AA Anti-Aircraft
AAA Anti-Aircraft Artillery
AIF Australian Imperial Forces
ALNAV All Navy communication.

US Navy classification of a general order to all Navy establishments. The number following eg ALNAV 12 indicates that this is the 12th general order to be issued this year.

anti-Comintern Pact Agreement guarding against the Communist International.


Arrow Cross Fascist political party of Hungary. More...
ASDIC Underwater submarine  detection system using an acoustic pulse. More...
ASW Anti-Submarine Warfare
BBC British Broadcasting Corporation. More...
BEF British Expeditionary Force. Sent to France on the outbreak of the war in 1939 and finally evacuated from Dunkirk in 1940. More...
BMW Bayerische Motoren Werke. German engineering giant. More...
CIGS Chief of the Imperial General Staff
Cooper Bomb An anti-personnel bomb. The British carried them them on most missions to cause fragmentation casualties amongst the AA and, on smaller vessels, the bridge crews crews. (Mark E. Horan)

Bomb HE, Cooper 20lb


Like other weapons of WWI origin was named after the designer.

Continued in action as an APers weapon into WWII. Many FAA and RAF aircraft were fitted for its use (particularly early in WWII). Would have been used almost exclusively against soft-skinned vessels (trawler or less) or on land against personnel and soft skinned transport.

Found to be not worth the effort and fell out of use except as a practice bomb later in the war. (Daniel Ross)


COSSAC Chief of Staff Supreme Allied Command.

Head of planning for the invasion of Europe by the western allied. First to hold the office is Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick Morgan.

CPR Canadian Pacific Railway.
DAK Deutsche Afrika Korps

The Africa Corps of the Heer.

DEMS Defensively Equipped Merchant Ships
Drager Gear Similar in general concept to the Momsen Lung, re-breathing air, but far different in actual design, as it had a more sophisticated mask and as designed as a flotation device to aid an otherwise unassisted ascent whereas the Momsen Lung was designed as a breathing device to be used while going up an ascent line. (Mark Horan)


Operation DRUMBEAT English translation of the German "Paukenschlag"
DSO Distinguished Service Order. Gallantry medal awarded to subjects of the British Empire.


ETO United States Army Air Forces term for the European Theater (sic) of Operations
FFI Forces Françaises de l'Intériuer
FEAF Far East Air Force (US)
FOIC Flag Officer-In-Charge
FTR Fails To Return
HAA Heavy Anti-Aircraft
HE High-Explosive
Heja II Hungarian fighter aircraft. More...   Picture...
HMAS His Majesty's Australian Ship
HMCS His Majesty's Canadian Ship
HMC ML His Majesty's Canadian Motor Launch aka "Q Boats", "Q Fifty" (Spud Roscoe, Link)
HMNZS His Majesty's New Zealand Ship
HMS His Majesty's Ship
HMS COVENTRY Royal Naval Ceres class cruiser. More...
IAZ Inner Artillery Zone

The Air defence Zone designated over the heart of London.

IGHQ Imperial General Headquarters - the Japanese High Command
IJA Imperial Japanese Army
IJN Imperial Japanese Navy. More...
IRA Irish Republican Army. Irish terrorist organisation dedicated to the removal of the British presence in Northern Ireland and the reunification of Ireland.


ITC Initial Training Camp
L of C Lines of Communication
LAA Light Anti-Aircraft
Lend-Lease The scheme to enable Allied nations to 'borrow' military equipment from the United States for the duration of the war. Instituted when the United Kingdom could no longer afford to buy hardware from the US.

Aircraft supplied to the USSR.

Luftwaffe German air force. More...
magnetic mine A weapon which is detonated by a magnetic field. More...
MOH Medal of Honor. The highest decoration for bravery awarded to a member of the armed forces of the United States of America.

List of Citations.

MSR Mouvement Social Révolutionaire
NAS Naval Air Station (United States Navy)
NEF Newfoundland Escort Force
OELAG Austrian state airline. More...
OKH Oberkommando der Herres (Commander-in-Chief of the German Army)
OKL Oberkommando der Luftwaffe (Commander-in-Chief of the German Air Force)
OKM Oberkommando der Marine (Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy)
OKW Ober Kommando der Wehrmacht - the Supreme Command of the German Armed Forces.
OTU Operational Training Unit. RAF unit used to transition trainee aircrew to operational squadrons.
POL Petroleum Oil Lubricants
PPF Parti Populaire Français (Doriot party; its newspaper, Le Cri du Peuple)
RAAF Royal Australian Air Force
RAF Royal Air Force - formed in 1918, the United Kingdom's air arm was the first such independent air force.

