What do other country WW2 rations look like

Discussions about rations from other countries - IMPs, EPAs, RCIRs, etc.
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What do other country WW2 rations look like

Post by roncamp » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:46 pm

I have only seen pictures/ videos of rations of the US, Canada and Germany (somewhat). But i am wondering what does Soviet, Japan, France, Italy, so on and so on. If you can send pictures of these rations and what there contents/ overall opinion of them.

Thanks for your help

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Re: What do other country WW2 rations look like

Post by donaldjcheek » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:37 am


Your question will have to be answered as several posts.

First, the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) ration

The IJA was different in that the Japanese did NOT field the equivalent of a field kitchen. In garrison, soldiers from each squad & platoon were detailed to serve as cooks, but soldiers in the field were expected to cook for themselves. Often, soldier would pool their rations and have one of their number cook the rations for everyone in the squad or mess group.

For the IJA, the basic ration issue was uncooked rice. Both polished (white) and unpolished (brown) rice were issued, but the preference was for white rice, which kept longer and cooked faster. Officers and Senior NCOs usually got entirely white rice, but Enlisted Men normally received a mixture of rice & barley, intended to combat scurvy & beriberi. To this would be added canned meat or fish, vegetables (fresh, dried or pickled), beans, powdered tea leaves, and seasonings such as miso or soy.

Officially, each soldier was to receive 23 oz rice, 7 oz barley, 7 oz fresh meat or fish (or 5 oz canned or 2 oz dried), 21 oz fresh vegetables, 2 oz pickled radish, 2 oz soy sauce, 3 oz bean paste, 1 oz sugar, ½ oz salt, 0.2 oz tea, & 20 cigarettes per day.

The Special ration, intended for combat use, contained 20 oz precooked, dried & compressed rice, 8 oz "kanpan" (hard biscuits), 5 oz canned meat or fish (or 2 oz dried), 4 oz canned or dried vegetable, 2 oz dried & salted plum, 1.5 oz powdered miso, 1 oz bean paste, 1 oz sugar, ½ oz salt, 0.2 oz tea, and 20 cigarettes. 400 ml sake and 4 oz sweets could be issued as well.

The Reserve (A) ration consisted of 30 oz precooked dried rice, 2 oz of dried meat or fish (or 5 oz canned), 1 oz powdered miso, 0.2 oz tea, 0.35 oz sugar, and 0.11 oz salt.

The Reserve (B) ration contained 24 oz hardtack packed in 3 small muslin bags, and could only be eaten by order of an officer.

Later in the war two types of specially packaged combat rations were introduced, consisting of prepared food packed in paper or cellophane as a complete meal. The first contained several rectangular cakes, each about 3¾" x 3½" x 1¾", wrapped in a single brown crepe paper package tied with twine. The package contained 5 - 6 hard cakes of compressed wheat or barley, 3 - 4 thin cakes of sugar, 3 cakes of dried fish, and 1 or 2 cakes of dried, salted plums.

The second package was made of a transparent cellophane bag tied at each end, with two thin brown paper sacks inside, each sack containing 2 cakes of compressed fish & vegetables and a small sack of finely milled pre-cooked & sweetened rice flour.

However, with long supply lines under constant attack by US aircraft & submarines, the ration in the field was far less - usually about a cup and a half of dry, uncooked rice, about 4-5 ounces of canned or dried meat or fish, and whatever vegetables were available locally.

Most IJA units, cut off from Japan, "requisitioned" (i.e. seized) food supplies from the local populace and set up their own farms. Thus condemning many indigenous inhabitants to a slow death by starvation.

As more information comes out about IJA conduct during WW2, it is evident that many Japanese soldiers, faced with starvation, resorted to cannibalism - both of natives and POWs. Most of this information was available both during and immediately after the war, but was usually supressed so as not to cause trauma to the families of the victims. Cannibalism was not an official policy, but the practice occurred in almost all theaters, particularly in the Pacific and in Burma. However, at least one senior Japanese officer (Lt. Gen. Yoshi Tachibana) was tried and hanged in 1946. Interestingly, since military and international law did not specifically address the crime of cannibalism, Tachibana was tried and convicted for the crimes of murder and "prevention of honorable burial."
IJA Emergency Rat 1b.jpg
IJA Emergency Rat 1a.jpg
IJA Emergency Rat 1.jpg
"I think," said Christopher Robin, "that we ought to eat all our Provisions now, so that we shan't have so much to carry."

