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Glossary - V

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V2 rocket

German rocket and precursor of all modern rockets. Over 3000 were launched by the Germans at Allied targets between September 1944 and February 1945 resulting in over 7250 deaths in what was known as the 'Second Blitz'. The only protection from the V2 was to destroy the launch sites.

V-bomber force

The term V bomber was used for the Royal Air Force (RAF) aircraft during the 1950s and 1960s that comprised Britain's strategic nuclear deterrent. The bombers, whose names all started with the letter "V", were the Vickers Valiant (first flew 1951), Handley-Page Victor (first flew 1952) and Avro Vulcan (first flew 1952). The V-Bomber force reached its peak in June 1964, with 50 Valiants, 39 Victors and 70 Vulcans in service. By 1969 the V-bomber force had been replaced by the Royal Navy's Polaris missile submarines.

Vic Feather

Trade union official who became General Secretary of the TUC 1969-73. Led the union fight against the Heath government's Industrial Relations Act 1971. His blunt Yorkshire manner made him something of a public celebrity. President of the European Trade Union Confederation 1973-74. Created Baron Feather in 1974.

Vice Admiral Sir Rosslyn Wemyss

Served in active naval command posts in the Mediterranean and Egypt in the First World War, he was appointed Second Sea Lord in 1917, becoming First Sea Lord after Jellicoe's dismissal later that year. He represented Britain at the Armistice and the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, resigning in November 1919.


A ruler exercising authority on behalf of a sovereign in a colony or province, such as the Viceroy of India acting as a representative of  the government in Westminster

Vietnam War

Originated with the partition of the country, formerly French Indo-China along the 17th parallel. From 1960 Communist North Vietnam fought a guerrilla war against the South, forcing the South to rely on American assistance. Between 1965-1973 numbers of combat troops escalated. The war ended when South Vietnam fell in 1975

Viscount Milner

Alfred Milner (1854-1925) was a British statesman and colonial administrator who strongly believed in the British empire and "the destiny of the English race"

Vittorio Emanuele III

From November 1869 to December 1947 Vittorio Emmanuelle III was a member of the House of Savoy and King of Italy (July 1900 - May 1946). In addition, he was Emperor of Ethiopia (1936 -1943) and King of Albania (1939 - 1943). During his long reign, there were two world wars and the birth, rise, and fall of Fascism in the Kingdom of Italy.

Vittorio Emanuele Orlando

Became Italian Prime Minister in 1917 at the time of the Caporetto disaster. Under his leadership morale improved and Italy ended the war victorious at Vittorio Veneto. Orlando attended the Paris Peace Conference as one of the Big Four, but failed to secure the territory Italy claimed and resigned


Main Russian port on the Pacific, and terminal of the Trans-Siberian Railway

Voulgaris Government

Government of Greece from April to October 1947 under the Greek Admiral Petros Voulgaris. Faced with the revolt of the Greek People's Liberation Army and the Communist attempt to seize power, he accepted military aid from the USA under the Truman Doctrine, which eventually allowed the Royalists to defeat the revolt

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