from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A short burst of artillery fire.


From French rafale. (Wiktionary)


  • If you can help, contact him directly: rafale at reed dot edu.

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  • They were especially fierce to the south, where a rafale beat as I had never heard it before.


  • Our gunners still continued to harass the enemy with an occasional _rafale_ from their field guns.

    The Story of the "9th King's" in France

  • The latter, with the 75 millimetre quick-firing gun, is particularly adapted to following up the results of the aeroplane's reconnaissance, especially with the system of rafale fire, because the whole position can be searched through and through within a minute or two.

    Aeroplanes and Dirigibles of War

  • This applies especially to those tactics, where the field artillery dashes up to a position, discharges a number of rounds in rapid succession, or indulges in rafale firing, and then limbering up, rushes away before the enemy can reply.

    Aeroplanes and Dirigibles of War

  • He can vary his altitude, perhaps only thirty or forty feet, with ease and rapidity, and this erratic movement is more than sufficient to perplex the marksmen below, although the airman is endangered if a rafale is fired in such a manner as to cover a wide zone.

    Aeroplanes and Dirigibles of War

  • A _rafale_ of shrapnel will of course destroy any infantry moving in the open, but intermittent shelling, although it appears to be terribly destructive, will not stop resolute troops determined to press forward.

    With a Highland Regiment in Mesopotamia 1916—1917

  • —The rafale was purring like a mistral as I shaved this morning.

    Some Historians

  • It was what the French call la rafale des tambours de la mort -- the ruffle of the drums of death.

    Now It Can Be Told

  • They were especially fierce to the south, where a _rafale_ beat as I had never heard it before.



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  • "from F., lit., a gust, a squall. Mil. A burst of artillery fire consisting of several rounds, discharged as rapidly as possible, from each gun of a battery."

    December 14, 2006