Glossary of the First World War - S

SAA: Small Arms Ammunition.

Sablatnig SF-Types: Series of German reconnaissance floatplanes.
Sac á terre : Sandbag.
St. Étienne Gun: French machine gun used when production of the standard Hotchkiss gun couldn’t meet demand. Originally used a thirty round magazine; withdrawn in 1916.
Salient: Any ‘bulge’ or projection out from a battle line.
Sallies / Salvoes: Salvation Army Officers; ran relief operations behind the lines.
Salmson 2: French armed reconnaissance biplane used in 1918.
SAML: Italian reconnaissance biplane.
S ammunition: Spitz-Munition, the normal German bullet.
Sammy: French slang for Americans.
Sandbag: Bags filled with earth or sand and used in the construction of defences.
San fairy ann: British expression of fatalism.
Sangar: Wall to defend against small arms fire.
Sap / Sapping: In trench warfare, the practice of digging small ‘sap’ trenches at roughly ninety degrees out from existing lines and then digging a new trench line at the front of the saps. A slow, but relatively safe, way of moving forward.
Sapper: Royal Engineer.<br/>Sarg: Slang for the Hansa-Brandenburg D1 airplane.
Sausage: Captive barrage balloons.
Sausage Hill: ‘To go to Sausage Hill’ was to be captured by Germans.
SB: Stretcher Bearer.
Scharnhorst: Class of German armoured cruiser.
‘Schlanke Emma’: Skinny Emma, a 305mm howitzer built by Austria-Hungary and famously (and very effectively) used by Germany in 1914.
Schusta: Schutzstaffeln (below).
Schutzstaffeln: German unit protecting reconnaissance aircraft.
Schützen: German Rifle Corps.
Schützengrabenvernichtungaautomobil: Tank.
Schütte-Lanz: A type of German airship.
Schwarze Marie: German slang for a heavy naval gun.
Schwarzlose: The standard machine gun of the Austro-Hungarian army; fired 8mm bullets.
Scran: 1. Food, 2. Rubbish.
SD: Sanitäts-Departement, Medical Department of the German War Ministry.
SE-5: British fighter biplane used after 1917.
Sea Scouts: British observation airships.
Seaplane Carriers: Ships which carried seaplanes; these could sometimes take off from the deck of the carrier, but couldn’t land; instead they used floats to land in the sea and where winched back on.<br/>Selective Service Act: Law requiring all US males between 21-30, later 18-45, to register for possible conscription.
Sepoy: Indian private of infantry.
Shashqa: Cossack Sabre.
Shell dressing: A dressing larger than the field dressing.
Shell Shock: Psychological damage/trauma caused by exposure to warfare.
Shinel: Russian Greatcoat.
Short 184: British floatplane torpedo bomber.
Short 320: British floatplane torpedo bomber.
Short 827: British reconnaissance floatplane.
Shrapnel: Officially balls carried by certain artillery shells to cause maximum damage to infantry, but often used to describe all shards/damage causing pieces from artillery shells.
SIA: Societá Italiana Aviazione, Italian manufacturer of aircraft.
SIA-9B: Italian reconnaissance biplane of 1918.
Siemens-Schuckert D-I: German fighter plane, a copy of the Nieuport 17.
Siemens-Schuckert D-IV: German fighter plane of 1918.
Siemens-Schuckert R-Type: Large German bombing plane.
Sigarneo: Okay.
Signalese: The phonetic alphabet.
Sikorski IM: Russia heavy bomber.<br/>Silent Percy: Slang for a gun firing at such range it couldn’t be heard.
Silent Susan: High velocity shells.
Silladar: System where Indian cavalryman owned their own horse.
Sister Susie: Women doing army work.
SIW: Self Inflicted Wound.
Skilly: Very watery stew.
Skite: ANZAC slang for a boaster.
Slack / Spoil: Debris caused by an explosion.
SM: Company Sergeant Major.
Smasher: Felt slouch hat.
SmK: German armour piercing ammo.
SMLE: Short Magazine Lee-Enfield.
Snob: A soldier who repaired boots.
Soldier’s Friend: Type of boot polish.
Sopwoth Baby: British floatplane.
Sopwith Camel: British fighter biplane used from July 1917 to the war’s end.
Sopwith 5F-1 Dolphin: British fighter/ground attack biplane.
Sopwith ‘Pup’ / Scout: Officially called the Sopwith Scout or Type 9901, the Pup was a single seat fighter.
Sopwith TF-2 Salamander: British ground attack biplane.
Sopwith Schneider: British floatplane.
Sopwith 7F-1 Snipe: British fighter biplane.
Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter: British fighter biplane used by many of the Allies.<br/>Sopwith Tabloid: British scout and light bombing plane.
Sopwith Triplane: British fighter plane with three wings.
SOS: 1. The firing of colour coded rocket from the front line to call down supporting fire. 2. Service of Supply.
Sotnia: Russian cavalry squad.
Sotnik: Cossack lieutenant.
Souvenir: To steal.
South Carolina: American class of battleships.
Sowar: Indian cavalry soldier.
SP: Section de parc, French mechanical transport.
SPAD: French manufacturer of aircraft originally called Société Provisoire des Aëroplanes Deperdussin, but replaced in 1914 by Société pour l’Aviation et ses Dérivés.
Spad A-2: French armed reconnaissance biplane, used mainly on the Eastern front.
Spad S-VII: French fighter biplane.
Spad S-XIII: French fighter biplane used by most allies after summer 1917.
Spad S-XVII: French fighter released in 1918.
‘Spandau’ Gun: Allied name for the German 7.92mm Maschinengewehr, derived from a confusion of official names (the Allies thought the gun was called a Spandau, not produced by them).<br/>‘Spider’s Web’: A system of floatplane patrols targeting submarines in the North Sea after May 1917.
Splash: Either bullet fragments which pass through a tanks observation slits or splinters of metal knocked off the outside of a tank by bullet impacts.
Springfield: Standard rifle of the US army.
Spud: 1. Potatoes 2. Anyone called Murphy 3. Iron devices attached to tank tracks to improve grip.

SR: Scottish Rifles, the Cam
SRD: ‘Service Rum, Dilute’, label on
Section sanitaire, French field ambul
Stabsoffizier: German field
Stand down: The end of a stand-to (se
Standschützen: The reserve mountain troops of
Stand To: Manning trenches to repel at attack, always done at least as dawn
Starshina: Lieutenant-Colonel of the
Starski unteroffizier: Russian
Stavka: The central command of the Russ
Stellenbosch: Being relieved of command and s
Stick-bomb: Hand grenade with
Stinker: Winter goatski
Stinks: Soldiers hand
Stabsoffizier der Maschinengewehre, German staff officer of machine gun u
Stosstruppen: Stor
Stabsoffizier der Vermessungswesens, German staff officer of surve
Strafe: 1. A bombardment/clump of fire. 2. To be
Stranbaus Horn: G
Stunt: 1. An attack. 2. Somethin
Sturmtruppen: Stor
Subedar: Indian lieutenant of
Submarine: British nickname for the bloa
Suicide club: A bombi
Savoia-Verduzio-Ansaldo, Italian manufacturer of airc
Swaddy: Private
Swagger-stick: Cane carried by off duty
Système D: French slang for c

: French slang for confusion.