ROYAL ARMY SERVICE CORPS - Introduction

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  1. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    ROYAL ARMY SERVICE CORPS

    The Royal Army Service Corps was responsible for supply and transport in the army. Supply
    included the provision of consumables including food, fuel and other such items. Transport
    included the carrying of any supplies, stores, equipment or personnel.


    RASC

    RASC CONTENTS

    MT UNITS
    Headquarters CRASC. War Establishment II/261/3. April 1945
    Headquarters CRASC. War Establishment IV/92/3.
    Headquarters Mechanical Transport Company. War Establishment II/262/3. March 1945
    Headquarters Mechanical Transport Company. War Establishment IV/93/3.
    Transport Platoon. War Establishment II/263/3. March 1945
    Transport Platoon. War Establishment IV/94/3.
    Composite Platoon. War Establishment II/266/3. March 1945
    Composite Platoon. War Establishment IV/97/3.
    General Duties Platoon. War Establishment II/264. March 1945
    Supply Platoon. War Establishment II/265/3. March 1945
    Supply Platoon. War Establishment IV/96/3
    Relief Driver Increment. War Establishment II/267/1. March 1945
    Relief Driver Increment. War Establishment IV/98/3
    Workshop Platoon. War Establishment II/268/3. March 1945
    Workshop Platoon. War Establishment IV/99/4
    RASC Platoon for a Super Heavy Regiment RA. War Establishment XIV/1847/1. March 1945.
    HQ Mechanical Transport (Mixed) Company. War Establishment XIV/1833/1. December 1944.
    Transport Platoon ATS. War Establishment XIV/606/1. December 1944.
    Relief Driver Increment ATS. War Establishment XIV/605/1. December 1944.
    Relief Driver Increment Type A. War Establishment XIV/1831/1. December 1944

    BRIDGING COMPANY
    HQ of a Bridge Company. War Establishment III/225/1
    Heavy Bridging Equipment Platoon. War Establishment. III/226/1
    Assault Equipment Platoon. War Establishment III/227/1
    FBE Platoon. War Establishment III/228/1
    Raft Equipment Platoon Type B. War Establishment III/229/2
    Pontoon Equipment Platoon. War Establishment III/230/1
    Bailey Bridge Platoon. War Establishment III/ 231/1
    Bailey Bridge Platoon. War Establishment III/231/2
    Bridge Co Workshop Platoon. War Establishment III/232/1

    CAR COMPANIES
    HQ 21 Army Group Main Car Company. War Establishment XIV/1827/1. February 1945.
    HQ 21 Army Group Rear Car Company. War Establishment XIV/1846/1. February 1945.
    Public Relations Car Company. War Establishment XIV/1825/1. March 1945.
    GHQ Car Company (Special). War Establishment XIV/1849/1. April 1945.
    Headquarters 2nd Army Car Company. War Establishment XIV/1826/1. May 1944.
    Corps Car Company. War Establishment III/284/1. November 1943.

    NON TRANSPORT UNITS
    Air Composite Platoon. War Establishment XIV/18321. January 1945.
    Mobile Petrol Filling Centre. War Establishment IV/102/2. November 1943.
    Petrol Depot Type A. War Establishment IV/29F/2. October 1943.
    Petrol Depot Type C. War Establishment IV/29H/2. June 1944.
    Petrol Tin Factory Operating Company. War Establishment IV/243/1. April 1944.
    Petrol Station Company. War Establishment XIV/1834/1. February 1945.
    Port Detachment. War Establishment IV/181/1. September 1943.
    Leaflet Unit. War Establishment IV/182/1. September 1943
    Control Centre, Forward Maintenance Area. War Establishment III/275/1. November 1943
    MT Inspection Branch. War Establishment III/35A/2. May 1944
    Detail Issue Depot. War Establishment IV/106/1. January 1942.
    Field Butchery and Cold Storage Depot. War Establishment IV/32/3. January 1943.
    Field Bakery, Mobile. War Establishment IV33B/3. December 1943.
    Station Maintenance Company. War Establishment XIV/1828/1. June 1944.
    Motor Boat Company Type D. War Establishment IV/229/1. January 1944.
    Motor Boat Company Type E. War Establishment IV/241/1. March 1944.
    Harbour Launch Company. War Establishment IV/274/1. January 1945
    Boat Stores Depot. War Establishment XIV/1829/1. June 1944
    Stationary Depot PSS. War Establishment IV/67/2. December 1943.
    Advanced Stationary Depot PSS. War Establishment IV/67A/2. November 1943.
    Publications Depot PSS. War Establishment IV/68/2. December 1943.
    No2 GHQ Printing Press PSS. War Establishment XIV/1490/1. June 1944
    Mobile Printing Section. War Establishment III/61/2. February 1943.
    EFI (NAAFI). War Establishment III/70/2. August 1943
    EFI (NAAFI). War Establishment III/70/3. November 1944



