Rationing in WW2

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Readie, May 14, 2013.

  1. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    I have been watching the CD set from the Military History people and one is about the 'homefront'
    I never realised that the American people were subject to food petrol rationing or, that the depression hit farmers were saved by the demands of war food production.
    If you get the chance to view these CD's I recommend that you. Its very educative.
    Cheers
    John
     
  2. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Sadly, my knowledge of my own country's homefront is severly lacking. I'll keep my eye out for it Readie, thanks. I think, however, that Great Britain had a tougher time with rationing?
     
  3. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    You had 'victory gardens' and so on. Similar here, but the British had a bit less of everything.
    I was fascinated by the 'homefront' CD. I suppose, like the logistic corps they tend to get overlooked.
    Pity, as everyone played their part.
    Cheers
    John
     
  4. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    Here are mine. :)
     

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  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Watch some reruns of "The Waltons". WWII era episodes show rationing of petrol and some canned food.
     
  6. model299

    model299 Member

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    You'll see hints of it in movies made during the war. I remember in particular a "Little Rascals" episode where one of the kids is shown getting royally chewed out by his Mom after dumping quite a bit of sugar on his cereal. There were also "meatless" days during the week. Also, you'll see wartime ads for tires and car repairs that make quite an issue of gas and tire rationing.

    My grandmother told me that people generally accepted food rationing for the most part without complaint. She did say that there was NO amount of lying, cheating and subterfuge people would not stoop to to get around the gas and tire rationing. Even then, people were hooked on their cars.
     
  7. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    My grandmother actually still had some of her ration books when she passed away a few years back.
     
  8. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Ken Burns' "The War" is an excellent documentary as well with a fair amount of coverage of the home front.
     
  9. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    I'll admit I have often overlooked the homefront and the 'boring' aspects of warfare. Still, there needed. "Amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics." Guess I still have a lot to learn. :) Readie, I take it GB had similar posters such as this?
    poster-do-with-less-copy.jpg
     
  10. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    I have several items my Mother gave me, including ration stamp cards and several "V Mail" letters home to my Grandmother from my Uncles in the Pacific...

    Perhaps I'll hunt around and find them, grab some photos and post them
     
  11. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    My Dad used to say that they couldn't get butter during the war so they where given a primitive form of margarine that was basically a brick of lard with a yellow color capsule that you mixed in. Sounds tasty huh? My Grandfather on my Dad's side was a NYC Cop during WW2 so somehow he had all the gas he wanted. Also heard a story about the drill press I know own. Evidently it was ear marked for a local war production factory, but due to my Grandfathers connections it ended up in his garage work shop. One last thing, during the war my Grandfather got so cozy with the coast guard marching up and down Jones Beach (a popular beach here on Long Island, NY) at night looking for Nazi submariners that he was eventually allowed to surf cast (fish) there all night long during the war. With my Dad and his brother there with him! My Dad would say that when the sun came up the would occassionally find deck hatches and wax wrapped rations along the beach from ships that were sunk by the U-Boats. They would eat the peanut butter and crackers and give the cigarettes to my Grandfather. I guess they had it pretty good...
     
  12. yulzari

    yulzari Active Member

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    A difference between USA and UK rationing (apart from the great difference in how much was allowed) was that the UK rations were reduced further after the war and food rationing went on (in increasingly fewer areas) until 8 years after the war ended.

    Yellow coloured lard? Ee luxury. My eldest brother could only dream of yellow coloured lard.......(apologies to the 4 Yorkshiremen sketch.)
     
  13. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Another thing that I just remembered hearing about when I was a kid, was that during the war, folks would turn in aluminum cookware (and other nessecary metal items) for the war effort.

    My Great Grandmother had a set of "Laurel" aluminum cookware that was very high-end for it's time, and a set that she had always wanted. Well, she wasn't about to give this set up, no matter how much it was needed. She donated many things to the effort, but not this cookware set! She would have done great physical harm to anybody that even thought about laying a hand on it!

    As it happens, the set still survives and has been passed down over the years. I have this set now and still use it to this day! :lol:
     
  14. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=W...UbC1FcO7O87IgdgD&ved=0CDMQsAQ&biw=792&bih=464

    We did, nearly every aspect was covered by a poster of some description.
    The wartime generation were real surviours making do and mending things.

