and the CANDY BAR


The D Bar is not identified as a chocolate bar. It, he says, is called a D Bar but nobody knows what a D Bar is. Everybody knows what a chocolate bar is. Therefore, why be mysterious about it.

From the start of its development, the K Ration contained a 2-ounce chocolate bar in the Supper unit. It was of the same formula as the 4-ounce U.S. Army Field Ration D:

To aquire a higher melting point, the production of the chocolate differs from commercial process. The chocolate liquor is lightly mixed into a rough paste with the sugar and oat flour. Instead of running this mix through malingers, congers, rollers and other refining machines as is done in the commercial process, the mix is kept rough. The chocolate made with this rough mix will not run and therefor cannot be poured, not even when heated and is forced with great pressure into the moulds.

The 2-ounce D-bar was practically a standard 4-ounce D Ration cut in half lengthwise. (Hence its 3 15/16" length.)

The size of the early D-bar was 3 15/16 x 1 1/8 7/8 inch. The lenght of the bar protruded past the biscuits and sometimes caused the cellophane bag to burst.

D bar 2 ounce

Early 3 15/16" long D-bar made by Hershey.

mold 2oz early (a)

An original mold for the early 2-ounce D-bar. This mold was made for Hershey by the "American Chocolate Mould Co. Inc.". The two D-bars are resin casts from this mold.
(mould courtesy L. Kelatow)

D bar (a)

An early 3 15/16" long D-bar with ingredients printed on the front of the wrapper.

D bar (b1)

An early 3 15/16" long D-bar, without any ingredients listed.

In March of 1943 the D-bar was shortened to 3
1/8 inch due to the problems encountered with damaged cellophane bags. Still being of the 2-ounce weight its new dimensions were not to exceed 3 1/8" long, 1 9/32" wide and 13/16" high.

D bar Nestle

The new 3 1/8" D-bar made by Peter, Cailler, Kohler Swiss Chocolates Co.* (photo: 1944Supply)

As with the D Ration, the 2-ounce D-bar was a bitter and hard chocolate bar. In the fall of 1943 a more palatable sweet chocolate bar was developed and replaced the less popular D-bar.

Although basically the same as the D-bar formula, the amount of sugar was increased and the oat flour was omitted. Just like the D Ration, the Sweet Chocolate Bar became harder upon aging.
In 1944 a slightly new formula and processing method was developed that made a superior chocolate bar that actualy became softer during longer storage without melting in warmer climates. Because of the difficult manufacturing proces and development of new processing machinery, production of this new chocolate bar only got well under way at the end of the war.

As with the 4-ounce D Ration a warning was added to the wrapper that during storage the chocolate might develop a white "blooming" on its surface due to warm climate conditions. It was reported from the frontlines (especially in the pacific theatre) that the soldiers  tended to throw away the affected bars. This blooming is, however, harmless and does not effect its nutricial qualities or taste.

sweet chocolate bar

A 2-ounce sweet choclate bar (3 1/8" length), with ingredients listed on its wrapper. Manufactured by Rockwood & Co. (photo: 1944Supply)

rockwood sweet chocolate bar

Another 2-ounce Sweet Chocolate Bar also made by Rockwood.
The label is of the continuous printed type. This means that the text repeats itself and there is no specific fitting of the wrapper around the bar. Note that the label is printed with brown ink. (Photo: 1944Supply)

Sweet Chocolate Bar (a)

A 2-ounce sweet choclate bar (3 1/8" length), Note the warning about whitening on its side. (photo: 1944Supply)

Sweet choc bar (1)

The 2-ounce sweet chocolate bar (3 1/8") made by Peter, Cailler, Kohler Swiss Chocolates Co.* (photo: 1944Supply)

Sweet choc bar

A more attractive design for the Sweet Chocolate bar produced by Rockwood & Co. (photo: 1944Supply)

Although popular with the troops it was found that the size was still too big and hard to bite through in cold climates. In December 1944 specifications notes that two 1-ounce sweet chocolate bars replaced the 2-ounce bar.