    THE ROLE OF THE RASC.
    Military Training Pamphlet No23 Part 1.

    The role of the RASC in the field falls into two main parts, supply and transport.
    Supply.
    Supply embraces the provision of food, petrol and lubricants, fuel and light, hospital supplies and disinfectants.
    Transport.
    Transport is concerned with the conveyance of the above supplies, together with ammunition, engineer stores, ordnance stores and post, from railhead, or from base if no railhead exists, to all units of a field force.

    In addition RASC units are provided for the carriage of infantry, tanks and heavy bridging equipment. The mechanical transport of medical and certain other units is also found and operated by the RASC.

    To enable these services to be undertaken effectively, the RASC are responsible for the provision, repair, and maintenance of their own mechanical transport.

    General Transport Companies are allotted to divisions for the transport of ammunition, supplies and petrol. Similar companies are allotted to higher formations and for employment in Line of Communication areas as required.

    Personnel of the RASC are trained to fight as infantry and RASC units are responsible for their own local defence.


    RASC ORGANISATION 1944/45
    Early in the war there were separate establishments for a wide variety of RASC mechanical transport units. Those units attached to divisions and corps often had sections or even individual vehicles assigned to supply specific battalions, batteries or regiments. By 1944 there was a standard organisation using a modular system. Companies contained a number of transport platoons which were, with minor amendments, capable of operating in many roles and using any type of vehicle. Thus a company could be formed to operate tippers, re equip with staff cars and end up with 10 ton lorries. Companies could also be assigned composite platoons, general duty platoons, relief driver platoons and workshop platoons according to need. Company headquarters were also standard and interchangeable.

    Headquarters Commander RASC were allotted to divisions, corps and armies, and there were identical headquarters commanding transport columns on the lines of communication.


    DIVISIONAL RASC
    The role of the RASC companies was to keep the front line units supplied. In order to do this there were three different operations which were carried on simultaneously.

    By the end of the campaign it was usual to have a company assigned to supplies, another to petrol and a third to ammunition. Early in the campaign it was more usual to have companies serving brigades and have those companies each assign a platoon to supplies, petrol and ammunition. Cleary the brigade company allowed the brigade to operate independently and was well suited to the rapid advances of armoured divisions. In the large, and often fairly static, armies of the winter of 1944/45 the commodity company was more efficient. The supply system was overhauled in the autumn of 1944 when it became common for transport from army level to deliver to division refilling points and thus cut out a stage of loading and unloading.

