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Reenacting Rations!!!


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I thought I would start a new thread under Reenactors to specifically show off your home made or purpose bought rations that you use for Reenacting. I thought about putting his under Reproductions, but since the purpose hee is to show what you use while reenacting I thought it would be best put here.

 

MODERATORS!!! Please feel free to move this thread if it does not meet the criteria for this section or move other ration related posts to this thread. As a Ration thread for reenactors, this might be best pinned as well.

 

Since I am just getting into reenacting, I have had several months to sit back and think about my impressions and how to portray the part of a WWII Soldier. Past the uniforms I knew I'd need, I also thought of being at a tactical, and getting hungry, and pulling out something modern to chow down on and thought, man, how bad would that look?

 

Well, a quick search on the internet revealed several places that produce K Ration, C Ration, and D Ration items. I also found that these items are quite expensive. After obtaining two sets of late war morale boxes , the K Ration kit, and the D Ration Kit from Gerald Peterson, I found that at 16 bucks a set for the K Ration boxes, I couldnt sustain that. The boxes would need to last over several tacticals if possible, so I set about looking for alternatives. One alternative I found was on Ebay. I found a guy called coldstreamguard that produces a full set of boxes for about $5.50 US... He also sells the innards to fill them with too.

 

I set about looking for the D Ration Recipie, and upon finding the recipie to make a single bar, I decided to make several. After that first batch, I modified my recipie a little to use regular flour instead of oat flour. Now, I have several D Rations wrapped up and ready for use. This week I intend to make a few more.

 

The fun part came when I realized I'd have to find a way to fill those ration boxes, and well, a can of starkist tuna and modern granola bars and such wouldnt cut it. I wanted to protray the K Rations as best I could. I pulled out Gerald Peterson's fantastic K Ration Do it yourself kit and started taking notes. The kit comes with the labels and such to modify modern foodstuffs to WWII look alikes. That can of starkist tuna, Chicken chunks, and ham chunks all got a coat or two of OD green paint, and had the contents stamped on the lid. The Granola bars and nutragrain bars were removed from their original packaging and placed in WWII Era labelling. The buscuit packets were made using Club crackers and Graham crackers. The DIY kit provided copies of a lot of the labelling. Other labels were downloaded of Doc Hoovie's yahoo group. Since I was not going to be reselling anything and would be making this stuff for my own use, I scanned the items to my computer so I could print them out as needed.

 

I purchased a roll of shrink wrap to use for wrapping the crackers, as well as the entire accessory kit. Domino sugar cubes were wrapped to resemble the sugar tabs and blocks, boullion cubes were used as well. As I write this, I am preparing to make coffee, creamer, and drink powder packets, and fill them with instant coffee, powdered creamer, and powdered drink mixes. Like I said, I am trying to make these as close to the original thing as I can. About the only think I wont wind up doing is the ciggarettes... I dont smoke, but I might have one or two sets to rotate from ration to ration.

 

Now, I have several rations done, and also a few cans of "Pork Luncheon Meat" and Corned Beef in period labels. In the long run, the initial layout to stockpile the ingredients is kind of expensive, but the end results are worth it.

 

See attached photos for reference... Below are one of my Drat bars, and a Gerald Peterson Morale K Ration Box, with Repro Ration Filler. Expensive way to fill your meals...

 

Wayne

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post-3743-1240032503.jpg

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These fillers are made by me... The K Rat Box is one purchased from Ebay.

post-3743-1240032612.jpg

post-3743-1240032635.jpg

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WAXING K AND D RATION BOXES!!!!!

 

I wax k-rat boxes with a homemade double boiler in the following manner:

 

Cut the top off of a clean 2-litre pop bottle about 8" from the bottom. Make a handle from a coat hanger. (a #10 tin can can also be used in the double boiler to melt the wax without ruining your double boiler.)

 

Fill a stock pot 1/2 full with water

 

place the pop bottle ( or can) in the water - insert a block or 2 of low-temp parafin (canning wax) in the bottle (or can)

 

heat the water over a low heat on an electric burner - not an open flame - until the parafin melts

 

using the handle to keep the bottle or can stable - dip 1 end of the completed k-ration box in the parafin for 15 seconds, allowing the wax to penetrate the chipboard. Remove from the bottle & place the DRY end down on a piece of waxed paper on the counter at least 3 foot from the stove. When cooled, dip the other end and allow to cool.