RAF Website


RAN Royal Australian Navy

RAN Website

RAuxAF British Royal Auxiliary Air Force
RAINBOW-5 The war plan which advocated complete defence in the Pacific and complete offense in the Atlantic, with an invasion of France following almost immediately upon the declaration of War.  This plan was revised in November, 1941, to call for the defence of the Philippines with the islands to be defensible by April, 1942.  Earlier versions (Rainbow-1 and -4) completely wrote off the Philippines, while others (Rainbow-2 and -3) called for offensive operations in the Pacific only in coördination with Britain, France, and Holland).
RCAF Royal Canadian Air Force
RCN Royal Canadian Navy
RCT Regimental Combat Team. US Army terminology.
RDF Radio Direction Finding - was the British cover name for Radar. The use of the term RDF was supposed to convince the Germans that the British did NOT have Radar!
RN (British )Royal Navy
RNP FRANCE: Rassemblement National Populaire, the Deat collaborationist party; its newspaper was L'Ouevre
RNZAF Royal New Zealand Air Force
RNZN Royal New Zealand Navy
ROTC Reserve Officer Training Corps - Army and air force training for college and university students in the United States and its colonies.
RSHA Reichssicherheitshauptamt, the German police and security apparatus under Himmler, wth the SS and SD among its components.
RTR Royal Tank Regiment
RVPS Royal Victoria Patriotic School(s)

The place where all refugees to Britain were confined and interrogated.
This was a school established for the daughters of British Officers killed in the Crimean War. In WWII, it was an interrogation center, and was a dreary blockhouse of a place.

People arriving in the UK who were not known with confidence to be reliable and exactly who they claimed to be were kept there in detention for interrogation and background investigation. Some people spent months there, as prisoners, really.

It has been torn down. It was located across the Thames from the central London area, near the Battersea Power Station. (Cris Wetton and Bill Carmody)

SAAF South African Air Force
SD Sicherheitdienst. Amt VI of the RHSA   responsible for external security
SFK Svenska Frivilligkåren (Swedish Volunteer Corps, SFK). The CO of the SFK was Lt. Gen. Ernst Linder.
SNLF Japanese Special Naval Landing Force. Operated in a similar capacity to a marine unit, but without the size and organization of the Royal or US Marines.
SOL Service d'Ordre Légionnaire a Vichy paramilitary formation, led by Joseph Darndard (b. 1897) one of the seven children of   a railwayman, who had served with conspicuous bravery in both world wars, and been much decorated.
SPITBALL A spitball is a ball thrown by the pitcher in which he has applied various substances such as spit, sweat, vasoline, ectera that will cause the balls to move in an accelerated manner.

The pitch was actually legal until 1921 and a list was generated of pitchers who were grand fathered in. I think the last legal spitball pitch was thrown in the 1931.

The following article was written in Baseball Magazine in 1922...

The spit ball is the vermiform appendix of major league pitching and like the human organ of that name, has caused a great deal of trouble. Two years ago a consultation of eminent specialists in the person of the Rules Committee decided that the patient must be operated upon. The troublesome appendix must be removed. Hence they decreed that no new comers on the slab should be permitted to use the spit ball, while those tough old veterans who had become addicted to the spitter must reform within the season and quit the nefarious delivery ever after.

At that time the spitter had few friends and many enemies. It was arraigned under no less than six different counts, as the lawyers say. The critics claimed first that a spit ball pitcher wasn't a pitcher. Clark Griffith, himself a pitcher in his prime, made this announcement with much gusto. It was noted by several mercenary magnates that Clark had no spitball pitchers on his staff and could afford to be critical. Nevertheless, there was something in his contention. Some spit ball pitchers at least would probably never have been successful without the spitter.

Second, the spitter had a demoralizing influence on fielding. This was partially true. Some spit balls are hard for the fielders to handle and result in undeserved errors. 