    The transport of supplies.
    The transport was divided into two echelons which operated a two day turn around system. The major item was rations. These were fairly constant and were delivered daily. Because there were slight variations in the strength of units from day to day each unit had to make a ration return stating how many rations would be required in four days time. There was always a day’s rations with the unit, a day’s rations on the second line transport and a third day’s rations on the third line transport so that the rations being requested today would leave railhead tomorrow.
    - Supplies would be delivered to the divisional refilling point by corps transport units.
    - Empty lorries would travel in convoy to the divisional supply refilling point and collect supplies. The lorries from each brigade would load the supplies for their own brigade.
    - Loaded lorries would travel, preferably by a different route to avoid congestion, from the divisional refilling point to the unit supply points where units first line transport would collect the supplies. There would usually be a rendezvous point where the lorries for each brigade were met by motorcyclists who guided them to the supply point which might have moved or might be difficult to find in the dark.
    - Once unloaded the supply lorries would collect any salvage in the form of returnable crates, cans, sacks etc. and then return.
    - Somewhere on the return route was a reporting centre manned by the echelon commander and personnel and vehicles from company headquarters. Here the section and platoon commanders would report that their mission was complete. Here they could also get refreshment and repairs before returning to a company headquarters for rest and a meal.
    - Company Headquarters would be sited close to the divisional refilling point and clerks would be provided to check the items being loaded by relief crews. Clerks and loaders would also be provided by the third line transport to handle items being unloaded. Supply Platoons were also available to assist with supply matters.

    The transport of petrol.
    The system for the transport of petrol differed form that for supplies because all petrol was alike and was not perishable. There was no need for two echelons working a two day turn round.
    - Supplies of petrol were delivered to the divisional petrol refilling point by corps transport where it was held on wheels until collected by the divisional transport as required. The corps RASC held a reserve sufficient to move the entire division 25miles.
    - Forward of the divisional refilling point was a holding point where the second line transport held a reserve on wheels sufficient to move the entire division 50 miles. Second line vehicles also ran a shuttle service from the holding point to unit supply points so that petrol was always available when required.
    - On return journeys lorries should carry salvage in the form of empty jerricans. All petrol was in cans and a 3ton lorry could carry 160 jerricans.
    - There was less need of clerks, although deliveries were monitored so that fresh supplies could be ordered.

    The transport of ammunition.
    The system for the transport of ammunition was similar to that for petrol. Again the loads were not perishable and demand fluctuated. However petrol and ammunition were always kept separate. This was an absolute rule since ammunition was usually safe to handle and transport but petrol fires would cause it to explode.
    - Supplies of ammunition were delivered to the divisional ammunition refilling point by corps transport where it was held on wheels until collected by the divisional transport as required. The corps RASC held a reserve.
    - Forward of the divisional refilling point was a holding point where the second line transport held a reserve on wheels. Second line vehicles ran a shuttle service from the holding point to unit supply points where ammunition was always available.
    - On return journeys lorries should carry salvage in the form of empty ammunition boxes and cases, packing tubes, and shells that have been unpacked but not used. This latter made it necessary for lorries returning to the divisional filling point to be diverted to a salvage depot where returned ammunition could be handled by RAOC personnel.
    - A General Duties platoon was available to assist with loading and unloading ammunition.
    - It was a principle of ammunition supply that it should move forward automatically and need not be indented for. Clerks were required to record amounts issued, and units made returns of ammunition expenditure, so that replacement stocks could be provided.
    - At times of heavy artillery ammunition expenditure divisional lorries could deliver direct to gun lines and dump ammunition on the ground.

    Note: The term railhead had been used throughout this account but it does not necessarily suggest that supplies are transported there by rail. Increasingly supplies reached the RASC third line transport by Line of Communication RASC transport companies. Correctly the transfer point should be the Line of Communication Terminal but this term was rarely used.

    The divisional transport units should not be considered in isolation. In fact there was a smooth overlapping system in which corps or army units delivered supplies to the divisional units. At the divisional refilling points there were both corps and divisional personnel who worked very closely with each other. At the other end of the divisional transport system there were unit echelon lorries operating under brigade control waiting to receive loads from the brigade transport companies RASC.

    The system was sufficiently flexible to cope with rapid movements. When fighting units advanced many miles a day the supply system was able to maintain a steady flow. In the advance petrol was essential and the supply was ensured by
    - vehicles starting with full tanks,
    - by units transport carrying a refill,
    - by the RASC company reserve on wheels moving just behind the units,
    - by the shuttle of RASC lorries keeping the rolling reserve replenished,
    - by the corps reserve on wheels following on behind
    - and so on as far as necessary

    Similar systems ensured a supply of ammunition and the supply companies maintained their two day turnaround with the refilling point and deliver point moving forward each day.

