Year 9 Keywords

Allies – one country is sided with another.

Alsace and Lorraine – two regions in France which were taken by Prussia after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. France wanted these areas back and this became of the main causes of the First World War.

Appeasement – to bring to a state of peace, quiet, ease, calm or contentment. A policy used by the British government with Hitler in the 1930’s.

Armistice – this is an agreement to stop fighting during a war.

Artillery – the large guns used by the army, (formerly cannons).

Assassination – a murder of a political or religious leader.

Attrition – the process of gradually wearing something down through continual attack.

Barrage – when a large number of guns, usually artillery, are fired continuously at the enemy.

Battalion – made up of at least 2 companies, usually between 600 – 800 men.

Bayonet – a steel dagger designed to fit on the end of a rifle.

Biased – a one-sided view.

Blitzkrieg – lightning war.

Colony – any territory which is occupied and ruled by another nation is a colony.

Communist – part of a political system where all property is owned by the government and people are paid by them according to their needs.

Conscription – it is compulsory for people to become part of the armed services in a country.

Company – made up of at least 2 platoons and in the British army, numbering between 100 – 200 men.

Conscientious Objector – someone who refuses to fight in a war because their conscience will no let them. They feel they are not able to kill another person.

Conspiracy – A secret plan or plot to take action against somebody else. Often somebody is harmed.

Court Martial – a military or naval court of officers appointed by a commander to try persons for offences under military law.

Democracy – the people of a country elect their government.

Deterrent – something which discourages someone from taking a particular course of action, e.g. preventing a country going to war because of your own weapons or threats.

Dictatorship – a country, government or form of government in which the leader has absolute power.

Diplomacy – the way states or countries communicate peacefully with each other is diplomacy.

Dreadnought – the new battleship which sparked a naval arms race between Germany and Great Britain before the Great War.

Duckboard – a narrow plank of wood which was placed on the bottom of the trench so that soldiers could walk on it and avoid the mud.

Empire – a collection of countries or states which is governed by an emperor or empress.

Evacuation – people leave a particular area usually because of danger.

Fascism – an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government.

Home Front – this term was used to refer to the work of the civilian population in their countries during the two world wars. The work involved their efforts to support the military campaign.

Imperialism – the policy of building or extending an empire.

Interpretation – an explanation of a point of view.

Kaiser – this was the title of the German emperor from 1871.

Lieutenant – a junior officer in the army or navy. They are in charge of a platoon in the army.

Militarism – the military is one of the most important groups in the country and there is generally an increase in the armed forces.

Mutiny – this is where soldiers or sailors rebel against military orders or officers.

Nationalist – a member of a political group working or fighting for national independence.

Offensive – a planned series of attacks onto the enemy.

Pacifist – someone who opposes any war and is likely to protest against it.

Platoon – made up of 3 sections, ( around 8 men in each), and others. Generally, numbered betwen 25 – 35 men in each.

Posthumous – this takes place after someone’s death.

Propaganda – information which is produced by the government to influence opinions.

Reparations – compensation in money, material, labour, etc. payable by a defeated country to another country or to an individual for loss suffered during or a result of war.

Revolution – a massive change in a country. An example would be the overthrow of a government by the people.

Slav – a race of people who generally live in Eastern European countries.

Soviet – a soviet is a Russian council.

Stalemate – this is a situation where neither side in the war is able to gain a victory over the other.

Strategy – this is the art of military planning in a war.

Tactics – these are the plans to place or deploy soldiers, ships and aircraft during the battle.

Total War – a strategy where a country declares was on the entire country, military and civilians alike.

Trench – a long narrow ditch which soldiers dig for protection.

Triple Alliance – an alliance between Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy before the First World War.

Triple Entente – an alliance between Great Britain, France and Russia before the First World War.

U-boat – a German submarine during the two world wars.

Western Front – a series of trenches stretching from the English Channel to Switzerland during the First World War.

  1. Mazen Sharaf says:

    In the exam will it be like last year where you match the words to the definitions or will we have to write the definition out?

    Thank you

    • adamkg1915 says:


      You will only have to match the definition to the word. As simple as 2 – F, 4 – B etc.

  2. James Bonney says:

    Do we need to know all of these or is it just going to be the most important?

    • adamkg1915 says:


      I will choose from the list of keywords. There will be 16 in total. I will give you details of what will be on the examination tomorrow.



  3. Grace Onyancha says:


    On the exam i know you cant say what we MAY be writing about but, will we HAVE to write an essay on any topic that we learned in term two in a section of the exam?

    • adamkg1915 says:

      Yes, you have to write an essay on one of the topics studied in the second term. Read your own essays, especially me comments, in order to prepare for the examination.

  4. Fatima says:

    Hey Sir,
    In the list you didn’t mention Alsace+ Lorraine
    What are they again?

  5. Fatima says:

    Sir can you explain dreadnought in more detail??
    Was it like the newest battle ship which started a quarrel between Germany n Great (Not really! 🙂 ) Britain?

    • adamkg1915 says:

      Dreadnoughts were built in the early 20th century. They were a new type of battleship because of their all-round gun capability, increased armour and speed. As Great Britain relied on its navy to protect their empire, these dreadnoughts, despite a British invention, were a threat if other countries built them. This was because these ships could destroy the vast majority of the Royal Navy. They were that advanced. Consequently, when Germany began building dreadnoughts, Great Britain saw a potential threat and an arms race began.
      Hope this answers a few questions.

  6. Fatima says:

    Hi Sir,
    That does but I don’t really get arms race bit?
    Is it like a race of ammunition?

  7. Stewart says:

    Hi Sir,
    how many words will be on the definition page??

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