U.S. Marine Corps - Small Wars Manual (1940 Edition)
Chapter VI. Infantry Patrols
Feeding the Personnel
Par. Responsibility of patrol leader 6-31 Mess equipment 6-32 Weight of rations 6-33 The field ration 6-34 Butchering on the march 6-35 Feeding native personnel 6-36 Emergency rations 6-37
6-31. Responsibility of patrol leader.-The patrol leader should confer with the mess officer at the garrison or base from which the patrol will operate, and, in conjunction with the patrol's mess sergeant or cooks, determine what suitable foodstuffs are available for the patrol. Also, he must decide what kitchen equipment is required and procure it. Written menus for breakfast and supper for each day of the proposed operations are prepared. It is not desirable to make midday halts for the purpose of cooking a meal, although it may be desirable in some. situations to prepare cold lunches which may be issued to men prior to breaking in the morning. Based on these menus, a cheek-off list of the necessary rations is prepared, the rations drawn and carefully verified before loading. Thereafter, the rations are issued as required and notations made on the check-off list. The rations remaining in the train shoudl be inventoried periodically while the patrol is in the field. Canned goods should be inspected for swelling of the top due to deterioration of the contents, for leaks, and for bad dents. Such cans should be rejected, or destroyed.
6-32. Mess equipment.a. The amount of mess equipmetn carried by the patrol should be reduced to a minimum.
b. The cavalry pack kitchen is satisfactory for a large patrol which includes pack animals. The complete unit less hangers for the Phillips pack saddle, weighs 118 pounds find constitutes one pack load. It is adequate for feeding 200 men in the field. Patrols of between fifty and one hundred men can eliminate unecessary pieces. It is questionable whether a patrol of less than 50 should carry it.
c. If a regular pack kitchen unit is not used, issue or improvised cooking equipment will have to be provided. The following points are pertinent:
(1) Although G. I. buckets are 2 feet square for cooking in garrison, they are useful for that purpose the field. They can be set on a fire or suspended over it. 'They rest well and not rattle if leaves or similar material are packed between them
(2) In comparison with tin boilers, buckets and roasting pans, large iron kettles are not so fragile, do not burn food so quickly, hold heat better, can be used for frying, and pack better. Packed. one on each side of the animal,they can carry the cooked or uncooked foodstuffs necessary for the evening meal, thus expediating its preparation. Suitable iron kettles can generally be purchased locally in the theater of operation
(3) A small metal grill about 2 feet square and fitted with four collapsible legs facilitates cook in the field
d. During rainy weather or in areas where many streams have to be forded, some provision must be made to protect such foodstuffs as sugar, salt, flour, coffee, etc. Bags made of canvas, leather, or of canvas materila coated with rubber, and tarpaulins or pieces of canvas, have been used successfully in the past.
e. When a patrol is to be made into unfamiliar country where the existence fo an adequate water supply is doubtful, drinking water may have to be transported in the train. 5-gallon cans may be used for this purpose in the absence of specially designed equipment.
f. A limited amount of soap should be carried as an aid in cleansing the cooking equipment.
6-33.Weight of rations. a. The aggregate weight of the rations carried by a patrol is influenced by:
(1) Number of men in the patrol.
(2) Native foodstuffs available in the field.
(3) Issue foodstuffs available.
(4) Rations to be supplied by plane drop.
(5) Replenishments expected from outposts and other garrisons in the area.
(6) The ability of the cooks.
(7) The ability of the personnel to adjst themeselves to diminished rations.
(8) The method of transport and the predetermined size of the combat train.
b. The normal field ration weights approximately 3 pounds. The normal garrison ration weights about 4 pounds. The average pack animal found in most small-wars countries can carry 30 man-day garrison rations, computed on the assumption that no foodstuffs cna be procured in the field, 40 man-day complete field rations, or 50 reduced field rations.
