a German (also Jerry, Bosche, Kraut, Hun)

Herbstnebel

‘Autumn Mist’ (or Fog), final German codename for Ardennes offensive

Hetzer

Small, turretless, 15-ton German tank destroyer, 75mm gun

HIAG

Hilfsgemeinschaft auf Gegenseitigkeit der Angehörigen der ehemaligen Waffen-SS (Mutual Help Association of Former Waffen-SS Members), founded in 1951 by former Waffen-SS officers

HJ, Hitlerjugend

Hitler Youth, modelled on Boy Scouts, also the 12th SS Panzer Division

I & R

(US Army) Intelligence and Reconnaissance Platoon

IDF

Israeli Defense Forces

Ike

Universal nickname for Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890–1969)

‘Indianhead’

Walter M. Robertson’s US 2nd Infantry Division

Infatuate

Allied operation to capture Walcheren, November 1944

IPW

Interrogation of Prisoner of War team, attached to each US division

‘Ivy’

Raymond O. ‘Tubby’ Barton’s US 4th Infantry Division

Jabo

German abbreviation for Jagdbomber (Allied fighter-bomber)

Jagdpanther

German turretless tank destroyer, 88mm gun on Panther (q.v.) suspension

Jagdpanzer IV

German twenty-five-ton tank destroyer with 75mm gun, built onto a Panzer Mark IV suspension

Jagdtiger

Turretless seventy-ton tank destroyer on Tiger II (q.v.) suspension with 128mm gun

Jägeraufmarsch

German fighter plane concentration

JCS

US Joint Chiefs of Staff, military chiefs’ committee to coordinate army and naval activities, established 1942

Jeep

US GP (General Purpose, hence Jeep) 4 × 4 vehicle (also known as a Peep in US armour and cavalry units)

Jerry

Allied slang for a German (also Heinie, Bosche, Kraut, Hun)

Jerrycan

Military twenty-litre/five-gallon fuel can, modelled on the German invention

Jimmy

US 6 × 6 cargo truck, mostly manufactured by GMC (hence ‘Jimmy’) and mainstay of the ‘Redball Express’

Junkers-52

German tri-motor transport aircraft, seventeen paratroopers/4,000 lbs payload

Kampfgruppe

(Plural Kampfgruppen) German combat group of variable size often a combined arms task force, typically named after its leader

Kampfwert

German military term meaning combat readiness state

Kanonier

German artillery private

King Tiger

Also Royal Tiger, sixty-nine-ton German Tiger II tank, 88mm main gun

K-rations

US individual packaged meal units for breakfast, lunch and supper

Kraut

Allied slang for German soldier

Kriegsakademie

German military staff college in Berlin, two-year course

Kriegsberichter

German war correspondent

Kriegsschule

German army schools for officer and NCO instruction in infantry, artillery, armour, etc. tactics

Kriegsmarine

German war navy

Kriegstagebuch

German war diary

Kübelwagen

German four-wheeled military Jeep made by Volkswagen

Lancaster

RAF four-engined bomber, manufactured by Avro

Landser

German slang for German soldier

Lehr

Panzer Lehr, armoured division formed from instructors at panzer schools, led by Generalleutnant Fritz Bayerlein

Leibstandarte

Hitler’s Life Guard, later the 1st SS Panzer Division

Leutnant

German army/Luftwaffe Second Lieutenant

LST

Allied Landing Ship Tank naval vessel

Luftwaffe

German air force, established 26 February 1935

Lüttich

German name for Liège

M-1

Standard US semi-automatic .30-inch calibre Garand rifle Also M-1 carbine, lightweight weapon, chambering special 0.30-inch (short) cartridge from a fifteen-round magazine

M-3

US 0.45-inch light machine-gun, dubbed the ‘Grease Gun’ from its appearance and copied from the MP-40 Schmeisser

M-4

US Sherman medium tank, many variants

M-5

US Stuart high-speed light tank, turreted 37mm main gun

M-7

US Priest, 105mm self-propelled gun

M-8

US Greyhound six-wheeled armoured car, turreted 37mm main gun

M-10

US tank destroyer, three-inch (76.2 mm) gun

M-18

US Hellcat tank destroyer, 76mm gun, used a unique Buick-designed suspension

M-36

US Jackson tank destroyer, 90mm main gun

Magic

Japanese code deciphered at Bletchley Park (q.v.)

