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Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Royal Arsenal Museum 2017: The Danish Army in Afghanistan

The Royal Arsenal Museum (or Tøjhusmuseet) in Copenhagen currently houses an exhibition about the role of the Royal Danish Army in Afghanistan. As one walks through the exhibition one is taken from a young soldier's bedroom ...


... through their arrival at Camp Bastion ...





... and then on to their deployment to a forward patrol base.




You have a chance to get some idea of the operational conditions and environment the soldiers had to face (although they are unable to duplicate the very distinctive smell of Afghanistan that soldiers have told me about) ...







... and the cost in term of human life and equipment ...





... before they return home to be greeted by their friends and family back in Denmark.


I don't know if any British military museums have a similar display that depicts the British Army's recent deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan ... but if they don't, then I think that they ought to.

10 comments:

  1. The Danish display looks very impressive. The Tank Museum at Bovington has a display depicting a Forward Operating Base in Helmand - with some of the vehicles used in theatre during the Army's deployment there. Although the NAM and IWM don't, I'm sure some Regimental Museums must have a display - I hope so!

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    Replies
    1. David Bradley,

      I am surprised that the IWM or NAM don't have a similar display in one of their locations. Relying on regimental museums to portray their individual roles in recent conflicts is not quite the same as having a national exhibit that gives the general public some idea about what most soldiers experienced.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. NAM did, or at least they had a section describing the IED experience.. not been back since they re-opened..

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    3. Steve-the-Wargamer,

      I haven't been to the revamped NAM, but from what I've heard from those who have, it has rather gone downhill.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. An interesting way to chart the deployment of its troops. I'm always interested to see how different museums present history. Thanks for posting.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

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    Replies
    1. Pete.,

      It is not a huge museum, but it is in a great location and its curating staff have staged a number of excellent interlinked chronologically organised exhibits.

      It is well worth visiting if the opportunity arises.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. I realise the revampted NAM has drawn negative comments from some who remember the old NAM. I would n't say it has gone "downhill", the latest incarnation tries to tell the story in a different way and is aimed primarily at an audience who knows little of the role and history of the British Army (i.e the majority of the current population). I've taken a couple of US friends round the Museum who have no great knowledge of the British Army and they were most enthused by the experience. Strongly recommend a visit. The special theme for 2018 will be Special Forces.

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    Replies
    1. David Bradley,

      I can only go by what I have been told by those who have visited the 'new' NAM. Yours is the first positive comment I've read, and I do hope to pay it a visit during 2018.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  4. If you do decide on a visit may I suggest you go on one of the days the Museum has one of its free lectures. Some of the forthcoming 2018 ones are, to be honest, somewhat "PC" but there are some interesting "historical" subjects in prospect, such as the capture of Jerusalem in 1917, the Battle of New Orleans and the history of the Intelligence Corps to name a few. I recommend a look at the "What's On" section of the NAM website.

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    Replies
    1. David Bradley,

      Thanks for the suggestion. It would make a lot of sense to pay a visit and get a free lecture as well.

      All the best,

      Bob

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