Third, the spit ball is it unsanitary. There was much sober sense behind this criticism. The spit ball certainly isn't nice from an aesthetic standpoint. But, of course, there are a number of crude, unrefined details about professional baseball.

Fourth, the spit ball was a violation of the rules which forbade the pitcher to put any foreign substance on the baseball. Doubtless this rule could be read to include the spit ball, although some refused to so read it. In any case the spitter was a suspicious character on the verge of baseball legality.

Fifth, the spit ball was injurious to the pitcher himself because it was wearing on the pitching arm. Critics saw in the sudden collapse of Ed Walsh, the greatest of spit ball pitchers, a general indictment of the spitter itself.

Sixth, the spit ball being an effective delivery, interfered with batting and was therefore objectionable. Bear in mind that two years ago baseball was concerned with improving the quality of batting and multiplying the number of safe hits. The necessity for such action, of course, has since that time utterly vanished in such a tempest of slugging as the rule makers never foresaw.

These in brief were the cardinal sins with which the culprit spit ball was charged.

We shall not attempt to determine at this time to what extent these charges were justified. Circumstances alter cases and the drastic decision to abolish the spit ball utterly has been modified by almost universal consent. The necessity for stimulating batting ceased abruptly. On the contrary there arose a seeming necessity for stimulating pitching. Besides a strict enforcement of the original rule would have worked great hardship on some of baseball's leading twirlers. Such men as Burleigh Grimes of Brooklyn and Stanley Coveleskie of Cleveland depended upon the spit ball for much of their effectiveness, had enjoyed useful and successful careers and without the spit ball would be deprived of their livelihood.

Even the bitterest enemies of the spitter sympathized with the just protest of these pitchers and joined in the demand that they be allowed to continue the use of their favorite delivery.

And so the role was amended to permit pitchers who were already spit ball pitchers, to remain as they were, though it continued in force against all new comers. Hence it appears that if the rule is not further amended, and there is no present indication that it will be amended, the spit ball is dying out of the game and will disappear with the passing of the last veteran who now uses the famous, but much maligned delivery.

At present there are but six pitchers in the National League and eight in the American circuit who are eligible to use the spit ball by virtue of the fact that they were spit ball pitchers before the official ban went into effect. This thin line of fourteen veterans, not all of them as a matter of fact in big league service at present, numbers the last survivors of a once great clan. These pitchers in the National list are Phil Douglas of the Giants, Burleigh Grimes and Mitchell of Brooklyn, Fillingim of the Braves and Doak and Goodwin of the Cardinals. In the American League those exempted were Caldwell, Coveleskie and Sothoron of Cleveland, Leonard of Detroit when he is in uniform, the aged John Picus Quinn of the Red Sox, the redoubtable Shocker of the Browns, Allan Russell, and last, but by no means least, "Red" Faber, the backbone of Charles Comiskey's pitching staff.

We have said that these veteran hurlers were the last of a once great clan.

We might more accurately state that this clan, though few in numbers, is still great, out of all proportion to its membership. The last two seasons have seen the wreck of most great pitching staffs. The number of efficient hurlers has dwindled to a degree where the manager with any semblance of a good pitching staff, feels that he has a fine bid for the pennant. The alarming decline in pitching efficiency after the new rules went into effect, was even more pronounced than had been the previous decline in good hitting. In the grand crash of pitching averages and the riot of base hits, how stood the meagre line of spit ball hurlers? Their work was indeed, a pleasant resting place for weary eyes.

Glance over that list and see how many pitching aces are included. That will tell the story.

Doak was last year, not only the leading pitcher on the fighting Cardinal Club, but he had positively the best record of any pitcher In the National League. Burleigh Grimes all last season was the backbone of the Brooklyn defence and one of the most effective, all?around slab performers in a baseball uniform. We could hardly call Douglas McGraw's ace, but he was a tremendously effective pitcher as his World's Series' record amply proves.

Urban Shocker was and is the foundation of the Browns' hurling staff and the corner stone of the Browns' pennant hopes. Coveleskie may be slipping, but he has been for several seasons the leading pitcher on the powerful Cleveland Club. The other pitchers on the list are all at least average, if not better than average in quality. While Urban Faber was undoubtedly the pitching sensation of 1921.

