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Old 07-22-2009, 02:17 PM
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Default German Große Feldküche Hf.13

Another example of the category Extremely Unglorious but still Extremely Necessary Military Hardware, are the Cooking Wagons that accompanied all troops in all Armies. Without them much of the warfare that was seen during WW1 would probably had been impossible.
The German variant was called "Große Feldküche Hf.13W", and was a two-wheeled field kitchen, the center of which housed a 200 liter pot. That stew-cooking vessel was double-bottomed, with a layer of glycerin between the inner and outer pot to prevent scorching and to aid in heat preservation. To the left of the pot was a 90 liter coffee maker, which dispensed from a tap. The pot could also be used simply for heating water. (Hot water was often needed to dilute the stew produced in the big pot, a stew that often turned quite thick when it was kept in a heated state. The rations in the German Army consisted of basically the same elements that were eaten back in the homeland: bread made of wheat and rye, fresh meat or pork - often in the form of sausages - potatoes, onions, peas. In fact, the staple diet of the Army was a nutrient rich stew made by cooking all of those ingredients together.) On the right was a stove plate used to cook potatoes and sausages.
Fire doors for each of these appliances were on the rear for the stoking of coal or firewood. With the wagon was also carried a Meat Grinder, a Coffee Grinder, Kitchen Utensils plus the Food provisions for one day. A single "Große Feldküche Hf. 13" could feed some 125 to 225 men. (To a functional Field Kitchen also belonged a sort of limber, the "Vorderwagen Hf.11", a two-wheeler in which, in addition to seating members of the cooking crew, was also additional food storage space below the seats and and the "Spiesenträger" food containers.) These mobile Field Kitchens were lovingly known as Gulaschkanonen, and, basically, each Company had one. The standards procedure for feeding the soldiers, was letting them pass in a continous long line, with their eating pans outstretched. (Also each Infantry Division had their own baking companies - for bread - and butcher companies - for pork. There, bread was baked in oven trailers and pigs were made into sausage before being supplied to the various units.) The Hf13 was used in WW2 as well.

Große Feldküche Hf.13 Walk Around
The photos below show the Feldküche Hf.13 (with its limber, the so called Vorderwagen Hf.11) that can be seen in the Royal Armoury Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark. This particular Cooking Wagon was used in WW2, but the model is identical to the one used in WW1.

The small contemporary instruction placards on the wagon can be seen below:

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