The collection in Lebreton Gallery contains a mix of items from each branch of the military, and across national lines. In the case of the first shot, these are navy mines.
This is the deck gun taken from a World War One era U-Boat. Submarines of the era used these in addition to their torpedo armaments, as torpedoes were in relatively short supply on board.
Earlier on in the series I showed you balcony views of the Gallery. Here we have a view from below the CF-101F Voodoo fighter jet that dominates the space. In use from 1961 for over twenty years, the jet was a high speed long range interceptor to identify and if required attack aircraft entering North American space.
For the above shot, I was standing by this vehicle, which was open at the back to allow for a look at the cramped interior. The BRM-1K is a Soviet armoured reconnaissance vehicle built to transport people, sensors, and communications gear. It was designed to shield its six occupants from nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. This particular one was being used in East Germany in the latter half of the 1980s.
Here we have a wider view of the Gallery and the mix of tanks and other vehicles.
This collective set happens to be another of my favourite artifacts in the Museum. Kurt is the name of this automated weather station, containing a set of instruments developed by the German navy during the Second World War and placed in various spots around the North Atlantic to give reports of weather forecasts. A U-Boat placed Kurt in the far north stretches of Labrador and it began transmitting weather reports for sometime before its power gave out. Its markings make it look as if it was something placed by the Canadian government, which might explain, along with its remote location, why it went undiscovered for so many years. Only the odd hunter might have come across it. A German researcher in the late 1970s, going through navy records, found out about it and passed the word along.
A booklet is on the information panel with a series of photographs. Here it's open to how Kurt looked in 1981 at the site itself- truly a remote place. Who knows how long it might have stayed unnoticed if not for the work of a researcher going through old records?
I headed up out of Lebreton Gallery. I came into the Memorial Chamber, the other of two focal points in the architecture of the Museum. This room contains a reflecting pool and one artifact- the original tombstone of the Unknown Soldier. When that Canadian soldier was repatriated from a cemetery near Vimy Ridge, the tombstone came along, with a second one replacing it at the cemetery and explaining the significance of the grave. That tombstone has been placed here, while his coffin rests at the War Memorial. The architect designed and situated the room so that at eleven in the morning on November 11th, sunlight will illuminate this tombstone, coming through a window on the opposite wall. When I was in here a Museum staffer was giving a talk to a group of people; the shadows you see indicate their presence. On Remembrance Day, many people leave a poppy here.
My final perspective of this visit is a loan to the War Museum, as the display panel indicates it is owned by the Mons Memorial Museum. It is situated by where one enters and leaves the exhibit area. The Mons Gun is one of two field artillery guns presented by Canadian soldiers to the citizens of Mons, Belgium, in 1919. This 18 pounder was used by the 39th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery during the Hundred Days campaign ending the First World War, and is thought to be the last Canadian gun fired before the Armistice. It and its partner were given to the people of Mons and Belgium in friendship. To commemorate the centennial of the Armistice, Mons has brought this one back to Canada for the occasion.