Market Garden

Allied airborne operation, 17–25 September 1944

Mauser

German 7.92mm bolt-action five-round rifle, first issued in 1898

Medal of Honor

America’s highest award for valour

Messerschmitt

The Messerschmitt 109 and 262 were single-seat German fighter aircraft, the latter a jet

MG-34 or 42

German belt-fed 7.92mm machine-gun, often known as the Spandau or ‘Hitler’s band-saw’

MIA

Missing in Action

Michelin

French tyre and map-making company

MLR

Main Line of Resistance (US Army term)

Monty

Nickname for Sir Bernard Montgomery (1887–1976)

Mosquito

RAF high-speed, twin-engined aircraft made by De Havilland

MP-40

German Schmeisser 9mm machine pistol, the ‘Burp Gun’

MP-44

Sturmgewehr, German assault rifle, with signature curved magazine, containing thirty 7.92mm (short) rounds

MSR

Main Supply Route (US military logistical term)

NATO

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, founded 1949

NCO

Non Commissioned Officer

Nebelwerfer

German six-barrelled mortar on two-wheeled trailer

Ninth Army (US)

American formation led by Lieutenant-General William H. Simpson, located at Maastricht, headquarters codename ‘Conquer’

Ninth Army (German)

German formation led by Walther Model in Russia

Nordwind

‘North Wind’, German 1 January 1945 operation south of Ardennes

Null-Tag

Sometimes O-Tag (Zero Day), German equivalent of D-Day

OB West

Oberbefehlshaber West; Supreme Command of German forces in the West – von Rundstedt or his headquarters

Oberfeldwebel

German Army/Luftwaffe rank of Master Sergeant/WO2

Oberführer

SS rank of Senior Colonel, no exact Allied equivalent

Obergefreiter

German Army/Luftwaffe Corporal

Obergruppenführer

SS rank equivalent to Lieutenant-General

Oberleutnant

German Army/Luftwaffe First Lieutenant

Oberscharführer

SS rank equivalent to Company Sergeant Major

Oberst

German Army/Luftwaffe Colonel

Oberstgruppenführer

SS rank equivalent to Colonel General (‘Sepp’ Dietrich)

Oberstleutnant

German Army/Luftwaffe Lieutenant-Colonel

Obersturmbannführer

SS rank equivalent to Lieutenant-Colonel

OCMH

Office of the Chief of Military History (US Army)

ODESSA

Organisation der Ehemaligen SS-Angehörigen, post-Second World War Nazi bureau that ran secret escape routes out of Europe

Oflag

German Offizierlager, officers’ POW camp

OKH

Oberkommando des Heeres (High Command of the German Army, Chief of OKW Staff, was Guderian in December 1944)

OKL

Oberkommando der Luftwaffe (Air Force High Command, established 5 February 1944)

OKW

Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (German Armed Forces High Command, Keitel was Chief in December 1944)

OP

Observation Post

OSS

Office of Strategic Services, modelled on British SOE, established 13 June 1942, later became the CIA

Ostfront

Eastern Front

OT, Organisation Todt

Nazi Civil Engineering Service, headed by Albert Speer

Overlord

Allied operation to invade Normandy, beginning 6 June 1944

P-38

US twin-engined Lockheed ‘Lightning’ multi-role fighter

P-47

US single-engined Republic ‘Thunderbolt’ fighter, usually used in ground attack role

P-51

US singled-engined North American ‘Mustang’ fighter, used to escort bombers and intercept opposing aircraft

