TM-E 30-451 Handbook on German Military Forces

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department Technical Manual, TM-E 30-451: Handbook on German Military Forces published in March 1945. — Figures and illustrations are not reproduced, see source details. — As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. — Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]



1. General Various types of field ranges and other cooking equipment are issued to units of the German Army. The most important of these include: rolling field kitchens, field ranges, fireless cookers, and cooking outfit, 15.

2. Rolling Field Kitchens

a. GENERAL. Horse-drawn rolling field kitchens are issued to non-mechanized units. The large rolling field kitchen will serve 125 to 225 men; the small rolling field kitchen, 50 to 125 men. Smaller units do not receive field kitchens but get either fireless cookers or cooking outfits, 15.

b. LIMBER AND TRAILER. The rolling field kitchen consists of two parts: the detachable limber and the trailer, on which the field range is mounted. It is drawn either by two or four horses. The limber, on which the driver and cook may ride only during rapid marches, is used to transport most of the supplies, including the extra iron rations which are carried for emergency use only. After the kitchen has been set up, the limber may be used alone to get additional supplies. Under some circumstances the rolling field kitchen without the limber is issued to motorized units, and additional supplies are carried in the light truck used to move the kitchen.

c. COOKING UTENSILS. (1) Range. The range itself, mounted on the trailer, can burn either coal, coke, briquettes, or wood. The following is considered the normal issue of fuel:

 Field Kitchen 
 Field Kitchen 
Briquettes   . . . . .   187 pounds     66 pounds    
or Wood   . . . . .   82 pounds     29 pounds    
or Briquettes    . . . . .   77 pounds     33 pounds    
and Wood   . . . . .   48 pounds     13 pounds    

The range normally is used as a fireless cooker, especially when underway. Fires are built in the fire boxes, but as soon as steam starts to escape from the safety valve the fire is banked and allowed to go out. This practice both saves fuel and prevents revealing the unit's position by the smoke.

(2) Stew kettle. The main part of the range is a large stew kettle, a kind of double boiler which has a second slightly larger shell around the food kettle. A special liquid between the inner and outer kettles keeps the heat evenly distributed and prevents burning. The double shell cover is provided with a safety valve. The actual capacity of the kettle of the large range is 200 liters (53 gallons), and its cooking capacity is 175 liters (46 gallons). The small range holds 125 liters (33 gallons) and can cook about 110 liters (29 gallons) of soup, stew, boiled meat, or vegetables at one time.

(3) Coffee kettle. The coffee kettle has a single shell but a double cover with a safety valve. Ninety liters (24 gallons) of coffee can be prepared at one time in the large range, and 60 liters (16 gallons) in the small one. There is a faucet to draw off the coffee. There is also a broiler in some of the ranges. All have a separate fire box, but use the same chimney.

(4) Food containers. After the food has been prepared, it may be transported forward in insulated food containers, six of which are provided with each large rolling field kitchen, four with each small one. These containers hold 12 liters (about 12 1/2 quarts) and weigh about 18 pounds. They consist of an inner and an outer container with air space between them to act as insulation. Special carrying harnesses may be attached to the rings at the four corners of the back.

3. Field Ranges

Field ranges are provided for motorized units. These consist of the same type ranges as used with the rolling field kitchen mounted on a stand in the back of a truck. The supplies which accompany the range are packed in a special chest.

4. Fireless Cookers

Either large or small fireless cookers may be provided for units of less than 60 men. The large fireless cooker outfit, which weighs 77 pounds, has an insert kettle of 25 liters capacity, while the small one, weighing 53 pounds, has a pot of 15 liters capacity. A cooking fork, butcher's knife, and ladle, as well as a coffee sieve complete the outfit.

5. Cooking Outfit, 15

This 29-pound cooking outfit is issued to groups smaller than those using the fireless cooker. It consists of three nesting pots of 9, 10, and 12 liters (2 to 2 1/2 gallons) capacity, with a ladle, 10 plates, and 10 combination fork-spoons.

6. Bakery Equipment

a. BAKE OVEN TRAILER. The German field bake oven consists of a trailer with draw-hearth type ovens, heated by the steam-pipe principle. Seven trailers are issued per bakery company.

b. DOUGH MIXER. The German dough mixer, mounted on a single axle trailer, is operated by a gasoline engine. Two are authorized per bakery company.


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