    The Supplies.
    Troops in NW Europe were fortunate in that they were well supplied with fresh rations and did not have to exist on the bully beef and army biscuit so much used in the desert. Of course there was still a considerable amount of tinned meat, but fresh or chilled meat was widely available. Fresh vegetables were also generally available. Fresh bread was always available thanks to mobile field bakeries which followed close behind the fighting units. Of course fresh fruit was a rarity and eggs if provided at all were powdered.

    Supply units also maintained a steady flow of mail from home, cigarettes and of course tea.


    CORP and ARMY RASC
    Early in the campaign corps played an important role in the supply system but as the armies grew larger it was found that the extra level was an unnecessary complication and army RASC units delivered directly to divisions. However there was a need for Corps Troops Composite Companies which performed for corps troops (non divisional troops) the same functions as divisional RASC units did for divisions. Usually there were two such companies operating on a single echelon system, although more could be allotted if corps were particularly large. Each corps also had one or more corps transport companies which provided a pool of transport, together with some specialist transport.

    Corps also had artillery companies RASC attached. These consisted of a variable number of platoons, each supplying a non divisional artillery regiment. At this period non divisional artillery was administered by Army Groups Royal Artillery and units were attached to corps as required. Each such unit took its own supply platoon with it.

    Each army had a variable number of army transport companies to provide 3rd line transport from railhead to divisions. These were provided on the basis of one per infantry division, one per armoured division and one for each corps. Since these companies operated well behind the front line part of their transport was in the form of 6ton (articulated) GS lorries. There were also army troops composite companies which provided 2nd line transport for army troops (those not part of divisions or corps). Normally there were two such companies.


    LINES of COMMUNICATION
    Ideally transport on the lines of communication was by rail. Trains would load at the base depots and carry ammunition, fuel, supplies etc to the railhead. Road transport was always needed to supplement rail and there were times when rail transport was not available at all, as in the breakout from Normandy and the rapid advance across France and into Belgium.

    General Transport Companies on the lines of communication typically used larger vehicles, if they were available, or 3ton 4 X 2 lorries. 10 ton lorries were most efficient but were always in short supply. 6 ton semi trailer lorries were used when available. These could be 4 X 4 – 2 which were permanently coupled or 4 X 2 – 2 which usually made shorter shuttle trips with detachable semi trailers. There were also specialist vehicles such as bulk tankers.

    The Landings and Build Up.
    Eleven General Transport Companies were equipped with DUKWs and these proved the most effective means of unloading stores. A motor boat company with fast launches was used to control the DUKW units. A second motor boat company equipped with harbour launches, was employed chiefly in the ferrying of Transportation personnel.

    RASC transport was employed both to clear beached craft after they had dried out and, to a lesser extent, the stores brought ashore by Rhino ferries. These were taken to sector stores dumps which were sited just off the beaches and later to BMA depots. When roadheads were formed the distance from the beaches to depots was too great for DUKWs and it became necessary to establish transhipment areas into which DUKWs delivered their loads.

    The Breakout and Pursuit.
    From 22 August onwards more and more transport had to be provided to enable the armies to stock their roadheads.