1 oz choc bar

A 1-ounce Nestlé's* chocolate bar. (From a mid 1945 Supper unit.) Two of these, or one package of caramels, replaced the 2-ounce sweet chocolate bar in the Supper units. (photo: 1944Supply)

The inclusion of commercial candy bars was not found possible due to the poor keeping qualities of the chocolate products onder warm conditions above 85ºF (29.5ºC). Also, readily available commercial candy bars came in sizes not practical for ration use.
To remedie the low melting point of the chocolate outer coating, an artificial choclate coating was developed that looked like choclate (made of hydrogenated vegetable oil, sugar and cocoa) and thereby keeping the attractiveness of the candy, that would have a higher melting point. Although the coating contained only 20% cocoa fat it was practically tasteless. Due to the flavourful centers of this type of candy it was used with this was acceptable.

mars bar 2

The Mars company went out of their way to develop a version of their candy bars that could with stand hot climates but the coating was still made with real chocolate. Also, the caramel nougat filling was made more stiff by altering the formula. These bars can be identified by the addition of the words “Torrid Zone”. The same goes for the Mars caramel fudge bars.                                (photo courtesy S.J. Schmalstieg)

In the fall of 1944 the caramels in the Dinner unit were replaced by a candy bar. It appears that the caramel nougat "Milky Way" bar made by Mars was used with the majority of the K Rations since the specifications were changed. 

Milky Way 2

A "Milky Way" caramel nougat bar replaced the caramel candies in the dinner unit. (this one came from an early 1945 Dinner unit.) The words Torrid Zone refers to the fact that the candy bar has a higher melting point for use in the tropics.

As an alternative to the "Milky Way" bar in some K Rations is the "Mars" bar made by the same company. This confection was also used in the 10-in-1's Partial Dinner Units.

mars bar

The "Mars" bar as it was included as a confection in late war Dinner units. Again note the words Torrid Zone superimposed on the Mars logo. (photo: 1944Supply)

Milky Way ad

Wartime advertisement for the Milky Way bar made by Mars.

In a mid 1945 K Ration a chocolate fudge bar was found, but no name or manufacturer was printed on its packaging and no additional information is known about the candy bar.

fudge 3

A kind of chocolate fudge bar was used as aan alternative to the caramel nougat bar in the Dinner unit. No Printing or marking was found on the packaging and remains a mistery item. This came from a 1945 Dinner unit. (photo: 1944Supply)

jolly jack candy bar

The Curtiss Candy Co. also manufactured the Jolly Jack candy bar and it was include in late war manufacture of the K Ration. This one is from a 1945 Dinner unit packed by the Doughboy Mills Inc. (photo courtesy S.J. Schmalstieg)

curtiss candy bar

A candy bar made by Curtiss Candy Co. found in an early 1945 Dinner unit. This might be also a Jolly Jack candy bar, but with an alternative packaging. The wrapper is a glassine paper with dark blue printing. Not sure what the red blotches are. (photo courtesy S.J. Schmalstieg)

In 1943 the Hershey Company came up with its own formula for a chocolate bar with a higher melting point for use in the tropics and promoted these under the name "Hershey's Tropical Chocolate". The word Tropical was printed in red. First a 2-ounce bar was produced and later a 1-ounce bar was also produced.
The ingredients were basicly the same as the D-bar, but sweeter. Later the formule was changed, omitting the oat flour, the word Tropical was then printed in blue. There is an ongoing debate whether or not the ® logo was introduced late in the war or after the hostilities ended while the K Ration was still in production.

Chocolate bar (b1)

Two Hershey's tropical 1-ounce bars were also used in mid-1945 K Rations.

* Nestlé and the Peter, Cailler, Kohler Swiss Chocolates Co. (hereafter PCK) are two different companies. Both companies are from Switzerland and have been working together for years since the early 1900’s.
PCK made chocolate bars for Nestlé and mentions that fact (Made by the makers of Nestlé’s chocolate bars) on the label, but the recipe is the one developed by the army. When chocolate bars were used that were of Nestlé’s own commercial recipe the label does says "Nestlé’s Sweet Chocolate Bar” like the 1-ounce bar pictured. These were also made by PCK for Nestlé.Lamont, Corliss & Company also made chocolate bars for Nestlé.