Topic: Army Rations
What Soldiers Eat
How the Nations Feed Their Troops in the Field
The Evening Record, Windsor, Ontario, 12 May 1916
The principal meal of the Russian peasant soldier consists of "stchee," a sort of cross between a gruel and a soup, the chief ingredients of which are cabbages, potatoes, oatmeal, and fat meat—preferably pork. These are all boiled together with salt and other seasoning, the resultant mess being a thick, nourishing, and by no means unpalatable dish.
This constitutes his usual midday meal, and it is repeated in the evening for supper. For breakfast he takes, when he can get it, a big bowl of "kasha"—dry buckwheat and cold sour milk.
The staple diet of the "Turcos"—the splendid French-Algerian colored troops who are fighting so magnificently in Alsace—is "cous-cous," which is merely boiled semolina. It is eaten either plan or with the addition of vegetables, and very occasionally a little mutton or goat-flesh may be added; but the semolina is the mainstay. On this a Turco will march forty or more miles a day, carrying a weight of from eighty to one hundred pounds, more than is borne by any other soldiers anywhere.
Italian soldiers are also splendid marchers, and they, too, exist largely on a farinaceous diet, macaroni, spaghetti, and so on. They are also very partial to fruit, which is issued, together with wine and cigars, as part of their regular rations whenever possible.
No German considers his daily menu complete without a sausage of some kind or other, and the "higher" it is as regards to flavor the better he likes it.
The mainstay of the French soldier consists of his beloved "soup," as he calls it, but which is really a thick nourishing stew, made from meat, potatoes, and various other vegetables.