military blockade

List of established military terms

This is a list of established military terms which have been in use for at least 50 years. Technology has changed so not all of them are in current use, or they may have been superseded by more modern ones. However they are still in current use in articles about previous military periods. Some of them like Camouflet have been adapted to describe modern versions of old techniques.


Describes terms related to military organisations or institutions.


  • safeguard - "Safeguard. A safeguard is a detachment, guard, or detail posted by a commander for the protection of persons, places, or property of the enemy, or of a neutral affected by the relationship of belligerent forces in their prosecution of war or during circumstances amounting to a state of belligerency. The term also includes a written order left by a commander with an enemy subject or posted upon enemy property for the protection of that person or property. A safeguard is not a device adopted by a belligerent to protect its own property or nationals or to ensure order within its own forces, even if those forces are in a theater of combat operations, and the posting of guards or of off-limits signs does not establish a safeguard unless a commander takes those actions to protect enemy or neutral persons or property. The effect of a safeguard is to pledge the honor of the nation that the person or property shall be respected by the national armed forces.
  • forcing a safe-guard (1770-1785 period) -

Safe-guard, in military affairs, a protection granted by a prince or general, for some of the enemy's lands, houses, persons, &c. to preserve them from being insulted or plundered.
safe-guards were individual soldiers or detachments placed to prevent places (often farms full of tasty crops and livestock) from being plundered. Forcing a safe-guard was the crime of overpowering a safe-guard. Safe-guards were often individual soldiers assigned to watch over an entire farm, so it only took a few marauders to "force" him.

  • forcing a safeguard (current) - Forcing a safeguard. “Forcing a safeguard” means to perform an act or acts in violation of the protection of the safeguard.


Describes terms that are used to administer military forces.


Describe terms used in military technology fields, but are not specific to conflicts in any one environment.


Describe terms used either exclusively or predominantly in land warfare.

  • No man's land is a term for land that is not occupied or more specifically land that is under dispute between countries or areas that will not occupy it because of fear or uncertainty.

Arms and Services

Describe terms used for combat Arms and supporting Services of armed forces used in land warfare.

  • Artillery refers to any engine used for the discharge of large projectiles in war. In military terminology, a unit of artillery is
  • Artillery battery, an organized group of artillery pieces.
  • Also see below Artillery


Describes terms used for talking about how armed forces are used. Many of the terms below can be applied to combat in other environments although most often used in reference to land warfare.


Describes terms used in identification of means of combat to inflict damage on the opponent.


Weapons that are used to inflict damage through cutting or stabbing.

Projectile munitions

Munitions are ordnances that inflict damage through impact.


Crew-served, non-vehicle mounted weapons.



Describes ordnance that cause damage through release of force.


Describes ordnance that causes damage through release of heat.


Describes vehicles used by armed forces that mount weapons.


Describes terms used in military engineering.

See also List of fortifications


  • Defile (geography) is a geographic term for a narrow pass or gorge between mountains. It has its origins as a military description of a pass through which troops can march only in a narrow column or with a narrow front.
  • debouch, to emerge from a defile (or something similar) into open country (debouch can also be used to describe water that flows out of a defile into a wider place such as a lake) and so a fortification at the end of a defile is sometimes known as a debouch.


Arms and Services

Describe terms used for combat Arms and supporting Services of armed forces used in naval warfare.


Describes terms used for talking about how naval armed forces are used.





Arms and Services

Describe terms used for combat Arms and supporting Services of armed forces used in air warfare.


  • Sortie used by air forces to indicate an aircraft mission count (flew seven sorties) or in the sense of a departure (the aircraft sortied).


Describes terms used for talking about how aviation armed forces are used.





See also


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