Saturday, June 28, 2014

Musée de l'Armée

We breezed through the Museum of the Army in a couple hours, concentrating on the more recent stuff. Knowing a bit of military history--well, knowing your own country's version or versions--always makes for interesting experiences. I have been looking at war museums here and there for many years, but I think it has been since 1979 that I was at the Musee de l'Armee here in Paris. I was pleased with the coverage, extensiveness, fairness, and willingness to address some of the difficult parts of the story. Here are a few of the scores of pix I took.
They lost the Franco-Prussian War largely because they were
still wearing silly hats

1890s nationalistic board game 

One of the Paris taxis commandeered for the Battle of the
Marne; their importance in the battle has been exaggerated,
the display said

Rifles developed for trench warfare; "over the top" meant
something very different then

The account of American involvement in WWI
was generous, I thought

War posters were everywhere and good;
propaganda is always a big part of the story
for me


Then came another war

And another hero emerged

After France's surrender, the French fleet withdrew to neutral
or African ports; Churchill feared it would eventually fall into
German hands, and, after due warning, ordered it sunk

Axis depiction of Churchill after the above;
thousands of French were killed and the
wounds between allies took some time to heal

There is ample attention to the American war effort, in the
Pacific as well as in Europe; here, a great model of the old
carrier Enterprise, c. 1944 (Grumman Avenger torpedo
bombers and Curtis-Wright Helldiver bombers ready for
take-off), somewhere in the central Pacific

Rome, not Tipperary

One of those episodes you hear rather less about sometimes:
in 1942, 6,000 Canadian troops were sent to land and attack
the fortified Normandy port of Dieppe; the point and purpose
of all this is rather shrouded in military and political history
and intrigue; half the Canadians were killed or captured, the
other half barely got back to Britain; more unhappiness among
the allies; Churchill was in Moscow trying desperately to keep
Russia in the war

Two years later, over Normandy

Liberation of Paris

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