The Sausage Ban

The Sausage Ban

Germans were banned from eating sausages during WWI

Germans were banned from eating sausages to help with the First World War effort. Zeppelin airships were a key weapon for the Central Powers during the 1914 to 1918 war but production placed a huge demand on cow guts, used to make gas holding cells. It took more than 250,000 cows to make a single airship and the animals’ intestines became so precious that making the popular bratwurst and other sausages was temporarily made illegal in areas under German control. The ban also applied to occupied Austria, Poland and Northern France. Each silvery ship floating through the air represented up to 33 million potential sausage casings, sacrificed to the Kaiser’s nationalist cause. And thus the dawn of aerial bombardment — and, with it, the contemporary model of total war — was dependent on a sausage-free civilian diet, in one of the more unusual examples of the militarisation of food.

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