Topic: Army Rations
Commando Rations 1942
British Commandos, Special Series, No. 1, Military Intelligence Service, War Department, Washington, August 1942
A special ration, designed to give a man enough sustenance to enable him to operate under rigorous conditions, was developed at the Advanced Infantry Assault School by an officer who had had considerable experience in mountain operations in all climates. The ration was simple and light in weight; it was designed for individual cooking, and was easily handled in the field. A U.S. observer subsisted on this ration and reported that it proved to be sufficient for the period for which it was designed and that it was reasonably palatable.
A typical ration follows:
|Pemmican (dried meat, 60% lean, 40% fat)||ounces||3|
|Margarine or butter||ounces||1/2|
|Tea or coffee (compressed)||ounces||1/4|
|Sugar (lump)||ounces||1 1/2|
|Total weight||ounces||25 1/2|
|Margarine or butter||ounces||1|
|Tea or coffee||ounces||1|
Rations were carried in their packs by the soldiers. Food was prepared in mess tins, individually.
The soldiers were encouraged to use dandelion shoots, grass nettles, and other herbs in conjunction with pemmican and oatmeal for making a stew. Those herbs in the stew contributed to vitamin C. While the standard Army ration was used during the training, the concentrated ration was substituted during tactical operations because of its small bulk and light weight. It was impressed on the students that the ration was sufficient to maintain them in satisfactory physical condition during these short operations, and to enable them to perform their assigned duties without undue hunger and fatigue.