by Duane Bowman (with text by Mike Denton)
Meals for troops in the field have always been problematic. In earlier centuries, dried, or salt cured beef and pork with a variety of beans, somme very hard break and whatever the troops could forage from the immediate vicinity were what comprised rations. No doubt the ‘C’ rations of WWII and beyond were an improvement. While I hear more recent vets do not have a really high opinion of the culinary quality of today’s MREs, I expect they are something of an improvement as well.
Navy sailors of prior generations lived mostly on that same salt meat, beans, hard tack bread and oatmeal, sometimes supplemented with fresh meat and vegetables/fruit early in a voyage. Fortunately, those of us who served in the 20th century, when refrigeration became available aboard ship, fared considerably better.