 

Remember, only the inner boxes were waxed!!!

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo

Sorry for the delay, been busy with my Family. Sunday's my only day off really.

 

I mix my own DRats using my own recipe and it works pretty well. The bars do not melt but they can get soft when the temperature is in the 80's. Unlike Candy bars, that liquify quickly, mine act pretty normal. I wrap mine in Brown paper sack paper with a preprinted label. The mold is not realistic as mine is a soap bar mold. The inner wrapping is not realistic but the outer wrapps looks almost identical to originals. I use an identical method for waxing my DRats as seen above. The trick is to fold the outer wrapper to the shape of the bar, and make the corners very, very sharp. The box is only paper but it looks correct. I will take on extra step of spray gluing one sheet of paper to the bottom of the Brown paper. That makes the box nearly the right thickness. Currently I use sweetened chocolate as it has almost the identical components as the original recipe but I will move to unsweetened and then some other tricks to make the bar harder. Some of my stuff was poor but most was good to excellent.

 

I find it more economical to purchase the KRats from Hogans Quartermaster. Currently I have a small stock of Krats, Brit Rats and German Iron Rations. Here are the items I either purchased or made:

 

Hershey Bars, 5 Packs of Gum, Tropical Chocolates and more.

08rats.jpg

 

Canned Goods, Corned beef, Spaghetti CRats and Spam

08rats2.jpg

 

Just after this picture I waxed the rest of these DRats

08rats1.jpg

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Wow... That's a lot of stuff. I dont have that much yet, but I'm hoping to stockpile a little. I'm looking at toying with the D Rat recipie a little too... I want them to be smooth, not gritty. Maybe disolving the sugar a little in boiling water (just enough to do the job) might help. I'll let you know how it turns out.

 

Wayne

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo
Wow... That's a lot of stuff. I dont have that much yet, but I'm hoping to stockpile a little. I'm looking at toying with the D Rat recipie a little too... I want them to be smooth, not gritty. Maybe disolving the sugar a little in boiling water (just enough to do the job) might help. I'll let you know how it turns out.

 

Wayne

 

Take a look at the ingredients of chocolate chips. Nearly identical to the original recipe except there was probably more cocoa fat in the original recipe. The key to making a proper DRat is to mix in a lot of Oat Flour and then knead the mixture as it heats. It should be an almost untenable ball and take a lot of effort. While it's still hot you should *press* it into your mold. Yes, press it in and then tap the mold on the table top until the bubbles come out. Place in the freezer immediately to temper it then wrap and box.

 

Rock

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Take a look at the ingredients of chocolate chips. Nearly identical to the original recipe except there was probably more cocoa fat in the original recipe. The key to making a proper DRat is to mix in a lot of Oat Flour and then knead the mixture as it heats. It should be an almost untenable ball and take a lot of effort. While it's still hot you should *press* it into your mold. Yes, press it in and then tap the mold on the table top until the bubbles come out. Place in the freezer immediately to temper it then wrap and box.

 

Rock

 

I was having trouble findint oat flour here so my first batch was made with rolled oats powdered in a food processor... they turned out too gritty so my second attempt I used normal flour... Not too bad, but I'm thinking I might give up a bit of heat resistance for a smoother texture... next time, not so much flour... and maybe disolve the sugar in just enough water to put it in suspension, then let the water cook out. My next batch is going to utilize a brick of milk chocolate.... essentially a one pound chunk. We'll see how it goes...

 

Wayne

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strangepair03
I was having trouble findint oat flour here so my first batch was made with rolled oats powdered in a food processor... they turned out too gritty so my second attempt I used normal flour... Not too bad, but I'm thinking I might give up a bit of heat resistance for a smoother texture... next time, not so much flour... and maybe disolve the sugar in just enough water to put it in suspension, then let the water cook out. My next batch is going to utilize a brick of milk chocolate.... essentially a one pound chunk. We'll see how it goes...

