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During WW1, the US Army issued the "Emergency Ration," aka the "Armour" or "Tobacco Tin" ration. It consisted of a sealed oval tin can with 3 cakes of mixed powdered beef-ground wheat, and three hard cakes of chocolate mixed with powdered sugar.

The British (and German) armies issued the "Iron Ration" (Eiserne Portion). This consisted of preserved meat (such as canned corned beef) and hard crackers, plus some salt and perhaps some tea or coffee.

The Emergency Ration/Iron Ration/Eiserne Portion could only be consumed by the order of the officer in charge, otherwise the soldier could be charged and punished.

During WW2, the US Army utilized the D-Ration, a hard chocolate bar fortified with oat flour and vitamins; three 4-oz bars constituted one days emergency ration, providing 1800 calories.

The WW2 British Army issued the Emergency Ration Mk I, a flat tin about the size and shape of an Altoids tin, sealed with waterproof tape and containing: a 1.25 oz chocolate-nut cake (sort of like a dense brownie), sugar cubes, and enough powdered tea for a 12-oz mug. The Canadian Army had an Emergency Ration tin about the size and shape of a SPAM can, containing 12 Milk Chocolate tablets, 12 hard crackers, and 2 small bars of chocolate. The Germans used the same Eiserne Portion as during WW1.

As in WW2, the British & Canadian Emergency Rations and the German Eiserne Portion could only be eaten on the order of an officer.

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