WW2 D-Ration Bars

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rationtin440
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WW2 D-Ration Bars

Post by rationtin440 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:18 pm

Not sure if anyone here knows about this but my uncle once told me that during WW2, the D-Ration bars were deliberately made to not taste very good so that soldiers would not be tempted to eat them except in emergencies. I recall him saying that several men in his unit became ill (including him) after eating them, and he recalls that the ones that made him sick had a nasty sort of kerosene taste to them.I've heard similar things about the D-ration bars including severe intestinal issues from eating them for more than a couple days. Sorry if this is wrong place to post this but was not sure what it would fit under.

rationtin440
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Re: WW2 D-Ration Bars

Post by rationtin440 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:19 pm

Sorry folks I just realized i postede this under international rations and i thought i was in MREs

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housil
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Re: WW2 D-Ration Bars

Post by housil » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:48 pm

I moved it to "MREs" :wink:

rationtin440
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Re: WW2 D-Ration Bars

Post by rationtin440 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:25 pm

Thanks very much for helping me out there housil, dunno how i managed to screw up like that!

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donaldjcheek
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Re: WW2 D-Ration Bars

Post by donaldjcheek » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:47 pm

The WW2 "Field Ration, Type D" was originally envisioned as an emergency or sustainment ration to replace three WW1-era emergency rations: the Emergency Ration, the Iron Ration, and the Reserve Ration.

In 1937, then-Captain (later Colonel) Paul Logan of the US Army Quartermaster Corps approached Hershey's Chocolate Company with the following requirements. The bar must:

1. Weigh 4 oz,
2. Be high in food energy,
3. Be able to withstand high temperatures, and
4. Taste "a little better than a boiled potato."

This last requirement was seen as a way to keep hungry soldiers from using the bar as a casual snack and keep it for a true emergency.

The final product was made of cocoa powder, sugar, oat flour, cacao fat, skim milk powder and artificial flavoring, and fortified with Thiamine Chloride (Vitamin B1). The resulting bar, scored so it could be broken into 6 pieces, was a hard, dark brown block weighing four ounces, stable up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit and providing 600 calories. Three bars, each individually wrapped in cellophane, were packed in a waxed cardboard box to provide the minimum 1800 calories deemed necessary for survival.

The bar was almost universally detested. It was hard to bite (most soldiers had to break off or shave pieces with their bayonet), had a bitter aftertaste, and had a tendency to constipate soldiers. This last caused soldiers in the Pacific to dub the D-ration the "Dysentery Ration," since it could be be tolerated by soldiers with the disease.
Attachments
Field Ration D 1a.jpg
Original D-ration & packaging
Field Ration D.jpg
Quartermaster Corps reference photos
Field Ration D.jpg (22.99 KiB) Viewed 14045 times
"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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mreheater72
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Re: WW2 D-Ration Bars

Post by mreheater72 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:00 pm

Hi,

two more photos of U.S. ARMY FIELD RATION D:

Image

Image

So long mreheater72
"QUIDQUID AGIS PRUDENTER AGAS ET RESPICE FINEM"

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donaldjcheek
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Re: WW2 D-Ration Bars

Post by donaldjcheek » Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:15 pm

Replicated a D-ration bar using the original WW2 formula.

It is hard, crumbly, almost impossible to bite, and has a dry, almost bitter, aftertaste. It is filling, and seems to expand when it hits your stomach.
It's not bad, but not something you would enjoy as a casual snack. I'm sure it tastes better if you're really, really hungry.
"I think," said Christopher Robin, "that we ought to eat all our Provisions now, so that we shan't have so much to carry."

crunchie
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Re: WW2 D-Ration Bars

Post by crunchie » Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:25 am

donaldjcheek,

this is interesting how you replicated the formula-can you give a bit more detail how you did it and the ingredients you used? I was looking around and found some of the ingredients but not all.

Thanks.

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donaldjcheek
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Re: WW2 D-Ration Bars

Post by donaldjcheek » Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:34 pm

Crunchie

The original formula, as published in "Development of Special Rations in the Army," by Harold Thatcher - September 1944.

160 parts - chocolate, plain, adjusted to 54% cacao fat
160 parts - Sucrose
70 parts - milk, dry, powdered, skimmed
30 parts - added cacao fat
20 parts - oat flour, raw
1/2 part - vanillin, OR Ethyl Vanillin
Plus "sufficient thiamine hydrochloride to give not less than 0.45 milligrams per 4-ounce bar."

Per 4-oz bar, using modern ingredients, the math works out to be:

1 & 1/3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
1 & 1/3 oz powdered (confectioners') sugar
2/3 oz nonfat dry milk powder (the fine, powdery stuff)
1/4 oz cocoa butter OR canning paraffin (Gulf wax)
1/5 oz oat flour
1 drop vanilla extract

For the thiamine hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), I pulverized a thiamine vitamin capsule (available from most health food stores) and added a bare pinch.

First, cut chocolate coarsely into chunks or chips, and shave wax with vegetable grater

1. In a nonstick pan over VERY LOW heat, melt the chocolate
2. Whirl the sugar, oat flour and dry milk in a blender until it turns into a fine talcum-like powder
3. Shave the wax, measure out 1/4 oz, and stir into melted chocolate, along with drop of vanilla & pinch of thiamine
4. Add about half the melted chocolate to about half the sugar/oat flour/dry milk powder, mix well, and add back to pan; blend thoroughly over VERY LOW heat and then add in rest of sugar/oat flour/milk powder
5. Cook about 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, then pour into mold (I used an Altoid tin) and place in freezer. The stuff was so thick, I had to press it into the mold with a heavy spoon. That's OK; Sam Hinkle, chief chemist for Hershey's Chocolate Company, recalled that the thick, gooey paste had to be kneaded, weighed & pressed into the molds by hand.
6. After about an hour, remove from freezer and allow to come to room temperature. Run knife along edges, and tap bottom of tin to remove block of chocolate
7. For authenticity, use serrated knife or hacksaw to cut a longitudinal groove and 3 cross-grooves, about 1/8 inch deep, in top of bar.

Voila, an authentic D-ration bar
"I think," said Christopher Robin, "that we ought to eat all our Provisions now, so that we shan't have so much to carry."

crunchie
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Re: WW2 D-Ration Bars

Post by crunchie » Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:04 pm

Thanks for the reply and the directions.

I am going to try to make a batch.

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