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German Rations in World War II

 

Rations for the German military were scientifically designed to provide high-calorie protein-rich rations that would carry a foot soldier through an arduous day. In addition there were several coffee and confection options to provide an energy boost when needed. The basic building block of the daily ration was the well-known "Halbieserne Portion" or "Iron Ration," which was carried by every German soldier. The ration contained one 300 gram tin of meat, and one 125 or 150 gram unit of hard bread.

The meat ration was one of a variety of different canned meats including Schmalzfleisch (a pork product), Rinderbraten (roast beef), Truthahnbraten (turkey), Hahnchenfleisch (chicken) or the all encompassing Fleischkonserve - a label that assured the Soldat only that the contents were "canned meat."

 The bread unit could contain any of the following bread types:

 Knackebrot - a hard, crisp whole wheat cracker-like product bundled into a packet weighing 150 grams, sealed in an air-tight cello wrapper and outer-wrapped in a paper bag, with a proper period label from one of the various German manufacturers.

Hartzweiback - a hard biscuit more like bread than crackers, sealed in an air-tight cello wrapper and outer-wrapped in a paper bag with the proper period label from one of the various German manufacturers.

Hartkeks - a hard biscuit/cracker sealed in a cello brick with an overwrap of  tan paper. Depending upon the vagaries of the supply chain, Hartkeks could be round, square, or rectangular in shape.

A bread unit and a meat unit were paired in a paper sack and labeled with the contents and the makers name. This was the "Iron Ration," the foundation of German field rations.

Our reproduction meat rations consist of beef, corned beef, turkey, or chicken. We offer your choice of bread type, combined with a meat ration that is sometimes accurately labeled and sometimes simply labeled "Fleischkonserve" just as experienced by the German military in WW II.  Never fear, no horse meat (or worse) and no pork products (canned pork is virtually unobtainable here due to the war).

All of our items are fresh from the grocer's shelf, with authentically reproduced period labels. You can carry them, display them, and certainly eat them.

 

 

 

Utility Strap for German WW2 Mess Kit

 

 

After months of searching I found an authentic utility strap for the German WW2 mess kit, on eBay, of course. A fellow in Europe had one, and I had to pay a pretty price for it, plus shipping. But I bought it, and then found a high quality firm making replacement parts for vintage military uniforms, and contracted with them to manufacture a number of replicas, for sale to you, my customers. The first lot sold out quickly and I'm now on my third order, still at the same price.

These straps are amazingly accurate replicas of the original, right down to the quality of the stitching, and the maker's mark on the underside of the tip. I'm proud to offer them for sale. I made one slight alteration in the replicas; they are one inch longer than the original, due to the slightly longer length of the post-war mess kits. Why sell you a strap that doesn't fit? The longer strap will of course work perfectly on any original WW2 kits you may have. Please note that the strap has three "keepers" below the buckle, enabling a hitch that secures the wire handle, as shown in the picture, above, of the bottom of my own kit.

NOTE:  You are buying one strap only. The mess kit is shown to illustrate the proper use of the strap. At this time we have no mess kits for sale. They are hard to find!

 

PRICE: $14.00

 

 

     

Notice the paint on my kit. As part of my research for the strap, I looked at dozens of photos of authentic mess kits, and examined several from local collections. They were painted a variety of colors (possibly so individuals could identify their kit in a group, sort of like we do with airport luggage these days) but the predominant color was a somber dark green, unlike any color I've seen before. I haunted paint stores and hardware stores for weeks, and one day stumbled across the exact color, in a handy spray can.

In the interest of helping you all look as authentic as possible, here's the secret: Rust-Oleum Camouflage 2X Ultra Cover.  There are a number of colors in this line, but the darkest green is the one that matches WW2 Heer paint, as seen on Tiger Tanks and field gear.

     
 

Iron Ration with Knackebrot

 

This is a modern reproduction of the Wehrmacht's "Iron Ration," the basic meal unit carried by every German soldier in peacetime and war. The packet contains one 300 gram tin of meat and one 150 gram unit of Knackebrot.

Please note – the photograph with this offering shows two rations. You are buying the one on the left in the sealed brown bag, which contains the two items shown on the right. You will receive one tin of meat and one unit of Knackebrot. 

PRICE: $10.95

 

 

 

Iron Ration with Hartkeks

 

This is a modern reproduction of the Wehrmacht's "Iron Ration," the basic meal unit carried by every German soldier in peacetime and war. The packet contains one 300 gram tin of meat and one 150 gram unit of Hartkeks.

