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BAB / Bab Code: British codebook from 1916 used for telephone communications.
BAC: Brigade Ammunition Column
Bak: Short version of Ballonabwehrkanonen, German guns altered for use in an anti-aircraft role.
bandes mollestiéres : French puttees.
Bangalore Torpedo: Explosive tube/pipe used to blast a way through barbed wire.banjo: ANZAC nickname for a spade.
Bantam: British/Imperial term for men from battalions of short soldiers ? all between 5 foot 1 inch and 5 foot 4 inch - created when supplies of taller men were exhausted.
Barker: Slang for both pistols and sausages, the latter because some soldiers suggested dog meat was involved.
Barrage: artillery bombardment.
Battle-Bag: Nickname for an airship.
Battle Bowler: British slang for their steel helmets.
Battle Order: British term for a set of infantry equipment reduced to the essentials to allow for speed and movement on the attack; the pack was replaced with a haversack.
Battle Police: The military police operating behind an attack to prevent dereliction of duty.
Battle Surplus: A battalion's reserve of officers and men who hung back during an attack; there were enough to operate as an effective unit if the main attack was wiped out. Also known as First Reinforcement or a Cadre.
Battlecruiser: Hybrid craft combining the speed of the Cruiser class ships with the firepower (but not the armour) of a battleship, originally created by the British but adopted by Japan and Germany.
Battleship: The strongest ships available to any nation during the war, battleships were heavily armed and armoured vessels often described as 'mobile fortresses'.
Bayonet: A blade which is attached to the end of a firearm for close quarter fighting; used by all nations.
Bayonet Frog: The device used to attach a bayonet's sheath/scabbard to a belt.
Bayru: Name of a Bavarian aircraft maker.
BE-2: Series of British two-seater reconnaissance/light bombing bi-planes which began the war as the British standard craft.
BE-8: British two-seater reconnaissance bi-plane which saw limited service in 1914-15.
BE-12: Series of British single seat fighter-bombers introduced in 1916.
BEB: 'Brigade Ersatz Bataillone', German battalion created from a brigade's ersatz reserve units.
BEF: 'British Expeditionary Force', the British Army operating on the Western Front. The BEF included Royal Flying Corps units until April 1918.
Belly: The act of a tank grounding itself upon an obstacle, leaving the tracks with no purchase.
Belted: A naval term referring to ships which armour around their hulls like a belt.
Bergmann Guns: Either the Bergman 7.92mm Machine Gun (used by Germany after 1915 as a supplement to its Maxim copy) or the Bergman MP 18/1, a Maschinenpistole (machine pistol) with a thirty-two round clip, the only true submachine gun of the war.
Berm: A ledge in a trench used for storing ammunition or equipment.
BFW: Bayerische Flug zeugwerke, a German aircraft manufacturer.
BGGS: Brigadier-General, General Staff.
BGRA: Brigadier General, Royal Artillery.
BGRE: Brigadier-General, Royal Engineers.
Biff: Slang for a Bristol fighter plane.
Big Bertha: Nickname for the Krupp 420mm heavy howitzer, a huge mobile siege gun designed to smash fortifications. Used by the German army from 1914.Also slang for any German heavy artillery.
Bill Harris: Nickname for the flatworm bilharzias often found in the Middle East.
Billjim: Slang for Australian soldiers, used by Australians.
Billy: ANZAC nickname for a cooking pot/can.
Bivvy: Short version of bivouac, used to refer either to stopping for the night or to any temporary shelter.
Blackburn Kangeroo: British bomber plane used by one coastal patrol squadron in 1918
Black Flight: A famous fighter squadron of the RNAS who planes with black markings and names: Black Prince, Black Death, Black Maria, Black Sheep and Black Roger. They shot down 87 enemies without lost.
Black Hand Gang: A raiding party.
Black Maria: Slang for the explosion of a German shell (because of the black smoke). Also a noted member of the Black Flight.
Blanco: A whitening agent for kit and slang for certain parts of the kit. Also slang for anyone named White.
Blockade: The use of naval power to restrict ? and ideally halt ? imports into a nation, begun by the British in 1914 against the Central Powers. Germany was forced to introduce rationing after just a few weeks.
Bloody April: The period in 1917 when RFC pilots on heavy army assistance duties fought against superior German planes, took heavy casualties and only succeeded due to weight of numbers. The lifespan of a RFC pilot during Bloody April was 23 days.
Bleriot XI: French single-seat reconnaissance monoplane used at the war?s start but withdrawn by 1915 due to lack of armament and combat worthiness.
Bleu Horizon: Official colour of the French army uniforms; it was adopted in 1915.
Blighty: Slang for Britain.
Blighty One: A light wound of enough seriousness to have the soldier sent home.
Blimp: Small airship or balloon; slang for anyone regarded as a 'wind bag'.
Blind pig: Canadian slang for a 9.45 inch mortar bomb.
Blue Caps: The Royal Dublin Fusiliers.
Blues: British hospital dress.
Boche: Nickname for Germans.
Book: British slang for many/plenty/a good quantity, derived from the French beaucoup.
Bolo: An individual who refused to leave their desk/base duties.
Bolt Hole: A hole in the wall of a trench big enough for a soldier to shelter.
Bomb: Hand grenade.
Bombardier: A corporal in the Royal Artillery.
Bomber: A soldier armed with hand grenades, usually the main grenade thrower in an assault party.
Bomb-proof: Splinter proof.
Bomb-stop: Either a barricade or a traverse in a trench to stop both the effects of explosions and the progress of attackers.
Bonhomes: 'Good fellows', French slang for themselves.
Bonk: Artillery shelling.
Bonzer: Anzac slang for good.
Box barrage: Artillery shelling of a small area.
Bracket: The act of firing test shots to either side of a target in order to hone in on the correct co-ordinates.
Brand-munition : 'Fire ammunition', German tracer bullets.
Brass: British slang for high ranking officers.
Brassard: An arm band.
Breakthrough Tactics: The plans and methods devised for getting troops through enemy lines and opening up a hole which could be exploited. They ranged from mass assault to very narrow concentrations of force and differed from flanking tactics, which were rendered unviable by after the Race to the Sea.
Breastwork: when ground was too wet or marshy to dig a trench they were built above ground out of earth, sandbags, rubble and anything else available. That fortification was a Breastwork.
Brigade: The smallest tactical formation above battalion, usually three to four battalions plus support.
Bristol F-2 Fighter: Series of British two-seater fighter-reconnaisance planes used after 1917.
Bristol M-1: Series of British single seater fighter craft used mainly for training.
Bristol Scout: British single-seat bi-plane used in most theatres during the war.
British Warm: British knee-length heavy greatcoat.
Brock?s benefit: A mass of flares or rockets; Brock was a firework manufacturer.
Browning guns: Either the Browning 0.30inch Machine Gun used by the US army after 1917, the 0.30 inch Browning Rifle used from September 1918 by the AEF or the rare Colt-Browning 0.30 inch machine gun.
Bull ring: Behind the lines training ground. Much hated.
Bullocky: Anzac slang for bad language.
Bully: Canned corned beef.
Bundook: British nickname for rifle.
Burgoo/Burgew: British army porridge.
Button-Stick: An aid to cleaning buttons on uniform.
Buzzer: Portable telephone able to perform telegraphy.