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Glossary of WW2 terms and abbreviations

There are 303 entries in this glossary.
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Term Definition
V-1
The first of the operational German weapons of reprisal or "Vergeltungswaffen" - the V-1 was a pilotless flying bomb powered by a pulse-jet engine and carried a 850kg (1875lb) high-explosive warhead, and had a range of up to 200km
V-2
Also known as the A4, the successor to the V-1 was a long range rocket powered by liquid oxygen and alcohol, it had a 975kg (2150lb) high-explosive warhead and a range of 320km
V-3
Long-range smooth-bore gun designed to fire shells with up to 10kg (22lb) high-explosive warhead and a range of 93km - never very successful as most installations were destroyed by bombing before they could be used
V-E Day
Victory in Europe Day - 8th May 1945
V-J Day
Victory over Japan Day - 15th August 1945
Valkyrie
Operational code name for the Schwarze Kapelle plot to overthrow the Hitler regime - July 1944
Varsity
Operational code name for the Allied crossing of the Rhine using airborne troops - March 1945
Vichy France
French regime set up in collaboration with the Germans following the fall of France in 1940 - headed by Marshal Petain and based in the city of Vichy it governed the southern half of France until its dissolution in 1944
Volkssturm
The German Home Guard
Vulcan
Operational code name for the Allied offensive in Tunisia - May 1943
WAAC
Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (USA)
WAAF
Women's Auxiliary Air Force (British)
Waffen SS
The branch of the SS which formed military fighting divisions
Wehrmacht
The German armed forces - headed by the OKW
Weserubung
"River Exercise" - Operational code name for the German invasion of Denmark and Norway - April 1940
Window
Also known as Chaff - metallic foil strips dropped from bombers to give the appearance to German radar of mass formations of aircraft
Wintergewitter
"Winter Storm" - Operational code name for the unsuccessful German attempt to relieve the 6th Army at Stalingrad - December 1942
Wolfschanze
"Wolf's Lair" - code name for Hitler's headquarters near Rastenburg in East-Prussia
WPD
War Plans Department (US)
WRNS
Women's Royal Naval Service (British)
WVS
Women's Voluntary Service (British)
X-craft
A type of midget submarine
X-Gerat
German bomber radio-navigational equipment
XX-committee
British intelligence organisation used to feed false information to Germany e.g by the use of double-agents
Y-service
British signals staff responsible for the interception of enemy radio and telephone messages
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