Eggstra rations

These German soldiers, perhaps from a field workshop unit, fry up some eggs to be enjoyed on slices of bread. Adding whatever you can get hold on to your allotted rations could give you those extra calories to make it through the day, a truth as old as soldiering. Hidden behind the word “foraging”, it usually meant grabbing whatever you could from suffering peasants, and meant severe problems in wars like the Thirty Years War, where armies were like swarms of locusts. A consequence of an insufficient supply chain, it would be wrong to accuse the individual soldiers of doing whatever they could to survive, though. The guys in the photo don’t look particularily starving, and perhaps they bought the eggs from a farmer for a pack of cigarettes. Barter was a common way of getting extra rations without upsetting civilians, and in occupied zones both sides benefited from a flourishing black market. Now pass me the salt and pepper, please.


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