Please note – the photograph with this auction shows two rations. You are buying the one on the left in the sealed brown bag, which contains the two items shown on the right. You will receive one tin of meat and one unit of Hartkeks. 

PRICE: $10.95

 

 

 

Iron Ration with Hartzweiback

 

This is a modern reproduction of the Wehrmacht's "Iron Ration," the basic meal unit carried by every German soldier in peacetime and war. The packet contains one 300 gram tin of meat and one 125 gram unit of Hartzweiback.

Please note – the photograph with this auction shows two rations. You are buying the one on the left in the sealed brown bag, which contains the two items shown on the right. You will receive one tin of meat and one unit of Hartzweiback. 

PRICE: $10.95

 

 

 
 

German WW II Bonus Rations

 

Zusatzverpflegung fur Frontkampfer - Supplemental rations for Frontline Soldiers. These were given out after an action or following the completion of an arduous duty such as a patrol. The pink bag contains individually-wrapped pieces of fruit candy. The intent was to restore the soldier's energy levels with a boost in calories.

A valid reward for any Landser, and priced so that a supply can be purchased for an entire squad. NOTE: While the accompanying photograph shows two bags, this sale is for one bag only. To get additional bags, order multiple units. Sorry, the firepower is not for sale - it is shown for perspective only.

PRICE: $3.95

 

 

 

German WW II Ration - Kandiezucter

 

Sweets played an important role in the German military's ration plan. They helped finish off an otherwise bland meal, provided a burst of energy, and offered a taste of home and better times.

Kandiezucter is a Rock Candy that was issued as a sugar ration. It is sealed in an airtight cello-type bag inside the Wehrmacht packet.

NOTE: Two packets are shown in the accompanying picture, to present the front and back of the packaging. You are buying one packet.

PRICE: $2.95

 

 

 

German WW 2 Zitronendrops for Heer or HWH

This lemon-flavored hard candy was packed in the Heer or Winter Hilfs Werk (WHW) tan, 20 gram packet. The candies inside are sealed in an airtight cello-like pouch.

There were provided as additional rations to units in front areas, to troops exposed to severe weather conditions, or as an incentive or reward to Landsers. They were also handed out at aid stations to wounded troops.

The candies are fresh from the grocer and ready to eat, and the reproduction square packet is marked with manufacturer's markings reflecting an assortment of German candy makers.

PRICE: $2.95

 

 

 

German WW II Wehrmacht Bohnenkaffee

Each packet contains a sealed cello-like bag of ground coffee in the tan Wehrmacht packaging, and will brew about a half-liter of coffee. While they can be used individually, soldiers would more often pool their supply and brew up a mess tin of coffee. 

NOTE: While the accompanying photo shows two packets (to show front and back), this pricing is for one packet.

PRICE: $3.50

 

 

 

 

  German WW II Vivil Mint Tablets

This is the original German Vivil mint, as issued in Army ration packs, and both Luftwaffe in-flight and survival rations. They were also sold to Landsers in rear-echelon canteen shops, such as the 'Mannschafts/Offiziers Kasino' and 'Truppenheim'. Each roll is the original mint, directly from Germany, with a WWII period wrapper. These were available alongside 'Hiller's Pfefferminze', 'King-Hollandischer Pfefferminz' und 'Pfeil Pfefferminzpastillen'. Due to their milder nature than the 'Hillers' and 'Pfeil', these were generally preferred to cover up a 'Fahne' ('Flag'-Landser slang for Liquor breath).
Don't make your Kameraden choke on your morning breath in the Bunker-Keep some Vivil on hand to really make your impression complete!!!

 These mints were imported directly from Germany and then we added the reproduction WW2 label.

Sorry, neither the P-38 nor the dummy grenade is available for sale – window dressing only.

 

PRICE: $3.95

 

 

 

German WW II Linde Ersatz Kaffee

Each box contains a packet of the unique Chicory coffee, popular on all fronts. This is the stuff that gives real Wehrmacht breadbags that burnt coffee smell.  

NOTE: While the accompanying photo shows two packets (to show front and back), this pricing is for one packet.

PRICE: $3.95

 

 

 

German WW II Wehrmacht Milchkaffee

 

Milchkaffee was popular with all branches of the German military. Each packet contains two cello-wrapped servings of soluble (instant) coffee and milk powder. Packets are accurately marked with manufacturer's markings and WVHA control information. Mix one serving with 12 ounces of hot water, and sugar to taste.

NOTE: Although two packets are shown in the accompanying photo, this pricing is for one packet. 

