Acronyms used by the British Army

The acronyms used by the Army can be confusing, but there are some very useful guides, not least that produced by the MOD (MOD Acronyms and Abbreviations).

The Long Long trail

This web site has an excellent page on Common British Military abbreviations

Defence Suppliers Directory

This page is a selection from the list of current standard military abbreviations to assist defence suppliers.

British Military Abbreviations (US, 1943)

This document was produced as a guide for US Officers on the differences between US and UK Military terminology, and contains an excellent section on Birtish Military Abbreviations current in 1943. The document was only declassified in 2003.

There are a few acronyms that appear to be specific to Vehicle records, and these are listed below

Army Book 562

There was an "Army Book 562" for each military vehicle. It was more than just a registration document. Apart from serial numbers it also contained asset codes, key numbers & quantities, the reliability classification, servicing history, workshop repairs, engine & gearbox change histories, EMER modifications., etc. Consequently, if you are lucky enough to have this book for your vehicle, it makes very interesting reading.


Automatic Data Processing Conversion, which means the vehicle data was then entered into a computer system. This could take several weeks after it was received into the depot


the Army Pay Office at Ashton-under-Lyme

Colour code

The colour code describes the colour and finish of a vehicle. The first digit describes the colour, and the second the finish.

Colour Finish
  • 0_ Multi
  • 1_ Red
  • 2_ Blue
  • 3_ Yellow
  • 4_ Brown
  • 5_ Black
  • 6_ Orange
  • 7_ Green
  • 8_ White
  • 9_ Grey or Silver
  • A_ Army Green
  • B_ Beige
  • C_ Army Commercial Colour
  • C3 Beige/Stone
  • CH Champagne
  • G_ Gold
  • N_ RN Blue
  • N3 Grey/Green
  • NI N/K Northern Ireland
  • P_ Purple
  • Q_ Turquoise
  • R_ RAF Blue
  • S_ Sand
  • V_ Silver
  • Z_ Bronze
  • _1 Matt
  • _2 Gloss
  • _3 Trade Finish
  • _4 Disruptive Pattern
  • _5 Distinctive Pattern
  • _6 IRR
  • _7 Disruptive Pattern IRR
  • _8 Distinctive Pattern IRR


Central Vehicle Depot, Ashchurch


Date in service


The date of a transaction, such as delivery or acceptance of a vehicle.


Unit Identification Number. Originlly it was the Unit Imprest Number, describing the Unit Imprest Account of the unit to the Royal Army Pay Corps (RAPC), though its value became apparent outside the RAPC and it evolved into the Unit Identitification Number. Army units always began with A and permanent units always ended with A


Vehicle Book Processed. This meant that the details of Army Book 562 were entered onto database. There would probably be an ADPCON DATE, and often this is withing a few days of the vehicle arriving at the depot.


Vehicle Book Transferred (possibly) with a date. This means details of the event, with a date, had been entered into Army Book 562.


Vehicle Depot, Ashchurch, Gloucestershire


Vehicle Supply Depot

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