Saturday, 16 June 2018

Museo Histórico Militar, Valencia

Housed at the San Juan Rivera barracks not far from the centre of Valencia is the Museo Historico Militar, a museum not surprisingly focussed on the military history of Spain. It covers conflicts from the Napoleonic Wars through to the present day.

Siege of Baler, Phillipines 1898: a handful of Spanish soldiers endured a 337 day siege

The museum is split into two halves, on the ground level is the hardware, mainly artillery pieces and small arms.  On the upper level there are more thematic displays associated with conflicts including the Peninsular War and the Spanish Civil War.  It's not a big museum, but there are plenty of interesting objects on display.

Interior of the San Juan Rivera barracks



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An 88mm Flak 36 greets visitors at the entrance

I was particularly interested to see the T26B on display, something I've not seen in a museum before.  Of Spanish Civil War vintage, I was struck at how big it was, well perhaps big is not quite the right word, but it was much larger than I was expecting.  It's also in excellent condition.





For gamers and modellers there are some lovely dioramas.  These two in particular looked like the perfect setting for a game of Sharp Practice.





Amongst a display of helmets was this one from the Spanish Civil War.  Something tells me the story behind this does not end well.





Talking of the Guerra Civil, to give the civil war its Spanish name, there are quite a few objects on display.  Valencia was the centre of the Republican movement once the government relocated from Madrid, although the museum seemed to have a balance of exhibits from both sides.






Many items from the small arms collection date from the same era and they have a fine selection of inter war weaponry.

Lewis gun

MG36

One LMG I wasn't familiar with was this Russian Maxim-Tokaren 1929


And talking of Maxims:



While the T26 was the only tank on display, there were quite a few artillery pieces, again many of Civil War vintage:

Schneider 75/28 1906

Vickers 105/22 1922 model

Obus Monomastil 149/12

The gun saw action in WWI and in the Spanish Civil War

The ubiquitous Krupp 77mm

Erhardt 170mm trench mortar of WWI vintage
Quad 50 cal, probably post WWII vintage


20mm Oerlikon





No label for this, but the Wehrmacht number plates don't look original
Potted history of gas masks....

What did the horse make of this?

Lots of small arms, some dating back to the 18th century:







Some more of the lovely dioramas, these were really well done and most looked as though they were made by the same person/s.






More from the Siege of Baler 

And again.

Defence of Valencia from French attack 1808





The defence of Sagunto Castle October 1811





The garrison of Ribarroja del Turia heading towards Sagunto 1811






Beautifully painted larger scale vignette

More of the larger scale figures

Talking of the Napoleonic Wars, or the War of Independence as its known in Spain, here is a life size uniform display (not originals):




Overall a good museum with a wide selection of interesting displays covering many periods and locations.  It was just my good fortune that it was very conveniently located about 15 minutes walk from my hotel, so a good find.  There is a shop in the museum but I would hesitate to call it the museum shop.  Judging by the mix of new and second hand books plus piles of plastic kits it appears to be run by a keen modeller and military historian.  Worth a visit just in itself.  The museum offers free admission and is open every day except Monday.












5 comments:

  1. Superb- I love to see museum pictures like those- thanks for posting.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for sharing Mark, very interesting
    cheers John.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Inspiring collection and photos - thanks for sharing. But did the Valencia Volunteers really wear shorts in 1809?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Really nice read through, many thanks for posting.

    ReplyDelete