 

Wayne

 

Wayne have you tried using corn syrup, like karo instead of granulated sugar??

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Rakkasan187

Wayne,

 

This is truly an amazing thing reproducing the rations. Amazing detail. I have two questions. I am not familiar with the labels on the rations as I only have a case of c-rations from the late 1970's/early 1980's. I have never paid close attention to the contents on the labels but two things that I noticed stuck out.

 

On the D-ration chocolate bar, I noticed one ingredient was OAK FLOUR. Is this an intentional spelling error or was there such a thing as OAK Flour?

 

I noticed on some of the other feedback the guys mentioned how they mixed OAT Flour to thicken the chocolate.

 

The other question was on the same D- Ration Bar. Is the spelling of coca intentional or was it spelled that way in the 40's? I have heard of cocoa butter but not coca?

 

Once again I am truly amazed and very impressed with the details and fine work you have put into recreating the rations. I am sure that WW2 reenactors are greatful that you have taken the lead on this task.

 

Great work!!!! :D

 

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr

US Army (Retired) 1984/2005

 

RAKKASANS

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Wayne,

 

This is truly an amazing thing reproducing the rations. Amazing detail. I have two questions. I am not familiar with the labels on the rations as I only have a case of c-rations from the late 1970's/early 1980's. I have never paid close attention to the contents on the labels but two things that I noticed stuck out.

 

On the D-ration chocolate bar, I noticed one ingredient was OAK FLOUR. Is this an intentional spelling error or was there such a thing as OAK Flour?

 

I noticed on some of the other feedback the guys mentioned how they mixed OAT Flour to thicken the chocolate.

 

The other question was on the same D- Ration Bar. Is the spelling of coca intentional or was it spelled that way in the 40's? I have heard of cocoa butter but not coca?

 

Once again I am truly amazed and very impressed with the details and fine work you have put into recreating the rations. I am sure that WW2 reenactors are greatful that you have taken the lead on this task.

 

Great work!!!! :D

 

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr

US Army (Retired) 1984/2005

 

RAKKASANS

 

I believe these to be intentional misspellings. Obviously there is no such thing as oak flour and it stumped me at first too... why would them make such a glaring mistake? The Answer is that in producing these labels, and copyrighting them, there has to be a glaring tell, to prove the item was designed and copyrighted by the original designer. I saw a message on another group that called attention to this. The wrapper in question here was designed and produced by Gerald Peterson. I spoke with him, and asked if I could copy the items for my own use, or if I would have to keep purchasing items to replace used packaging. I was told to feel free to copy the items for my own use. I do not intend to sell any item I make, therefore I am still completely within the copyright law as I received permission in writing from Mr Peterson to copy the items for my own use.

 

There is a yahoo group, doc_hoovie, found here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/doc_hoovie/ that has reproduction labels of many items used during the war, and not just food items either. Its worth a look. I found a few SPAM and Corned Beef labels there that spiffed up my spam and corned beef cans. Most labels can be printed off on regular white bond paper. Indeed, my D Ration bars are first wrapped in foil, then white printer paper to mimick the butcher paper, then wrapped in these labels, printed on printer paper. It works for me. They even have the K Ration Tin labels that can be printed onto decal paper and applied that way. Me? For now I am cheating and purchased a stamp kit to make the labelling on my K Rat tins. As I said, it worked for me as a stop gap measure.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Wayne

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo
I was having trouble findint oat flour here so my first batch was made with rolled oats powdered in a food processor... they turned out too gritty so my second attempt I used normal flour... Not too bad, but I'm thinking I might give up a bit of heat resistance for a smoother texture... next time, not so much flour... and maybe disolve the sugar in just enough water to put it in suspension, then let the water cook out. My next batch is going to utilize a brick of milk chocolate.... essentially a one pound chunk. We'll see how it goes...

 

Wayne

 

If you use nonsweetened chocolate chips, just add the flour and mix into a large ball. The research I did revealed that it was difficult to make DRats because the mixture was so thick as to resemble a ball when it was ready for molding. 10 billion DRats were made and EVERY SINGLE ONE was hand pressed. They had to be hand pressed because the mixture was too thick for pouring. I made the mistake, early on of trying to liquify and pour into molds only to have the end result have melting qualities. The more cocoa fat and oat flour you use will allow the DRat to have a higher melting point, which is the goal. DRats were almost dry as to be hard and crumbly. If the weather outside is cool then my DRats are almost too hard to bite into.

