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Belgrade Kalemegdan Military Museum

The Museum is housed in the massive Kalemegdan fortress situated on a bluff above the junction of the Sava and the Danube. Although sited on earlier Roman and medieval forts, what is visible today is mostly eighteenth century Austrian.

The museum takes a chronological tour through the military history of former Yugoslavia with many descriptions in English assisted by a 160 page English language guidebook. Excellent maps put the exhibits in context.

The period before the arrival of the Slavs is given only limited coverage as the early archaeological finds are in the National Museum. There are seven rooms of medieval armour and weapons together with organisational charts covering the high point of Serbian conquest under Stephan Dusan. The Battle of Kossovo 1389 and the subsequent Ottoman occupation is given extensive treatment.

For Ottoman enthusiasts there is a fine collection of 16th century uniforms and weapons. Of particular interest given the limited English language sources are the uniforms and weapons of the many rebellions against Ottoman rule. The formation of the Serbian army in the 19th century is given slightly less space than one would expect. The same is true of the Serbian and Montenegrin wars against the Turks in 1876-78. The Serbo-Bulgarian War of 1885 did not warrant even a mention.

The Macedonian uprisings, Balkan wars and the First World War rooms are excellent. Particularly the exhibits covering the harrowing retreat through Montenegro and Albania. The final third of the museum is devoted to the partisan struggle in the Second World War.

Outside the museum there is a significant collection of 20th century artillery and AFV's. Skoda, Krupp and Schneider guns from both wars together with captured German and Italian tanks and a Polish TK-3.

Whilst in Belgrade the National Museum is worth a visit particularly for ancient period wargamers. The portraits and other costume pieces are useful for later periods. Within a day's journey from Belgrade are the fine medieval castles on the Danube including Smederevo, Ram and Golubac. Also not to be missed is the huge fortress town of Petrovaradin, towering over the Danube near Novi Sad.

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New web site devoted to the fortress at http://razgledanje.tripod.com/tvrdjava/english.htm

 

 

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Last modified: 01/23/12