Military research

I’m doing some research about the armed forces in history, particulary the Marine Corps during WW2. I was hoping some of the dopers here could help me locate some information regarding various aspects.

The problem is, I need to find out stuff regarding the common soldiers in WW2. Some questions would be.

  1. What kind of Rations would soldiers in the field eat (I’ve heard of C and K, and there’s probably more)?

  2. What would be the age cut off date for enlistments into the armed services? I know the draft ends at 25, but was that the cut off for enlistments? Hypotehically, could a 25 year old who was pissed off by Pearl Harbor run down to the recruiting station and be able sign up?

  3. When sleeping out in the field on a campaign, did soldiers use sleeping bags or one man tents?

Could anyone suggest a book about the life of the common soldier during WW2(Marine if possible)?


Watch Band of Brothers on HBO. It’s a 10-part miniseries about a company of paratroopers and follows them through most of WWII in Europe. I understand it’s pretty accurate as they had real soldiers from that company advising the production.

If you contact the USMC directly, they’ll probably be glad to help. They’re really serious about preserving the history of the Corps, and have amazing archives.

Remember: Military members of the US Marine Corps are referred to as Marines. Military members of the Army are referred to as Soldiers.

You can check and click on their History link.

The USMC Historical Center is on the Washington Navy Yard, DC. A quick google search will get their number, and a call should get you the ear of a historian.