My day in the Museum of Military History

Skulptur_von_Arthur_Kaan_-_auf_Saebel_gestützt(c)Thomas_Ledl
Museum of Military History

Moin moin,

I am Justin, 17 years old and come from North Germany. At the moment, I am doing an internship at The Ranks GmbH, which has also provided me with my apartment, and today I made a trip to the Museum of Military History for you.

I stay in the Appartements Ferchergasse in Vienna at the moment and there my trip also started today. At first my path led me to the tramway station Wattgasse, there I took the 43 up to Schottentor. At Schottentor I then went out and waited opposite for the line D. For the line D, it is as easy as with 43, just go to the end. At the end station Alfred-Adler-Straße I then went out. From there, simply go left (opposite direction from the station) and left again, follow the road and go straight ahead. Relatively quickly you can see the building of the Museum of Military History.

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Upper area in the HGM Vienna

I came there shortly before nine and so had to wait a while, since the museum opens at nine o'clock. I was lucky, because first I did not have to pay admission, since all under 19 years have free entrance. And second I was nearly alone there. Being a teenager of mobile phone generation, I of course used the free WiFi. If you want to take photos you can buy for two euros at the entrance a "sticker" that entitles you to take photos; of course without lightning, because we do not want to frighten the exhibits.

After I had finished and got the "sticker", I was spoiled for choice: do I go left, right or up? I recommend the route to go that I took. First left, then upwards and then through the cafe to the last part. As I said I went to the left.

It began with general exhibitions, followed by a room full of uniforms and weapons of the then Austrian army in the period from 1840 to 1914. After you pass the uniforms of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I. one of the large thematic areas starts. It was about World War I. Of course there were also many uniforms, but this time uniforms of Austria, Russia, Hungary and the German Empire. Already in this part you can see many weapons. But in the next room there were even more. From the 24cm mortar over a 7.5cm mountain cannon to the normal hand-held firearm. In the middle of the room stood a huge 38cm howitzer, on the right side hung a double decker Albatros on the ceiling. What I found really impressing and also many of the other visitors, who were there later, were four showcases. In each were objects inside and each one could be lifted by a lever.

In the first showcase was a standard carabiner of the Austrian / German Army inside which already weighed 3.7kg. In the second showcase there was a standard gun ammunition, the ammunition alone already weighed 7.7 kg. In the third showcase was a bag of the mountaineer battalion of Austria inside with 12kg and in the fourth and last showcase was the weight of a standard infantry equipment inside. This one weighed 30kg and was not so easy to get up. I liked it very much, as you got a little insight how hard as a bit can be. What I liked very much, were the trifles in the department of military aviation, such as altimeters, flying jackets, flying caps, etc. I was really able to see myself in the cockpit and imagine how it would be being a pilot. What I liked too, but which had nothing to do with the exhibition, was the wheelchair-friendly way. One comes everywhere easily. There is of course also an elevator. There is also information in each room, about the topic in many different languages.

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Hall 1 in the HGM Vienna

To get to the next part you simply go through the current part again and then you are back in the entrance hall. I went up to the hall of fame and the two areas there. One part is about the development of the armament. At this time, the musketee had spread through the battlefield, and in time the armor equipment disappeared, which you can see in all the showcases and paintings. In the Thirty Years War Albrecht Wenzel Eusebius von Waldstein shortly called Wallenstein played a major role and so he also got his place here. Again there are many weapons and uniforms, but this area is unfortunately not as large as the exhibition of World War I.

If you want to go to the last area, you go through the Café Salut. I took a break in this cafe and ordered a coffee and an apple strudel. Both were very tasty and not expensive at all. Of course, in the café is also a souvenir shop, which offers some interesting things.

After my break, I went through the last part: "Republic and Dictatorship". This is about Austria in the time after World War I and during the Nazi dictatorship. Going through the part, one comes to the naval exhibition. From there you can go into the outdoor area and examine different tanks of the Austrian Armed Forces. Well, that’s it. In short, the Museum of Military History is definitely worth a visit and a must for anyone who is interested in history.

I hope I could give you a small, but fine impression of the museum and give you an idea for a half-day tour.

Greetings from Vienna,

Justin

PS.: The translation was done by me, Stephanie. As I am no specialist in army vocabulary please excuse if there are any mistakes in the translation.

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