Tante Ju Aunt Ju. Junkers Ju 52 three-engine transport aircraft. Also Alte eiserne Tante (Old Iron Aunt), Judula (Julia).
Tarnausweis Lit. ‘camouflage identity card’. Feindflugausweis (combat mission identity card), meaning an individual identity card carried by Fallschirmtruppen (paratroopers) and air crewmen in lieu of the Soldbuch (pay book) when conducting operations over enemy territory.
Taschenflak Pocket air defence cannon, a round-about way of saying pistol.
Tee-Salon Tea salon. The Soviet T-34 tank, far more scary to the Germans than the name implies.
Teilzeitdeutsche Part-time Germans. Ethnic Germans living outside of Germany, but native to the country in which they resided such as Alsace-Lorraine in France, Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia, and Galicia in Poland. Volksdeutschen (German peoples) was the official term.
Terrorflieger Terror-flyer. A propaganda term for Allied bomber crewmen that came into general use.
Teufelsabwehr- Lit. ‘devil defence cannon’. Military chaplain. See
Teufelsgarten Devil’s garden, otherwise known as a minefield.
Theodor Theodore. Nickname for 24cm Eisenbahngeschütze (railroad guns). They were Theodor and Theodor Bruno, of which three and six were produced respectively. See Bruno.
Tiefflieger Low-flier. 1) A not very smart person.
2) A low-flying aircraft, a fighter bomber, Jabo.
Tobruchstellung Tobruk position, called a Tobruk pit by the Allies. Small circular, open-topped concrete machine gun position with its rim flush with the ground. The German design was proposed in April 1941 and redesignated as a Ringstand (circular mount) in November 1942. It was developed by the Italians for the Libyan defences of Tobruk and Bardia, and was widely used by the Germans elsewhere. See Panzerturm.
Tommy Tommy. The Germans often referred to British soldiers by their own nickname. See Bifteck.
Tommykocher Tommy cooker. M4 Sherman tank, on account of its propensity for catching fire when hit.
‘One hit and they boil’ was a fairly accurate description.
Totensonntag Lit. ‘Sunday of the Dead’. Refers to 23 November 1941, the battle of Sidi Rezegh, Libya, when the Afrika-Korps was seriously battered by Commonwealth forces. Other engagements resulting in heavy losses and occurring on a Sunday were sometimes bestowed with this name.
Trek Refugee column. From the Dutch word for travel or journey.
troßkrank Lit. ‘train sick’, meaning a convalescent soldier placed on light duty and detailed to work in the company/battery baggage train (Troß – supply section or rear echelon).
Tunisgrad Melancholy combination of Tunisia and Stalingrad. The name applied to the May 1943 German mass surrender in Tunisia, which followed the February 1943 Stalingrad surrender.
Turkicvolk Turkistan People, south-central Asians from the Soviet Union. Specifically referred to those in German service, and included Turkestanies, Uzbecks, Kasachs, Kirghiz, Karakulpaks, and Tatshiks. Only the Turkicvolk, Cossacks, and Crimean Tartars were approved to serve side-by-side with Germans.
Türklopfer Doorknocker. 1) 3.7cm Pak 35/36 anti-armour gun, as it was ineffective against the better Soviet tanks such as the KV series and T-34.
2) Stick hand grenade, in the context of it being thrown through a door into a room, thus ‘announcing’ one’s presence in very clear terms. It is interesting that Soviet soldiers also referred to the German stick grenade as the ‘doorknocker’ (kolotushka) and may have applied the same term to the 3.7cm Pak.
Untergefreiter Junior private. No such rank existed in the German forces – it referred to a civilian, of even lower status than a private. (Interestingly this is the opposite outlook to that of the American soldier, who regarded a civilian as ‘outranking’ a soldier and a ‘rank’ to be desired.)
V3 Volkssturm (People’s Assault), the late-war
last-resort militia. Nicknamed the V3 in jest as
a new Wunderwaffe (wonder weapon) to defeat the Allies. The V1 and V2 were guided missiles, the ‘V’ meaning Vergeltungswaffen (vengeance weapon). See HJ-Spätlese, Krüppelgarde, and Magenbataillone.
Vater Father. A company/battery commander
was often known as the ‘Father of the company/battery’. Some especially popular commanders, including those commanding higher echelon units, were called Vater or Papa followed by their name, for example, Papa Ramcke (Generalmajor Hermann Ramcke of the Fallschirmtruppen). Compare to Mutter.
Vati Daddy or Pops. An endearing term for a respected older soldier, who may have been only a couple of years older than his comrades. See alte Landser.
Verbrecheralbum Lit. ‘criminal album’. The rogues’ gallery that
was the punishment book, a list of wrongdoers jotted down in the adjutant or senior NCO’s notebook.
Verheizen Burn-up. Senseless sacrificing of troops in an attack or other action.
Versager-1 (V1) Failure No. 1. A strategically accurate name for the V1 rocket bomb. It was intended to have a massively destructive and serious effect on British morale, but was actually far better at sucking up German war resources. A play on the V1’s designation, Vergeltungswaffe (vengeance weapon). Also Volksverdummung-1 (People’s Stultification-1), implying that the public was not entirely in possession of the facts regarding the Wunderwaffen (wonder weapon).
Versuchssoldat Experimental soldier. Member of the Volkssturm (People’s Assault), no doubt ‘experimentally’ used as cannon fodder. See Ersatzreserveersatz.
VierlingQuad. Specifically the four-barrel 2cm Flak 38 antiaircraft gun. Also Flakvierling. (There were other German multi-barrel antiaircraft weapons, including the twin 12.8cm Flakzwilling 40/2 and the three-barrel 15mm MG 151/15 and 2cm MG 151/20 Flakdrilling.)
Vitamin B Vitamin B, but rather than meaning ‘thiamine’ the ‘B’ stood for Beziehungen (connections), implying that well-connected Nazi officials and their families would nourish themselves well, avoiding the hardships and shortages experienced by others.
vollrotzen Lit. ‘full snot’, meaning to fire everything at the target.
Vomag Contraction of Volksoffizier mit Arbeiter Gesicht – a ‘people’s [meaning a common man] officer with a labourer’s face’. Regardless of the supposed Nazi classless society, the German officer corps resented ‘commoners’ entering their ranks, many being former NCOs. Officers were expected to ‘look like officers’ and maintain a certain decorum and bearing.
von der anderen Feldpostnummer Lit. ‘from the other field post [office] number’.
Receiving fire from an enemy position. The expression was also used to describe the enemy in general. Derived from a Field Post stamp on letters.