Analyzing past SHTF history to prepare for the future

when we talk of a SHTF situation I look what happened to the UK during world war 2 and what people had to endure for 6 years and beyond.   I was born in London in 1947 and growing up I was told of what is was like in the UK during the war, a lot of the food and everyday products was imported this stopped very quickly and rationing was introduced , everyone was encouraged to grow vegetables ,  fruit  to have chickens and rabbits , some families would get together to raise a pig but on the day of it was killed a police officer had to be present as half of the pig would go into the rations for everyone . Hoarding was illegal [preps] and any one found to do so would have those confiscated and could face criminal charges. Government soon realised that farms would have to increase output so inspectors would check production and there where 3 categories ABC , if you where A you doing good if you where B you where told to improve if you where C you could loose your farm and some farmers did with tragic consequences . On the whole the vast majority of the population was behind the government  of Winston Churchill .

So fast forward to 2021 a SHTF today would the vast majority be behind the government of any free voting democracy in any country I have my doubts 

Would any one who as been preparing give up there  preps so they can be shared 

Would farmers who for generations have had the farm give it up 

When everything is in short supply would we help each other to get through this which what happened a lot of the time in the UK.

Look forward to your Comments 

Regards John



  • Comments (6)

    • 4

      I saw this years ago on a money saving forum. The challenge was to live for a month or more on the equivalent of WW2 rations to save money! 

      ’I managed to find a list of rations and points as of 1 December 1942. So:
      4 oz Bacons and ham
      8oz sugar
      6 oz butter and margarine of which not more than 2 oz to be butter
      2 oz cooking fat
      2 oz tea
      12 old pence of meat (I reckon this is about £2.50 at today’s values)
      8oz cheese (vegetarians, certain categories of workers in E agricultural workers and miners, sufferers from diabetes mellitus or pituitary diabetes got 16 oz)
      4 oz Jam, marmalade, syrup, mincemeat or treacle
      3 oz sweets and chocolate

      Points per 1 lb of
      1 plain biscuits; 2 sweet biscuits; 4 chocolate biscuits
      16 dried fruit
      4 prunes
      8 syrup
      32 grade 1 or 2 Canned salmon; 16 for grade 3
      12 canned herrings in tomato sauce; ditto for pilchards in tomTo sauce
      8 canned pilchards in brine
      4 sago, rice etc
      4 cereal
      8 Tinned sweetened milk
      6 medium tin tomatoes
      8 large tin tomatoes
      4 tin Beans in tomato sauce
      1 tin beans in brine
      Bread not rationed. Nor is offal or fresh fish, fresh fruit.

      Additionally I think everyone got the equivalent of 4 pints of milk (1 pint fresh, 3 dried) and 4 eggs (also 1 fresh and 3 dried) a week.

      Somewhere in the net it says it was 16 points a week.’

      I’ve often thought of trying the challenge myself but never quite got around to it! 

      I have heard the theory that the UK was on a slow route to starvation and may have ended up there if WW2 had not ended when it did. 

      I actually think the UK is in a much worse situation now; our level of food production is only about 52% of what’s needed according to the global food security program. This is what makes me think I really need to start a garden. 

      As for how people would react nowadays – would people follow the government? I don’t know, but I suspect there are more unprepared than prepared (I’d be quite happy if that wasn’t true) and as the saying goes ‘any society is three meals away from chaos’.

      • 2

        is 2oz of tea enough for a brit? 

        that is an interesting challenge to attempt and see how it would be only eating those amounts.

      • 5

        Thats only two cuppas for me, so NO Sir, and like so many others I cannot function 100% without my NATO Standard cuppa ( tea, white, 2 sugars).

