World War II in the News is a review of WWII articles providing thought-provoking collection of hand-picked WW2 information.

If you like classic turn-based PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series (link)
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If you like classic turn-based PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series.

World War II Rationing

World War II food rationing - Stories and recollections.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Wine, Champagne, and WWII, WWII food rationing.

Wartime rationing 80 years ago - plus powered egg, horse meat, and chocolate potato cake
The folk of Britain and the North East were preparing for the Christmas of 1940 with nearly a full year of strict food rationing behind them.

Classic turn-based strategy games: Conflict-Series
If you like classic turn-based PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include Axis Balkan Campaign, D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, and the Battle of Bulge. In addition to WWII some other time periods include Korean War, American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War. The more complex campaigns like Operation Sea Lion, Invasion of Norway, and Invasion of Japan 1945, include Naval element and handling logistics of supply flow.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store since 2011)

During World War II, Many Items Were Rationed in the United States, Including Shoes!
During WWII you couldn't just walk into a shop and buy as much sugar or butter or meat as you wanted, nor could you fill up your car with gasoline whenever you liked. All these things were rationed, which meant you were only allowed to buy a small amount (even if you could afford more). The government introduced rationing because certain things were in short supply during the war, and rationing was the only way to make sure everyone got their fair share. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor dramatically ended the debate over America's entrance into the war that raged around the world. As eager volunteers flooded local draft board offices ordinary citizens soon felt the impact of the war. Shoes were rationed because leather and rubber were in short supply.

Clothing Rationing in Britain During World War II
The necessity for food rationing during WW2 was accepted by the people of Britain, and while they found it difficult, they met the challenge head on. The surprise rationing of clothing, announced on 1st June 1941, was yet another war burden which had to be faced. Rationing of clothing became necessary as many manufacturing concerns had been taken over for war work. There was a huge demand for war-related materials such as wool, (for the manufacture of uniforms), and silk (for making parachutes, maps, and gunpowder bags), and raw materials were in short supply.

WWII rationing: Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without
"Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without," the WWII poster read. Midlanders, already toughened by the Great Depression, did their part by cutting back in the kitchen, driving less and planting victory gardens. Elizabeth Callaway of Lincoln remembered how hard it was to shop during the war: "The ration points for meat and sugar were difficult to stretch. All buying was done in three steps. First, does the store have meat, sugar or soap? Second, do I have ration points? Third, do I have money? Everybody was afraid to use any gas because they had no idea how far 2 or 3 gallons would take them."

As Stalin starved Ukrainians, kids ate each other -- Podcast interview of Timothy Snyder, author of Bloodlands
When starving orphans in the Kharkiv orphanage suddenly went silent, caregivers rushed in to find the children eating Petrus, the smallest of them. Some tore off bits of the boy's flesh and devoured them, while others sucked blood from his wounds. It was 1933 in Soviet Ukraine, and the famine was the result of forced collectivization. 3.3 million people died of deliberate starvation in the Soviet Ukraine in 1932-1933.

The Soviet collectivization is one of the topics Lewis Lapham discusses with Timothy Snyder, author of "Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin," in this 19-minute podcast interview.

Direct link to the podcast (9MB, mp3-format).


The Taste of War: World War Two and the Battle for Food by Lizzie Collingham (book review)
Usually, mentioning "food" and "WWII" in the same phrase means that somebody is talking about food rationing. However, many people are blissfully ignorant that in reality, food lurked behind many important decisions taken during the Second World War. Securing food supplies not only partly forced Nazi Germany and Japan into war: It often dictated their strategies and lay behind atrocities they committed.

Britain could feed itself for only 120 days a year when war broke out in 1939. By 1944, the number had risen to 160 days, thanks to the Land Girls, POW labor, and a switch from pastoral to intensive cultivation. Meanwhile, the United States prospered as the war pulled agriculture out of recession, stimulating scientific advances.


How Huddersfield coped with World War II food rationing
Food rationing was introduced in the UK in January 1940, continuing long after the WWII had ended. The first targets were butter and bacon, and soon meat and tea followed. Several changes took place both in society and in food culture: Unfamiliar foods - like Spam (tinned meat) from America - appeared, and many people started to keep their own hens after fresh eggs were replaced by dried ones. Out of a total of 125,000 ration books distributed in Huddersfield, only 27 were unclaimed.

WWII rationing and the effect of public opinion in Great Britain and Austria
A key element of almost every country's WW2 strategy was limiting domestic consumption. On the Axis side, the German occupation of Austria limited the availability of goods to Austrians to allocate more resources for the Nazi war effort. However, these cuts sparked social unrest.

