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    I've been watching Band of Brothers again recently and got to thinking about the scenes where the troops were able to get some hot food in a chow line. How often was this available? How good was the food? What were they served?

    If anyone has info they can share I'd love to read it. Thanks.
    John

    Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

  • #2
    The majority of the food was shipped from the USA and were dehydrated or canned goods.

    Hot food was stored in 5 gallon thermos containers.

    they served hot food before the sun came up and after the sun came down. They could also pull soldiers off the line to feed them in rotation. In rare instances the food was brought to them.

    The mess kit was not carried by US soldiers due to sanitary purposes. The cooks washed them, passed them out, and collected them after they finished.
    Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
    Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
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    • #3
      This guy does a whole series on military rations





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      • #4
        One pot meals were common. Stew, soup, anything that could be made in a large quantity, kept hot and served out rapidly.

        According to me father, K-rations were "better than starving"...barely. I actually liked C-rations when I was serving, since our food in the field in Europe was crap.
        Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
          The majority of the food was shipped from the USA and were dehydrated or canned goods.

          Hot food was stored in 5 gallon thermos containers.

          they served hot food before the sun came up and after the sun came down. They could also pull soldiers off the line to feed them in rotation. In rare instances the food was brought to them.

          The mess kit was not carried by US soldiers due to sanitary purposes. The cooks washed them, passed them out, and collected them after they finished.
          One of the main reasons for that was because the kits made too much noise in the field. They rattled and clanked.

          1 (one) each Military Noise Maker, Field


          The other was that boiling water, rarely available to the troops in the field, was necessary to properly clean the kits.
          Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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          • #6
            I have read several books where the incoming new commander told the cooks that they would have to start setting up the Mess Truck close to the Front and serve it out there. My guess is the cooks got away with distancing themselves from the Front as time went on. I do remember the time we went out to Rifle Range and the Cooks drove out and handed out C-Rations. A hot meal in the field would have been awesome!

            Pruitt
            Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

            Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

            by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
              One pot meals were common. Stew, soup, anything that could be made in a large quantity, kept hot and served out rapidly.

              According to me father, K-rations were "better than starving"...barely. I actually liked C-rations when I was serving, since our food in the field in Europe was crap.
              In my era, we expected food to be crap. The best food I can remember was when we were standing guard over a German merchant ship in Kiel Harbour. The ships cook was an elderly German bloke, a vet of ww1, who did marvellous things to the rations that you would not believe! The whole ship lived like Lords for a few weeks!! They must have missed us when we left, I know we missed them! We lived and slept in the officers quarters a Steward served us our meals, we would have been shot at dawn if the 'Powers that be' had found out. lcm1
              'By Horse by Tram'.


              I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
              " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by lcm1 View Post

                In my era, we expected food to be crap. The best food I can remember was when we were standing guard over a German merchant ship in Kiel Harbour. The ships cook was an elderly German bloke, a vet of ww1, who did marvellous things to the rations that you would not believe! The whole ship lived like Lords for a few weeks!! They must have missed us when we left, I know we missed them! We lived and slept in the officers quarters a Steward served us our meals, we would have been shot at dawn if the 'Powers that be' had found out. lcm1
                Early Occupation duty in Germany and later in Korea was like that. It's easy to understand how the European colonial powers became addicted to it.
                Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                  I have read several books where the incoming new commander told the cooks that they would have to start setting up the Mess Truck close to the Front and serve it out there. My guess is the cooks got away with distancing themselves from the Front as time went on. I do remember the time we went out to Rifle Range and the Cooks drove out and handed out C-Rations. A hot meal in the field would have been awesome!

                  Pruitt
                  Yeah...of course, as a medic of some type from the very beginning to the end of my career, my revenge was sweet. I could always scrounge something to eat, but their choices for medical care in the field were limited to...me.

                  The cooks, the military police and the medics formed their own mutually beneficial communities within the armed services.
                  Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                  • #10
                    Thanks all.
                    John

                    Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by lcm1 View Post

                      In my era, we expected food to be crap. 1
                      Well, you are British sooo.... you can't expect much.

                      Sorry for the cheap shot...

                      In the histories I've read U.S. service members who were transported on British ships complained about the food.

                      I love peas and Brussels sprouts. The Brits have a recipe to turn both into a mush.
                      "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Beatrice Evelyn Hall
                      Updated for the 21st century... except if you are criticizing islam, that scares the $hii+e out of me!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 17thfabn View Post

                        Well, you are British sooo.... you can't expect much.

                        Sorry for the cheap shot...

                        In the histories I've read U.S. service members who were transported on British ships complained about the food.

                        I love peas and Brussels sprouts. The Brits have a recipe to turn both into a mush.

                        "Yes, Basil did kill four men in Korea- he was in the Catering corps...."

                        The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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                        • #13
                          What a perfect ending, Basil himself!! lcm1
                          'By Horse by Tram'.


                          I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
                          " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

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                          • #14
                            These hot meals for the guys on the front lines, were they all just heated up canned and dehydrated stuff, or were there actually fresh cooked meals?
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 17thfabn View Post

                              Well, you are British sooo.... you can't expect much.

                              Sorry for the cheap shot...

                              In the histories I've read U.S. service members who were transported on British ships complained about the food.

                              I love peas and Brussels sprouts. The Brits have a recipe to turn both into a mush.
                              In his book Under the Red Sea Sun Cdr. Edward Ellsberg talked about sailing on a US passenger ship transiting to the Middle East. He referred to it as the "SS Pig's Knuckle" for the food. At one point many of the US military passengers were getting various mild forms of food poisoning from the crew not following good practice in cleaning in the galley so a US Army Colonel aboard took charge and had the scullery crew watched by MP's armed with .45 pistols making sure they cleaned everything really extra good... or else!

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