History Glossary


an agreement to stop fighting. The most famous armistice was when the two sides in the First World War agreed on a ceasefire to begin at 11 am on 11th November 1918. This is why the war dead are remembered every year on Armistice Day.

large guns used in battle from the fifteenth century onwards. Too heavy to carry, these guns were usually drawn by teams of horses (even as late as the Second World War), by motor vehicles and locomotives. Self-propelled guns, in the form of tanks, first went into action on the Western Front in 1916.

a German 1,200-ton ship, disguised as a Norwegian merchant vessel, which took 20,000 Russian rifles for the use of those planning rebellion in Ireland in 1916. After waiting in vain for Volunteers to meet him in Tralee Bay, Captain Karl Spindler scuttled the Aud in Cork Harbour on 22nd April as British ships closed in.

former British Army officers recruited as temporary recruits to the Royal Irish Constabulary in 1920-1. Brigadier General Frank Crozier resigned as their commander in February 1921 because these men were so badly disciplined.