The diverse range of the collections

Today, the departmental collection consists of 14,000 objects and is characterised by its breadth and diversity.

It can be sub-divided into six broad categories.

Heavy equipment and machinery

The collection consists of around 50 vehicles for reconnaissance, transporting troops and materials, auxiliary service vehicles and civil vehicles… The rarity and diversity of heavy machinery makes it a highlight of the departmental collection, particularly the French and German material dating from the Second World War. 

Uniforms, headwear and equipment

The collection includes 135 complete uniforms and 28 busts. It consists primarily of French and German uniforms and illustrates both the evolution of uniforms during the period and the internationalisation of the two global conflicts.
The museum has a collection of almost 400 police hats and helmets. It also has a significant collection of pointed German helmets from 1852 to 1915, illustrating both the diversity of the army and the way in which the individual peculiarities of the various States were maintained.

Soldiers’ equipment also includes: belts, cartridge holders, bags, food sacks...

Individual and collective arms

The arms collection includes:

  • Hand-to-hand combat weapons: sabres, swords, spears, bayonets, knives, daggers ...;
  • Firearms: rifles and carbines, machine guns, semi-automatic and automatic rifles, pistols and revolvers, machine pistols;
  • Grenades, mines and explosives;
  • Collective arms: machine guns, mortars, rocket launchers, flamethrowers...

The museum’s extensive and diverse collection of arms makes it possible to exhibit reserve displays around the edges of the main exhibition spaces.

Object from a soldier’s day-to-day life

This collection includes objects from a soldier’s kitbag linked to his bivouac, hygiene, food and leisure. It makes it possible to illustrate the different aspects of the daily existence of a soldier out on campaign.

The collection also includes objects linked to auxiliary army services: communications, broadcasting, health services, re-provisioning, engineering… It reveals the technical progress of the period in terms of communications, transport and health…

Objects of war culture

This collection is made up of objects linked to conscription, patriotism, children, civilian protection, rationing, solidarity, the Occupation, the Resistance, mourning and remembrance...

It enables us to consider how this culture is generated and the mobilisation of everybody during the conflicts. We also touch on the subject of the history behind the wars and the representation of this history within the context of patriotism, propaganda, the construction of memory…

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