Panther

German Mark V battle tank, forty-five tons, 75mm main gun

panzer

German for armour or tank

Panzer Mark IV

Standard twenty-five-ton German tank of 1943–4, with 75mm main gun

Panzerfaust

‘Tank Fist’, German throw-away anti-tank weapon

Panzergrenadier

German mechanised infantry soldier or unit

Panzerjager

German anti-tank gun or unit

Panzerschreck

‘Tank Terror’, German bazooka-like anti-tank weapon

Panzerwaffe

Armoured branch of German armed forces

PFC

Private, First Class

Phantom

British GHQ Liaison Regiment under Montgomery’s personal command

PI

Photo Intelligence

Pionier

German military engineer

PIR

Parachute Infantry Regiment

Platoon

infantry unit of 30–50 troops or armour unit of four tanks

POW or PW

Abbreviation for Prisoner of War

Plunder

Anglo-US-Canadian Rhine crossings of 23–24 March 1945

Priest

M-7 self-propelled 105mm artillery piece on tracked Sherman suspension

PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Purple Heart

US medal awarded to those wounded or killed, established 1932, with awards backdated to 1917

RAD, Reichsarbeitsdienst

German Labour Service, compulsory for young men prior to military conscription

RAF

Royal Air Force

RB

Rifle Brigade, a British Army battalion

‘Railsplitters’

Alexander R. Bolling’s US 84th Infantry Division

‘Red Ball Express’

US trucking operation from Normandy to the front lines, August–November 1944

REFORGER

Post-Second World War REturn of FORces to GERmany NATO military exercises

Regiment, or Regt.

US or German term for a single-arm unit, consisting of two or three battalions; a typical infantry regiment was 3,000 men and usually commanded by a colonel

Reichsbahn

German state railway network

Reichsführer-SS

Leader of the SS, Heinrich Himmler

Reichskanzlei

Hitler’s Reich Chancellery building in central Berlin

Reichsmarschall

Rank above Generalfeldmarschall, only used by Göring

Reichswehr

German Army 1921–35

Ritter

German title of nobility, equivalent to Knight (‘Sir’)

Ritterkreuz

German Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross, worn at the neck

Rollbahn

German march route, assigned to panzer units

Rottenführer

SS rank of Corporal

R and R

Rest and Recuperation, time away from the front

RSO

Raupenschlepper Ost, German military truck on caterpillar tracks

RTR

Royal Tank Regiment, British armoured formation

S-1

Personnel officer or section (regiment and below)

S-2

Intelligence officer or section (regiment and below)

S-3

Operations officer or section (regiment and below)

S-4

Supply officer or section (regiment and below)

SA, Sturmabteilung

Storm Detachment, pre-Second World War Nazi ‘brownshirt’ paramilitaries

SACEUR

Supreme Allied Commander Europe, established 2 April 1951, first holder of post was Eisenhower

SAM

Surface to Air Missile

SAS

Special Air Service, British special forces regiment

SCR

US Signal Corps Radio

‘Screaming Eagles’

Maxwell D. Taylor’s US 101st Airborne Division

Scharführer

SS rank of Staff Sergeant

Schütze

SS rank of Private

Schwere

Heavy, as in Schwere-Panzer-Abteilung (heavy tank battalion)

Schwimmwagen

German amphibious jeep, manufactured by VW

Second Army

British formation commanded by General Sir Miles Dempsey

Seventh Army (German)

Formation led by General Erich Brandenberger

Seventh Army (US)

Formation led by General Alexander M. ‘Sandy’ Patch

SHAEF

Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, in Versailles, codename ‘Shellburst’

Sherman

The M-4 standard Allied tank of 1943–5

Siegfried Line

Western frontier defence lines, of dragon’s teeth, bunkers and minefields (German Westwall)

SIGINT

Signals Intelligence

Silver Star

US award for valour above Bronze Star, below Distinguished Service Cross, established 1918

Sippenhaft

Guilt and punishment extended by the Nazis to families of those accused of treason after 20 July 1944

Sixth Army Group (US)

Formation commanded by General Jacob ‘Jake’ L. Devers

Sixth Panzer Army

Formation led by Oberstgruppenführer Sepp Dietrich containing mostly SS troops

‘Skyline Drive’

GI name for road that ran from St Vith to Diekirch, on high ground west of and parallel to River Our

SLU

Special Liaison Unit, Ultra-cleared liaison officers

SNAFU

Situation Normal, All F***ed Up; in Bastogne, Team SNAFU was formed from stragglers to repel German penetrations

SOE

British Special Operations Executive, special forces organisation which aided partisans and resistance units, established 22 July 1940

SP

Self-propelled (armoured vehicle)

