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“A History of Violence and War”

South African National Museum of Military History
Book In Advance
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US$15.00*
and up
1 or 2 Day Johannesburg City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Ranked #14 of 191 things to do in Johannesburg
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This large museum contains mostly military-related records, journals, weapons and photographs that depict the nation’s participation in large-scale conflicts.
Reviewed August 12, 2017

This museum is a hidden treasure near the Johannesburg Zoo. I was not sure what to expect because of South Africa's troubled past with Apartheid. However, as a history buff, I was very happy to see the fighter planes from WW2. There are many interesting pieces of information about South Africa's role in North Africa, Polish orphans to were sent here to avoid the war, and the Korean War. I was really surprised by the broad sope of South Africa's involvement in wars outside Africa. There was a good section on the African soldiers that's worth expanding. A whole section was dedicated to General Jan Smuts, and his dectorated career. His role as Field Martial in Winston Churchil's War Cabinet was beautifully illustrated in the new movie starring Brian Cox and Richard Durden. Overall this is highly recommended for history buffs and people curious about the extent of our country's international role in the 20th century.

Thank Ozymandias2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"world war"
in 14 reviews
"on display"
in 25 reviews
"fighter planes"
in 4 reviews
"extensive collection"
in 4 reviews
"great exhibits"
in 5 reviews
"jan smuts"
in 6 reviews
"johannesburg zoo"
in 12 reviews
"well worth the visit"
in 5 reviews
"few hours"
in 8 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 6 reviews
"south africa"
in 7 reviews
"weapons"
in 33 reviews
"tanks"
in 67 reviews
"wars"
in 29 reviews
"spitfire"
in 16 reviews
"army"
in 10 reviews
"ww2"
in 17 reviews
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29 - 33 of 351 reviews

Reviewed August 5, 2017

The place has some very remarkable hardware on display. I hadn't looked it up ahead, just went in, and was just blown away when I walked into a hall which had a downed Bf-109, a pristine condition Fw-190 and, to top it all, a completely and utterly amazing Me-262 (twin-seater night fighter model). You can walk right next to them and even touch them.

There are also other planes - a Spitfire, Hurricane, some WWI planes, and some newer jet planes, plus engines, tanks, vehicles, artillery, and even a pocket submarine. But the Me-262 is the crown jewel here. Yes, it has really nothing to do with South Africa. It's just there. But it's amazing.

Anywhere else these extremely valuable planes would be in a glass box so that you could only observe them at a distance. I suppose the current South African government, which particularly wants us to remember the injustice of apartheid, doesn't think much about white South Africa's participation in the two world wars. So this museum is sleepy and not advertised as much as it deserves. But to the credit of the government, the halls are still good and the premises nice enough, so we can't blame them for neglect. It's just that they could put a billboard at the airport and have a million visitors like me to go to this museum.

If you don't care or know about a Messerschmitt 109 or a Spitfire, or a howitzer or an ambhibious tank or a C-47, then this place might not be for you, but for those of us who read the war comics books and assembled the Airfix models, it's an incredible museum.

The wife will probably not care too much about it, but if she loves you, she'll just bear with you when you walk around in drunken amazement.

1  Thank ptaipale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 26, 2017 via mobile

Great museum well maintained and well preserved
A great way to spend at the very least a half a day. I recommend more time to really appreciate all the displays

Thank Gavin W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 23, 2017

If you love the military and air force like my husband and son, this would be the place to go...

It shares the history of our country, World War and has actual aircrafts and military tanks from way back in time.

Thank Linda D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed July 13, 2017 via mobile

Prepare to be transported back in time. This place is a must see for everyone. There is loads of history in the place. Everything from planes to tanks to guns and armory. Expect to spend at least 2 - e hours here. Cheap as chips too.

Thank PaddySA1000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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