Food in the Trenches

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by Smackz, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. Smackz

    Smackz New Member

    Did the soldiers ever run out of their food in the trenches? If so, what did they eat instead? They probably couldn't just get out of the trench to go find some food. I'm wondering if they cooked the rats and other animals living in the trenches. If anyone knows, I would really appreciate an answer!
  2. vashstampede

    vashstampede Active Member

    I have not heard of serious food shortage in the trenches during WWI. Since the frontline barely moved, both sides have very secured supply lines behind the trenches. The trenches should be well supplied, and the food there should be well stocked.

    I have never heard of a single story of soldiers eating rats in the trenches during WWI. It is not a good way to get fed...since rats often feed on disgusting things including dead body and rotting body parts, and other stuff, they can easily transmit diseases. Many soldiers in WWI died to diseases which were widely spread in the trench. It is hard to keep it clean since you both eat and poop in there, with body parts everywhere after each bombardment...
  3. Smackz

    Smackz New Member

    Thanks! Me and a friend were talking about this and I felt as if I needed to consult someone else to find out the truth about this. I suppose that your thought seems correct. I guess the rat idea was a little far-fetched. :p
  4. Interrogator#6

    Interrogator#6 Active Member

    I believe there were cases of temporary food as well as water shortages in trenches. If a sector was under a protracted bombardment, for instance, or under persistent GAS and so needed to be in masks for many hours, I could understand why a soldier was hungry. But I have read to many times of nightly fatigue duties of carrying supplies forward in the trenches by troops who were "resting". But this speaks of the relatively good supply situation on the Western Front. In the East the situation and in late war in Germany things could be difficult.

    Also please recall there was food rationing for civilians in some cases. Supplying the soldiers was a priority. There was some hunger at the home front.
  5. Interrogator#6

    Interrogator#6 Active Member

    Oh, I just recalled the siege of KUT during the Mesopotamian (modern Iraq) Campaign where a large British force was trapped. They were cut off, and rations were cut. There was hunger. They did eventually eat the transport animals.
  6. Rigby44

    Rigby44 Member

  7. Interrogator#6

    Interrogator#6 Active Member

    Curiously 'nough, I be 'reading' just now a contemporary description of conditions in the trenches for the Tommys during the Great War. Though this collection was allegedly written at or near the Front, by an alleged participant in all the action and activity, I suspect the writer was a professional writer who saw much more ink 'spilled' than blood, sweat, or tears. Written during the war, it seems intended to influence the Homefront rather than an honest 'I was there' expose of actual conditions. Something just does not 'smell' right.

    That each section is headed by quotes from 'official dispatches' was what caused me to question the veracity of this work being written "within the sound of German guns."
  8. groundhugger

    groundhugger Member

    Thanks for the offer , I'll take you up on that .

    regards John​
  9. groundhugger

    groundhugger Member

    Frontline troops had hot food brought up by work parties through the communication trenches , I would have thought 'Stew' would figure high on the menu , also food parcels were sent from home , and theyed have a backup of tinstuff to tide them over.
    I doubt the British Tommy would eat rats , no matter how hungy he was , so long as a brew of tea was available , he'd manage.

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