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“Hidden Gem”

Military History Museum of Bundeswehr
Ranked #62 of 960 things to do in Berlin
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: The Museum on the Berlin-Gatow airfield is a branch of the Bundeswehr Museum of Military History. Like its parent agency in Dresden, it does not see itself primarily as a museum of technical history, but rather as a modern museum of cultural history.The Museum in Dresden tells a general cultural history of violence, whereas the Berlin Museum focuses on aerial warfare as the most recent development in the military use of force.Visitors will learn how aerial warfare has altered our views on warfare. The following topics are at the center of our presentation:• Crossing Borders. Airplanes enable us to transport information, diplomats and casualties quickly and across borders. At the same time, the emergence of the aerial bombing warfare resulted in the abolition of the old dichotomy between front and hinterland.• Invisible Perpetrators, Invisible Victims. Among other things, aerial warfare is characterized by high speeds, tremendous ranges and increasingly huge kill capacities. These characteristics result in a depersonalization in the relationship between perpetrators and victims.• Cover instead of Flight. People on the ground are practically unable to escape the violence from the air. They are faced with sudden alarms and have to look for cover in cellars and holes in the ground.• Role Models. The role of a pilot has changed continuously over the years: In the eyes of his contemporaries, he was a daring technical pioneer and knight of the air, a daredevil, an engine operator and a flight engineer. Pilots were sacrificed and became killers. Not all pilots are men. What will be their role in an era of unmanned aviation?• Military and Society. The doctrines of employment and the manner of taking responsibility for the protection of lives reflect the political system and self-image of the various air forces. For that reason, military aviation cannot be examined separately but must be seen in the context of its social and political environment.The Museum of Military History on the Berlin-Gatow airfield sees itself a place of learning for military Bundeswehr personnel as well as interested visitors. As an interface between the military and society, it hopes to encourage discussions and to contribute towards the integration of the armed forces into public life in Germany.The museum collection contains more than 200 airplanes, numerous air defence systems and sensors, uniforms, equipment, art, documents and pictures (a total collection of 600,000 items).
Reviewed 18 April 2014 via mobile

This place is actually quite easy to get though it takes a little while. Just make sure you don't miss the bus stop otherwise it is a bit of a walk!

There are many, many planes and helicopters here. All are in excellent condition. Unfortunately almost all of the signs are in only German. I also saw a very interesting exhibition about POW's in one of the hangars. The hangars also contain many interesting stories about cold war propaganda and the Colditz glider. The shear scale of this museum makes it a must-see.

Allow at least 3 hours if you are into planes. I didn't have time to get round them all. Bring your own food and drink, as the cafe seems to shut quite early.

Thank Chuck N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"control tower"
in 7 reviews
"air force"
in 6 reviews
"on display"
in 17 reviews
"aircraft enthusiast"
in 4 reviews
"warsaw pact"
in 4 reviews
"cold war"
in 18 reviews
"military stuff"
in 2 reviews
"berlin airlift"
in 4 reviews
"war era"
in 2 reviews
"s bahn"
in 6 reviews
"amazing collection"
in 3 reviews
"walk up"
in 3 reviews
"free entry"
in 3 reviews
"east german"
in 3 reviews
"rainy day"
in 2 reviews
"luftwaffe"
in 18 reviews
"airfield"
in 20 reviews
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78 - 82 of 189 reviews

Reviewed 28 March 2014

It's quite far away to go by bus, but its a very nice war museum. Huge area, it's an old air base and you can see a lot of old and newer aircrafts. They also have big missle trucks, mobile radars and a lot of war stuff. Its a very nice place to spend one afternoon!

Thank Fernanda L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2014

This museum is not advertised in any tourist information leaflets and without transport is rather a complicated journey from central Berlin.I followed directions from a previous review but to no avail due to bus cancelled. The easiest way to get there is from Zoologischer Garten Bahnhof . ( the X34 bus is cancelled due to bridge repairs). Take a train to Spandau,I took a RER train and arrived in Spandau 8 minutes later. Then take bus 135 to Kladow and watch screen for stop Sikorsse and get off there.Then cross road and walk through new housing scheme for about 800 metres till you see museum, walk over grass to fence and go left and follow fence round till you come to entrance. It was wet and windy when I did this and must say it's not for persons who have any physical disabilities. However when you get there it is FREE entrance and a good 3-4 hours to get round. Cafe is a machine with drinks so I would recommend taking a snack with you. Return to central Berlin is the complete reverse. Very little is written in English ,which might put some people off,but I speak enough German to get bye .It is shame there were more staff than visitors,but I suppose if no one knows of you,then they cannot visit you. History being my thing I found it extremely interesting, as I said a bit of a shame.

1  Thank topguide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2013 via mobile

Directions: take the x34 bus from Zoologischer Station in the city and get off at Alt-Kladow (the main bus stop in the town). From Alt-Kladow hop on the 135 (Spandau bus) for a few stops and get off at either 'Seekorso' or 'Am Flugplatz Gatow' (it makes no difference) and walk through the new housing estate following the Luftwaffe Museum signs. It's a reasonable distance but a pleasant walk so don't be put off. I lived on the base when it was Royal Air Force Gatow back in the 90's and so going back was more nostalgic than anything else but being an aviation enthusiast and being interested in anything Cold War related this was a huge bonus. I was surprised at how good the museum was. Some great aircraft and artefacts on display. It's extremely well put together, although hardly anything is written in English. I believe a 'British section' is being put together currently, maybe in the air traffic control tower building, but not yet finished. As per previous reviews, plenty of staff milling about but virtually no visitors, we saw maybe 5 people in the 3 hours we were there, which was nice to have it to ourselves but also kind of a shame for the museum. The souvenir shop is well priced but seems hardly ever open. We walked around it when it was probably closed (no door in so hard to tell) and the lights were off and no staff actually inside but other museum staff seemed unbothered by this. Overall I'd say it was well worth a visit, particularly if you can read at least a little German.

Thank Englishboy91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 November 2013

Gatow is a bit off the beaten path in Berlin, but this former air base is well worth a visit for its very large collection of German, Allied and Soviet aircraft. The exhibits here are both indoors and outdoors. There are planes, helicopters and aviation support vehicles of all sizes, as well as flying suits and uniforms. They pretty much tell the story of the evolution of air warfare. Many of the planes from World War I and the inter-war era are surprisingly small and fragile-looking. I came away with tremendous respect for those "daring young men in their flying machines". Anyone with an interest in aviation or military history should make the trek to Gatow.

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

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