National Museum of Military History-Johannesburg

by Sara Smith I am a Traveller


The South African National Museum of Military History is situated at a close distance to Johannesburg Zoo. The museum exhibits a wonderful display of weapons and war equipments that have been used over the years during the African wars. One can also find interesting exhibition from the Anglo-Zulu and the Anglo-Boer War. The museum also hosts tours for all the age groups, where children enhance an update their knowledge bank about the country’s political history. Guided tours are also available on request. The library and other photographic records could be referred for research work.

The picturesque museum was opened in 1947 by South Africa’s then Prime Minister, Jam Smuts. The museum offers a striking display of warfare. Few of the first modern weapons like automatic handguns, howitzer, magazine-fed rifles and guns used in 19th century are also a part of the museum. The museum has two exhibition halls and an outdoor display which could be self explored by climbing into the vehicles. One could even spot the Messerschmitt and Spitfire fighters that are the only ME110 jet night fighter left for display.

Russian tanks and French built Mirage fighter planes that were stolen by the South Africans on their route to Angola are also on display in the museum. In 1975, the museum was renamed as the South African National Museum of Military History and it’s exhibitory horizon was expanded to incorporate all the history of military conflict in which South Africa played a major role. Before the appointment of Captain J Agar-Hamilton as the official historian for the Union Defence Forces there was no formal recognition of South African involvement in the war. With the formation of a Historical Research Committee the preservation of the military memorabilia and documents was ensured. Museum also offers facility for conferences and other functions in it’s premises.


As a part of restructuring process of national museums, this museum was merged with the Transvaal Museum of Natural History and National Cultural History Museum to form one Northern Flagship Institution and this institution was renamed Ditsong: Museums of South Africa in 2009 and it is also regarded as the spiritual and symbolic home for all veterans and soldiers in South Africa and hence the museum is used by a number of veterans as their headquarters. The museum is used for monthly and annual meetings of the South African Arms and Ammunition Collectors Association, South African Arms and Armour Society and the Gold Reef Scale Modelers.



The artefacts from the first and second world wars at display include resistant fighting vehicles, medals and uniforms. Some of them are only one of their kinds left in the world. From the 40,000 items in the collection, there is also a wealth of modern items related to apartheid era. All such things give an insight into the history of Africa.


If you too want to get acquainted with the military and war history of South Africa, don’t wait for the excitement to curb in you, make haste and book your flights to Johannesburg from london and fly to South Africa.

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About Sara Smith Innovator   I am a Traveller

19 connections, 1 recommendations, 72 honor points.
Joined APSense since, September 8th, 2017, From london, United Kingdom.

Created on Nov 10th 2017 03:03. Viewed 339 times.


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