An army’s ‘ration strength’ means all those within the armed forces partaking of rations. This includes non-combatants and the transport, medical and catering corps. The figures for November 1918 reveal an Allied superiority on the western front, nearing 2:1, meaning that for every two Allies, there was one German. However, the true disparity was even greater. The Germans no longer had troops on other fronts to call upon for reinforcements, whereas the Allies had ‘fresh’ new troops from the US, augmenting their numbers at a rate of 10,000 per day. These new additions were not yet battle-weary, unlike those who had been on the front since 1914. The Germans were particularly demoralized and exhausted, having experienced a string of retreats, continuous counteroffensives and the loss of its allies in Austria-Hungary. Finally, the loss of the Balkans deprived Germany of grain and oil: the Allies had limitless supplies of both.
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