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Re: What do other country WW2 rations look like

Post by donaldjcheek » Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:41 pm

Finnish Rations during WW2

The Finnish Army in WW2 used a simple ration scale based on German and Swedish regulations, with modifications according to national tastes. During the Winter War of 1939-40, Finland was able to maintain the peacetime norms set forth in the regulations. However, during the Continuation War of 1941-44, these had to be drastically modified in order to meet the changing situation of modern warfare.

Ration scales originally consisted of two classes: the garrison ration and the field ration. Beginning with the Winter War, this was expanded with the addition of Combat and Patrol rations. Special purpose rations, such as the Arctic ration, Flight ration, and Armored Troops ration were added during the Continuation War.

Although the components were similar, the field ration made wider use of canned, dried, and preserved foods, and the allocations differed slightly. Combat and Patrol rations consisted almost entirely of dried and canned products.

Finnish soldiers mostly relied on field kitchens, and typically each company-sized formation had a field kitchen of its own. Due to their equipment, field kitchens made mostly soups, stews and porridges.

The most staple source of nourishment was bread, which was usually rye-based "crisp bread" ("näkkileipä"). This was for two reasons: (1) bread of this type remaines edible for months or even years, so there was much less storage and supply problems than with common bread. And, more importantly, (2) Finnish military authorities felt that crisp bread was both more nutritious AND easier to digest than regular bread.

According to the prewar ration scale, the bread ration was 500 grams per man per day; this changed periodically during the war according to availability and conditions. The daily rations also included sausages, biscuits, dried peas and similar non-perishables. "Iron rations" (btw: the Finnish term is "rautaisannos", which is a literal translation) were sometimes issued, typically for operations in which the field kitchens could not accompany the troops), but their issue was not common. Tobacco was not part of the ration issue during Winter War, but was included during the Continuation War.

At the beginning of the Winter War, the 1934 daily ration standard was in use, calling for:
-450 g Rye bread
-120 g beef OR 50 g pork + 50 g fish OR 80 g sausage
-35 g butter
-40 g cheese
-50 g dried or 300 g fresh peas
-100 g cut oats
-500 g potatoes
-150 g vegetables
-50 g sugar
-20 g salt
-500 ml whole milk
-3 g tea

The end of the Winter War saw some of the most fertile farmland now taken over by the Soviet Union, and 410,000 Finns (12% of Finland's prewar population) had to be evacuated from the occupied territories. The combination of less food and more mouths to feed meant a restructuring of the ration scale. By 1941, the military ration standard had been reorganized into two scales, Sotamuona-annokset I and Sotamuona-annokset II (Wartime Ration I & II). Scale 1 was for Combat troops & garrison troops north of the Arctic Circle, while Scale II was for rear & support troops
Scale I Scale II
Bread 600 g 500 g
Butter 60 g 60 g
Cheese 60 g 60 g
Fats 25 g 25 g (cooking oil & margarine)
Sausage 70 g 60 g
Beef 250 g 200 g
Potatoes 800 g 600 g
Oats 150 g 125 g (usually oats)
Flour 25 g 25 g (for sauces & thickening)
Tea 2 g 2 g
Sugar 50 g 50 g
Salt & spices 15 g 15 g
Milk 400 ml 400 ml

However, even this reduced ration scale could not be supported, and the Continuation War (1941-1944) saw a further reduction in the ration scale and a near-total abandonment of the difference between Scale I & Scale II.
6/41 4/42 4/43 1/44
Bread 400 g 400 g 425 g 430 g
Butter 40 g 25 g 25 g 25 g
Cheese 40 g 40 g 40 g 40 g
Fats 25 g 10 g 10 g 10 g
Sausage 75 g -- -- --
Beef 125 g 100 g 100 g 100 g
Potatoes 800 g 800 g 800 g 1000 g
Oats 150 g 100 g 100 g 100 g
Flour 25 g 20 g 20 g 20 g
Tea 1 g 0.5 g 0.5 g 0.5 g
Sugar 40 g 40 g 40 g 40 g
Salt & spices 15 g 15 g 15 g 15 g
Milk 200 ml 200 ml 200 ml 200 ml

