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Alam Halfa and Alamein


page 487


AA anti-aircraft
AA & QMG Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster-General
Ack Acknowledge
ACV Armoured Command Vehicle
ADC aide-de-camp
Adm, Admin Administration
ADMS Assistant Director of Medical Services
ADOS Assistant Director of Ordnance Services
ADS Advanced Dressing Station
Adv advance(d)
A Echelon Transport usually taken into battle
AFV Armoured Fighting Vehicle (tank or armoured car)
AG Adjutant-General
AGRA Army Group Royal Artillery
AIF Australian Imperial Force
Air Support Control Combined Army-RAF organisation to bring air support to bear on ground operations
Alam Cairn; isolated hillock (Alamein, twin cairns)
ALG Advanced Landing Ground
amn ammunition
AOC-in-C Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief
AP Armour-piercing
armd armoured
armd Cs armoured cars
armoured brigade formation of fast cruiser tanks, etc.
army tank brigade formation of slow infantry tanks, etc.
Arty artillery
ASC Army Service Corps
A tk anti-tank
Aust Australian
B24 Liberator bomber (US)
B25 Mitchell bomber (US)
Bab a pass
Barrage a line of artillery fire
Bays, The The Queen's Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards)page 488
Bde Brigade (British or Allied formation, normally of three infantry battalions, or tank regiments or battalions)
B Ech(elon) Transport sometimes temporarily dispensed with in battle
BERESFORD Code-name for Eighth Army operation on 3–4 Sep 1942 against the flank of Rommel's advance on Alam Halfa
Bersaglieri Italian motorised infantry, organised in regiments each of two or three battalions
BGS Brigadier, General Staff (chief staff officer at Corps or Army)
Bir well or cistern (pl. Abiar)
bivouac (tent) Small portable tent, a ‘pup-tent’
Blenheim British twin-engined bomber
BM Brigade Major (chief staff officer at Brigade)
Bn Battalion (a unit of tanks or reconnaissance troops, normally three squadrons plus HQ; or infantry, four rifle companies plus HQ company; or machine-gunners, four companies of Vickers guns)
Bn Battalion (German unit of tanks, anti-tank or anti-aircraft guns, engineers, infantry, machine-gunners, or motor-cyclists) (Italian organisation was similar)
Bofors Automatic 40-millimetre light anti-aircraft gun of Swedish design
Box All-round defensive position for battalion, brigade or division in static operations
Breda Italian heavy machine-gun or light automatic cannon
Bren standard British light machine-gun
”-carrier light armoured tracked vehicle intended to carry Bren guns, but also used for reconnaissance, carrying ammunition or wounded under fire, etc.
Brigs Brigadiers
BTE British Troops in Egypt (command excluding Eighth Army)
Bty battery (two, three or four troops of guns)
Buffs The Royal East Kent Regiment
BULIMBA Code-name for diversionary attack by 9 Aust Div, 1 Sep 1942
Burg a hill
carrier (Universal) See Bren-
Cav Cavalry (light tanks, armoured cars, carriers)
CB Companion of the Order of the Bath; counter-battery (fire), locating and silencing of hostile guns
CBE Commander of the Order of the British Empire
CCS Casualty Clearing Station
CE Chief Engineer (Corps or Army)
CGS Chief of the General Staffpage 489
Churchill (tank) British infantry support tank, experimental in 1942
CIGS Chief of the Imperial General Staff
C-in-C Commander-in-Chief
CLY County of London Yeomanry
CMG Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George
CO Commanding Officer (usually of a unit)
Col Colonel
Comando Supremo Italian Supreme Command (counterpart of OKW)
Comd Commander; Commanding
comn communication(s)
concentration a pattern of artillery fire
Coy Company
CRA Commander, Royal Artillery (of division)
CRASC Commander, Royal Army Service Corps (of division)—later in 2 NZ Division called CNZASC
CRE Commander, Royal Engineers (of division)
CRUSADER Code-name for British offensive resulting in relief of Tobruk, November 1941
Crusader British Cruiser tank, with 2-pdr gun (later 6-pdr)
CSM Company Sergeant-Major
CSO Chief Signal Officer
DAK Deutsches Afrikakorps (German Africa Corps)
DCM Distinguished Conduct Medal
Deir Depression
det(s) detachment(s)
Div Division, Divisional
Div Arty Divisional Artillery (Headquarters, often HQ NZA)
Div Cav Divisional Cavalry
Div Workshops Ordnance unit for maintaining guns, vehicles and other equipment
DLI Durham Light Infantry
DSO Distinguished Service Order
Ech First, Second, Third, three main contingents of 2 NZEF in order of embarkation, chiefly comprising 4, 5, and 6 Brigades respectively (see also A Echelon, B Echelon)
