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Army of Occupation after Waterloo

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 1815 to 1818
Location: Francemap
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The rations to be supplied to each soldier, including William Johnson in the occupying army that were to be supplied by France – now relieved of Napoleon – are in the translation (University of Southampton 2015) of part of the tariff annexed to the military convention of 20 November 1815, setting out the rations for each soldier in the army of occupation:

The ordinary portion of a soldier:

— Two pounds, of a mark’s weight, of bread of maslin [a mixture of wheat and rye], or one and two-thirds of [wheat] flour, or one and one-sixth of biscuit

— A quarter pound of gruel, or three-sixteenths of rice, or half a pound of fine wheat flour, or of peas or lentils; or half a pound of potatoes, carrots or turnips and other fresh vegetables.

— A half pound of fresh meat, or a quarter pound of bacon [preserved pork].

— A tenth of a litre of spirits, or half a litre of wine, or a litre of beer.

— A thirtieth of a pound of salt.

In cases where troops are billeted on the inhabitants, they will have a right to fire and candles. In barracks, wood for heating and cooking, and for lighting of chambers and corridors will be provided according to the localities, as there is need; guards will have the same rates.

Substitutions will be made at the desire of the troops, but only if available. An attempt will be made to vary the foods according to the seasons, making use as far as possible of dry vegetables. Lard will only be supplied where the troops agree. Flour for bread will only be supplied to troops at their request, and wood and ovens for baking will also be supplied. Biscuit will only be given for marches or in emergency, or for completing the reserve of 10 days’ provisions that the troops must purvey for their marches. This will be given additionally to the day’s supply.

For the remainder, in order to ensure the supply, it is understood that, after two months, there will be stocks of each sort of food, with the exception of meat, always sufficient for a reserve of 15 days’ supply of provisions and forage under the inspection of the French storekeepers. The army administration will have the right to examine these stores whenever it seems necessary to them.

Meat will be delivered as deadstock, without heads, feet, lungs, liver and other intestines. If the troops prefer meat on the hoof, the weight will be agreed after a fair estimate, including the head, fat and all other edible parts. In this case, the animal’s skin will belong to the troops.

On march and on other occasions when the soldier will be fed at stopping points, the same tariff will serve as a guide. The soldier will then receive his portion, or a sufficient equivalent, prepared and divided between two meals, and in the morning some of the bread and a portion of spirits.

Receipts will be given by regiments, companies and detachments, for portions and rations, which will be returned and audited by each army corps by a mixed commission, whose office costs will be regulated and paid by the French government.

As the troops of many of these armies are accustomed to smoke tobacco and as the soldiers are not in a position to buy it at the high prices that are current in France, it is agreed that the regiments, companies and detachments can ask each month for a half kilogramme of tobacco for each man present, paying 60 centimes for a half kilogramme of tobacco of the lesser quality, but fresh, which is sold in the stores. In order to avoid on this occasion all contraband, booklets will be given to the regiments in which will be noted the quantities of tobacco delivered.

The army, with troops from Great Britain, Russia, Prussia, and Austria, and contingents from five others, occupied France for three years during which there was no military expansionism and the Bourbons were returned solidly on the throne. The threat of domination of the European continent by France was removed. With their role accomplished, the army of occupation retired in 1818 and France was restored to her full position in international relations.[1]

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