PRICE: $4.95

 

 

 

German WW II Whermacht Rinderbraten

Popular in all branches, these tins were one of the components of the Iron Ration, as well as distributed by themselves. The tin contains a high quality beef-with-gravy product much like the original Rinderbraten, and carries the appropriate manufacturer's markings. Heat this up with your Field Cooker, add some bread and coffee, and you have a satisfying, nourishing meal.

NOTE: Two tins are pictured here, however the pricing is for one tin.

PRICE: $6.95

 

 

 

German WW II Chicken Fleischkonserve (Hahnchenfleisch)

There was some variety in the German Iron Ration, and this proves it. This is a can of chicken meat (Hahnchenfleisch) in broth that was one of the various types of meat provided in the ration. This 300 gram can is ready to add to your kit, giving you a tasty option during a weekend of maneuvers.

 

PRICE: $6.95

 

 

 

German WW II Eintopf (Canned Beef Stew)

 

Tired of the same old Iron Ration day after day? Here is the making of a hearty and different meal, not often available but totally authentic.  Not only will you be the envy of the other Landsers in your mess, but you will dine on a energy-rich meal that will prepare you for another busy day in the trenches. The foundation of your meal is this large tin of beef stew. Weighing in at 425 grams it has an  accurately reproduced “Nur Fur den Wehrmachtsgenbrauch” label.

Add some hard bread and milchkaffee (both available here in our store) and you have the makings of a great meal!

PRICE: $6.95

 

 

 
 
 

German WW II Glucksklee Evaporated Milk Ration

Condensed milk has been around since the 1860's, and has always been a popular field ration with soldiers around the world.

This condensed milk can be mixed with water to make 2/3 liter of whole milk, however it was most commonly used to mix with condensed tomato soup, or to make "Milchkaffee." The colorful label is authentic to the period and the contents will work well with soup, coffee, or when mixed with water, to make milk. Many times it was simply drunk straight from the can.

 

PRICE: $4.95

 

 

 
 

WW II German Wehrmacht Knackebrot

 

German hard breads were part of a scientifically-designed high-calorie, high-protein ration intended to carry a foot soldier through an arduous day. You can supplement your Iron Ration with one or more of these reproduction packets of Knackebrot - a hard, crisp bread weighing 150 grams, sealed in an air-tight cello wrapper and outer-wrapped in a bag, with a proper period label from one of the various German manufacturers.

PRICE: $4.95

 

 

 
 

WW II German Wehrmacht Hartkeks

 

You can supplement your Iron Ration with one or more of these reproduction packets of Hartkeks - hard, crisp biscuit/crackers, sealed in an air-tight cello wrapper and outer-wrapped in heavy paper, with a proper period label.

Depending upon availability, Hartkeks came in three shapes - round, square, and rectangular. We currently stock the round (top at left) and the rectangular (bottom), and what you get depends upon what we grab - just like WW II.

While we don't know about the relative popularity of hard breads among the German military during the war, Hartkeks tend to be the most popular with our customers (if only the Wehrmacht had provided peanut butter!).

PRICE: $4.95

 

 

 
 

WW II German Wehrmacht Hartzweiback

 

 The third option in the Iron Ration, Hartzweiback is a hard, thick biscuit more like toasted bread than crackers, sealed in an air-tight cello wrapper and outer-wrapped in a bag with the proper period label from one of the various German manufacturers.

 

PRICE: $4.95

 

 

     
     

Folding Field Stove with fuel

AVAILABLE AGAIN!

This is the same model folding stove carried by soldaten throughout the war. There were at least two different brands, using the identical molds.  Of course the  "Esbit" is the best known brand and we have these again.  These are of post-war (West Germany) manufacture but otherwise identical. They have German markings, have had some field use, and come with no box or fuel tablets.

This is an amazingly versatile stove - probably the best design of WW2. When folded up it easily fits in a shirt pocket. When unfolded it can be used with fuel tablets, with captured American trioxane tabs, or with paper and wood scraps. It's solid and stable, and belongs in every kit. (Yanks and Brits liked them too.)

Sorry, the bayonet, grenade and mess kit pot are for scale only and don't come with the stove.

 

   

 

Okay, I got a good deal and bought a whole mess of these great stoves. So I'm sharing the good deal, reducing the $10.95 price by 30%.

About the size of a four pack of cigars, the stove will pack in any pocket or small place in your kit. This batch has had light use of the burner but is still solid and ready to use. Don't embarrass yourself by pulling out a shiny new stove.

PRICE: $7.95

 

 

 
     

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