Special "close combat" (Sissimuona-annoksia) ration packs were developed and issued during the Continuation War for use by assault troops or troops expected to be without field kitchens for a period of time. Components of the Close Combat ration were:
1941 1942 1943 1944
Dry Bread 600 g 400 g 400 g 400 g
Hard Biscuit -- 100 g 100 g 100 g
Butter -- 80 g -- --
Cheese -- 100 g 100 g 100 g
Canned Beef -- 200 g -- 300 g
Canned Pork 200 g -- 200 g 200 g
Dry Sausage -- 100 g -- --
Rolled Oats 80 g 80 g 80 g 80 g
Cooked Grain -- 100 g -- --
Soup Cubes 100 g -- 100 g 100 g
Canned Milk -- 200 ml -- --
Milk Powder 50 g -- -- --
Coffee 40 g 20 g 20 g 25 g
Tea 1 g 1 g 1 g 1 g
Sugar 100 g 100 g 100 g 100 g
Salt 10 g 20 g 20 g 20 g
Chocolate -- 100 g 100 g 50 g
Vitamin C -- -- 1 ea --
Cigarettes 10 ea 8 ea 8 ea 8 ea

Special Patrol Ration packs were also developed in 1939, modified in 1941 & 1942
1939 1941 1942
Dry Bread 300 500 g 500 g
Butter 50 g 80 g 60 g
Cheese 50 g -- --
Dry Sausage 50 g -- --
Canned Beef -- 300 g --
Canned Pork -- -- 200 g
Milk Powder -- 50 g --
March Drink -- 50 g -- (enriched malted milk/protein powder)
tea 1 g -- --
coffee -- 20 g 20 g
Sugar 50 g 40 g 50 g
Salt -- 10 g 10 g
Vitamin C -- -- 2 ea
Cigarettes -- 8 ea 8 ea

A special Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol pack was also developed. Daily standard was:
Dry Bread 500 g
Butter 125 g
Meat 100 g (canned meat or dry sausage)
Fish 100 g (canned or salted)
Oatmeal 160 g (precooked, dried concentrate)
Pea Soup 60 g (precooked, dried concentrate)
Tea 5 g
Sugar 200 g
Chocolate 100 g (caffeinated chocolate)
Chocolate 100 g (milk chocolate)
Caramels 5 ea (fortified w/Vitamin C)
Vitamin C 2 ea
Cigarettes 20 ea
Matches 1 box
Pervitin 2 pkg (6-8 Methamphetamine tablets)

By 1944, individual rations for a 5-day LRRP consisted of:
8 cubes (640 g total) compressed oats
3 cubes (300 g total) high-energy soup cubes
4 cans (920 g total) canned meat
6 boxes (600 g total) cheese
10 bars (500 g total) milk chocolate
10 disks (500 g total) caffeinated chocolate
2 boxes (30 g total) tea
3 pkg (840 g total) sugar
2 boxes (50 g total) salt
10 each Vitamin C tablets
2 boxes (50 each) cigarettes
3 boxes (about 60-75) matches

Also developed in 1944 was a large group ration pack to be parachuted to LRRPs behind enemy lines. The ration was divided into 3 separate packs:
Pack #1: 25 ea (2500 g total) high-energy soup cubes
25 ea (2500 g total) compressed potato soup cubes
10 ea (1000 g total) meat extract soup cubes

Pack #2: 20 ea (1600 g total) compressed oatmeal cubes
25 ea (1930 g total) berry soup cubes
15 box (1500 g total) pancake mix

Pack #3: 50 pkg (2500 g total) high-energy malted milk powder
30 packs (1500 g total) raisin
25 pkg (6500 g total) dry fruit
25 bars (750 g total) chocolate
"I think," said Christopher Robin, "that we ought to eat all our Provisions now, so that we shan't have so much to carry."

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Re: What do other country WW2 rations look like

Post by [ex-Member1] » Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:22 pm

I just found this picture about Afrikakorps Luftwaffe some kind of M.O.R.E. ration :lol:

https://www.facebook.com/crombatrations ... =3&theater

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