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Military rations are the regular allowances of food and other supplies made to members of the armed forces (army, navy, and air force) in wartime. The concept of such an allowance has existed for thousands of years, although the composition and supply of the military ration has varied considerably over time and in different parts of the world. Whether it was Napoleon Bonaparte, Frederick the Great of Prussia, or Claudius Galen, chief physician to the Roman army who coined the cliche that “an army marches on its stomach,” it is clear that without good sustenance a military unit cannot operate effectively. This entry focuses in particular on the rations supplied to armies on the move and engaged in fighting, generally referred to as field rations ...

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