National War and Resistance Museum, Overloon, Netherlands
Opened in 1946, the (Netherlands) National War and Resistance Museum may be the oldest in Europe. The museum boasts over 150 historical vehicles, tanks, trucks, vessels and aircraft in a 10,000-square-meter building. Some of the vehicles are rare oddities.
This is a must-see museum for military vehicle aficionados because the vehicles are in superb condition, having been dismantled and rebuilt to roadworthy state. The huge George C. Marshall Museum hall is where most vehicles are arranged amidst action-packed dioramas of combat scenes.
A central theme in the Marshall Museum hall is the Red Ball Highway, the American logistical system used to supply the front-line troops in their advance through Western Europe.
A fighter plane zooms low over a vehicle-packed D-Day landing beach diorama. Landing craft obstacles, metal tetrahedrons, helmets and other equipment litter the scene, and a U.S. M29 Weasel Amphibious Vehicle and DUKW Amphibious Truck lumber across the white sand. There must be at least three or four Sherman tanks in the museum along with a Soviet T-35/85 and a British Churchill.
Photographs, display panels, videos and small displays in the remaining galleries cover the history of
WWII, the deportations and holocaust, civilian life, the resistance, and the fighting to liberate the Netherlands including Operation Market Garden. Mercifully, signage is in English as well as Dutch.
National War and Resistance Museum (Liberty Park, Museumpark 1, 5825 AM Overloon, The Netherlands; phone + 31 478 641250 or visit www.oorlogsmuseum-overloon.nl) is open year round (except on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Dec. 31 and New Year’s Day) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Sept.-June) and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (July, August).
Admission, €11, adults; €8, children 4-12, and €10.50 seniors 65 and over. Allow at least three hours for your visit.