    Transport for the two Corps involved in the rapid advance across France and Belgium was found by:
    - Cutting imports into the RMA and releasing eight DUKW companies for conversion into normal GT companies. A number of GT companies were also released from beach clearance. At the end of September only three DUKW companies remained as such, of which one was on loan to US Army.
    - Second Army converted a company of forty-ton tank transporters into load carriers by welding pierced steel planking to their sides. These modified transporters could lift sixteen and a half tons of supplies, thirty-six tons of ammunition, ten tons of POL or five hundred jerricans.
    - An extra lift of between five and six hundred tons was added to the pool by the issue of an additional thirty three-ton reserve vehicles to each of four GT companies.
    - One hundred and fifty-four 800 gallon tankers were issued early in September to supplement the seven bulk petrol transport companies employed on forward maintenance.
    - 8 Corps was grounded and all its second line transport, as well as fifty per cent of its first line transport, was temporarily removed from it.
    - Urgent convoys of essential ammunition and ordnance stores had to be personally shepherded along agreed routes by personnel of the military police.
    - Some 1,700 reserve three ton lorries were issued to L of C units temporarily to enable them to carry out the long moves forward.
    - On 16 September eight US truck companies commenced to run from Bayeux to Brussels delivering five hundred tons of petrol per day.
    - AA RASC transport platoons were released and nine platoons of three-ton vehicles were formed from released first line AA transport.
    - Two ten-ton GT companies were equipped with five-ton trailers.
    - The War Office provided an additional seventeen GT companies. Intended as a loan in the event these units remained until the end of the campaign

    HQ 21 Army Group assumed responsibility for the control of all transport and set up the organisation entitled TRANCO at Amiens on 19 September. By 25 September orders had been issued for the regrouping of the GT companies in the areas north and south of the Seine. In each of these areas two CRASC each commanding a group of companies were placed. One was responsible for road patrol and the organisation of staging camps, while the other called "Control" was responsible for reporting daily, by wireless, availability of transport in the area and movement of all maintenance convoys through the report centre established on the main "up" and "down" routes. Control CRASC also operated at the RMA, at No 6 Army Roadhead, and at Dieppe. The co-ordination of transport allocation was then exercised by TRANCO, based on "Q" priorities given to Second Army demands. A loading bill was sent out daily by wireless or telephone forty-eight hours in advance to controlling HQ.


    Establishing the Advanced Base Area.
    One of the greatest problems which arose as a result of the extended L of C was unit administration, and units and sub units had not only to be self-administering but also self-contained for periods of seven days or more. With the approach of winter, staging camps were established at the terminals and along the principal maintenance routes. These camps were organised on a hotel system and provided hot meals, baths and accommodation for drivers, enabling them to rest and carry out maintenance on their vehicles.

    From14 October all RASC transport units with the exception of the L of C GT companies were reorganised. This was partly done in the light of operational experience and partly to save manpower.
    - In November and December sixteen army transport companies were re-organised into fourteen standard 3-ton or 6-ton GT companies of four platoons each.
    - Armoured divisions had a troop carrying company added.
    - Third line armoured division transport companies became army transport companies with the same organisation as the other third line transport.
    - The measures adopted for economising in manpower affected the remaining transport units, and mainly consisted of reducing the scale of reserve drivers in infantry divisional, corps troops, troop carrying, motor ambulance and artillery companies.
    - Personnel of the composite platoons in the infantry divisional companies as well as the ambulance car companies were reduced, the latter being replaced by ATS drivers.
    - The elements of the two army transport companies made surplus during the re-organisation became the nucleus of two station maintenance companies.
    - Flying squads of expert advisers and skilled artificers of No 4 MT Inspectorate did much to maintain the standard of mechanical efficiency of transport.

    On 17 December GT companies began to be formed from Belgian military personnel. These units were to be placed at the disposal of HQ 21 Army Group after an initial period of training in UK. On their return they were to release the personnel of seventeen GT companies, loaned by the War Office to 21 Army Group, and take over the equipment. Although this pool of transport was to be operationally controlled by 21 Army Group, the Belgian authorities would be responsible for all problems of personnel, pay and discipline. A small staff, headed by a lieutenant-colonel, was formed at the end of December in order to control these units, and to act as a liaison HQ. Simultaneously a start was made in forming fourteen more Belgian and nine Netherlands GT companies for work under the direction of Civil Affairs.

    After the beaches were closed in October all RASC motor boat companies returned to UK for re-fitting and re-organisation preparatory to operating in the newly opened ports. The first of these companies with ten fast launches and ten harbour launches arrived in Antwerp in January.