    Now, as the belts have to tightened in 2013 we are encouraged to relive the 'old values' and the wartime 'diet' is considered healthy compared to fat laden, preservative filled crap we often eat nowadays.

    The 'home front' on all countries is a very interesting area to explore.
    Cheers
    John
     
  15. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    The British wartime ration wasn't much, but it was enough. To modern eyes it seems incredible that an adult could survive on such minimal provisions, but the men from the Ministry had done their sums and he or she could. Noone starved, but no one got fat either.

    This is the ration for one adult per week.

    BACON and HAM ……… 4ozs ( 100g )
    MEAT …………………… to the value of 1s.2d ( 6p today ). Sausages were not rationed but difficult to obtain : offal was originally unrationed but sometimes formed part of the meat ration.
    BUTTER ………………… 2ozs ( 50g )
    CHEESE ………………… 2ozs ( 50g ) sometimes it rose to 4ozs ( 100g ) and even up to 8ozs ( 225g )
    MARGARINE ……………… 4ozs ( 100g )
    COOKING FAT …………… 4ozs ( 100g ) often dropping to 2ozs ( 50g )
    MILK …………………… 3 pints ( 1800ml ) sometimes dropping to 2 pints ( 1200ml ). Household ( skimmed, dried ) milk was available. This was I packet each 4 weeks.
    SUGAR …………………… 8ozs ( 225g )
    PRESERVES ……………… 1lb ( 450g ) every 2 months
    TEA ……………………… 2ozs ( 50g )
    EGGS …………………… 1 shell egg a week if available but at times dropping to 1 every two weeks. Dried eggs ----- 1 packet each 4 weeks.
    SWEETS …………………… 12 ozs ( 350g ) each 4 weeks.

    In addition, there was a monthly points system.
    As an example of how these could be spent, with the 16 points that you were allocated you were allowed to buy one can of fish or meat or 2lb ( 900g ) of dried fruit or 8lb ( 3.6kg ) of split peas.
    Babies and younger children, expectant and nursing mothers had concentrated orange juice and cod liver oil from Welfare Clinics together with priority milk.
    This milk was also available to invalids.

    The system was supposed to be egalitarian but there was a thriving black market. If you had a bit of money you could always find more. Many country dwellers supplemented their ration from undeclared farm produce. My mother remembers hiding piglets from "the ministry man". Some things were never rationed, like fish, but someone had to go out and catch them.

    Many, many small back gardens became vegetable gardens and many garden sheds chicken coups for a supply of eggs.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  16. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Interesting that the 'donation' of aluminium pots and pans, in the UK at least, was purely a propaganda thing, the 'brain child' of Lord Beaverbrook, designed to involve the population, so they thought they were helping the war effort by providing materials for aircraft.
    The local authorities around the country ended up with huge mounds of scrap aluminium, useless for anything except pots and pans, that they didn't know what to do with!
    After the war, they were re-cycled - and made into new pots and pans!!
     
  17. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    Its also interesting to note the difference in attitude towards food rationing. The British Americans were on the same page. Hitler was dead set against any food rationing least it stir up memories of the deprivations suffered by the German people in WW1.
    Does anyone know if food rationing applied in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or Canada?
    Cheers
    John
     
  18. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    I framed a war ration card for my Mom in the early 1990s for a Christmas gift. About the size of a 3X5 card, but a bit more square. It was an original card that her Mom and Dad were given during the war and I always appreciated the history of it. Mom used to tell me all the stories of the soldiers, airman and Marines that would stay for a couple of days while on leave and the wonderful meals and discussions they had with these young men. As you can imagine, Mom fell in love with quite a few of them and remembers their names to this day. I'm sure that these stay arrangements were established via the Dept of War at the time. Mom loves to tell us of the stoic formality of these meals... prayer, thanks to God for their abundance and the fantastic interactions with these brave men. Sure wish I knew their fate and only wish them the best in outcome.
     
  19. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    #19 michaelmaltby, May 15, 2013
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
    "... Does anyone know if food rationing applied in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or Canada?"

    Canada had rationing ... I remember my Mom showing me these in 1945, I was 3 .....
     

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  20. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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