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Rationing, New Orleans

A rationing office in New Orleans, 1943.

Rationing was a technique used by many countries during World War II that consisted of limiting the amount of a certain resource to the population, typically to give the remainder to one's troops.

Great Britain

Introduced in January 1940 for butter, sugar, bacon and ham, food rationing was extended to cover all foods - except bread - the following year.

Other items covered by rationing included petrol and soap.[1]


In order to prepare German citizens for war, the German government issued ration cards to her citizens in 1939. These would stipulate the number of products that could be purchased, and brought home the need for sacrifices on the home front.[2]

On 27 August, the government issued restrictive cards to Gypsies and resident aliens living within the borders of the Reich. Cards issued to Jews limited them to rations of 200 to 300 calories per day.[3]

United States of America

One of the measures implemented by the Roosevelt Administration, following the Bombing of Pearl Harbor, and America's subsequent entry into the war, was the implemention of widespread rationing.[4]

The Soviet Union

As a result of Operation Barbarossa, the level of monthly rations was set at 800 gramms of bread and 2.2 Kilos of meat for manual workers, 600 grams of bread and 1.2 kilos of meat for non manual workers, and 400 grams of bread and 600 grams of meat for everyone else.[N 1]


  1. Blood doners recievied extra.[5]


  1. Roberts, Andrew. The Storm of War - A new history of the Second World War. Penguin Books. ISBN 978 0 141 02928 3. (2010). Page 111
  2. Weber, Louis and others. The Holocaust Chronicle. Publications International Ltd, 2001. ISBN 0 7853 2963 3. Website Page 155
  3. Weber, Louis and others. Page 167.
  4. Roberts, Andrew. Page 197.
  5. Roberts, Andrew. Page 158.

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