    Before the end of December it was found possible to make available sufficient four-wheeled drive 3-ton lorries to convert all second line RASC companies and platoons to a fifty per cent four-wheeled drive basis. This was of great assistance in the winter conditions.

    On 13 April a further lift was added to the transport pool by the arrival from UK of a civilian transport company organised by the Ministry of War Transport. This particular unit with a five hundred ton lift capacity was employed on Civil Affairs tasks in Holland.

    At the end of April Goldflake transport units began to arrive comprising, in addition to formation second line transport, three CRASC transport columns, eleven GT companies, seven artillery platoons, one transporter company, one bulk petrol transport company, one bridge company and one ambulance car company.


    Preparing to Cross the Rhine.
    In January HQ L of C had under command eighty-two three-ton companies, whilst First Canadian Army and Second Army had respectively nine and eight companies from the GHQ pool. The 21 Army Group pool was twenty three-ton companies committed on permanent employment such as haulage of timber, RE and airfield construction work.

    Two DUKW companies had been retained since the beginning of the campaign and four GT coys which were originally DUKW companies were re-converted. DUKWs were used not only on second line maintenance but also for evacuation of casualties over the flooded areas between the Maas and the Rhine.


    Air
    Dakota aircraft were used for the evacuation of wounded. Personnel traffic for the first 30 days was limited to special visits due to the shortage of airfields but a regular service was instituted by SHAEF in mid-July while an Anson service for officers of HQ 21 Army Group began on 20 July. On 6 July a regular service carrying mail, newspapers, medical stores and a limited quantity of essential items was begun with transport aircraft.

    When Brussels and Antwerp were reached, maintenance by air became imperative and a HQ CRASC transport column trained in air freight organisation was transferred from the RMA and placed under command of Second Army. By 13 September this HQ with two DIDs had handled 6,352 tons of stores. Early in September bulk petrol was delivered to Lille by means of long range tanks of Liberator aircraft but this experiment was abandoned as it was wasteful both in petrol and aircraft.

    On 1 December the permanent transport airfield in Belgium was opened at Nivelles. This airfield was reserved solely for transport aircraft. During December and early January a steady lift of 400 to 500 tons per week of mixed ordnance stores, mail, newspapers and blood was maintained. The empty freight aircraft were used for the return to UK of compassionate leave cases, personnel drafts, PW and certain units returning to UK for re-equipment.

    Pre-packed supplies representing five days maintenance for a division were held in UK for the supply by air either of airborne troops or, in an emergency, of isolated forward troops. In January it was decided that two days reserve for an infantry or armoured brigade group should be brought to Nivelles airfield. At the end of February a further two days supply for an airborne brigade group was flown in. During the later stages of operations the carriage of petrol and supplies by air to the forward areas in the advance assumed greater importance due to the extension of the L of C. First priority for transport aircraft was allotted by SHAEF to the evacuation of allied PW and insufficient aircraft were allotted to 21 Army Group.



    SUPPLIES
    Each man in the force landed with two twenty-four hour packs which were for consumption during the first forty-eight hours ashore. Apart from these the only rations employed for a considerable time were "fourteen-man Compo packs".

    Two DIDs were allotted to each beach sub area, while 33 and 38 Port Detachments and another DID were established in 4 L of C Sub Area.

    By D+6 approximately two day's reserve of Compo had been built up by means of a planned rate of one third of a day's reserve per day from D-day onwards. An extra fifty tons of shipping space was allotted to S & T on the express coaster which sailed on D+5. The express coaster service was also used for shipping bread for hospital patients daily after D+13.

    By the end of this phase the Field Service Ration had been introduced but it was wholly a preserved ration except for bread which was available in limited quantities from the beginning of July. It had not proved possible to provide frozen meat during this period.

