Monday, March 7, 2016

Wehrmacht Fuhrmann with Their Horses

This picture was taken by Hugo Jaeger and showing Wehrmacht Fuhrmann (coachman) from an unidentified artillery unit ready to feed their horses. An animal ration is the amount of food consumed by one horse, draft ox, dog, or carrier pigeon for one day. The quantity of an animal ration allowance (Rationssatz) depends on the type of animal, the area in which it is serving, and the content of the ration it is being fed. Horses, for instance, are divided into four groups: draft horses of the heaviest breed, draft horses of heavy breed, saddle horses and light draft horses, and small horses. On the Eastern Front, draft horses of the heaviest breed receive a maximum ration allowance of 5,650 grams of oats, 5,300 grams of hay, and 5,750 grams of straw (including 1,500 grams of bedding straw). The allotments to other horse groups are proportionately less. On fronts other than the Eastern Front the allotments for all horses are generally smaller. In addition, substitutes such as preserved forage, barley, corn, etc., may change the ration weight. If the horse is being fed an iron ration, it is given a single item such as oats or hay or straw. Local stores obtained by purchase or confiscation play a greater part in the supply of rations in the field (Feldportionen for men and Feldrationen for animals) than is the case for any other class of supply. It is part of the German planning principle to live off the land as much aspossible and to obtain only the remaining requirements from stocks procured through channels. The Germans fully appreciate the difficulty of employing such methods during periods of combat and do not count upon local stores during operative periods. Usually a normal reserve of about 10 days' rations for each man of an army is maintained within the army. The rations consist of full and iron rations, although the latter may be eaten only upon the receipt of special orders.

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