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-IArmor-Piercing, Incendiary
APBCArmor-Piercing Ballistic Capped
APCArmor-Piercing Capped
APCBCArmor-Piercing Capped Ballistic Capped
APCRArmor-Piercing Composite Rigid
APCNRArmor-Piercing Composite Non-Rigid
APDSArmor-Piercing Discarding Sabot
APFSDSArmour-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding-Sabot
APHEArmor-Piercing High-Explosive
ATGMAnti-Tank Guided Missiles
HEPHigh-Explosive, Plastic (American designation for HESH)
HESHHigh-Explosive Squash-Head
HEATHigh Explosive Anti-Tank
HEAT-FSHigh-Explosive Anti-Tank Fin-Stabilised
HVAPHigh-Velocity Armor-Piercing
KEPKenetic Energy Penetrator
SAPHESemi-Armor-Piercing High-Explosive
SVDSSuper-Velocity Discarding-Sabot (Another name for APDS)
WPWhite Phosphorus, sometimes known as “Willy Pete”

Vehicle Designations

MBTMain Battle Tank

AFVArmored Fighting Vehicle
APCArmored Personnel Carrier
ARVArmored Recovery Vehicle
ASVArmored Security Vehicle
AVLBArmored Vehicle-Launched Bridge
BARVBeach Armored Recovery Vehicle
CEVCombat Engineering Vehicle
DDDuplex Drive (As in Sherman DD, amphibious mod)
IFVInfantry Fighting Vehicle
LAVLand Artillery Vehicle
LPPVLight Protected Patrol Vehicle
MICVMechanized Infantry Combat Vehicle
MRAPMine Resistant Ambush Protected
SPAAGSelf-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun
SPATSelf-Propelled Anti-Tank
SPGSelf-Propelled Gun
SPHSelf-Propelled Howitzer
SPRGSelf-Propelled Recoiless Gun
TMETactical Missile Erector
TELTransporter Erector Launcher (missile)
Country Specific Names
Germany, WW2:
JgPzJagdpanzer (Means “hunting tank”. Tank destroyer)
PzKpfwPanzerkampfwagen (Tank)
Sd.KfzSonderkraftfahrzeug (“special purpose vehicle”)

Crew and Personel

Cdr/TCCommander/Tank Commander
LdrLoader (Traditionally, the Loader is known as the Cannonier, but this term is used extremly rarely)

Tanker Jargon

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


hp/tHorsepower per ton, the measurement used in Power-to-Weight Ratios.
kphKilometers per hour
mphMiles per hour
p/wpower-to-weight (engine ratio)
rpmRevolutions Per Minute (engine)
RPMRounds Per Minute


AAAAnti-Aircraft Artillery
BIIBasic Issue Items
CBRNChemical Biological Radiological Nuclear
CDPCanadian Dry Pin tracks
ERAExplosive Reactive Armor
FCSFire Control System
FFEFire For Effect
FLIRForward looking Infra-red
GPMGGeneral Purpose Machine Gun
HMGHeavy Machine-gun
IFCSImproved Fire Control System (ballistic computer with laser rangefinder)
IFFIdentification Friend or Foe
IINFImage Intensifying Night Fighting
IRNFInfra-Red Night Fighting
gasGasoline (engine)
LRLaser Rangefinder
LWRLaser Warning Reciever
NBCNuclear, Biological, Chemical
PdrPounder (As in 25, 17 or 6 Pounder gun)
POLPetrolium, Oil and Lubricants (Commonly known as Class 3s in today’s Armed Forces)
rfRifled barrel (main gun)
RHARolled Homogeneous Armour
ROFRate of Fire
SAMSurface-to-Air Missile
sbSmooth bore barrel (main gun)
TIThermal Imaging


GBR, UKGreat Britain/United Kingdom
RAFRoyal Air Force
RACRoyal Armored Corps
REMERoyal Electrical Mechanical Egineers
RTCRoyal Tank Corps
RTRRoyal Tank Regiment
WDWar Department
MODMinistery Of Defense
Services, Imperial:
IJAImperial Japanese Army
IJAAFImperial Japanese Army Air Force
IJNImperial Japanese Navy
Services, Modern:
JSDFJapanses Self Defence Force
JGSDFJapanese Ground Self-Defence Force
JASDFJapanese Air Self-Defence Force
JMSDFJapanese Maritime Self-Defence Force
RoCRepublic of China
PRCPeople’s Republic of China
USA, USUnited States of America, United States
USAUnited States Army
USAFUnited States Air Force
USMCUnited States Marine Corps
USSRUnion of Soviet Socialist Republics

4 Responses to Lexical Index

  1. Donald Frost says:

    The A1E1 Independent is listed twice. Just thought you would like to know.

  2. Juan Sebastian Cuesta Almario says:

    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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