 

Rock

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If you use nonsweetened chocolate chips, just add the flour and mix into a large ball. The research I did revealed that it was difficult to make DRats because the mixture was so thick as to resemble a ball when it was ready for molding. 10 billion DRats were made and EVERY SINGLE ONE was hand pressed. They had to be hand pressed because the mixture was too thick for pouring. I made the mistake, early on of trying to liquify and pour into molds only to have the end result have melting qualities. The more cocoa fat and oat flour you use will allow the DRat to have a higher melting point, which is the goal. DRats were almost dry as to be hard and crumbly. If the weather outside is cool then my DRats are almost too hard to bite into.

 

Rock

 

Thats how mine are... hard, and crumbly. I havent had them out in the heat yet... This weekend should be a good test... I have a tactical in Camden Ohio and its supposed to be in the 80s all weekend. I'll let you know how it turns out. Also, I finally found oat flour... and got a bag of confectioners sugar as well... hopefully, this will do away with a bit of the grittiness. I'd like to find a way to keep it smooth enough in texture to be almost like a fudge... but I think thats wishful thinking. I'll let you know how it turns out.

 

Wayne

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HGButtentee

just a quick my 50 cents..

 

Coca might not have been a misspelling because till today there is a German chocolate brand from the 40s "Scho-Ka-Cola" that contains coffein. It was used in WWII as an Emergency Ration.

 

just an idea

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surplus sammy

08rats.jpg

Amazing looking stuff SGT!

I dabble in rations aswell,mainly Vietnam period stuff.

Is the money in the lower left genuine or repro ?

I do LRRP,C & Australian Rations mostly,its great fun and a good distraction

from daily life.

Im a doing a PIR (Packet, Indigenous Ration),it was for the ARVN by CISO.

dd0.jpg

Just something different,they are like a LRRP ration pack,but for asian tastes.

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo
08rats.jpg

Amazing looking stuff SGT!

I dabble in rations aswell,mainly Vietnam period stuff.

Is the money in the lower left genuine or repro ?

I do LRRP,C & Australian Rations mostly,its great fun and a good distraction

from daily life.

Im a doing a PIR (Packet, Indigenous Ration),it was for the ARVN by CISO.

dd0.jpg

Just something different,they are like a LRRP ration pack,but for asian tastes.

 

I know quite a few guys in the Vietnam Reenactments that might want some LRRP Rations.

 

The money in the lower left is a mixture of real and reproduction. I sold some of the PTO Japanese Occupation Currency to guys for five apiece, giving the money to our unit's fund. I still have much of it left since I left reenacting.

 

Rock

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08rats.jpg

Amazing looking stuff SGT!

I dabble in rations aswell,mainly Vietnam period stuff.

Is the money in the lower left genuine or repro ?

I do LRRP,C & Australian Rations mostly,its great fun and a good distraction

from daily life.

Im a doing a PIR (Packet, Indigenous Ration),it was for the ARVN by CISO.

dd0.jpg

Just something different,they are like a LRRP ration pack,but for asian tastes.

 

 

Great idea, I was going to make some CISO Indig rations for our display at War & Peace this year.

 

I have made the case already.

new_camp_stuff_1.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...
surplus sammy

I know its not US,shhhh

I picked up a ration tin and as Ive been knocking out some packs,

thought Id do my own ones to fill it,it takes 5 combat ration packs.

ratsa1.jpg

Each pack is a 24 hour,one man ration,based on late 70's Vietnam originals.

rats1.jpg

Two main meals,instant rice & potato,biscuits,fruit bars,coffee,tea bags,sugar,

salt & pepper,curry,even the plastic cheese in a tin.

Can opener,scourer,matches,t paper,allsorts of stuff goes into one.

 

Heres the LRRP rat pack,hit a bit of a snag with them,

the brown plastic bag I used for the inner meal has been discontinued,

so I will have to seak out a new source for that.