6-34The field ration-a. Every effort should be made to build up the supply of rations at the advanced patrol bases and outposts until they approach or equal the normal garrison ration in quantity and variety. A patrol operating from those bases, should never carry more, and may often carry less, than the components of the field ration, modified in accordance with the probable foodstuffs which can be obtained in the area. Emphasis should be placed on those articles which give the greatest return in food value for the bulk and weight carried, and the ease with which they can be transported. This may not result in a "balanced" ration, but the deficiencies encountered in the field can be compensated for upon the return of the patrol to its base. The general tendency of troops is to carry too great a variety and too large a quantity of foodstuffs with patrols in the field. Man should become accustomed to the native fare as quickly as possible. If properly led, they will sooon learn that they can subsist quite well and operate effciently on much less than the regular garrison ration. This is a matter of training and is influence in a large measure by the attitude of the patrol leaders and other commissioned and noncommissioned officers.
b. The prescribe field ration is approximately as follows:
Component articles Subsitute articles 1 pound hard bread 1 1/4 pound soft bread or 1 1/8 pound flour. 1 pound tinned 1 1/8 pounds saltmeat or 1 1/4 pounds smoked meat, or 1 1/4 pounds fresh meat, or 1 3/4 pounds fresh fish, or 1 3/4 pounds poultry. 3/4 pound tinned vegetables 1 3/4 pounds fresh vegetables or 3 gills beans or peas or 1/2 pound rice or other cereal. 2 ounces coffe 2 ounces cocca or 1/2 ounce tea. 1 ounce evaporated milk 1/16 quart fresh milk. Salt and pepper
c. Suitable foodstuffs from the regular issue include: rice, rolled oats, hominy grits, dry beans, canned pork and beans, corned beef hash, salmon, corned beff, chipped beef, bacon. Vienna sausage, hard bread, dried fruits, cheese, sugar, coffe, tea, evaporated or dried milk, salt, black pepper, and limited amounts of canned potatoes and vegetables. In genearl, canned and fresh fruits should not be carried. Small sized cans are usually prefaerable to the larger sizes for issue to patrols. Generally a combat patrol should carry such foodstuffs that not more than one component, other than tea or coffee, requires cooking for each meal in order to reduce the number of cooking utensils to be carried and the time of preparation in the field.
d. Native foodstuffs sometimes found in inhabited areas include: beef on the hoof, fish chickens, eggs, beans, rice, corn, coffee, and fruits and vegetables in season. To these may be added such wild game as may be killed by the patrol. If hostil groups are active in the area, the available supply of native food will be limited.
6-35. Butchering on the march.-a. Each patrol opearting in the field should include a man familiar with the killing and dressing of livestock and game. If the patrol is dependent upon the country for its meat supply, suitable stock should be procured during the day's march unless if is definitely known that the desired animals will be availalbe at or near the bivouac.
b. The animal should be butchered in such a manner that it will bleed profusely. It should be dressed, cut-up, and coocked while it is still warm. Meat cooked after rigor mortis has set in wild be tough unless it is cookd in a solution of vinegar or acetic acid, or allowed to season for at least 24 hours. Excess beef may be barbecued and utilitzed the following day.
6-36 Feeding native personnel.- Native personnel attached to patrols may provide their own food and cooking arrangements. In certain situations they may be given a cash allowance which will permit them to eat with the local inhabitants. When circumstances require them to subsist with the patrol, they should receive their proportionate share fo the available food. If the patrol is living off the cournty, equitable treatment given to the natives attached to the patrol will usually be more than repaid by their foraging ability and by assistance in preparing palatable dishes out of the foodstuffs which are indigenous to the locality.
6-37 Emergency rations.- Either a specially prepared, commerical emergency ration, or one composed of available materials, should be issued to each individual and carried on the person at all times while operatin in the field. This ration should be eaten only on the orders of a responsible commander, or as a last resort if an individual becomes seperated from his patrol. Frequent inspections should be made to insure troops are complying with these instructions.
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