Blackclaw Games

World War II Rations

Contributed by Riomacleod

They say an army travels on its stomach, and one of the most important innovations for a modern army is the development of rations. Bad food is something that can literally kill a soldier. Spoiled food spreads disease, improper food keeps a soldier from fighting effectively, and bad-tasting food can destroy morale.

In the late 30's, the United states began production of the "C-Ration". It consisted of 6 cans. They had meat, cocoa powder, coffee, vegetables and a good deal of things that would have been considered luxuries on the front, slogging through mud: cigarettes and toilet paper. These meals were far from perfect. Their taste was considered bland, though with some patience, a source of heat and some spices from a local town, one was capable of creating something rather edible.


German field rations were comprised primarily of a biscuit, preserved meat or bacon, preserved vegetables and coffee. The British provided a practical banquet for their soldiers on the trail, comparatively, including a pound of preserved meat, biscuits, sugar and cheese.

Additional Reading

Fort Lee Queatermaster Museum

World War Two Ration Technologies