5.jpg

370.jpg

6.jpg

lrrpcondimentspack.jpg

Ignore the "as purchased" there of my site.

 

I had ago at C Rats,but just arent happy with the tins......

Im not a fan of putting paper around the outsides,its sad when it gets wet.

cratmeal.jpg

accesspack.jpg

smokesixpack.jpg

smokerssixpack%20back.jpg

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If you make another run of the C rations, with the correct cigarette packs and everything, I'd gladly purchase a set. Don't be so hard on yourself, the tins look good. It beats 99.9 percent of what I see being eaten out in the field, and would work well for display too.

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo
If you make another run of the C rations, with the correct cigarette packs and everything, I'd gladly purchase a set. Don't be so hard on yourself, the tins look good. It beats 99.9 percent of what I see being eaten out in the field, and would work well for display too.

 

Ditto, I'd like a couple of those!

 

Rock

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I love the Aust VN 24H CRPs and the PIRs. w00t.gif

 

Leo on this forum, who is from Melbourne, is also reproing rations.

I think you both should get together and compare notes.

 

I'll drop you a PM with my contacts details.

 

Leigh

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surplus sammy
I love the Aust VN 24H CRPs and the PIRs. w00t.gif

 

Leo on this forum, who is from Melbourne, is also reproing rations.

I think you both should get together and compare notes.

 

I'll drop you a PM with my contacts details.

 

Leigh

Thanks X,will respond to the PM

dd0.jpg

The PIR is as close as I can get,with limited info,there just isnt much on them.

Foil bag with contents,open the instant rice,add the dried vegies & spices,add hot water and mix.

The sausage is japanese,close as I got in a rush around the stores.Dried fish would be the go.

We dont have an asian supermarket in my town,so will have to venture out.

They also had a multi vitamin pill in them,the arvn couldnt work that out,so tossed it.

I wouldnt really be keen on the shiny foil bag in the field.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi

 

I have done C, K, 10in1, and Mountain Rations fr t=the guys in the group, I have yet to do a 5in1...Here is my latest C ration cans (I am selling them in another forum and will be building a website with myrations):

CRATION-1.jpg

 

I do shy away from ring pull...If I have to use them, I remove he actual ring...I DON'T use tuna in my K rations or any other rations as tnua was not in any ration, there was however, fish product tested in that ration, but it wasn't used and came in a long pilchards type shape of tin...Hope this helps, will post some more photos later...

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TRied to edit, but it doesn't work, so...Meant to add:

 

 

 

The inner box on the K was waxed, the outer wasn't...The "moral" boxes came along later in the War, production was supposed to have started around May 1944, but I suspect it was much later, and at the same time the "early" War boxes where still being produced, the wooden spoon did not appear until August 1945, which takes it out of Wartime impression...

 

Hope this helps, will post some more photos later...

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mpguy80/08

Great job Jump! I thought about not using Tuna... but with the choices so few for that size can, I decided to go with it... I've been able to find Ham and Chicken in the K Ration sized cans... I've also found corned beef at Krogers that still maintains the Key opener. Slap a period label on it, and it looks pretty good. Too bad they've gone to the pull tabs for most stuff anymore. I'm heading out to Arcola at the end of the month so I need to get busy on getting some rations together... I currently have six days worth of K ration boxes to fill... Mid and late war types. The boxes are out there... you just really have to dig for them unless you have somewhere you can print your own... I use the follwing items to make mine:

 

Main course:

Ham chunks, chicken chunks, or tuna

 

Accessory packet consisting of :

Crackers (Club or Graham)

Cereal Bar (Quaker Oats chewy granola or Nutragrain fruit bars)

Domino Sugar cubes (wrapped two together for the pellets, and ten for a sugar "block")

Gum (modern wrigleys wrapped in period wrappers)

Matches (modern book matches in period covers)

Boullion cubes (wrappers turned inside out )

Chesterfield Cigarettes (Basic brand cigarettes, with filters cut off to fit period packaging)

 

I wrap my accessory packs in heat shrink and seal them with an iron through a damp handkerchief. Everything is packaged in such a way that it will fit in the boxes. They may not be 100% accurate, but they look the part, and are better than being at a tactical or living history display and eating BK or Micky D's. Now, if I could just find some of those tiny bottles of coke...

