Vietnam Military History Museum
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Bảo tàng Lịch sử Quân sự Việt Nam
Entrance to the interior portions of the museum
|Established||July 17, 1956|
|Location||Điện Biên Phủ Road, Ba Đình District, Hanoi, Vietnam|
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 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.
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
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
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
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
Items on display include:
- Bell UH-1H Iroquois
- Wreckage of a Boeing B-52G shot down during Operation Linebacker II
- Cessna A-37B Dragonfly
- Douglas A-1E and A-1H Skyraiders
- M3 Half-track purportedly used by Groupe Mobile 100 and captured in the Battle of Mang Yang Pass
- M101 howitzer
- M107 Self-Propelled Gun
- M113 armored personnel carrier
- M114 155 mm howitzer
- Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 MF & PFM
- SA-2 Guideline SAM
- T-34 tank
- T-54 tank
- 37 mm automatic air defense gun M1939 (61-K)
- 57 mm AZP S-60
- 85 mm divisional gun D-44
- 130 mm towed field gun M1954 (M-46)