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  • What is the (UK) Global Support Organisation?What is the (UK) Global Support Organisation?
    Introduction The Global Support Organisation (GSO) provides non-operational support to around 5,000 United Kingdom (UK) Ministry of Defence (MOD) personnel and families on permanent assignments overseas. GSO is a sub-unit of the the UK’s Strategic Command (UKStratCom). GSO provides support, in addition to supporting UK Defence activity, via three pillars… Read more »
  • What is an Ostrog?What is an Ostrog?
    Introduction Ostrog (Russian: острог, IPA: [ɐˈstrok]) is a Russian term for a small fort, typically wooden and often non-permanently staffed. Ostrogs were encircled by 4-6 metres high palisade walls made from sharpened trunks. The name derives from the Russian word строгать (strogat’), “to shave the wood”. Ostrogs were smaller and… Read more »
  • What is a Battery Tower?What is a Battery Tower?
    Introduction A battery tower was a defensive tower built into the outermost defences of many castles, usually in the 16th century or later, after the advent of firearms. Its name is derived from the word battery, a group of several cannon. Outline These, usually round, towers could house numerous cannon… Read more »
  • What is a Pillbox?What is a Pillbox?
    Introduction A pillbox is a type of blockhouse, or concrete dug-in guard-post, often camouflaged, normally equipped with loopholes through which defenders can fire weapons. It is in effect a trench firing step, hardened to protect against small-arms fire and grenades, and raised to improve the field of fire. The modern… Read more »
  • What is a Blockhouse?What is a Blockhouse?
    Introduction A blockhouse is a small fortification, usually consisting of one or more rooms with loopholes, allowing its defenders to fire in various directions. It is usually an isolated fort in the form of a single building, serving as a defensive strong point against any enemy that does not possess… Read more »
  • What is a Periscope Rifle?What is a Periscope Rifle?
    Introduction A periscope rifle is a rifle that has been adapted to enable it to be sighted by the use of a periscope. This enables the shooter to remain concealed below cover. The device was independently invented by a number of individuals in response to the trench warfare conditions of… Read more »
  • What is a Murder Hole?What is a Murder Hole?
    Introduction A murder hole or meurtrière is a hole in the ceiling of a gateway or passageway in a fortification through which the defenders could shoot, throw or pour harmful substances or objects such as rocks, arrows, scalding water, hot sand, quicklime, or boiling oil, down on attackers. Boiling oil… Read more »
  • What is a Bomber Stream?What is a Bomber Stream?
    Introduction The bomber stream was a saturation attack tactic developed by the Royal Air Force (RAF) Bomber Command to overwhelm the nighttime German aerial defences of the Kammhuber Line during World War II. Refer to Combat Box. The Kammhuber Line consisted of three layers of zones of about 32 km… Read more »
  • What was the Red Sea Flotilla (1940-1941)?
    Introduction The Red Sea Flotilla (Flottiglia del mar rosso) was part of the Regia Marina Italiana (Italian Royal Navy) based at Massawa in the colony of Italian Eritrea, part of Italian East Africa. During World War II, the Red Sea Flotilla was active against the East Indies Station of the… Read more »
  • What is a Combat Identification Panel?What is a Combat Identification Panel?
    Introduction The Combat Identification Panel (CIP), also known as a Coalition Identification Panel, is an Identification friend or foe device mounted on military ground vehicles used by United States Armed Forces’ United States Army with United States Marine Corps and its allies to distinguish them from the enemy during battle.… Read more »

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