    The shipment of all fresh vegetables started but required a great deal of detailed supervision in DIDs. The baking of bread was somewhat delayed due to the lack of sites with suitable water supplies, and also to delay in shipping the necessary equipment, but by 5 August bread was issued to nearly all troops. Later it was impossible for bakeries with the armies to keep up with the advance and maintain their output at the same time. Contracts were placed with civilian firms in order to ensure full scale provision of bread for all L of C troops. On 15 August CRASC 19 Supply Units took over responsibility for the field butcheries, bakeries and two Detail Issuing Depots which dealt exclusively with coal and fresh vegetables.

    When the armies began their advance all drawing of fresh rations practically ceased, the major issues being Compo, except for captured stocks. A considerable quantity of the latter was available and for five days Second Army subsisted on captured stocks without having to touch reserve holdings.

    It was possible in October to obtain plentiful supplies in Belgium and by 2 December 1,400 tons of vegetables representing 6,280,000 rations, the equivalent of six days issue for the force, were acquired by local procurement. At the same time contracts were made with civilian bakeries at Lille and Brussels to produce 85,000 lbs of bread per day with British ingredients for local troops, and negotiations were started to procure the manufacture of fresh pork sausages to replace the tinned equivalent in the PS ration.

    Considerable difficulties were experienced with the distribution of frozen meat due to the insufficient number of refrigerated and insulated wagons but from 1 November a 100 per cent issue of fresh meat was made on alternate days.


    FOOD

    There were several types of ration available. Rations usually provided ingredients for a breakfast, a dinner, a tea, a supper plus other necessities and luxuries.

    Field Service Ration.
    In normal circumstances and a static situation meals were made up from fresh, frozen or dehydrated meat and vegetables. These were cooked in field kitchens by ACC personnel and served with fresh bread from field bakeries. Such meals could be served direct to troops at the field kitchen or delivered to smaller units in insulated containers. The scale of all the various ingredients for each individual was laid down and multiplied by the number on the unit strength on a particular day, usually two days before the food was to be consumed.

    Composite Ration Pack.
    This was a wooden pack containing a days ration for 14 men. There were seven different packs, allowing a different menu each day. The meals were tinned and could be heated on the units cookers or on individual portable cookers. Typically the main meals were irish stew, pork and vegetables, oxtail and beans, steak and kidney, steak and vegetables and salmon. There was one tin per man but if the tin did not include vegetables then there were 12 tins of meat and two of vegetables. Other meals tended to be the same every day. The ration was designed to give 3,600 calories per man. There was a variation in which no biscuits were included and fresh bread would then be issued. Vehicle crews were issued with similar rations in packs of two or five.

    Typical daily ration pack for 14 men. There were variations.
    Breakfast
    3 cans of tea with sugar and powdered milk
    2 cans of sausages
    1 can of biscuits
    1 can of margarine

    Dinner
    14 cans of meat and/or vegetables
    3 cans of pudding

    Tea
    3 cans of tea with sugar and powdered milk
    1 can of biscuits
    1 can of margarine
    1 can of cheese

    Supper
    2 cans of soup
    1 can of biscuits

    Plus
    2 tins of cigarettes allowing 7 cigarettes per man
    1 tin of sweets
    1 tin of salt
    1 tin of matches
    14 bars of chocolate
    toilet paper.


    24 Hour Ration Pack
    The 24 hour ration pack was carried by each individual man in an assault or landing where composite rations might be delayed. They were light weight and high energy (4000 calories). Some portions could be heated on portable cookers. A pack would fit into a mess tin and was waterproof and gasproof.

    10 biscuits
    2 packets of porridge
    2 lumps of tea/sugar/milk mixture
    1 packet of dehydrated meat
    2 bars of chocolate with raisins
    1 bar of vitamin enriched chocolate
    1 pack of sweets
    2 packs of chewing gum
    2 cubes of meat broth
    1 bag of salt
    4 lumps of sugar
    4 sheets of toilet paper


    Cookers.
    Apart from the large unit sized petrol cookers there was a variety of smaller cookers available. Small folding stoves were issued for use with the 24 hour packs. These could be carried in the small pack carried by each man. A small petrol stove was issued to sections or vehicle crews.
     
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