Military Time Travel
A stroll Through History
Story and photos by Cadet Matthew Rice
***image1***“You can’t truly understand or appreciate a country until you learn of its history and how it was shaped by military force.” So says the director of Public Affairs at the Panzer Museum in Munster.
A recent five-hour trip north to the town of Munster proved to be very worthwhile as the history of the German Panzer unfolded before my eyes.
Stepping into the Panzer Museum is like taking a step back in time. The exhibits show the unique progression of tank development from 1917 to present day. Each tank used in every major war in the last 90 years has its own distinct place in the museum. A specialized tour route guarantees you the chance to understand how the size, shape and lethal power of the German Panzer tank evolved over the course of several wars. In addition to the immense display of armored vehicles, the museum offers many other war displays.
***image2***An entire room is dedicated to the display of German uniforms as well as several documents signed by infamous soldiers such as German Field Marshall Erwin Rommel and Adolf Hitler. An adjacent area exhibits the evolution of field artillery and individual weapons. Entire walls are covered with hand guns, machine guns, rocket launchers and many more weapons used by the German Army.
Touted as one of the premier armor museums in the world, the Panzer Museum is worth the drive north. If not your final destination, it’s a great stop along the way to the towns of Hamburg, Bremen and Hannover. I suggest trying to make a full-day trip out of the museum − a general tour could take anywhere from four to seven hours, depending on your linterest in military history.
***image3***The museum is open March to November, Tuesdays to Sundays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Prices range from €5 for adults, €3.50 per person in groups of 10 or more and children under six get in free. Guided tours are available. For details visit www.panzermuseum.com.