 

Wayne

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Great job Jump! I thought about not using Tuna... but with the choices so few for that size can, I decided to go with it... I've been able to find Ham and Chicken in the K Ration sized cans... I've also found corned beef at Krogers that still maintains the Key opener. Slap a period label on it, and it looks pretty good. Too bad they've gone to the pull tabs for most stuff anymore. I'm heading out to Arcola at the end of the month so I need to get busy on getting some rations together... I currently have six days worth of K ration boxes to fill... Mid and late war types. The boxes are out there... you just really have to dig for them unless you have somewhere you can print your own... I use the follwing items to make mine:

 

Main course:

Ham chunks, chicken chunks, or tuna

 

Accessory packet consisting of :

Crackers (Club or Graham)

Cereal Bar (Quaker Oats chewy granola or Nutragrain fruit bars)

Domino Sugar cubes (wrapped two together for the pellets, and ten for a sugar "block")

Gum (modern wrigleys wrapped in period wrappers)

Matches (modern book matches in period covers)

Boullion cubes (wrappers turned inside out )

Chesterfield Cigarettes (Basic brand cigarettes, with filters cut off to fit period packaging)

 

I wrap my accessory packs in heat shrink and seal them with an iron through a damp handkerchief. Everything is packaged in such a way that it will fit in the boxes. They may not be 100% accurate, but they look the part, and are better than being at a tactical or living history display and eating BK or Micky D's. Now, if I could just find some of those tiny bottles of coke...

 

Wayne

 

Hi Wayne

 

First off, I appreciate and admire anyone who goes the extra to produce credible rations...But, and there's always a but eh?...I try and take the approach, would I wear an M65 if I couldn't find an M43....

 

The K ration tins are a real nightmare to get, anything remotely like them here in the UK are the tuna tins, but they are far too deep to fit in the box, I use spam spreadables, though they are far too shallow, I remove the key and print in gold paper the font and paste on top, and spray the outer gold, it is better than nothing, but i am still not happy with it, so sy away from making them...I go the C ration tin route as it's much easier...

 

Now, cereal bar, I first came accross this a long time ago, and it took a few years to track this one down...It took a while but i finally found in the QMC report a referance to a cereal disc placed in the C ration, but this was late war...A cereal bar was indeed inserted into the K ration but, well, I'll show you:

"C.Q.D No. 28H

31 August 1945

Superseding C.Q.D N28G

31 October 1944"

 

In which on page 5 says:

"E-2a. Cereal, Premixed, Compressed. One and a half ounces of premixed cereal shall be cmopressed into a rectangular block having overall dimensions not to exceed 3-3/16 inches in length by 1-31/6 inches in width by 3/4 inch in depth. Any 100 blocks selected at random, shall weigh 150 ounes or more, and no block shall weigh less than 1.3 ounces. Sufficient pressure shall be exerted on the cereal to make a block that can be eaten without crmubling, and yet reconstitute satisfactorarily when crumbled and mixed with hot or cold water.

 

The compressed cereal block shall be wrapped and sealed in either 450 MSAT-89 or PMB2GSK celophane. The wrap shall conform closely to contour of the block."

 

There ye go, August 1945 which would, after procurement, take this "compressed cereal bar" outwith Wartime K ration, meaning Post War ...

 

 

I really do tend to shy away from the K rats as it is very hard to replicate credibly (in my opinion)...If you want the K ration pdf PM me your email and I'll send down, I have them all...Though, for some reason my PC doesn't print out the guide lines to cut, but if you look in yahoo groups, theres several repro rations groups there...

 

Domino sugar tablets (not cubes) you can get in the U.S, I had to get a box imported to get the right ones, but since discovered they sell tablets in France and got one of my mates to bring me some...

 

If I where you mate, I wouldn't label yer cans as tuna etc...Just label as they where and to hell with it ...LOL...Note, OD cans came in late 1943...

 

Here is a good reference to the many changes to the K rations:

Scan0128.jpg

 

If ye need any more info, let me know...I will allways help out...

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