War Museums

Discussion in 'WW2 Museums. Events, & places to see.' started by CROONAERT, Feb 29, 2004.

  1. Baldblutch

    Baldblutch Member


    I also have a few museums that weren't mentioned but are sure worth a visit:

    * The Canada Museum in Adegem, near Eeklo in Belgium has a nice collection, mainly about the battle for the Leopoldscanal in autumn 1944: http://www.canadamuseum.be/

    * The Atlantic Wall Museum in Raversijde near Ostend Airport is also great, with a tour along World War I and World War II bunkers, completely restored: http://users.pandora.be/alex.deseyne/ENG/AtlantikwallE.htm

    * Fort Liezele is one of the Fortresses of Antwerp, which is being restored and some rooms are back like they were in 1914 and 1940, this is a neighbouring fort of the Concentration Camp Breendonk, and lies in Puurs, Belgium, museum is only open on Sundays!: http://www.fortliezele.be/

    * The Concentration Camp Fort Breendonk is also worth a visit, and has been completely renovated a couple of years ago: http://www.breendonk.be/

    * My favorite Ypres or WWI-museums are Hooge Crater Museum near Ypres: http://www.hoogecrater.com/Webpaginas/english%20startpage.htm or the completely renovated Zonnebeke Streekmuseum near Passchendaele: http://www.passchendaele.be/#English

    These are some of my favourites, I have visited lots more, but these are all not too far from where I live, and some of them were not mentioned yet! <_<

  2. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    Haven't seen enough to be an expert, as I live in the USA.

    But my favorite is the Imperial War Museum. I'm a member.

    Worst? Actually, the USS Intrepid is not as good as it should be. It's more "planes on the flight deck" than restored compartments. USS Olympia, USS Massachusetts, and HMS Belfast are better for that.
  3. MalcolmII

    MalcolmII Senior Member

    The worst has to be the August 1944 Museum at Falaise. A disused old cheese factory with dim lighting so you can hardly see anything and when asked about the video display where a couple of rows of seats were laid out, was told no as there was only three of us in the museum. ie, couldn't be bothered.
    Absolutely NOT reccomended.

  4. webbhead

    webbhead Member

    The new Canadian War Museum is worth a look for those visiting Ottawa. The new, spacious building is a vast improvement over the cramped Victorian building on Sussex Drive that used to house the museum.
  5. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    For me it is the National War Museum at Overloon in Limburg, Holland.

    The main reason? my war finished at that God foresaken spot as it was at that time.
  6. Marco

    Marco Senior Member

    For me it is the National War Museum at Overloon in Limburg, Holland.

    The main reason? my war finished at that God foresaken spot as it was at that time.


    Very intersting to hear and a spot linking generations. I was there first (probably) 31 years after you: 1975 age 6...


  7. Marco

    Marco Senior Member


    Recently I heard some roumors and gossip that the Schagen museum was raided by police for having live munitions and human remains on display. Also that the previous owner (the old man) sold the more interesting items at the end to finance, euh, other interest in life.


  8. morse1001

    morse1001 Very Senior Member

    Originally posted by Marco@Jul 23 2005, 07:24 PM
    For me it is the National War Museum at Overloon in Limburg, Holland.

    The main reason? my war finished at that God foresaken spot as it was at that time.


    Very intersting to hear and a spot linking generations. I was there first (probably) 31 years after you: 1975 age 6...


    [post=36792]Quoted post[/post]

    That was the year i was first at overloon, we had some very knowledgable guides - german survivors of the battle!

    it was a very funny feeling!
  9. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Cheers for letting me know you have been there. I could never go back, sadly.
    The mayor of Venraij wrote to me many years ago, telling me that there are 35000 German graves there, I have no way of knowing any more than that.

    For me it was a dirty bit of war fought out amongst the mines, the shells and mortars and the mud and sand, The Mollen Beek was a tragedy, A whole squad of my mates were wiped from the face of the earth, secongs after i left them, including my platoon Sgt. and many of my friends. Not only that, Overloon bloody finished me as well... We lifetd a quarter of a million mines. mostly under fire..
    More tea Vicar?

    CROONAERT Ipsissimus

    Originally posted by sapper@Jul 23 2005, 08:53 PM

    The mayor of Venraij wrote to me many years ago, telling me that there are 35000 German graves there, I have no way of knowing any more than that.[post=36796]Quoted post[/post]

    He's right, Sapper. Not at Venray, but not too far away at Ysselsteyn there's a vast german cemetery containing 31,635 graves. It's a rarity (for German cemeteries) in that each headstone (cross) represents only one soldier. 31,000 crosses in one field - it (in my eyes) is the most numbingly impressive military cemetery in the world and one in which I return to many times over.

    Lommel, a few miles away, also contains a German Cemetery which contains a further 39,503 German graves. However, with 2 to 4 names per cross, this cemetery does not "hit home" as hard as Ysselsteyn.

