Chris Kemp's Not Quite Mechanised

Home Up

Military Jargon Unscrambled



Att    Attached. Describes a unit that is attached to another for a specific operation. A unit will be described as 'attached' or 'organic'. Organic means that the unit is a permanent part of that other unit.

Bde    Brigade. A Unit commanded by a Brigadier (one star general) or Colonel, organised into a Brigade Headquarters, and 2-4 Battalions. The Bde may have supporting units attached or organic to it.

Bn    Battalion. A unit of about 650 men, organised into a Bn Headquarters, three or four Companies of 100-120 men, and a Support Company containing 81mm Mortars, Machine Guns and possibly Anti-Tank Guns. Battalions are normally distinguished by numbers - but beware: the British Army calls its Battalions 'Regiments' and often gives them names. Commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel, or perhaps a Major.

Corps    A Corps is a Headquarters with a number of Divisions under it, and supporting units. Unlike a Division, which normally has a standard no. of Brigades under it, a Corps may have anywhere between 2-5 Divisions under it, and those Divisions will vary in no. and type for specific operations.

Coy    Company. A unit of about 100-120 men, organised into a Coy Headquarters, and 2-4 Platoons of  25-40 men. The Coy may have lighter support weapons such as 50-60mm Mortars, machine guns and light Anti-Tank Weapons in its Coy HQ. Commanded by a Major, or perhaps a Captain.

Div    Division. A Unit commanded by a Major (two star) General, organised into a Division Headquarters, and 2-4 Bdes, together with supporting units. The Division is the smallest unit that is totally self-supporting.

FOO     Forward Observation Officer: A small party of Gunners with a radio or telephone link to the Gun Battery. The FOO would relay corrections to the battery. Usually the battery could not see the target, but the FOO could. This procedure is called INDRECT FIRE

HQ    Headquarters. Often distinguished as a BHQ (Battery or Battalion HQ), RHQ (Regimental HQ), Bde HQ (Brigade HQ) etcetera. This is where all the Officers hang around and drink pink gin, schnapps or vodka, depending on Nationality..

MFC    Mortar Fire Controller. The MFC does the same job for Mortars as does an FOO. We rarely model MFCs, as they were rare on the Eastern Front, although the British Army made great use of them at battalion level.    (Back to Italian Orbat)

(Back to SovTankCorps)    (Back To SovInf Div)

O     Observation Post. Usually containing a Forward Observation Officer (FOO), his signaller, and perhaps a small protection party. They would hide within sight of the enemy and radio or telephone fire corrections back to the gun line or battery position, which would be out of site of the enemy. British and Italian Artillery were famous for their skill and bravery. Russian artillery was famous for its quantity.

Orbat Order of Battle. A list of all the units in a Formation, and the way they are grouped together.

Pl    Platoon. A unit of about 25-40 men, organised into a Pl Headquarters, and 2-4 Sections of  5-12 men. Commanded by a Junior officer (a Second Lieutenant or a Lieutenant), or a Sergeant.

RMA Royal Military Academy (Sandhurst). Every Regular Army Officer goes there to learn his trade. So do quite a few foreign Army Officers. In the rooms flanking mine were a Nigerian and a Quatari Prince. You come out knowing how to win wars and drink gin and tonic.   (Back to the Introduction)

Sect    Section. A unit of about 5-12 men commanded by a Corporal or Lance Corporal. This is normally as far as units are divided, although a large section may be divided into a couple of squads, with the junior squad (normally the light machine gun group) commanded by a Lance corporal or senior Private.

TOE Tables of Operational Equipment. A list of all the Tanks Guns and Men that are needed to make up a military unit.

Umpire Using an Umpire in a wargame allows you to hide the dispositions of the defender, spring surprises on both players, and generally liven the game up when it is flagging. Umpiring is excellent fun, and a good umpire is worth his weight in gold. You can play NQM without an umpire, but you will miss out on a lot of fun.     (Back to the Introduction)