Did WWII Germany do a better job of feeding people than WWI Germany?

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
8,970
here
#1
I've read that a big reason for Germany's surrender in WWI was due to famine, that people were actually starving to death in some cases. I can't say I've heard the same about Germany during 1939-45.

Was Nazi Germany somehow better equipped to deal with food procurement than Imperial Germany? Or was food just as big a factor and I'm just unaware?
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,569
SoCal
#2
Well, the Holocaust helped Nazi Germany avoid starvation during WWII since it ensured that there would be several millions less mouths for the Nazis to feed.
 
Nov 2018
160
Denmark
#3
In 1944, the German authorities estimated that the Danish agricultural export of pig and beef covered 20% of the urban population's consumption and 25% of the German Wehrmacht consumption.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,569
SoCal
#4
In 1944, the German authorities estimated that the Danish agricultural export of pig and beef covered 20% of the urban population's consumption and 25% of the German Wehrmacht consumption.
Germany could import food from Denmark during WWI as well, though.
 
Dec 2011
4,450
Iowa USA
#5
I've read that a big reason for Germany's surrender in WWI was due to famine, that people were actually starving to death in some cases. I can't say I've heard the same about Germany during 1939-45.

Was Nazi Germany somehow better equipped to deal with food procurement than Imperial Germany? Or was food just as big a factor and I'm just unaware?

Many have read that same thing about famine, actually it was roughly true in Prague, Vienna and other large A-H cities. The reading I have done makes me dubious that any larger region of Germany was failing to provide adults the 1200 (maybe much more) calories per day that can keep people active, though clearly getting thinner. Big difference between hard austerity and a "famine"....
 
Likes: Futurist
Nov 2018
160
Denmark
#6
Germany could import food from Denmark during WWI as well, though.
The difference between the first and second world wars for Denmark was that in World War I, in order to maintain its neutrality, Denmark had to export half of each to England and Germany.

In World War II, it was not possible.

The Danish Ministry of Agriculture had regular agreements with Germany on how much the Danish farmers should produce for the German market.

Even rationing of butter was introduced in Denmark to meet the quotas.

However, it was emphasized from the German side that one should not be too hard on the Danes, because they feared riots if the Danes came to starve and that it would damage the farmers' desire to produce.

It should be mentioned, however, that Danish historians dispute the importance of Danish exports.

And of course there were also the other occupied areas where the Germans were not as considerate of the local people.
 
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Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#7
I've read that a big reason for Germany's surrender in WWI was due to famine, that people were actually starving to death in some cases. I can't say I've heard the same about Germany during 1939-45.

Was Nazi Germany somehow better equipped to deal with food procurement than Imperial Germany? Or was food just as big a factor and I'm just unaware?

Yes. I know from my grandmother that conditions were very bad during WWI in Germany when it came to food In WW2 , Germany institued.rationint early on, and they did not have the food shortages they had in WW1.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,497
#8
Yes. I know from my grandmother that conditions were very bad during WWI in Germany when it came to food In WW2 , Germany institued.rationint early on, and they did not have the food shortages they had in WW1.
The Germans ruthglessly expiolted the occupied terrotories, there were shortages, famine much worse than Gemrany in ww1 it just was not happening to Germans.
 
Likes: Futurist
Nov 2018
160
Denmark
#9
My Danish grandmother who lived in North Schleswig in the First World War also told how she was starving and it even though she lived in T√łnder a small market town where everyone had family in the countryside, and thus being able to provide food outside of rationing and restrictions.

When North Schleswig was reunited with Denmark in 1920 and the first generations of malnourished young men were going to session in Denmark, they were significantly lower than the Danish youth who had not starved during the war.

Germany had tried to maintain the same supply of meat as before the war which proved to be impossible.

Unlike Denmark, when the country came under war blockade I 1917 the cattle population was reduced by one third and the pig population to 20% of its size before the war, so the grain could be used for human consumption.

The main food was bran bread, barley porridge, potatoes, leafy vegetables, milk and a little butter. The milk was reserved for the kids, as they needed protein to grow.

In addition, the state offered cooking courses for women across the country so they could learn how to make the most of the scarce resources.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#10
The Germans ruthglessly expiolted the occupied terrotories, there were shortages, famine much worse than Gemrany in ww1 it just was not happening to Germans.

Really? Can you provide some examples from Western Europe that occurred before the end of the war, when things broke down? I am not surprised if it happened in Eastern Europe, but that was because the Nazis were bent on removing the existing population to make room for Germans.
 

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