German Field Rations

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
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German Field Rations

Post by sylvieK4 » 11 Nov 2002 19:18

I'm not sure if this is the right place for this question, but I'll start it off here.

I saw a military question and answer show on "The History Channel", and one topic that was discussed was field rations for American G.Is over the years.

This made me wonder, what sort of field rations did German troops carry with them into battle? Food, candy, etc? Were these things canned or boxed? How much did these rations weigh when issued? Were they cumbersome, or easy to carry?

How many days supply was an average soldier given?

Did the German soldier receive cigarettes with his field rations?

Does anyone have any photos of World War II era German field rations?

Anyone who has eaten them, please tell us what they were like.

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re: field rations

Post by bpfeffer » 20 Nov 2002 04:25

Not sure whether this has any validity but some info is posted here: ... 35247.html

The Wehrmacht was famous for the fact that on the battlefield, everyone, regardless of class ate the same food. Those rations consisted of basically the same elements that were eaten back in the homeland: bread made of wheat and rye, pork (mainly sausages), and potatoes. In fact, the staple diet of the Wehrmacht was a nutrient rich stew made by mixing all of those ingredients together. Piping hot coffee was also available, making even the most frightening battlefield feel a little more like the home. Distribution of these rations required the "Grobe Feldkuche Hf.13', a two-wheeled field kitchen, the center of which housed a 200 liter pot. That stew-cooking vessel was double-bottomed, with a layer of glycerin between the inner and outer pot to prevent scorching and to aid in heat preservation. To the left of the pot was a 90 liter coffee maker, which dispensed from a tap. On the right was a range used to cook potatoes and sausages. Fire doors for each of these appliances were on the rear for the stoking of coal and firewood. The front of the field kitchen was the "Vorderwagen Hf.11", a two-wheeled limber, which in addition to seating members of the cooking crew, had a food storage space below the seats and carried the "Speisentragen" food containers. Each Wehrmacht division consisted of baking companies (for bread) and butcher companies (for pork). There, bread was baked in oven trailers and pigs were made into sausage before being supplied to the various units. A single "Grobe Feldkuche Hf. 13" could feed 125 to 225 men.

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Post by Juancho » 20 Nov 2002 23:16

Yes, I have a book with images of cigarettes, and other rations. As far as I know they ate chocolate, a replacement of coffee, and a special bread ready to use (it was supposed to last for a long time) the above answer is far more complete. Some things were canned, some boxed (i believe bread was boxed)
Also, many troops joined their rations to cook something that was to be shared by all. They also got food from the places they would occupy, in different ways.
There are many kinds of rations, ne for immediate use (in combat) and others for less immediate usage.
A friend of mine has a specific book regarding that. Perhaps you can contact me to get a better idea?


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The German Sausages

Post by JLEES » 21 Nov 2002 00:07

I use to work with a bank Vise President that was in a US armored recon battalion in the war and said whenever a German POW was captured; the sausages were always taken by G.I.s. They were far better then the K-rations that were given to them via the US supply system.

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Post by Caldric » 21 Nov 2002 00:13

In the book Forgotten Soldier, the writer talks about them receiving rations for like several days at one time, the only problem with this is the fact that people like his rather large friend ate theirs up in the first couple of hours! :D

It would be hard to spread the food out over days, most especially when you don't know when you last day is coming.

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