90th IDPG Reviews


KrautGear K Ration Crate

Review Date: 8/9/2015
Author: Chris Guska


Photo Courtesy of the Normandie Archive


Crates can seriously add or detract from a unit display. The K Ration crate was ubiquitous in North-West Europe and a plausible addition to most any field display.

Approximately 10 years ago, I purchased a crate from a gentleman in Oregon who was making them and it has served us well since then.

At the Ohio Civil War Show event in Mansfield Ohio, I saw the K ration crates from Krautgear and was impressed. Here are the details

The Spec:

CQD 28-H covers the K Ration crate. I've extracted the pertinent sections below for reference.



The crate was purchased at a show, so shipping did not apply. It was a pleasure to speak with Max from KrautGear about his product and future offerings.

Cost: $60.00

The Reproduction:

The crate is of Style 1, constructed out of rough sawn lumber.

The side boards are rough sawn, not planed, to a correct thickness, no less than 11/32 per the spec. They come in at just over 3/8 inch.

The ends are of a single piece also rough sawn, without Linderman joints, measuring 3/4 inch thick.

The markings meet the specification, for size and font. The weight and cubic size do not match the specification, but appear to have been directly copied from an original example published on the US Militaria Forum. It is an excellent copy of the original.

Contractor markings, in spec and nicely done.

Inside photos showing the gap around the K ration boxes. The interior dimensions of the box are correct, allowing space for the inner fiberboard carton for the K rations.

This photo has the K boxes pushed far to the right, showing the cumulative clearance from both sides for the inner fiberboard carton.

Cleats were added to the bottom of the center and edge top board for ease of use as a storage box. These slats are quite thick and cannot be used with the crate full of K Ration boxes. I've recommended to Krautgear that on future runs, a thinner slat is used. These slats are a fantasy contrivance for reenactors, original crates did not have this. That being said, it is a handy addition.

Short nails were used along the top outside edge to give the appearance that the crate is nailed shut - its a nice detail worth mentioning.


  • Correct lumber
  • Correct dimensions
  • Excellent markings


  • Missing the top K marking from the center of the lid, section G-4B(1) of the Spec.
  • Thick slats for the inner lid
  • Cost would be high if I had to have it shipped

Not Sure:

  • I was unable to locate Federal Spec NN-B-621 Boxes; Wood, Nailed and Lock Corner which I believe would specify the specie and clarity of the wood to be used on the boxes. In looking at original examples, most appear to be fairly clear wood and free of knots. I cant confirm or deny at this time - but the Krautgear crate does have a number of knots.



The K ration crate offered by Krautgear is a market leading reproduction, I believe it to be better than the other reproductions currently offered based on the pattern, markings and materials used.

I hope that Krautgear improves the crates with the addition of the specified K on the top and bottom (which would not be a hard fix to do even after purchase) as well as use thinner slats inside, or offer them without the slats.

Quality costs. If you have the opportunity to purchase these crates in person to save on shipping, I highly recommend on doing so.



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