Last season Faber was with a club that competed all year with the Athletics for a place in the cellar. Had it not been for Faber's good right arm, the White Sox might well have finished him. Every one knows what a handicap to a pitcher is a losing club, and yet last season with the White Sox, Faber won more games than any other pitcher in baseball with two exceptions and these exceptions were Carl Mays, with the pennant?wining Yankees behind him and Urban Shocker of the powerful Brown machine. Furthermore, Faber's average in earned runs was the best in either league.

Faber not unnaturally defends the spit ball and as his remarks convey much sober sense, we give them as nearly as possible as he gave them to us recently, in the club house, while the trainer was wrapping hot towels around his injured ankle. IncidentaIly in these remarks the eminent Mr. Faber takes a shot at some of the stock arguments against the spit ball mentioned above.

"They say the spitter is bad for a pitcher's arm. This is not true. I can prove it by my own experience. I never used a spitter in my life until I was obliged to by a kind of necessity because I had nearly ruined my arm throwing curves. That was when I was in the minor leagues, and I can remember how sore my arm was from curved ball pitching. The spit ball may be a little harder on a pitcher's arm than throwing a straight, fast ball. 

But certainly it is not half as bad as throwing a curve. The curve causes a continual grind at the elbow and in many cases permanently shortens a pitcher's arm. Some kinds of slow ball are also very hard for a pitcher's arm. But these deliveries are not only legal but are encouraged.

"I am getting old as pitchers go, but I could throw spitters all day, and why not? A spitter has to be thrown moderately fast and the ball slips away from under the two front fingers of the pitching hand and sails up to the batter rotating very slowly. Then it breaks down and to one side. What is there unnatural about that or hard on the arm? I have been using a spit ball for some years and I have never been able to discover. They say it is unsanitary. Well I won't argue about that. I never wet the ball but merely the ends of the first two fingers on my right hand. The whole theory of the spit ball is to let the ball slide away from a smooth surface. Wetting the fingers gives this smooth surface. By the time the ball has traveled through the air, met the bat and been driven to some infielder it is perfectly dry. No infielder needs to make an error on such a ball. Of course, I can't say that some spit baII pitchers haven't misused the privilege. But they didn't need to and that disposes of the myth that the spitter causes a lot of errors by infielders. It may have done so, but it didn't need to, properly handled. A spit ball pitcher always chews something. It's an odd thing, but I have had to experiment with things to chew. Some spit ball pitchers use slippery elm. Slippery elm doesn't work with me. It's too slippery and I can't control the ball. I have tried chewing gum. But that wasn't quite slippery enough. So I have had to fall back on the good old custom, now much abused, of chewing tobacco. Tobacco juice fills the bill. And I don't chew it because I like it either. In fact, I never chew except when I am pitching. 

But it seems to be an indispensable part of my business like a mason's trowel or a carpenter's hammer.

"Of course I depend a great deal on the spit ball. But I do not use spitters exclusively. I throw a lot of fast balls and some curves. There are batters in this league who seem to like spitters. They have solved the problem of hitting under where the ball looks to be and meeting it as it breaks. There are batters that I wouldn't give a spitter to in a pinch, I would feed them a curve. For all that a spit ball is a good friend to the pitcher who knows how to use it and, in my opinion, deserves a better fate than to be read out of baseball when the last of the present pitching crop goes to the minors. Some of us are getting old and won't last much longer.

There'll come a day not far off either, unless they change the rule, when the spit ball will be unknown In the major leagues. That won't affect me directly because I shall be laid on the shelf by that time. But I think it's a mistake to abolish the spit ball. (Ron Babuka)

STAVKA Soviet High Command
UK United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
US United States of America
USA United States' Army
USAAC United States Army Air Corps 
USAAF United States Army Air Forces
USAFFE United States Air Forces Far East
USCG United States Coast Guard
USCGR United States Coast Guard Reserve.
USMC United States Marine Corps. Amphibious US service. More...
USN United States Navy
USO United Servicemen's Organisation
USS United States' Ship
USSR Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
WAAF The British Women's Auxiliary Air Force. More...
WAVES Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service. More...
WPD US War Plans Division
WOP/AG RAF rank - Wireless Operator/Air Gunner