War Museums in Belgium
There are dozens of museums dedicated to the First and Second World Wars in Belgium. Below are a few recommendations for museums to visit:
First World War
- In Flanders Field Museum:
This is the largest and most well-known museum from the First World War and it is located in the center of Ieper.
- Memorial Passchendaele Museum:
The battle of Passchendaele raged outside of Ieper from June to November 1917. Over 300,000 soldiers of the British Empire and over 260,000 Germans were casualties of this terrible battle. This museum tells their story in the context of the broader history of the fighting around Ieper. It includes reconstructed trenches and dugouts to help the visitor "feel" what the war was like for the men who served and died there.
- Museum Hooge Crater
This museum is on a site where extensive mine warfare took place. In addition to explaining mine warfare, the museum has an interesting collection of weapons and vehicles from the war, including a German tri-plane.
- The Hill 62 Museum:
This museum is family owned, and rather old. However, it contains many artifacts from the war, 3-D viewing machines with photos from the war, and even some preserved trenches at the exterior. It is situated three miles east of Ieper on the road leading to the Hill 62 Canadian War Memorial and the Sanctuary Wood British cemetery. You can find it by taking the road from Ieper to Menen. After you leave Ieper, you come to a roundabout (which was known as "Hellfire Corner during the war.) Keep going straight and about one kilometer later you will see a small sign for Hill 62. The museum does not have a website.
Second World War
40-45 Memories Museum:
A small private museum with its own collection of found and acquired civil and military gear including American appliances and utensils as well as German military and propaganda material objects, badges, weapons, photographs and maps. Built by Frederic Winkin in 2007 is located at 54, rue des Ardennes, 4920 Aywaille, Belgium. The museum is open by appointment and on Sunday afternoon from 14:00 to 18:00
- The Remember Museum:
This museum is owned and run by Marcel and Mathilde Schmetz as their tribute to the Americans who liberated them. Dozens of American veterans have donated items to the museum, and Marcel and Mathilde keep their memory alive. It is located at les Bèolies 4, 4890 Thimister-Clermont, not far from the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery.
- Baugnez 44 Museum:
This is an excellent commercial museum located near the site of the Nazi Massacre of American POWs in December of 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge. It tells the story of the war from the perspective of both the soldiers and the civilians in Belgium via an informative audio guide. You will learn a lot from visiting this museum.
- 101st Airborne Division Museum:
Located in a historic building in the center of Bastogne, this museum tells the story of the 101st Airborne Division and the other units that fought in and around Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.
- Bastogne War Museum:
Located at the Mardasson Monument in Bastogne, this recently renovated museum offers visitors an interactive look at the Battle of the Bulge using modern technology.
- Battle of the Ardennes Museum:
This is a small, family owned museum in La Roche en Ardennes. Although it is not very informative, it does have an interesting collection of memorabilia from the war. If you find yourself in La Roche, it is worth a visit.
- December 44 Historical Museum:
This is a small family owned museum in La Gleize, at the site where Peiper was forced to abandon his tanks in the Battle of the Bulge. The museum is dedicated almost exclusively to the Battle of the Bulge and there is a King Tiger tank outside of the museum.
- Ardennen Poteau 44 Museum:
Another small family-owned museum dedicated to the Battle of the Bulge. It is located in the middle of a former battlefield, where the US 14th Cavalry Group was ambushed by the Nazis on 18 December 1944. It has a rather large collection of military vehicles.
- Museum de la Battaille de La Salm:
This small museum is dedicated to the fighting in the area of the river Salm during the Battle of the Bulge. It is located at Ennal 24, 6698 Grand-Halleux. The telephone number is 080.21.54.58. The museum does not have a website.
- Truschbaum Museum:
Located in Bütgenbach, this museum is run by the Belgian army, and is located on a Belgian army base. It tells the story of Camp Elsenborn. One part of this story is the struggle for the Elsenborn ridge during the Battle of the Bulge in which the "battle babies of the 99th US Infantry Division distinguished themselves.
- Atlantikwall Museum:
Located on the Belgian coast just outside of Oostende, it is a preserved section of the Nazi fortifications that ran along the coast of Belgium and France to defend against the invasion that eventually came at Normandy on D-Day. The visit takes about 3 hours. It is located on the Nieuwpoortsesteenweg 636, 8400 Ostende.
This list is very incomplete. If you know of additional museums that we should include in this list, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.