ED Efficiency Decoration
EM Efficiency Medal
en portée (of 2-pdr gun) carried on special lorry
fd field
Fd Amb Field Ambulance (medical unit)
Fd Coy Field Company (of engineers)
FDL(s) Forward defended locality (localities)
Fd Pk Coy Field Park Company (of engineers)
Fd Regt Field Regiment (unit of artillery)
FF Free French (changed to Fighting French, Oct 1942)
flail tank See Scorpion
FMC Field Maintenance Centrepage 490
FSD Forward Supply Depot
fwd forward
GAF Brigade German Air Force Brigade
G Branch (Office) Staff of division or higher formation or command dealing with operations
‘G’ staff
GCMG Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St. George
Gebel Hill or high ground
GHQ General Headquarters
Gk Greek
GMDS German Military Documents Section, Washington
GOC (-in-C) General Officer Commanding (-in-Chief)
Gp Group (Battalion or Brigade) force of all arms
Grant American heavy tank with 75-mm. gun
Greys The Royal Scots Greys
GSO (I, II, III) General Staff Officer (Class 1, 2, 3)
H Hussars
51 (H) Div 51 (Highland) Division
Half-track Vehicle with wheels in front, tank-like tracks in rear
He. German Heinkel bomber
HE high explosive
HMG heavy machine-gun
Honey nickname for General Stuart tank (American M3)
HQ headquarters
hrs hours
hy heavy
I Intelligence (of enemy)
Int Intelligence (of enemy)
2 i/c Second-in-command
incl inclusive; including
Ind Indian
inf infantry
IO Intelligence Officer
Ju86 German stratospheric reconnaissance aircraft
Ju87 German Stuka dive-bomber
Ju88 German medium bomber
KBE Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
KCB Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
KDG King's Dragoon Guards (a reconnaissance unit)
K kilometre; e.g., K23, a distance sign on road or railway
KRRC The King's Royal Rifle Corpspage 491
LAA light anti-aircraft
laager defensive disposition of unit or formation halted in mobile operations, open order by day and close order by night
LAD Light Aid Detachment (Ordnance establishment for repairing guns, transport, etc.)
LG Landing Ground
LIGHTFOOT Code-name for Eighth Army attack at Alamein, 23 Oct 1942
line (transport)
1st unit
2nd divisional (carrying between FMC and division)
3rd rear (carrying between railhead and FMC)
LMG light machine-gun
LO Liaison Officer
LOB Left out of battle
L of C Line(s) of communication
LRDG Long Range Desert Group
Lt Lieutenant; light
2 Lt Second-Lieutenant
Luftwaffe German Air Force
M13 Italian medium tank
Maaten shallow wells
MANHOOD Code-name for Eighth Army attack on 27 July 1942
Mark (I, II, etc.) designation of production type, especially of tanks
Marsa, mersa port, anchorage
Matilda British infantry support tank
MBE Member of the Order of the British Empire
MC Military Cross; motor-cycle
MC 202 Macchi C 202, Italian fighter aircraft
MDS Main Dressing Station
ME(F) Middle East (Forces)
Me109 single-engined Messerschmitt (German) fighter
Me110 twin-engined long-range fighter or fighter-bomber
Med Medium
(M)MG (Medium) machine-gun
m.g. (Medium) machine-gun
m.i.d. Mentioned in Despatches
Mk See Mark
MM Military Medal
mm. millimetre, as in 88-mm. gun
MO Medical Officer
Mot motorised
m.p.g. miles per gallon
m.p.h. miles per hour (actual rate)
MT mechanical transport
‘Murder’ massed artillery fire on a single target
NAAFI Navy, Army, Air Force Institute(s)
Naqb ascent, passpage 492
NCO non-commissioned officer
n.c.o. non-commissioned officer
Notts Yeo Nottinghamshire Yeomanry
50 (N) Div 50 (Northumbrian) Division
NZA New Zealand Artillery
NZASC New Zealand Army Service Corps
NZE New Zealand Engineers
NZEF New Zealand Expeditionary Force
NZLO New Zealand Liaison Officer
NZMC New Zealand Medical Corps
NZOC New Zealand Ordnance Corps
NZR New Zealand Railways
OBE Officer of the Order of the British Empire
OC Officer Commanding (squadron, battery, company)
offrs officers
OKH Oberkommando des Heeres (High Command of the German Army)
OKL Oberkommando der Luftwaffe (High Command of the German Air Force)
OKM Oberkommando der Kriegsmarine (High Command of the German Navy)
OKW Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (Supreme Command of the German Armed Forces, roughly equivalent to the War Office)
OP Observation Post
Ops Operations; staff branch dealing with same
ORs other ranks (not officers)
P40 Kittyhawk fighter aircraft (US)
PA Personal Assistant (to GOC)
Panzer German tank; armoured unit or formation
Pz German tank; armoured unit or formation
