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It's a 2.4kW single phase brushed AC motor on a powertool. The switch turns it on and off without a direction control. How would it be connected to the 5 terminals in the picture?

circuit

My guess is the rotor should be in series with the stator so C-D are connected and B-E are connected and a SPST switch is between A and B-E.

But I'm worried about things I don't understand like the polarity of the brushes, where the capacitor goes, if it might have some kind of 2-stage starting sequence, and maybe shorting something to brake it when its turned off.

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As you say it's probably switch between A and B , B connected to E and C connected top D.

Unless the capacitor is a large value (1uF or more) it's probably just an interfereance suppression capacitor connected across the supply after the switch.

Swapping B and C will cause the motor to run in the opposite direction, so do that if it turns in the wrong direction.

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