  11. Battleman

    Battleman Junior Member

    Ive been to Bovington and the Imperial War museums, they are fantastic!!
  12. lancesergeant

    lancesergeant Senior Member

    Hello all, this is an interesting thread. Apologies but I am the bringer of sad news that the Birkenhead Museum (U 534 HMS Plymouth, Bronington and Onyx) will be closing on the 4th of February this year 2006. So it might be worth one's while getting up there and paying a visit before it closes. The trustees saying it is something to do with the Wirral Council and the port developers I believe.
  13. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    lancesergeant, any idea what is happening to the collection, or at least the more important items?
  14. lancesergeant

    lancesergeant Senior Member

    Unfortunately I don't. All I was told on the newsletter was that the Wirral council and the developers were putting unreasonable demands on the Trust and thus it would have to close. They might want it for housin, development or other, I don't know. The U-boat 534 is owned by a Danish millionaire and is in effect on loan to the Birkenhead museum, I can only presume that it might go to a logical location like Gosport the naval sub base or Rosyth or maybe even home (!!) to Denmark. It is only one of two 9 class subs - the other fully restored in the States. Logical guess would say the former, but hopefully and it is a big hopeful it will stay in Birkenhead. Either way we will find out after February 4th. Regards.
  15. liamduggan

    liamduggan Junior Member

    My favourite is the Airborne Museum in the Hartenstein Hotel in Oosterbeek.

    My least favourite has got to be the IWM North in Manchester - a large amount of space but not a great deal to see. Not a patch on the original IWM.
  16. lancesergeant

    lancesergeant Senior Member

    Parts of Colditz castle being turned/ converted into flats! Says it all doesn't it.
  17. Herroberst

    Herroberst Senior Member

    Enjoyed the Imperial War museum and have had a pint or two ;) ...with some of Veterans I've ran into there while listening to their war stories.

    Would someone give me their feedback on Bovington and Samur Armour Museum as I would like to go to these someday.

    I enjoyed Monte Cassino and some of the sites on the Gustav Line not really museums but great to experience.
  18. lancesergeant

    lancesergeant Senior Member

    Bovington has the largest collection of armoured vehicles in the UK. It is in the actual training barracks for the British Army's armoured corps - Stanley Barracks/ Camp. At the entry to the building are a Chieftain and a Challenger. On entering foyer there is a restaurant and a gift shop area, with souvenirs and a large selection of books related to armour including military modelling. Entry is about £8 approx $11 - late 2005 prices.

    Ask for a handset/ wand (optional) with your ticket. You enter the first world war section and the area is set out as for a World war 1 trench scenario there are exhibits from the war showing life in the trenches including the mk1 tanks (with genuine battle damage). There is also a small display about Lawrence of Arabia who served there, including one of his motorcycles - a Brough.

    TE Lawrence is buried nearby at Moreton cemetery about one and half two miles away. The road to the village is barely wide enough for two cars at best. As you enter the village the church is on the right about 100 yards distant,look immediately to your left and you will see a white arch - the entrance the cemetery. TE Lawrence's resting place is at the top under a tree. This is a place of pilgrimage for those with an interest in Lawrence of Arabia. There is a small cafe/restaurant and a pub in the village. Lawrence's retreat when on leave is a small house near here called Cloud Hill. It also not far from where TE Lawrence had his motorcycle accident which ultimately resulted in his death. These sites are worth adding to your itinerary

    Certain exhibits have a number at the side of them - key this into the wand and you get a commentary about the item in question and it's role in the conflict. As you move on into the next hall there are armoured cars and vehicles from between the wars these are in restored condition.

    Further into the hall you come to the world war two tank collection. These have been restored and include Panther a King Tiger with Porsche turret (the sloping one), Churchill with flamethrower, Sherman with flotation skirt, Tiger, cut away of a mark 3 Panzer, a selection of Russian armour, an Italian M series light tank from Africa and a Japanese light tank. There are also American armour and various armoured vehicles of the period. Spaced around some exhibits are infomation boards relating to relevant battles and the men who fought in them.

    As you move further into the hall there are exhibits from the Korean War and later conflicts. There is also a small area to one side set aside as a room of rememberance with the names of all those killed in battle while serving with the Royal Tank Regiment and I believe the other British armoured regiments. The books of rememberance are in lit glass cases. A nice, sombre touch makes one realise these exhibits are living history and saw action and gives the place a respectful atmosphere.

    All the exhibits have space so one can look all the way round - but no climbing on the vehicles are allowed. As you move round into an adjoining hall you come into the modern warfare section. These are more closer together. These exhibits include a FV432 armoured personnel carrier, various Russian hardware including T- tanks 62 etc and a BMP to name a few.

    A few of the exhibits have if I remember rightly have steps for one to look inside the turrets of some of the tanks mentioned. One being the first Tiger to be captured intact -in Africa - which was taken back to Buckingham Palace to be looked over by King George and Winston Churchill himself.

    Overall if one is into military hardware it is well worth a visit. The exhibits are clean restored and there is a dedicated team who run and maintain the museum. There are about two hundred plus vehicles in the building all told. On certain open days there are live tank displays and also tank rides over a small course for those that are that interested.

    It would pay to allow at least three and a half to four hours to do it justice.

    It also has it's own website so one can keep up to date with developments, open days etc. Hope this is of some use to you.
  19. Herroberst

    Herroberst Senior Member

    Thank you lancesgt for the great info
  20. Kitty

    Kitty Very Senior Member

    Went to Bovington as a child and soon realised that to make sure their tanks are secure and cannot be stolen, they chain them to bicycles...
    Anyway, i have some fond memories of cars being crushed and such. As to the IWM North, forget it. it's known locally as the dustbin lid, which tells you everything you need to know. Lots of space, not enough info, and too much put together by a bleeding heart liberal. Don't bother, go to the one in London.
    Can anyone tell me what the RAF Hendon museum is like?
    Planning on visiting the national memorial arboretum this summer, so I'll let you know if the thread is still going.

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