Panzergruppe Afrika Panzer Group Africa
Pz Gp Africa Panzer Group Africa
PEDESTAL Code-name for Malta convoy, August 1942
pl platoon
Point Height marked on map, usually in metres above sea level
Pt Height marked on map, usually in metres above sea level
POL Petrol, oil and lubricants
portée See en portée
pr pounder
provost military police
PW prisoner(s) of war
p.w. prisoner(s) of war
Qaret low hill
QM(G) Quartermaster(-General)
quad lorry for towing British field gun or anti-tank 18-pdr
Queen's, The The Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surreys)
RA Royal Artillery
RAC Royal Armoured Corps page 493
RAMC Royal Army Medical Corps
RAP Regimental Aid Post (unit medical establishment)
Raqabet dry watercourse
Ras, rass cape, headland, summit
RASC Royal Army Service Corps
rd road, round
RE Royal Engineers
recce reconnaissance; reconnoitre
Regt Regiment (unit of tanks, reconnaissance troops, or artillery; in British Army also groups of tank, artillery or infantry units, e.g., RTR, RHA, Black Watch)
Regt Regiment (enemy) (formation of armoured troops or infantry, roughly equivalent to ‘brigade’; also unit of field or medium artillery)
Reinforcements (4th, 5th, etc.) Successive contingents of 2 NZEF after Third Echelon
Res reserve
RHA Royal Horse Artillery (motorised, usually supporting armoured troops)
RHQ Regimental Headquarters
RMO Regimental Medical Officer (of a unit)
RMT Reserve Mechanical Transport
Res MT Reserve Mechanical Transport
Royals The Royal Dragoons (reconnaissance unit)
Royal West Kents The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment
rpt repeat (message)
RSM Regimental Sergeant-Major (senior NCO of unit)
R/T radio-telephony (wireless transmission of speech)
RTR The Royal Tank Regiment
R Tks The Royal Tank Regiment
runner a tank in working order
SA South African
SA small arms
s.a. small arms
sangar rocks piled up for protection in lieu of slit trench where ground was too hard to dig
Sanyet deep well
SC Staff Captain (administrative staff officer at Brigade)
Scorpion tank fitted with a flail device for clearing a path through a minefield
sec section (2-3 guns; detachment of Signals; third of infantry platoon; third of ASC company, etc.)
Sherman American heavy tank with 75-mm. gun
Sidi saint or marabout
Sigs Signals (responsible for R/T, W/T, DR, telephone and other communications)
sitrep situation report
slit trench one- or two-man trench; ‘foxhole’
‘S’ mine German anti-personnel minepage 494
SP self-propelled (gun); Starting Point
Sp. Special
spandau nickname for standard German light and medium machine-gun
sqn squadron (of tanks, reconnaissance troops, or aircraft)
ST Starting Time
Staffs Yeo Staffordshire Yeomanry
‘Stonk’ A quick defensive artillery concentration according to a prearranged pattern
Stuart (General) American M3 light cruiser tank; ‘Honey’ tank
Stuka Junkers 87 dive-bomber
‘Sunshields’ Code-name for dummy vehicles, made from canvas, used for camouflage purposes
SUPERCHARGE Code-name for operation to break through at Alamein
Superlibia Italian Command in North Africa
Svy Survey
‘Swordfish’ area Training area behind the Alamein line, near Alam Shaltut
Tac Army Tactical Headquarters, Eighth Army
Tac HQ Tactical Headquarters
tank-buster Hurricane aircraft with anti-tank cannon
Tell high ground, small hill
temp temporary
tentacle wireless detachment, usually of Air Support Control
Tk tank
Tommy gun Thompson sub-machine gun
TORCH Code-name for Anglo-American landings in French North Africa, November 1942
tower a towing vehicle. See quad
tp(s) troop(s); part of squadron of tanks or reconnaissance troops (usually four tanks or armoured cars); part of battery (4–6 guns)
Trg Training
Trig See Point
Trigh track
TWELVEBORE Eighth Army's code-name giving warning of Rommel's offensive, 30 Aug 1942
U-boat German submarine
UDF Union Defence Force (of South Africa)
Umm Mother of (in place names)
USAAF United States Army Air Force
Valentine British infantry support tank
VC Victoria Cross
VD Volunteer Officers' Decoration
wadi watercourse, usually dry
wastage reduction of manpower
WD Western Desert page 495
WDF Western Desert Force
WE, war establishment authorised full allotment (of men, weapons, etc.)
Wehrmacht German Armed Forces
West Surreys The Queen's Royal Regiment
West Yorks The West Yorkshire Regiment
Wilts Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry
WT Wireless telegraphy
Zero (hour) time given for an operation to start
zeroing checking gun sights, etc., for accuracy
page 496