Germans were banned from eating sausages to help with the First World War effort, researchers have said.
Zeppelin airships were a key weapon for the Central Powers during the 1914 to 1918 war but production placed a huge demand on cow guts, used to make gas holding cells.
It took more than 250,000 cows to make a single airship and the animals’ intestines became so precious that making the popular bratwurst and other sausages was temporarily made illegal in areas under German control.
Details of the sausage ban were uncovered by researchers working on a Channel 4 documentary in a document prepared for the US National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics in 1922.
The ban also applied to occupied Austria, Poland and Northern France.
It read: 'The collection of the goldbeater’s skins was very systematic in Germany during the war.
'Each butcher was required to deliver the ones from the animals he killed.