        We have invaded countries just to get our tea. 🙂

      • 3

        Only just on minimum levels! I just measured this out of curiosity, it’s enough for 3 cups per day but these days my ‘cup’ is a mug that holds 400ml. Back in the day tea would’ve been made in a tea pot and cups were half that size 😅

        Time to consider if my tea habit is an addiction, occasionally I switch to herbal teas and can keep it up for a few weeks but then you get to a point when you need a PROPER CUPPA 🤣🤣 (as per Bill’s reply)

    • 3

      So fast forward to 2021 a SHTF today would the vast majority be behind the government of any free voting democracy in any country I have my doubts

      No not in a million years at least in the UK, My trust in the UK government has never been so low, The welfare state mentality has pervaded every facet of British society, Everyone thinks they are entitled,They believe that is the STATE and not their own responsibility to protect them from major incidents.  The panic buying of toilet paper and the food/fuel shortages were created by SELFISH people panic buying because they did not believe the Government. The only people not blindly panic buying and hoarding was the prepper community.

      The state has mismanaged the F & M outbreak, the Covid outbreak, Terrorism, Border controls, the NHS etc. It dismantled the Civil Defence system and scrapped all the strategic reserves. And has been seen recently the state is unable to look beyond the home countieswhen it comes to dealing with major problems. The UK government was totally overwhelmed with the Somerset and Thames valley floods a few years ago having to borrow pumps from Holland.  Even during the very localised Bostcastle flooding event exposed the almost non existantant emergency reserves, Every rescue helicopter fitted with winches was needed they had to be brough from as far as the Scots borders. At one point whilst five were operating in Bostcastle there was NO more winch equipped choppers available in England and Wales.

      Would any one who as been preparing give up there preps so they can be shared

      Again No,  The state (UK) even did a 180 on its post civil defence in the 90s and noughties, for many years the state and media ridiculed and condemned preppers and tarred us as horders. Then after 911 and 7/7 suddenly the UK government was as keen as the US government encouraging everyone to start prepping, stock piling, making BOBs, developing contingency places. if anyone has CHOSEN to ignore that government / UN/ WHO/ EU advice then so be it.  I will help those willing (if not able) to help themselves as I do now.  if and when people ask me to help them start prepping I gladly help, but those who simply hold out their hands in expectation wont see any help from me.

      Would farmers who for generations have had the farm give it up

      None that I know would

      When everything is in short supply would we help each other to get through this which what happened a lot of the time in the UK.

      In the 40,50,60s Yes, in the 70, 80s probably. Post Cold war  90s and millenium not really, in the 10s and 20s not a cat in hells chance. People MAY help close neighbours they get on with but most likely no further than that, with the exception probably being smaller rural communities who have to cooperate to survive even in normal times. But in large towns and cities NO.  We all saw and read of how the Urban wealthy started buying and renting isolated rural properties and abandoning the cities in huge numbers. They threw huge amounts of money buying up food and supplies where ever they could so they could sit out the Pandemic in splendid isolation.

      Take a look at the massive growth in Gated Communities in the US and UK and the ICEBERG homes being developed in London, Toronto, Vancouver and other cities.    Walls going up, trust and community going down.

      Below are some schematics of IB homes that have been built in London




    • 7

      My first reaction is no, people will not go along with rations and other implementations of working together. Take a look at how many people still struggle and fight wearing a mask in the middle of a pandemic that is dropping people left and right. I am afraid of another war happening today when an air raid siren is going off and everyone needs to turn off their lights of their homes and get to shelter or give away the location of the city in the dark, my gut says that there will be those war deniers that say “You can’t tell me what to do!”.

      But then I look to 9/11 and how the whole nation of the US got together in prayer and well being towards each other. I feel like a major shocking disaster can have the ability to bring people together. So who knows, maybe a SHTF scenario will in fact bring out the best in us and we will all want to ration our food, or pitch in our supplies to the war effort.

    • 1

      Mr. Chamberlain,

      You raise some very disturbing questions.

      I live in a small midwest USA town surrounded by farms and ranches. I think many in town would plant gardens and raise chickens, ducks, rabbits and maybe even guinea pigs. Sharing would be common as long as everyone worked to the extent possible.

      Cooperation with town/county government would be considerable, state a bit less and federal government considerably less.

      I watched this series about 10 years ago and learned a lot from your experience.