Welcome to my blog!

News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. Or follow me on Twitter @Balkan_Dave
or on Mastodon @balkandave@mastodon.scot, or Threads @davewatson1683

Thursday 25 April 2024

Heeresgeschichtliches Museum

The highlight of my trip to Vienna was a visit to the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, one of the finest military museums in the world. I managed a quick visit some 20 years ago, but this is a museum that deserves plenty of time. 

The museum building was designed as the centrepiece of the Vienna Arsenal, built just outside the old fortifications after the 1848 revolution. The building is a work of art in itself, with paintings on the walls and ceilings that represent key moments in Austrian military history.

The exhibit halls take you through Austrian military history from the 17th century to 1918. The post-WW1 sections are being refurbished. The exhibits include paintings, uniforms, equipment and sculptures. The early years focus on the wars against the Ottoman Empire, with plenty of captured equipment from the 1683 siege and Prince Eugene's subsequent victories.

 The highs and lows of the 18th century and Napoleonic wars are in the first floor halls.

And the 1848 revolution.

The ground floor displays start with the conflicts of the later 19th century. The uniform guides include obscure units like these Bosnian infantry.

The WW1 section is exceptionally good. I particularly liked the collection of non-Austrian uniforms and equipment.





If you want obscure WW1 units, they have the Ukrainian Legion, the Polish Legion and others.

There is no shortage of heavy equipment as well. I have no idea how they got this massive 38cm siege howitzer into the building.

The Air Force was part of the army. I didn't realise they produced over 5,000 aircraft. Including this Albatross B.

The paintings in this section are very striking.

On a lighter note these are the war toys sold for kids in WW1.

If you have any interest in the Austrian army and can't visit the museum. Then I would highly recommend the museum guide. It is a beautiful piece of work with photos of the main exhibits. 


  1. Absolutely amazing. I guess you could spend days wandering round the exhibits. Very impressive. Sadly I don’t imagine I’ll ever get to visit Vienna (along with a vast number of other places I’d love to see) - unless that “big lottery win” dream comes true…

    1. Certainly worth a day. I had a morning, but could have done with a break in between floors to fully appreciate the upstairs sections.