SPECOU

Special Coverage Unit of the US Army Signal Corps

Spitfire

RAF single-engined fighter, made by Supermarine

Spitze

‘Point’ or vanguard of German Kampfgruppe

Squad

smallest military unit of eight to twelve soldiers (corresponds to British army section)

SS, Schutzstaffel

Protection Squad, Hitler’s original ‘blackshirt’ bodyguards

Stahlhelm

German steel helmet

Stalag

German Stammlager, prisoner of war camp for all ranks

Standartenführer

SS rank equivalent to Colonel

Stars and Stripes

US daily military newspaper, founded 1861

Stösser

German parachute drop behind US lines

StuG, Sturmgeschütz

German twenty-five-ton turret-less mini-tank, with 75mm main gun

Sturmbannführer

SS rank equivalent to Major

Sturmgewehr

German MP-44 assault rifle

Sturmmann

SS rank of Lance Corporal, or PFC

T/4

US rank of Technician Fourth Grade with status of Sergeant

TD

US tank destroyer, either a towed 57mm gun or an M-10, M-18 or M-36 tracked armoured vehicle

TF

US Army Task Force

Third Army (US)

George S. Patton’s command, based in Nancy, headquarters codename ‘Lucky’

Tiger

German tank, the sixty-nine-ton Tiger II was used in the Ardennes. Term was widely used by GIs to denote German tanks, though very few were actually Tiger IIs

Totenkopf

Death’s head insignia worn by tank and SS personnel

Tracer

Illuminating ammunition to help correct aim

Twelfth Army Group (US)

Commanded by General Omar Bradley, based in Luxembourg, headquarters codename ‘Eagle’

Twenty-First Army Group

Commanded by Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, based at Zonhoven, Belgium, headquarters codename ‘Lion’

Typhoon

RAF single-seat, ground-attack fighter, manufactured by Hawker

Ultra

Codename for process of deciphering German Enigma traffic, hence ‘Ultra-classified’ documents and ‘Ultra-cleared’ officers

Unteroffizier

German Army/ Luftwaffe rank of Sergeant

Unterscharführer

SS rank of Sergeant

USAAF

United States Army Air Force, succeeded in 1947 by the USAF

USAEUR

United States Army Europe

USO

United Service Organization, provided live entertainment shows to US troops overseas, established 1941

V-1

‘Doodlebug’ flying bomb, Vergeltungswaffe-1 (Vengeance Weapon)

V-2

Rocket Vergeltungswaffe-2 (Vengeance Weapon)

Varsity

Allied airborne operation supporting the Rhine Crossings, 24 March 1945

Vaterland

Fatherland

Veritable

Allied operation to clear the Reichswald, February–March 1945

VMI

Virginia Military Institute, US military school attended by Patton, founded 1839

Völkischer Beobachter

Nazi Party daily newspaper widely circulated throughout Germany

VolksArtillerie

Artillery units working with Volksgrenadier divisions

Volksdeutsche

Citizens of a non-German country considered by the Nazis to be ethnically German

Volksgerichtshof

People’s Court

Volksgrenadier

German People’s infantry division organized in late 1944

Volkssturm

People’s Militia Home Guard, established 18 October 1944

VolksWerfer

Nebelwerfer units working with Volksgrenadier divisions

WAC

(US) Women’s Army Corps, established 1 July 1943

Wacht am Rhein

Penultimate codename for Ardennes offensive, after the popular nineteenth- century German song (see also Christrose and Herbstnebel)

Waffen-SS

The ‘Fighting SS’ (as opposed to other branches)

Wald

Wood or forest, as in HürtgenwaldKrinkelterwaldReichswald

Wehrmacht

German Armed Forces (excluding SS)

West Point

US Military Academy for officers, established 1802

Westwall

German Siegfried Line (q.v.)

Windhund

Greyhound, nickname of 116th Panzer Division (Waldenburg)

Wirbelwind

‘Whirlwind’, German four-barrelled 20mm anti-aircraft tank

Wolfsschanze

Hitler’s headquarters, near Rastenburg in East Prussia

XO

Executive Officer, US term for second in command

Ziegenberg

Location of Hitler’s headquarters near the Schloss Kransberg

Zug

German Platoon, hence Zugführer – platoon commander

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