To make the British weak, the Germans tried to cut off supplies of food and other goods.German submarines attacked many of the ships that brought food to Britain. Before the war, Britain imported 55 million tons of food, a month after the war had started this figure had dropped to 12 million. The Ration Book became the key to survival for nearly every household in Britain. Every member of the public was issued with a ration book.
What were ration books?
They were books which contained coupons that shopkeepers cut out or signed when people bought food and other items. (People still paid for the goods with money.)
Why were there different colour ration books?
'The colour of your ration book was very important as it made sure you go the right amount and types of food needed for your health.
Buff-coloured ration books - Most adults had this colour.Green ration books - Pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under 5. They had first choice of fruit, a daily pint of milk and a double supply of eggs.
Blue ration books - Children between 5 and 16 years of age. It was felt important that children had fruit, the full meat ration and half a pint of milk a day.
Why did the government issue ration books?
To make sure that everybody got a fair share of the food available.The government was worried that as food and other items became scarcer, prices would rise and poorer people might not be able to afford things. There was also a danger that some people might hoard items, leaving none for others.
Rationing was introduced to make sure that everyone had a fair share of the items that were hard to get hold of during the war.
When was rationing introduced? Rationing was introduced at the beginning of 1940 On National Registration Day on 29 September 1939, every householder had to fill in a form giving details of the people who lived in their house.