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The Taste of War: World War Two and the Battle for Food

Lizzie Collingham
Lizzie Collingham
Abstract :

Food, like air and water, is absolutely essential to life.  We take it very seriously as it helps us define cultures, forms a central part of social contact, and is critical to our individual health and well-being. The developed world today is characterized by vast, year-round abundance, yet we are equally bombarded with images of desperate starvation in the poorest corners of the globe. In the Canadian Forces, it is so important, we have messes on every base, we have ‘Cook’ as a military occupation on par with infantry soldier, and we employ some officers that are specialized in food services and sciences. Supplying food is essential to effective and sustained military operations such that logisticians know with precision the weight, volume, and transport requirements to feed a combat formation per day.2  Food in war is surrounded by operational art and science. Lizzie Collingham’s The Taste of War:  World War II and the Battle for Food is not about that operational art. Her achievement goes much farther. She has approached the subject of food during that global and total conflict with a thorough and expert integration of both grand strategic implications and its individual human impacts. During the Second World War, there were 19.5 million military deaths, but 20 million people died of starvation and the diseases associated with malnutrition.3  Stalin may have said that “the Artillery is the god of war,”4 but hunger is certainly a force that cannot be ignored.

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The Taste of War: World War Two and the Battle for Food

Date Deposited : 08 Apr 2015 11:14

Last Modified : 08 Apr 2015 11:14

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Volume 13, Number 1, - 2013

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