Vietnam Military History Museum

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Vietnam Military History Museum
Bảo tàng Lịch sử Quân sự Việt Nam
Vietnam Military History Museum 01.JPG
Entrance to the interior portions of the museum
EstablishedJuly 17, 1956 (1956-07-17)[1]
LocationĐiện Biên Phủ Road, Ba Đình District, Hanoi, Vietnam
Coordinates21°01′56″N 105°50′24″E / 21.032281°N 105.840017°E / 21.032281; 105.840017

The Vietnam Military History Museum, set up on 17 July 1956, is one of seven national museums in Vietnam. It covers 12,800 m2. It is situated in central Hanoi, opposite the Lenin Park and near the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. The Flag Tower of Hanoi is located inside of the museum grounds.


The Flag Tower of Hanoi is situated within the museum complex

The museum consists of various buildings. Eras of Vietnamese military history are showcased in different buildings on the complex. The Flag Tower of Hanoi is within the bounds of the complex as well. It is possible for visitors to enter the first two tiers of the tower, however, the spire is inaccessible.

The museum also includes a display of decommissioned, captured or destroyed military equipment and vehicles used by French, Viet Minh, North Vietnam, South Vietnam and the United States during the First and Second Indochina Wars. This display, located right next to the Flag Tower of Hanoi, has become known as "The Garden of Toys". There is a Highlands Coffee chain store in which visitors can rest, as well as souvenir shops where one may browse various products.


Placards in the museum are written in English, French, and Vietanmese

The museum does not always give context or explanation surrounding the exhibits. The exhibits mostly consist of artifacts. It is best to inform oneself about the First and Second Indochina wars if one wants to understand the artifacts and the references within the notecards.

There are some English and French placards containing information on the war eras. Audiovisual elements are often only available in Vietnamese. Note cards explaining each artifact are in both Vietnamese, French and English. The translations to English in the displays are not always accurate or grammatically correct.

This museum presents the First and second Indochina wars from a Vietnamese perspective. Various non-standard forms of vocabulary such as "heroic", "victorious" and "determined" are often used within the museum descriptions.

A History of Vietnam's Military conflicts[edit]

A bust of Trần Hưng Đạo at the Vietnam Military History Museum. Đạo was, an imperial prince of the Trần Dynasty, and military commander during the Mongol invasion of Vietnam.

Taken from a placard on the Vietnamese Military History Museum

  • 214 - 207 BC :Resistance war against the Qin
  • 208 - 179 BC :Resistance war against the Zhao
  • 40 - 43: Resistance war against the Eastern Han's domination
  • 542 - 548 : Resistance war against the Liang's domination
  • 603: Resistance war against the Sui's domination
  • 687 - 905 : Resistance war against the Tang's domination
  • 930 - 938 :Resistance war against the Southern Han
  • 1077 : Resistance war against the Song
  • 1258 - 1288 : Resistance war against the Mongolian
  • 1406 - 1427 : Resistance war against the Ming's domination
  • 1785 - 1789 :Resistance war against the Siam - Qing
  • 1858 - 1954 : Resistance war against the French colonists
  • 1954 - 1975 : Resistance war against the American imperialist, liberate the nation

Pre-Colonial Exhibition[edit]

This era was highlighted by invasions from neighbouring countries through the years 214 BC to 1789. A placard details the Vietnamese Resistance Wars against Invaders in history. Various artifacts during these years are on display while quotations and murals attributed to previous emperors are arranged on the walls. Several scenarios depicting their actions on keeping the invaders away are complete with figurines to clearly illustrate their battles during this era.

Second Indochina War[edit]

An exhibit holding items from the Second Indochina War

There is a wide variety of displays seen in the museum focusing on the second Indochina war (The Vietnam War) through many exhibits presenting information of the tactics of the "American Imperialists" and the different manners in which war was approached in Vietnam, through a focus on the "Vietnamization of War" as well as the many other failures of the Americans, a large portion of the displays are used to symbolize and reinforce the willpower and determination of the Vietnamese.

The museum also has a large compilation of posters, newspapers and pictures demonstrating the global support condemning the Americans in the war including countries such as Congo, North Korea, Netherlands, Venezuela and Cuba. The museum also boats a very large collection of old machinery and artillery named the "Garden of Broken toys" which were shot down by the Vietnamese including a B-52 sculpture to demonstrate the strength of the Vietnamese during the war, a Chinook, many soviet tanks, and torpedo launchers.

Items on outside display[edit]

The museum has a number of decommissioned vehicles on display in its "Garden of Toys"

Items on display include:


External links[edit]