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he Korean war had always been overshadowed by the fast-moving and very eventful Cold War, even if the Korean war is arguably the first step into the Cold War era by having the U.S. and the Soviet Union fight a proxy war. As all-powerful nations were trying to rebuild after the Second World War, the Korean war broke off shy of 5 years after the last World War. Sadly, the U.S. Army was not prepared for the wrath North Korea had to bring supplied by the Soviet Union.

Thousands of American soldiers, along with their allies, were rescued for small sweet treats, Tootsie Rolls. These were of great use to the soldiers who had come to South Korea to fight the much stronger invaders on the northern border.

Frost of war

In 1950, United Nations troops, consisting of American soldiers, South Korean military police, and British detachments, faced the North Korean offensive in the area known as the “Changjin Reservoir.” More than 150,000 Chinese soldiers came to support the North Koreans, aiming to decimate the US Navy’s 1st Division.

The American military had begun to die on their heads, not only because they had been attacked but also because of the extreme weather conditions in the region where they were fighting. Often, during the nights, they had to endure temperatures as low as -40 degrees Celsius, bulldozers and tanks could not advance in any form, and supply lines were practically interrupted.

Candy instead of Bullets

Even in this situation, the only thing the soldiers thought of was the final victory. Therefore, they asked for supplies of new ammunition stocks, but to their surprise, when they opened the boxes of weapons they had received, they found that they contained only “Tootsie Rolls”(candy).

Advertising for Tootsie Rolls by the U.S. Army from 1942

These Tootsie Rolls were, and I believe they still are, the most popular sort of candy in America. It is a chewing chocolate bar that is infused with caramel. Due to the high content of sugar, it is perfect for troops on the battlefield as a sort of power bar because it offers a lot of energy from all of the sugar.

Such candy always came in the rations of the U.S. soldiers throughout the Second World War as not only a good source of energy but to “remember the taste of home” in order to raise the hopes of winning the war and to push the soldier to make a bigger effort on the battlefield.

Hungry and left without any supplies, the soldiers were forced to eat what was sent to them. Moreover, they used candy to stick the destroyed parts of the weapons and cover the holes caused by bullets in the equipment they were carrying.

The other major problem was that due to the very low temperatures, the fuselage on many vehicles and tanks cracked, leaving the soldiers stranded. Interestingly enough, they soon discovered that the large supply of Tootsie Rolls did not only come in handy as a food supply but also as a good adhesive to fixed the cracked fuselage and get out of there

For 13 days, Allied soldiers managed to withstand the invaders of South Korea, but were then forced to retreat because they were outnumbered and, moreover, surrounded on all sides by the enemy. Those who survived the retreat still admit today that they survived the war because they then received “Tootsie Rolls” candy.

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