When visiting Ottawa in Ontario, Canada if you have any interest in military history you must not miss the world-class Canadian War Museum. The impressive looking museum covers every period in which Canadians have been involved in some form of conflict and the main galleries are in historical chronological order.
The galleries start out with Battleground which covers the early years of the first nations and colonial wars particularly between the British, French and later the American forces until 1885. You then move onto For Crown and Country (1885 – 1931) which includes the Boer War in South Africa and the bloody mess that was World War One.
The galleries then continue into a more modern age with Forged in Fire (1931-1945) which displays the rise of the dictators and World War Two. All theatres of war in which Canadian forces were involved are displayed from the home front to the battles in Europe leading up to D-Day 1944. A significant artifact on display is Hitler’s Mercedes-Benz parade car (note what appears to be bullet holes in the windows).
The final themed gallery is A Violent Peace (1945-present) which covers the Cold War period, the nuclear threat and peacekeeping missions. A major part of this display is a Soviet T-72 and Canadian Centurion Main Battle Tank along with a Northrop F-5 Tiger II jet fighter (it was hard to see this clearly up in the rafters unfortunately).
My favourite part of the museum is the cavernous LeBreton Gallery: The Military Technology Collection which has all the big stuff including tanks and aircraft. Stay tuned for my next blog for lots of photos from this gallery.
There is much to read and see within the various exhibitions throughout the war museum. If you are a military history buff you are going to need a full day to explore all the halls and take it all in. The museum is a great tribute to all Canadians who have fought for their country and for the liberty of their allies around the world. I think it is a must see in Ottawa for sure!