Lexical Index

Hello, dear reader! This index is in need of some care and attention and may contain errors or inaccuracies and in the process of being updated. If you spot anything out of place, please let us know!

Military language is full of abbreviations, near-abbreviations, and acronyms. The word “Steal” for instance, comes from the military acronym for “Supplies Taken in Excess of Authorised Listing”.

To assist you on your travels through Tanks Encyclopedia, we have formulated this categorized alphabetical list:


Note: Almost all of these ammo types may have a Tracer variant, this is identified in most cases as a “-T”. “AP-T, Armor-Piercing, Tracer” for instance.

AP Armor-Piercing
AP-I Armor-Piercing, Incendiary
APBC Armor-Piercing Ballistic Capped
APC Armor-Piercing Capped
APCBC Armor-Piercing Capped Ballistic Capped
APCR Armor-Piercing Composite Rigid
APCNR Armor-Piercing Composite Non-Rigid
APDS Armor-Piercing Discarding Sabot
APFSDS Armour-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding-Sabot
APHE Armor-Piercing High-Explosive
ATGM Anti-Tank Guided Missiles
HE High-Explosive
HEP High-Explosive, Plastic (American designation for HESH)
HESH High-Explosive Squash-Head
HEAT High Explosive Anti-Tank
HEAT-FS High-Explosive Anti-Tank Fin-Stabilised
HVAP High-Velocity Armor-Piercing
KEP Kenetic Energy Penetrator
SAPHE Semi-Armor-Piercing High-Explosive
SVDS Super-Velocity Discarding-Sabot (Another name for APDS)
WP White Phosphorus, sometimes known as “Willy Pete”

Vehicle Designations

AFV Armored Fighting Vehicle
APC Armored Personnel Carrier
ARV Armored Recovery Vehicle
ASV Armored Security Vehicle
AVLB Armored Vehicle-Launched Bridge
BARV Beach Armored Recovery Vehicle
CEV Combat Engineering Vehicle
DD Duplex Drive (As in Sherman DD, amphibious mod)
IFV Infantry Fighting Vehicle
LAV Land Artillery Vehicle
LPPV Light Protected Patrol Vehicle
MBT Main Battle Tank
MICV Mechanized Infantry Combat Vehicle
MRAP Mine Resistant Ambush Protected
SPAAG Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun
SP Self-Propelled
SPAT Self-Propelled Anti-Tank
SPG Self-Propelled Gun
SPH Self-Propelled Howitzer
SPRG Self-Propelled Recoiless Gun
TME Tactical Missile Erector
TEL Transporter Erector Launcher (missile)
Country Specific Names
Germany, WW2:
JgPz Jagdpanzer (Means “hunting tank”. Tank destroyer)
PzKpfw Panzerkampfwagen (Tank)
Sd.Kfz Sonderkraftfahrzeug (“special purpose vehicle”)

Crew and Personel

Cdr/TC Commander/Tank Commander
Ldr Loader (Traditionally, the Loader is known as the Cannonier, but this term is used extremly rarely)
Gnr Gunner

Tanker Jargon

Ass Tanks and armored vehicles
Driver’s Hole A name given to the Drivers position
Frog’s Eyes A name given to the stereoscopic range finders found on tanks like the M47, M48 Medium tanks, and M103 Heavy Tank
Grunt Phone The infantry telephone mounted on the back of tanks that allows infantry to comunicate with the tank crew
Gun Crutch British Term for the external gun Travel Lock
Hull Monster The voids in the engine bay that has a habbit of swallowing the mechanic’s tools, nuts and bolts, etc.
Little Joe The large wrench used to adjust track tension on US tanks such as the M3 Lee, M4 Sherman and M10 Wolverine.
Ma Deuce The famous Browning M2HB .50 Cal. heavy machine gun.
Pigiron (Pig-Iron) USMC slang for Tank
Tank Bite An injury sustained by getting one’s fingers caught and pinches in flaps, hatches or panels.
Tanker Bar Long bar tapering to a wedge on one end used to open panels and assist in general maintenance.
Turret Monster The void between the turret and hull that has a habbit of swallowing pens maps and other equipment.
Wobble Stick The joy stick used to control speed and steer on tanks such as the M47 Patton.


ft Feet
hp Horsepower
hp/t Horsepower per ton, the measurement used in Power-to-Weight Ratios.
kph Kilometers per hour
kw Kilowatts
m Meter(s)
mm Millimeters
mph Miles per hour
p/w power-to-weight (engine ratio)
rpm Revolutions Per Minute (engine)
RPM Rounds Per Minute


AA Anti-Air
AAA Anti-Aircraft Artillery
BII Basic Issue Items
CBRN Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear
CDP Canadian Dry Pin tracks
ERA Explosive Reactive Armor
FCS Fire Control System
FFE Fire For Effect
FLIR Forward looking Infra-red
GPMG General Purpose Machine Gun
HMG Heavy Machine-gun
IFCS Improved Fire Control System (ballistic computer with laser rangefinder)
IFF Identification Friend or Foe
IINF Image Intensifying Night Fighting
IR Infra-red
IRNF Infra-Red Night Fighting
gas Gasoline (engine)
LR Laser Rangefinder
LWR Laser Warning Reciever
MG Machine-gun
NBC Nuclear, Biological, Chemical
Pdr Pounder (As in 25, 17 or 6 Pounder gun)
POL Petrolium, Oil and Lubricants (Commonly known as Class 3s in today’s Armed Forces)
rf Rifled barrel (main gun)
RHA Rolled Homogeneous Armour
ROF Rate of Fire
SAM Surface-to-Air Missile
sb Smooth bore barrel (main gun)
TI Thermal Imaging


GBR, UK Great Britain/United Kingdom
RAF Royal Air Force
RAC Royal Armored Corps
REME Royal Electrical Mechanical Egineers
RTC Royal Tank Corps
RTR Royal Tank Regiment
WD War Department
MOD Ministery Of Defense
JPN Japan
Services, Imperial:
IJA Imperial Japanese Army
IJAAF Imperial Japanese Army Air Force
IJN Imperial Japanese Navy
Services, Modern:
JSDF Japanses Self Defence Force
JGSDF Japanese Ground Self-Defence Force
JASDF Japanese Air Self-Defence Force
JMSDF Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force
RoC Republic of China
PRC People’s Republic of China
USA, US United States of America, United States
USA United States Army
USAF United States Air Force
USMC United States Marine Corps
USSR Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

4 replies on “Lexical Index”

I have a question, Was the jargon mentioned here used by the Germans during the Second World War, or is it only for Anglo-Saxon use?

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