|Also keep an eye out for this cannon|
It is probably not surprising that the museum is located where it is because there is an airbase nearby, and this area was once where scientists worked on technology such as rockets, radars, and signalling devices. However they didn’t actually work on military vehicles (in fact, as far as I am aware, Australia never really built its own military vehicles – we just bought them from overseas). Still, it was government owned land and it probably is the best place for such a museum (though it can be even more difficult getting here without a car).
|You’ll find quite a few trucks in here|
Normally, when you think of a military museum you probably thinks of tanks, guns, and artillery pieces (I know I do), but while they do have a few tanks and cannons amongst the collection, there is actually a lot more to the military than just ways and means of killing people (though I don’t remember seeing any guns here here, only artillery pieces). For instance, there are quite a few trucks and jeeps in the museum, which play a very important role in a modern war. As well as transporting troops, trucks are also required to transport supplies to the front line. Okay ,most of these trucks date back to the 40s and 50s, but they still play an important role today. In fact a military would be quite inefficient if it only had tanks and guns (though there are armoured vehicles for supply purposes as well). Oh, one of the vehicles they had on display was a fully self-contained kitchen.
|Just in case the troops need a bit of a feed|
Like many of the museums that I have been to there seems to be little order among the major displays, particularly where the vehicles are located. Okay, they do seem to have a lot of space outside, but considering that pretty much all of these vehicles have been restored (meaning that you can drive them), leaving them out on the grounds overnight might encourage some of them to go missing (though I’m sure hardly anybody would notice a tank cruising down the street at 2:00 am in the morning).
|Like, for instance, this one.|
Anyway, as much as I want to post some more photos of military vehicles, this isn’t actually a photo album (though you probably could be mistaken if you have looked through some of my albums on Facebook – especially the photos that I took in Europe). This museum does contain a lot more than just military vehicles, though they do take up most of the space (probably because of their size).
One of the rooms is dedicated entirely to the signal corps. For those not in the know, the signal corps is the communications arm of the military. They are those guys that you see in Vietnam War movies carrying those huge radios on their backs, and the lieutenants grabbing their phones to receive orders from the command centre. Once again this could lead into a criticism of the modern military, and how there can be little scope for independent thinking among the rank and file – but I think I will leave it at that.
|You can practice your morse code if you wish|
Once again, this room seemed to be focused more on completeness as opposed to looking at any specific development of the devices. In fact, like other parts of the museum, this room was chock full of communications devices. There were so many devices in here that it simply made my head spin. Surely the military didn’t change their communication equipment as often as I changed my underwear – but in many cases it certainly looked like they did.
|Maybe I should have taken a panoramic photo with my mobile|
Most of, if not actually all, of this equipment looked really, really obsolete, though I am sure the military still use more sophisticated equipment than your average iPhone. Mind you, it is not as if the iPhone can’t deliver encrypted messages, but you do need towers to be able to transmit the information, which is probably lacking in many of the modern warzones. Still, you can get satellite phones, and as I suggested, you can still send encrypted messages across the internet on your humble laptop, which seems to put the general population on par with the modern military machine (at least in regards to communication).
|You may require a PhD to understand this|
Alongside the signal corps display, there was an trailer which was obviously designed for field communications.
|Though I couldn’t find the USB port.|
They even had an old spotlight:
|I wonder if they were all that effective|
Another room that I went into had, like the other parts of the museum, a miscellaneous collection of stuff. Around the walls, as well as a couple of displays dedicated to a couple of military personal that assisted in setting the museum up, were also a number of items that the troops would be issued with, such as rations:
|I remember some kid at scouts bringing these along to camp|
and a collection of booklets that were handed out to the troops:
|Yep, these books tell a soldier all he (or she) needs to know|
This room also contained memorabilia from the Gulf War, a collection of hats, some uniforms, and even some rifles (okay, one rifle that was used in the trenches of World War I). However, what really caught my attention, namely because it was a little out of place in this room, were all of the engines.
|Apparently they all work.|
|It won’t fit in my Monaro|
Along with this room, they also have the workshop where they are working on restoring some other military vehicles, as well as a display dedicated to the medical corps and World War I. Along with that there are a number of paintings, no doubt by some artist that was once in the army and has also provided some assistance with the museum. Otherwise he was probably like my Grandfather in that he enjoyed painting, but the art critics of the modern world had felt that his art work was, well, normal, so instead he gave the paintings to this museum. Hey, at least people get to look at his artwork.
Anyway, a military museum wouldn’t be a military museum with out a collection of model vehicles on display, and this museum certainly had its fair share. They even had few display cases set up as if there were a battle ranging.
|They wouldn’t let me take it for a test drive.|