View Full Version : One of those what if questions?

Regular DOC
04-04-2009, 06:43 PM
Sorry if this shouldn't be here but from my new reading I begin to wonder if the Army had something we consider very simple as multi-vitamins to give to the troops how much of an effect it would have had?

04-04-2009, 10:13 PM
perhaps something even more basic like fresh fruit and vegetables

Regular DOC
04-04-2009, 10:15 PM
Yes but the multi-vitamins could have been carried on the march with little trouble heck one soldier could carry a months supply in his jacket pocket.

04-05-2009, 08:47 AM
I feel then, as now the following:

What ifs tend to lead no where, but:

As today, some take a vitamin every day, some don't care, some way over do it on vitamins.

Vitamins are not absorbed as regularly in pill form as they are from food sources.

It would be more productive an interesting to see it results were noted from the issuance of dessicated vegtables vs. them not being issued, or before they were issued.

Just my thoughts. Also, I'm not sure, but would suspect a lot of nutrition was lost in the dessication process.

Elaine Kessinger
04-05-2009, 10:28 AM
The people of this era looked at health foods a bit differently. From their stand-point, easily carried "health foods" included Grahme crackers (according to those who've tried them, "very healthful..but taste like manure") and citrus fruits to prevent scurvy and the like, and vegetables. For more discussion on health diets in this era, see the following thread on the Sewing Academy Forum: http://thesewingacademy.org/index.php?topic=2457.0

04-05-2009, 11:14 AM
this all got me thinking a saying (suposid ) by napolian -"That an army travels on its stomache" With that in mind; we practiced these tacticts by the french in the field early on so I wonder why the army paid little attention to neutrition. I can well understand logistics and containership (storage). Were we that far behind Europe in both weapontry tractics medicine and neutrition?

Jas. Cox
04-05-2009, 07:35 PM

NAPOLEON FAMOUSLY said an army marches on its stomach. Clearly military personnel need to eat well to perform well. But what Napoleon was really getting at with this maxim was the importance of the supply line. Logistics - getting food, clothes, and spare parts to the front - is often what makes or breaks a conflict. The truth of this was illustrated by Napoleon himself when, in June 1812, he tried (and failed) to invade Russia with a force of 500,000 men. Because the Russians removed most of the food and crops in advance, Napoleon's army couldn't live off the land as they had in previous campaigns.

I honestly haven't studied how much was known about nutrition during this time period, but I seriously doubt Europe or the Americas knew much of anything about it, other than that Limes [English Limey] prevented scurvy on sea voyages. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scurvy Surgeons didn't know to wash their dam* hands, clean their instruments, use fresh bandages .... Not enough care was given to keeping latrines and animals from drinking, food preparation water. Eating healthy foods is low on the "keeping the troops healthy" scale. Actually, healthy food might not have even been the best for fighting men. High carbs, and other "bad" foods might have been more appropriate for keeping up fighting strength, endurance.

But as I said, I haven't studied this and certainly am no expert.