battle rattle n. (protective) military gear worn in combat situations. Editorial Note: An identical term dating to at least 1945 and meaning “nervousness in the face of combat” or “combat fatigue” is apparently separately derived. “Battle rattle” also appears in news, prose, and poetry as a literal term. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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  1. DuBravac says:

    Actually, a battle rattle was a device with a handle and a box which when spun would make a noise that could be heard above the sounds of battle. Used during the Civil War to inform sailors to board the opposing ship or all hands on deck to fight depending on the captain’s orders. Also used in conjunction with a gong as another signal. Clearly a sound that could be heard over the sound of battle. Device is on display in the Civil War Navy Museum, Columbus, GA.

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