Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Gathering Storm

Coming into the World War Two section at the museum, the visitor sees panels exploring the dynamics of the world in the 1930s, particularly the movements of what came to be called the Axis powers. The first item we actually see is this car, one of Hitler's personal fleet. It ended up in Canadian hands after the war, and has been in the museum collection since. It might only be a car, on the surface, but I always feel a sense of unease about it.


One of those things you have to look up at to notice. This is a recreation of a balloon bomb. The Japanese sent these up into the winds over the Pacific, with the idea to have them descend over North America and explode. A number of them made it all the way; there's a nearby map showing locations in Canada and the United States where balloon bombs exploded. One happened to reach as far east as Detroit.


This large truck is typical of the transports being used by Allied forces in the Second World War.


Another section in which it helps to look up. The fighter is positioned up above the visitor passing among the exhibits. I'm not absolutely certain, but I believe it's a Spitfire.


There is a section here in the War Museum that deals with the drive through Sicily and the Italian peninsula. Among the displays are two life sized soldiers, on  either side of a ruined wall. The visitor passes them by. The first here is a Canadian, and the second is German.



26 comments:

  1. Interesting as it is, it still makes me shudder...

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    1. That is the intended effect, of course...

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  2. I've never heard of balloon bombs! Hmmm.

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    1. I hadn't either, til I saw it on an early tour of the museum. I've lost track of how many times I've been in there.

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  3. I've not heard of balloon bombs either. What a wacko idea ! The invention of an uncontrolled drone. Anyway, this looks like a fabulous exhibit that covers a lot of ground. The exhibition space must be huge. Thanks for bringing it to us virtually.

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    1. It's a vast amount of space, over a wide area. And some of that is research-administrative, while other parts are the vaults, so there's a good part the usual visitor doesn't see.

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  4. Great post, William! And what a fabulous museum! Those balloon bombs really caught my eye -- had never heard of them -- as far as Detroit, amazing! Those life-size solders look almost too real, yikes! And I know what you mean about Hitler's car -- kinda creepy seeing where evil sat.

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    1. It's that association that does it. Evil personified in one man and his beliefs, it rubs off on everything around him.

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  5. Fantastic background for the beautiful car on top. Love that photo.

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    1. When they designed these spaces, they really went for the ideal backdrops to each exhibit. That one was appropriate.

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  6. this really is such an amazing museum!

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    1. We're blessed with a lot of museums here, and since I love museums, I'm quite at home.

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  7. Who ever designed this museum really though about it and brought you into the war.
    I think I would feel that way seeing Hitler's car.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. The architect behind it did a stellar job with everything.

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  8. I never heard of balloon bombs either.

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    1. Wartime sometimes brings out very odd ideas from inventors.

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  9. That is a really somber exhibit. One of the balloon bombs landed by a family in Oregon. The news of their deaths was suppressed for years. It was felt people would panic.

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    1. That doesn't surprise me, given the circumstances.

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  10. We went to a museum devoted to World War II in Berlin about 12 years back. The exhibit made the effort to make it clear that Berlin's citizens did not vote for Hitler! Even 50 years after the war, they want to disassociate themselves from what the world recognizes as evil.

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    1. Germans have had to live with that legacy ever since.

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