Stephen Wyley's "Dictionary of military architecture"

English Term and Definition
Equivalent Terms
Recommended Usage
Blockhouse or Bunker

Blockhaus (French)
Usually refers to positions without complete facilities for independent operations)

Bunker (German-Dutch)

Lehky Objekt (Czech)
Light object or bunker

Bunkier (Polish)

Bunkkeri (Finnish)

In descriptions refering to small positions, that are generally not equipped with full internal facilities for independent operations, the term either Bunker or Blockhouse in any langauge may be used.
Bunker, Pillbox, and Dugout (excavated shelter)
All used interchangeably to refer to a reinforced position usually made of concrete.

Bunker (German)
This can be used for most any type of fortified structure. In technical writings the German military uses specific terms:

  • Stand - used for bunker
  • Schartenstand - bunker that fires forward
  • MG-Schartenstand- MG bunker that fires forward
  • Geschützschartenstand- Gun bunker firing forward
  • Pak-Schartenstand - AT Gun bunker firing forward
  • Kasematte - bunker for flanking fire (also MG-Kasematte, Geschützkasematte, etc.)

Also, identified for function

  • Schartenstand fur Lande- und Sturmbwehrgeschütze ohne
  • Nebenraume (embrasured emplacement for assault gun with annex rooms).
  • Stand mit- 3-Schartenturm - bunker with 3 embrasured cloche
  • Befehlsstand - Command Post

DUG-OUT (English)
(British usage - an underground chamber or passage).

Blockhaus (French)

Bunker, Stand, Unterschlupf (German)
Dugout or shelter

Objektu (Czech)


Bunkier, Objeckt (Polish)
Any type position

Ostrog Forteczny (Polish)
Modern term for field fortification which is usually made of concrete, but part of a larger fortified system

Bunkkeri (Finnish)

Bunker (Norwegian)

Bunker, Betongbunker (Swedish)
Concrete bunker

Värn (Swedish)
Bunker made of any type of material

Terms above in all languages are usually used to cover many types of position and are not specific and best used for non-descriptive writing. Recommend using terms properly. SEE: Blockhouse and Bunker , Casemate , and Shelter.


  • Blockhouse
  • Dutch Bunker

English, refers to a vaulted gun chamber, or a position for guns or a position for artillery and infantry that has full facilities for independent operations

Casemate (French)
Refers to a weapons position usually in a structure with unarmed sides earth covered, which are part of a fort or with complete facilities for independent operations; also refers to a gun position

Kasematte (German)
Refers usually to a bunker that fires to a flank

Delostrelecky srub, Pechotno srub (Czech)
Artillery casemate, infantry casemate

Kazemat (Dutch)

Tradytor (Polish)
Gun casemate for flanking fire

Traditor (Russian)
Same as Polish

Kasematti (Finnish)

Kasematt (Norwegian)

Tackta pjasvarn (Swedish)

The term Casemate should be used to refer to any position with weapons embrasures in its walls and designed for independent operations or for an artillery position under concrete.


  • Weapons casemate - Maginot Line
  • Artillery Casemate - Czech gun

Fixed Turret (English)

A nonmovable or fixed type of cupola which can be used for observation/and or various types of light weapons. The German term glocke is generally only used when refering to a small observation type

Fixed Turret ( TURM-German)
The German terms are specific, although not always used in full which causes confusion:

  • Sechsschartenturm- 6 embrasured fixed turret (cloche)
  • Pz- Turm fur Artillerie- Beobachtung - fixed turret (cloche) for artillery observation.   
  • Pz- Turm fur M-19 - Fixed turret for M-19 automatic mortar
  • Kleinstglocke fur Infanterie- Beobachtung - small infantry fixed turret for observaton (only one called a cloche)

Cloche (French)

Turm or Glocke (German)

Observation and light weapons

Kopule (Czech)
Mounted weapons heavier than automatic rifles

Klok (Dutch)
Kopula pancerna (Polish)

Kupu (Finnish)

Taarn (Norwegian)

Torn and Observationshuvar (Swedish)
Fixed fortress armoured observation dome

Recommended term: Cloche


  • French JM (twin machine gun) cloche
  • Smaller German observation cloche

Rifle Pit (English)
A small, earth pit for one or two riflemen

Foxhole (British and American English)

Schutzenloch (German)

Potero (Finnish)


Shelter, Dugout (English)
Usually a concrete position for use by troops as a shelter or command post

Abri (French and Belgian)

Bunker (German)

Schuilkelder (Dutch)

Suoja (Finnish)
All types of shelters

Dugout - Korsu (Finnish)
Wood or wood/earthdugout

Shelter - Dekningsbunker (Norwegian)

Dugout - Dekningsrom (Norwegian)

Dugout - Skyddsrom (Swedish)

The best term would be shelter or abri . Bunker should not be used unless it is more descriptive and dugout should be avoided.

Turret (English)
A rotating and sometimes retracting cupola usually for artillery pieces. The term without a description could also simply mean a tower

Coupole, Coupole tournante, Tourelle (French)
Non-retracting turrets

PZ- Drehturm (German)
Rotating turret

Otocna vez (Czech)

Draaikoepel (Dutch)
Rotating turret

Hefkopel (Dutch)
Retracting and rotating turret

Torre (Italian)

Wiezyczka, Wieza pancerna, Wieza pancerna obrotowa, or Kopula obrotowa (Polish)

Torni (Finnish)

Taarn (Norwegian)

Torn and Lystorn (Swedish)
Non-retracting fortress searchlight turret

When using this term it should only be applied to rotating cupolas in modern fortifications. The term cupola should be avoided when making detailed descriptions


  • MG turret
  • French 75-mm gun turret
  • Castle turrets
  • French turret from FT Tank

Weapons Pit (English)
Usually larger than a Rifle Pit, and may also include a sandbag parapet surrounding it. These positions were usually for a mortar or machine gun and sometimes called mortar pit or machine gun pits.

Peske (Finnish)
Ex. KONEKIVRIPESKE=machine gun pit

Weapons Pit

Trench (English) Loopgraaf or Loopgracht (Dutch)
Tranchée (French)