World War Two as a Battle for Food

World War Two is normally seen as a battle to stop Hitler’s evil policies. However, it was also about securing resources, principally food. At least 20m people died for lack of food (compared to 19.5m military deaths).

Germany was poverty-stricken after World War I and Hitler wanted ‘lebensraum’ — room to live. Tiny Japan needed food sources; most of its military deaths during the war were from starvation.

In India, 1.5 – 3 million died from food shortages caused by the retention of ships for war. Millions also starved in Russia and China.

Britain, already using other countries for food supply, concentrated on ensuring its people were well fed. The British wartime diet was in fact better than normal, containing no sugar, lots of whole grains and vegetables.

US soldiers had a daily diet of 4758 Kcal.

Globalisation can lead to food issues, which are not resolved by considering other people as less worthy of receiving sustenance.

I graduated in English language and literature with Latin subsidiary. I write poetry, act, and have worked in reference and educational publishing for decades. I was commissioned in 1994 to write The Ladybird Book of Kings and Queens, did extensive editing and writing for Harraps 20th-century History series, and was one of the contributors to Helicon's Book of the Millennium, a 4-volume children's world history book.