WWII Dutch famine babies' brains aging faster - because their mothers lived on 400-800 calories a day
People who were developing in the womb at the time of severe WWII food shortages do worse than others at mental tests now. Scientists, studying 300 adults who had been foetuses at the time, said the 1944 Dutch famine may have accelerated brain ageing. The Hongerwinter was a 6-month period during which the Nazis restricted food deliveries to the northern Netherlands. By April 1945, 20,000 people had perished as a result of hunger, and expectant mothers lived on 400-800 calories a day. However, the fact that this famine struck a well-nourished population created an unique opportunity to study the effects of malnutrition.

Ministry of Food: Thrifty wartime ways to feed your family today (book review)
"The Ministry of Food" is a book about World War 2 food shortages. It reveals how the British people accepted the call to "Dig for Victory" - and learnt new skills to cope with wartime food shortages. The aim was to cut down imports and increase home production of essential food stuffs. The book includes instructions from the Ministry of Food offering practical advice on growing vegetables, rotating crops, recipes for home baking, and instructions for fruit preserving. All this information came from the government in the form of pamphlets, posters, and over 200 short films.

Ministry of Food - Imperial War Museum reveals how Britain fed itself in World War II
The Imperial War Museum in London is travelling back in time to recount Britain survived during World War II - when a government ministry, under Lord Woolton, set about the huge task of administering rationing, controlling the flow of food and feeding the nation. It's a story of fortitude and sacrifice - and bureaucracy, organisation and propaganda - as the rationing went on for 14 years. Posters, period newsreel, information films, photos and paintings cluster the displays covering everything from the role of the Women's Land Army to the Dig for Victory and War on Waste campaigns.

Victory garden movement showing real growth
During World War Two, "victory gardens" planted at the request of the federal government helped Americans cope with food shortages. (In the First World War they were called "liberty gardens.") By 1943, Americans had planted over 20 million victory gardens, which produced 8 million tons of food that one old film called "America's hidden weapon." Now, in a battered economic climate, a new victory-garden movement has captured the attention of people who want to decrease their reliance on mass-produced or imported food, reduce their carbon footprint, promote a sense of community or save on grocery bills.

A Country War, Memoirs of a Land Girl by Micky Mitchell
Because so many young men had been mobilised for the armed forces in World War II, there was a dangerous shortage of labour on farms. So a whole new army emerged: the Women's Land Army, young ladies/girls who were trained in such tasks as milking cows, harvesting and drainage. It was their task to help keep the nation fed as the german U-boats attacked many of our merchant ships. One land girl was Maud 'Micky' Mitchell, who in 1943 at the age of 17, moved from Blackburn to take up her first farming experience in rural East Devon. It is a recollection of memories of a totally different wartime scenario to that ordinarily portrayed.

Spuds, Spam and Eating for Victory: Rationing in the Second World War
Nutrition was a concern during WWII and housewives were bombarded with propaganda. Posters listed "energy" foods beside pictures of thin mothers feeding their kids. "The Kitchen Front" propaganda campaign brought in the Buggins family, whose troubles making rations stretch reflected struggles across the UK. And the Ministries of Food and Propaganda were not the only ones charging on the home front. In 1940 Minister for Aircraft Production appealed: "Give us your aluminium... We will turn your pots and pans into Spitfires." It was illegal to waste food: "If you threw away a crust of bread... you were guilty of putting merchant seaman in mortal danger."

Dealing with aftermath of Pearl Harbor - Food rationing   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Americans were still staggering from the shock of Pearl Harbor when Safeway management published a part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Dec. 9, 1941, message: "...we should not have to curtail the normal articles of food. There is enough food for all of us and enough left over to send to those who are fighting on the same side with us." --- Within 5 months nationwide rationing was set up: Meat, sugar, butter, coffee as well as gasoline, tires and shoes were among the rationed items. One hundred million books containing stamps were printed. It listed your name, address, height and weight. Coupon 25 was good for one pound of coffee and coupon 17 entitled to one pair of shoes.

Victory gardens revive World War II project
When the boys marched off to World War II, those left behind marched into backyards and began gardening to help the war effort. A propaganda poster depicted a pitchfork sinking into a tidy American lawn: "Groundwork for Victory." By WWII’s end victory gardens were turning out 40% of the nation’s produce output. But when the bombs stopped falling, Americans dropped pitchforks and the millions of little plots were paved over. Amy Franceschini is trying to nurture the victory garden concept back to prominence with a 21st century agenda. Inspired by a book on the history of community gardening she assembled an art project "Victory Gardens 2007+".

World Way II rationing forced some to give up living "high on the hog"
Because America’s rubber supply was cut off by Japanese Army by 1941, one of the first things to be rationed in US was gasoline, which began on Dec. 1, 1942. In addition the speed limits on all roads was lowered to 35 MPH. Gasoline rationing and the reduced speed limits was done mainly to conserve rubber. Citizens had to swear under oath that they needed gasoline and that they owned no more than 5 tires. The use of food rationing stamps was often confusing as to the color red or blue and "A" "B" or "C." Red stamps were used to buy meat, butter, lard etc., while the blue stamps were for canned vegetables.