Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr - Dresden - Germany

Address: Olbrichtplatz 2, Dresden (See map)
Telephone: +49 (0)351-8232803

Shop: shop present
Restaurant/refreshments: refreshments
Size of the museum/site: large
Year of visit: 2003
Overall rating:

Description: In Dresden we found the Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr. This museum drew our attention, because we thought it would describe a broad spectrum of the German military history. It turned out that we were right. Often the attention given to that history is limited to the First and Second World War, but there's more to learn about it. For instance, about the Cold War era (closely related of course to WWII) and its aftermath and then there also is the period from 1500 until 1900.

The larger equipment and vehicles are on display outside the museum. Most of these items are from the Second World War and the Cold War. Concerning the latter, it's strange to see the instruments of what once were two opposing powers standing next to each other. Not only can you spot tanks here, but also some planes, boats and cars/vehicles of organisations like the West German border patrol.

Once inside, the tour starts with the military situation of Germany around 16th and 17th century, where a lot of maps are shown accompanied by nice scale-models, paintings and the arms used back then. Passing through the Prussian period the visitor is taken to the First World War. The Second World War is illustrated with dioramas, lots of pictures and a couple of tanks and other motorised items. There is even a corner with a critical view on the war. Not everyone in Germany was a advocate of Hitler and his ideas.

On the second floor is the German military history after 1945. The separation of Germany in allied sectors and the start of the Cold War is explained with relics, photo's, uniforms and weapons. You will find also find a lot of propaganda material. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Russians losing their grip on their satellite states the reunion of both states started. The2 German army's are now melted together and called Bundeswehr. This is the first museum that we have visited with information about the Cold War, the war that never has been fought but nevertheless was a daily threat for years.

West German border patrol reconnaissance vehicle.

Barrels of the Cold War now peacefully next to each other.

Movable ballistic East German missile.

You can also find a lot of early German Military history in the museum.

Painting of bloody trench-warfare in the First World War. Germans breaking through the barb-wired-entanglement to advance a couple of metres, suffering many losses.

Small German submarine type "Molch". Created in 1943, this one man U-boat had two torpedos and a speed of 4 knots. It was one of Hitler's wonder weapons, but very unreliable though. Many scuttled before they left the port.

Parade of the people's army in the German Democratic Republic.

Advertising-pillar "selling" the East German way of life.

West versus....