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A visit to the Myanmar National Military Museum



 
 
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  #1  
Old November 10th, 2003, 02:17 AM
KimBob
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Default A visit to the Myanmar National Military Museum

In May, I visited the Myanmar National Military Museum in Yangoon.
After several minutes of long negotiations with the army guards at the
gate, my driver got them to sell me an admission ticket but I was not
permitted to bring my camera. We walked up to a relatively new,
modern, and very large white building and another guard in the lobby
examined my ticket as if it were the first one he'd seen. Then I
began to tour the first of several floors. On the 1st floor the
galleries were broken down by branch of service, i.e. Infantry,
Armour, Artillery, Engineer… and they seemed to concentrate on
contemporary interpretation of the tools and weapons systems of each
branch with limited historical background. In the back was the large
Air Force gallery, more like a hanger with a good collection of
aircraft. On the opposite side was the Navy gallery with a full size
replica of the deck of a river patrol craft.

On upper floors were galleries relating to other branches of the
government and above them tribal and regional militia units, and
cultural regions were interpreted. This was all plaid out around a
central open-air courtyard. I asked to meet with an administrator or
curator but was told that all appointments of that nature must be
arranged in advance. The lack of environmental controls and even the
switched-off electric lights made viewing the exhibits uncomfortable
but there were pleasant guards in each gallery and a smattering of
families and children were also touring that day.

All-in-all it was a very respectable museum with only limited English
language labeling but a large and fairly well organized exhibits
program. Being that Myanmar is a military dictatorship, The Military
Museum covers every aspect of public life in the country. Like much
of Myanmar it appears to be remnants of a once proud and modern
culture slipping into decay. Still, I would recommend it to tourists
but only with an interpreter to assist.

Kim
  #3  
Old November 13th, 2003, 08:31 AM
KimBob
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Default A visit to the Myanmar National Military Museum

There was no luck to it. You just go! There is also a
well-publicized WWII UK-US cemetery and memorial to the international
war dead. I to got a kick out of the historic weaponry and vehicles
sported by the military. The PPS / PPSH and the SSK submachine guns
and rifles and the occasional GAZ Jeep on the streets. But I found
that the soldiers loved having their pictures taken and would group
together in outlandish poses and ham-it-up. I guess when they're not
out brutalizing their just regular guys.
  #4  
Old November 13th, 2003, 08:19 PM
USC
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Default A visit to the Myanmar National Military Museum

well-publicized WWII UK-US cemetery and memorial to the international
war dead...


Was that in Rangoon, or were you referring to the War Memorial
Cemetery midway between Rangoon and Bago?

I found that the soldiers loved having their pictures taken and would

group together in outlandish poses and ham-it-up...

I guess I was mislead about photographing soldiers by the warning in a
travel book I read (a warning re-iterated by relatives back
there...along with the one about not knowing who on the street might
really be 'M.I.' - military intelligence). If I would have known it
was possible, I would have also taken a photo of the soldier in the
exhibition hall with the odd-looking Burmese knock-off of the Uzi.
From the looks of it when old M1 carbines die, instead of going to
Heaven they go to the streets Rangoon and end up in the hands of the
new recruits.

USC
 




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